The Diabetes Paradox
The Diabetes Paradox
By: Maram Taibah Fearless Pilgrim (Travel Blog)
F*** diabetes. This was my mantra today after a meager dinner of 3 chicken wings, 3 onion rings, and kale salad raised my blood sugar to 239.
The awesome fact is…I’m very hungry.
It’s not that I don’t know how to plan my meals right to keep my condition in check, it’s that sometimes, I really don’t want to. I want a pile of chicken wings, onion rings, mac and cheese and piles of croissants. And cheesecake. And lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream. I don’t want to be lectured about green food or raw food or about carb addictions.
I am on board with all of that on most days. But not today.
I’ve soothed myself often with the adage that disease is here to teach my soul a lesson. I repeated that to myself and to others with diseases (and inconveniences) of their own. But the truth is…diabetes sucks.
I love food. I have always loved food. I stop what I’m doing to completely immerse myself in the experience of food. It breaks my heart some days when I haven’t planned my meals properly. I end up hungry because I’m refraining from the available carbs so that my blood sugar doesn’t spike.
Often, this control snaps and I gorge myself on any carbacious thing that falls into my hands even if it doesn’t taste that great. I’m like that anime character that produces “nomnom” sounds as she gorges herself on an array of foods all at once.
I didn’t always have diabetes. I was diagnosed three years ago when I was living in Boston to study film. When I first received the news, I cried. Then the sun warrior in me rose the next day and a feeling of calm washed over me like a thousand greens sprouting. I can accept this. I’m ok. I am grateful.
In so many depressed and unmotivated instances in my life, however, I really don’t know what the purpose of my diabetes is. So thousands of little greens don’t always sprout in my being. Tonight, I was spewing and sputtering wrath when I looked at my glucometer.
On good days, I think of my diabetes as my yoga teacher, my dietitian, my therapist, and my mindfulness coach all in one. On my bad days, I think of diabetes as that pestilent friend of a friend who joins your gang on a fun night out and keeps pointing out that everyone’s grammar is wrong and tells everyone what’s unhealthy about what they ordered.
So the question I ask myself everyday is: can I hold this diabetes paradox within me? Of loving and hating the condition? Of allowing it to transform me and still curse at it? Do I always need to be cheerful? Do I need to sound like a saint?
Then, I grab another donut from the box.
This is my diabetes paradox.