Monday, August 20, 2012

Some readers have wondered why I have so many details about diabetes in my novel, Nourish & Strengthen. Here's the reason, plain a simple:

Diabetes. Never. Goes. Away.

You never get a vacation from worrying about it, thinking about it, factoring it in to everything you do. Everything.

Not only do you analyze each bite of food, but you also have to keep it in the back of your mind when you're not eating. For example, right now it's been about three hours since I ate breakfast and I feel slightly nauseated and a bit of a headache. I'm about 93% sure my blood sugar is high, but I don't want to get off my chair, put the laptop down, walk over to my glucometer, prick my finger, push out blood, wait 5 seconds to find out the result, and take insulin to correct it (if I'm correct in my theory). I could take a little extra insulin right now because it's clipped to my belt in my insulin pump, but that would be foolish to do without knowing what my current number is. I could over-correct and end up with even more problems. But see, this is a little thing, and I choose to put it off a mere five minutes, but it is there. Ever-present.

As I was saying, it affects every decision I make: which classes my son should take at Scout camp. Whether or not he should play two sports in one season. Whether we spend the day as a family at an amusement park vs. a water park. Scheduling movie times. How far to run. Doctors, refills, school excuses, forms, copays. When is too young for a boy to carry a cell phone (some might think we're crazy, but I want to be able to get a hold of him and vice versa, because you never know.)

Part of the reason I wrote Nourish & Strengthen was to let a reader know what it's like to have diabetes or to have a child with the disease. The fact that issues with diabetes pops up over and over again in the book is indicative of how it is in real life. It is a factor. Just one tiny part, always running in the background, never going away. If kept in check, it rarely becomes a problem, if ignored, it demands to be reckoned with. It doesn't define the person, but it does influence that person more than they would like to admit. It is ever present. It is life. But, it is not the only part of life.