“I’m Totally In Control of My Diabetes!” (liar liar pants on fire)

August 8th, 2012 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Whenever I hear someone say that to or around me, I see a little orange flag pop up out of their heads.

Because I think it’s the same thing as saying I’m Totally In Control of well, anything.  And I think that is not possible or realistic.

Which means, yes, that orange little flag popping out of their head?  It’s a Denial Warning.

Because the thing is, with diabetes?  We really do have a serious medical condition.  It really can take our lives away from us.  We really can get into situations that are not good for us to be in, and we really will need help to get out of those situations.

And this applies to every single one of us, no matter what our A1c is or how often we check our BGs or what we do and don’t eat, drink, or do.

It’s the nature of life, and particularly life with diabetes.

Respecting that is just something we need to do to really accept our disease.

So when I hear someone say they are Totally In Control of Their Diabetes, it makes me wonder what deep down they really truly think.  I suspect they have at least a thread of fear involved, that when challenged, raises the pitch and volume of their statements about Being in Control of Their Diabetes and encourages anyone around them to shut up.

I’m not saying I like this aspect of life with diabetes; who would? 

I had to write a persuasive essay when I was in high school and I wrote it to persuade the FAA to let me earn my commercial pilot’s license despite my having diabetes.  I’m telling you, it was a good essay.  I gave it to my boss at the time to read (figuring if I could persuade him I could persuade the teacher at least to give me a good grade) and I was absolutely devastated when he looked me straight in the eye and said “I don’t want you flying MY plane!”


He fortunately followed it up by saying he wouldn’t want someone with his eyesight to fly a plane he was on, either.  (I had to respect that; the man had some seriously thick glasses.)

I’m glad he was honest with me, and I’m glad he also gave me a different way of looking at the blanket ban on diabetics as commercial pilots.

Ever since that moment, anytime someone has told me or I have read about something diabetics as a class are not permitted to do, I look at the other classes who also are refused. 

It becomes less about me proving something to the world and something more about the world simply functioning as best it can.

Which is all I think any of us can do, with and without diabetes.  Whatever control we fool ourselves into believing we have, I think it is a good idea to also follow that thread of fear and see where it leads us. 

If we follow it and it leads us scary places, spend a little time there.  Feel it out.  See if there is something you can do about it, and if not, acknowledge that it’s there, and leave it be.  Fear itself is not something bad or something to be avoided.

Management of our diabetes means taking both physical and emotional aspects of the disease in stride.  We can’t control every day; that task would quickly take control of our lives.  We just need to make the best decisions that we can make, each day, and take as great care of our bodies as possible.

Releasing ourselves from the notion that we are ever completely in control is a smart thing to do, if you ask me.

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  1. Kathy says:

    Well put Amy. I like to take my Diabetes one day at a time. There will be good days, horrible days and okay days. That’s the nature of the beast we live with everyday. We must learn to except what we can’t change and be grateful for the good days when we have them. Keep up the good work Amy! Kathy

  2. Yep, I see the orange flag when someone tells me it’s easy to manage their diabetes. Ha! Right! :-)

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