Good Enough Care
Its not all about achieving perfect diabetes care, but instead about having a life.
By Ilene Raymond Rush
December 2008 — Thanks to my sex counselor and relationship therapy friends, I've recently become aware of a new term: Good Enough Sex.
If you're lucky enough to be a healthy 16- year old boy, or a newly married couple celebrating their honeymoon, you can stop reading right here.
But for middle-aged folks such as myself the very phrase -- good enough sex -- strikes a chord. And not only in terms of sex, but across a whole spectrum of mid-life behaviors and health issues.
Good enough sex, for those new to the concept, means precisely what it says: while not completely pooh-poohing the possibility of the perfect anatomical textbook partnering, the notion encourages middle aged couples to make the most of what they have, in the most pleasurable way possible, whatever that may be.
According to this thesis, problems with reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, or a garden variety case of "honey-I-have-a–headache" are supposed to recede as couples learn what works for them without judging or measuring their performance (and any accompanying performance anxieties) against the un-zip and zoom of those incessant hopped up Cymbalta and Viagra ads.
On its face, good enough sex strikes me as a very common sense concept.
But as appealing as it may be, I can also understand how it may be hard for some to put into action. The very words, "good enough" can prove anathema to my generations' high achievers and mighty strivers, who may see the program as a call to diminished expectations, i.e. bring on the pharmaceuticals and trophy wives.
Or, discouraged, they may give up on sex completely, choosing all or nothing at all. This strikes me as a path akin to thinking that unless your beloved suddenly undergoes a midnight transfiguration into George Clooney (or Daniel Craig, your pick), you should simply throw in the towel.
But for all of you waiting for Brad (or George) to arrive, "good enough sex" sets the argument in quite different terms. No longer is sex a choice between movie-star sex or no sex: it's movie-star sex or good enough sex.
So what does this have to do with type 2 diabetes?
People who live with diabetes know more than the average Joe (or George). They understand the concept of "good enough care."
They know, for example, that perfection –in eating, in exercise, in blood sugar readings -- is elusive. They know that there are good days and bad days, days of chocolate cake and days of hard-boiled eggs, days of inexplicable blood sugar highs and days of equally inexplicable blood sugar lows. They strive for balance, even for predictability. But, and read this web site if you don't believe me, those of us who struggle with this condition daily recognize that the true measure of our efforts isn't to give up on care, but to get to the point where our care is fairly predictable and controllable and "good enough."
Textbook perfection (anatomically and otherwise) may be admirable in person and on the movie screen. Yet for those of us with type 2 diabetes who must measure ourselves daily in a variety of ways against a variety of yardsticks, "good enough care" can be a goal that we can achieve.
What people with type 2 diabetes know is that it never can be perfect diabetes care or no diabetes care: It has to be good enough care. Which makes for a pleasurable, satisfying, and healthy life.
Read more of Ilene's article Busy-Bodies for Health.
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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