World Diabetes Day (November 14 to those who may not be aware) did not proceed as I planned. I’ve been looking forward to it and to participating in DSMA‘s 24-hour twitter chat on diabetes. Despite my planning and excited anticipation, work descended heavily upon me. Thus, ironically, yesterday, on World Diabetes Day in Japan, I was so preoccupied with my job that I had little time to think about diabetes. Sure, I managed to check my blood glucose and post a short blog entry, but for most of the day, I almost forgot that I was diabetic.
That was perhaps why, on my way to work this morning, I especially noticed the signage outside one of our small neighborhood’s cleaners (for clothes). His sign said “年中無休” (pronounced nen-jyuu-mu-kyuu). It is an indication that the shop is “open all year round”. The phrase literally translates as “no rest during the year.”
This shop will accept your dirty clothes even during holidays. It is run by one man, or at least every time I walk past it, I see the same guy. If I’m not mistaken, he used to run two cleaners’ shops until he consolidated them into this one shop. I don’t know how he does it. I swear, one day, when my Japanese is good enough, I will interview him and find out.
Anyway, his signage is so applicable to diabetes, don’t you think? We are diabetic “year round” or “7 days a week” or “24-7”. Much as we want to take a break from it, diabetes is there to stay, like a clueless unwanted guest. There really is no break. Take my day yesterday. Although, despite a heavy workload, I found the time to check my blood glucose before and after exercising for the Big Blue Test, and before and after lunch, and managed to sneak in a few words for my blog post, those moments were few and short, if you compare it with the bigger picture of my insulin resistance taking no break at all, whether or not I pay attention to it. And if I don’t pay attention to it, I will know the next time I check my BG or the next time I go for A1c test.
We can all take a break from our diabetes, perhaps by immersing in our work, exercising, or enjoying a quarterly or annual food indulgence. But remember, we can only take that break if our regular routine is one of control and management. We cannot afford to take a break from diabetes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unless we are purposely courting disaster, or in our case, diabetes complications.
Once a year, we have World Diabetes Day, and for a month in a year, we have World Diabetes Month. They are reminders, not so much of our condition, but of our duty to advocate to and educate others, but more importantly a reminder that we should take care of ourselves.