I wish I can actually say I had three days without diabetes, but I can’t. But, I can say that I had three days where diabetes was not at the center of my life, as it has been for the first couple of years since I was diagnosed and for most days from the third anniversary of my diagnosis. What happened on those three days?
November 23, Saturday. My husband and I joined a couple of friends for a very pleasant lunch, and an even better time at a karaoke afterwards. There are few better ways to spend an afternoon than with people whose company you enjoy, sharing a meal, and singing songs you all love and know.
November 24, Sunday. On this beautiful day and amidst a spectacular autumn scenery, I completed my scheduled Tanzawako 10-K run. I’ll post my report on the run later. But for now, I’m posting the photo above which I took on the way back home – trees on fire against a clear almost cloudless blue sky.
November 25, Monday. I gave speech no. 10 of the Toastmasters’ Competent Communication Manual (Inspire Your Audience). I titled my speech “Do Not Desire Mediocrity”. Based on the feedback from other members, I did fairly well. Unfortunately, I got carried away and did not pay attention to time, so I went past the time limit and did not qualify for “best prepared speaker”. That’s a bummer, but that was my fault. I should have been more aware, since I was giving my tenth speech. (I’m doing this speech again, and this time I’ll make sure that I’m well within the time.)
So, where was diabetes during those three days? It was still there, but those days were a strong reminder that diabetes is not the whole of me. I worry about it from time to time. I watch my diet. I exercise. I check my blood glucose. I take my metformin. I visit my endo regularly. I visit the DOC. But after the first couple of years or so, my life as a Type 2 diabetic has actually become mostly boring and uneventful. Maybe because I’ve settled into some sort of pattern in dealing with this condition, or perhaps I’ve gotten past worrying myself to death and assuming that diabetes is the cause of all my aches and pains, or it could be that there are other things beside diabetes worth worrying about. Diabetes will never go away, but it doesn’t have to take up so much of me either.
In fact, I noticed that the more I focused on Type 2 diabetes for most days of this month through this blog, the more I became more mindful of the wonderful, exciting and fulfilling life outside diabetes; problems and issues other than my own that are equally deserving (if not more deserving) of my attention, time, efforts and resources; and people other than myself. It was almost as if when I focused on diabetes, the rest of me was actively resisting my inattention or what it may perceive as an inordinate amount of attention on diabetes.
But there is more to life than diabetes. I have work, family, friends, hobbies. There was also the super typhoon that devastated parts of my country, or the major earthquake that preceded it by about a month, or the great earthquake in Japan two years ago. And there will be more typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. There is global warming. There are wars going on all over the world. There is poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, ignorance, religious and other forms of intolerance, and other important issues. There is also the beauty of nature and the existence of countless other species on earth. Beyond our planetary home, there is the solar system, and beyond it, a whole expanse called the universe, and I am but one small drop.
Sometimes, when I get overwhelmed by Type 2 diabetes, I reflect upon how small I really am in the universe, and how much smaller diabetes is than me (after all, it is just a part of me). Through this, I can in my mind free myself of diabetes and apply my thoughts and actions on other more important things. Even if it’s just for three days, or even just one day, at a time.