Learning daily lessons in diabetes, humor, and motherhood.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
April 2010 — If you don't yet know about the comedic relief illness can provide, you either a) are newly diagnosed, b) don't have a sense of humor at all, or, c) need to learn how to laugh at the things that are truly funny about having diabetes. Diabetes humor is everywhere.
It's never too soon or too late to learn how to appreciate diabetes humor. Or rediscover it. When you're a mother, opportunities abound almost daily. Sometimes, things aren't funny at all until seen or heard through a child's eyes and voice.
Take, for example, sitting on the bed having just woken up a little too early and ill with a less-than-ideal blood sugar reading. Your kid is crowding you in bed and cartoons are already on the TV in your bedroom. Not ok. Then, you pull the tube of your pump to retrieve it and do the correction bolus your body needs when your kid looks on and says:
"Mommy! Your pump was hiding under the pillow!"
She erupts in giggles. And it's contagious and infectious, but in the way the congestion in my head and lungs isn't. It's a welcome respite from the seriousness and responsibility of being an adult, having diabetes and being a mother. For all my daughter demands that takes away some of my ability to care for myself in all the tangible, optimum ways one can imagine, she gives it all back and then some in humor, innocence, and humility.
And she makes me think.
Like one recent day when she was watching me put a new site in and load a new insulin cartridge in my pump.
"What are you doing?" she asks.
I have to think about the answer. I find myself thinking a lot about the answers to questions – many of them in a day in fact – when it comes to conversations with my kid. You can't go over their head. But you can't underestimate their intelligence, either. And you definitely can't lie. They are too smart for that. They know.
After several seconds, I settle on a response.
"Taking my medicine," I say.
Apparently I lied.
"That's not medicine. That's diabetes," my daughter quips. Like I said. Smart.
And so I think. What's the difference? I realize that, to her, there is definitely a difference. She knows what medicine is and when she takes it; when her tummy hurts or she's coughing or feverish. I wasn't presenting any of these symptoms as I poked my stomach with the cannula and pushed the plastic tube into my pump. She knows diabetes is something I have every day. She sees me deal with it every day. It's not sickness. It's in a class by itself, for better or worse. I realize that she's right. There is a difference.
It's interesting. My daughter helps me to see the obvious so much more clearly than I'm capable of on my own. And then, sometimes, there's no analysis or questioning or thinking required. Like when I opened a package of mail-order diabetes supplies the other day and she says:
"Wow, that's cool diabetes, Mama."
And all I can do is laugh. And love her for making me do it.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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