So, I took a part in last year’s dblog week for the first time ever. One of the subjects that was the optional one that you could do instead of that particular day’s topic was ‘Diabetes Personified’. I never wrote about it because I ended up doing all the set posts but I loved the idea of it, so I saved diabetes personified for a rainy day.
Finally, months and months later, I came across the initial ideas I had for it in my notes on my phone. So, I’ll write about my concept of a physical character diabetes may have today.
Diabetes isn’t a person. It’s a giant. He is a huge, ugly monster who pounds down the streets cracking pavements, swiping at houses and damaging them almost beyond repair as he passes, with his many puny little humans tied to the ends of his leashes – us diabetics.
He doesn’t eat, sleep or really even think. He definitely suffers from insomnia, which doesn’t mix well with his inability to read a clock. He certainly isn’t diabetic himself, he doesn’t understand the pain he causes, just blindly stomping into the lives of the unsuspecting mortals.
When all his little humans are sleeping deeply, peacefully dreaming away, he will lean down and peer at one diabetic in particular. With a smirk on his face and a glint in his eye he will prod the diabetic. In that house, all hell will break loose with high blood sugars, malfunctioning insulin pumps and bleary-eyed parents stumbling around trying to find the spare pens.
But, as the giant watches the show gleefully, he shifts his foot backwards accidentally. His misshapen, green toe will nudge a diabetic directly behind him. Chaos erupts in that diabetic’s world with a plummeting hypo, a CGM shrieking, spilt lucosade and a dizzy, confused diabetic desperately trying to keep her eyelids open unable to get rid of the shakes.
As dawn breaks the monster will harshly jerk them out of their slumber and he will shove them into the new day. He will kick the ones who trail behind, occasionally yank a leash simply when it is too quiet to satisfy him. He could be standing on each of their individual shoulders and it wouldn’t even make a difference. He is a burden, a parasite, that shadow in the background, silent and intimidating. He is the restraints that the humans just can’t escape.
Unfortunately sometimes that means a diabetic will try to fight back. They will pull on their leash, screaming and crying. But the monster won’t tolerate that. He will drag the diabetic through the mud and the grime. He will pull them in so close, with their leash so tight that it hurts. The emotional breakdowns, nightmarish blood sugars and pain will silence the diabetic for a while.
Until he strikes again.
But sometimes, just sometimes, the giant will forget about a diabetic or two. Those are the days that the blood sugars are in range, the family is content and the sun is shining. Those are the days diabetics are running, laughing, giddy with excitement because they’re free. Just for one day, they have the whole world at their fingertips.
Because the monster pulls them close, tormenting them and haunting them time and time again, the diabetics will grow stronger. Tougher. Closer to each other. The diabetics who were once puny little mortals on leashes will start to develop the strength that it takes to really fight back, as one.
One day they will overpower him. Not today, but someday. Today they will battle him, because they know that someday… they will win.
(Interestingly, when I was writing this I went low quite quickly. I think the monster noticed me…)