Friday, 17 September 2010

What would you do on your day off?

Every week there are a few days we all look forward to. Whether they fall at the weekend, whether they are nestled between Tuesday and Friday or even when they are dotted here and there, we all look forward to them. We make plans for them; we plan for a lie in, we plan to see friends, we go the the movies, we rest, we play, we enjoy.

But there is one thing that we as diabetics can never look forward to: A day off.

We may be allowed a day off from work, college or school. And we may enjoy all of the things that others can enjoy, no matter what our idea of fun is. But from the moment we wake, when our tired eyes open and take in the first snapshot of the day, we are planning.

The first blood test falls about a minute after waking. We pull back the covers, sleepy and a little unsteady. We reach for the light, flick the switch and begin our search. We find our blood testing kit and nervously prick our finger for the first, but certainly not the last time that day. The result of this test will tell us a lot about whether our bodies are going to be in a bad mood today. If the test is high, we have some damage limitation to plan. We must correct, we must hang back on breakfast, we must hazard a guess at what happened last night, we must wait. For this reason, the first test of the day is usually a nervous affair. Mine usually involves looking at the test with one eye closed - similar to how you would watch a horror film when you know you don't necessarily want to see the gruesome result.






The rest of the day trundles on; test after test, dose after dose. My food has to be weighed at every meal, my sugars analysed after each test. If I feel thirsty, I have to wonder why; did I bolus right at my last sitting, do I have a kink in my cannula, is my pump working.

There is no such thing as a 'day off' from diabetes. The closest we can get is not testing our blood for the day. Irresponsible and dangerous - it's but a break, if all else has failed and we just need a break. I think the last time I didn't test for a day was about 3 months ago, when I ran out of strips from testing too much the day before. Technically it was a forced holiday, but a holiday nonetheless.

But I often wonder about how things would be if there was a cure or even something close. How would my first minute of each day compare. When my sleepy eyes crack open, would I look forward to a morning run? One without the pre-jog blood test, sip of juice and portable supply of glucose tablets?

Maybe after I could tuck into a pancakes with syrup breakfast (even saying the word 'syrup' makes my sugars go up at the moment - God forbid some should ever touch my lips). But after tucking into that blood sugar-tastic breakfast for a king, what would be next?

I try not to dwell on these things too much, mainly because 'they' have been talking about a cure since I was diagnosed, all those 24 years ago. Quarter of a decade domineered by a disease which dictates many of my every day decisions.

I still don't know how I would choose to spend my first day off if they cured this disease.

How about you?

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