Addressing My Issues

Dealing with lifes issues, one decade at a time.

By Travis Grubbs

travis_grubb_profile_page_90x90June 2008 — While my life may be dominated by my diabetes, it is not the only issue I deal with. I have a nice collection of issues. I usually manage to deal with the majority of my issues with just a small amount of grumbling, but some issues just bug me more than others and that is when I become rebellious.

One instance happened while I was paying the cable bill. As I wrote out the check for the amount owed, I looked at the line below it which contained the blank field of "AMOUNT PAID: ________." For years I dutifully filled in the amount I was paying, so that the recipient did not have to look at the amount on my check. I have performed this function on not just the cable bill, but on the majority of other invoices that arrive in my mailbox on a monthly basis.

But on this Saturday morning I asked myself, "Why am I writing in the amount on an invoice when it clearly states how much I owe, and I have enclosed a check that contains the amount that I am paying?" So in an act of civil disobedience I left that space blank and circled the amount due on the invoice in red. "Let them figure it out", I said to myself. I have started doing the same on other invoices. When I get bored with circling the amounts due in red, I write "See the amount on the enclosed check." Yes, I could just write in the amount, but then I would not be rebellious. Make no mistake: in this case I feel the need to be rebellious.

I think this is all due to my theory that as we grow older, our attitudes change regarding our responsibilities. It goes like this:

When one is in their twenties, they think that they can do anything.
When one is in their thirties, they think that they have to do everything.
When one is in their forties, they realize that they don't have to do everything.

I am enjoying my forties since I get to eliminate the things that I just don't have to do. I have found new enjoyment in shredding mail that says "You must respond today!" Nope, not me, and off to the shredder you go!

This attitude is not limited to invoices and junk mail. I have taken it on the road. I used to patronize a national pharmacy chain that was excellent at denying my refills when a monthly prescription, that they had on file, expired. They seemed to enjoy informing me that my monthly prescription was not refilled by delivering the rejection with a smile and a "Have a nice day." I eliminated this thorn in my backside by taking my business to a local pharmacy that contacts my doctor for a new prescription when one has expired before my next doctor's visit. I continue to extend this attitude in my other retail encounters.

I am still working on how to address one particular issue. When I go to my doctor and my name is called for me to make the trek to an examination room, I am greeted with some thing like, "How are you today?" That question seems very peculiar to me. On the inside I respond with something like, "Well I am at the doctor's office so there is a good chance that I am sick!" I don't want to lie and say "Fine," or "Okay." If I was "fine" or "okay," I would not be at the doctor's office.

Why is it really necessary to ask that question at a doctor's office? Is the nurse expecting me to give a run down of my symptoms while in the reception area, or as we walk down the corridor? Why not change it with something like, "Hello, I am so glad that you came down with something so that we can all earn a living today!", or "Welcome! Your presence gives us a sense of purpose!" Despite my best effort I have yet to come up with an appropriate response, but I refuse to say "Fine" or "Okay." Since I am still in my forties, I can probably get away with just refusing to reply.

I have yet to decide how my attitude in my fifties, sixties, etc. will be reflected, but I look forward to finding out. For now, I have to go check my blood sugar. As we all know, that's one of the issues that cannot be avoided.

Read more of Travis Grubbs' Turn the Page columns here.


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.


Last Modified Date: November 05, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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