A good friend made a comment to me last night in regards to T1 diabetes. “You’ve had it forever, so it wouldn’t be so bad would it? You don’t really know any different.” Sort of, was about all I could say. This was the only real analogy I could think of, what do you guys think? I wrote it down but I will probably never show her because I hate to complain. Most people think I do very little to control my diabetes because I rarely make a big deal out of it or mention it, but sometimes I really want to whinge. Usually this ends up with friends treating my like I am really sick though so it's not worth it!
Imagine you are living in a cardboard box while each person around you, everyone you know, lives in a well-stocked mansion. You have always lived in your box and it provides you with some shelter. You are unable to upgrade to a mansion so you make-do.
Every now and then you spend a day with your friends in one of their mansions. You eat their food and sit in their comfy lounges. But all the while you know you will shortly go back to your box. Because you sat on the soft lounges for a while it is uncomfortable back in your box and because you ate the rich food you feel sick. All the same it was worth the visit.
Each evening you cover your box in the hope that it will be protected from the weather. Sometimes it works but sometimes the wind blows the cover off and you are cold inside. The weather can be unpredictable. Most people think you are an ace at knowing what will happen because you still get up and go to work in the morning. But you have no choice. If you don’t work you can’t buy food, so you go no matter how cold and tired you are. They have never spent a night in a cardboard box, and can’t really imagine how it could feel and affect you so it really isn’t worth complaining anyway. Occasionally their air conditioning plays up and they think they know. But they have no idea.
Sometimes you forget to cover your box or misread the weather warnings and your box gets wet. It is very unpleasant for a while but eventually everything will dry out. Luckily your box is made of sturdy cardboard but every time it gets wet there is a little damage left behind.
Occasionally someone makes a comment like “at least you have a box, some don’t”. Gee thanks. Come out of your mansion for a while and see how it feels to live in a box for 37 years and then tell me how lucky I am.
Occasionally someone will come visit from their mansion and spend a day thinking they now know what it’s like to live in a box. They also bring their lounges and colour TV though so it really is nothing like it and that bugs me.
But yes, I am used to my box. I would dearly love to live in a mansion one day, but I really don’t think that will be possible in my lifetime. The cardboard these days is much stronger than it used to be, although it also takes far more upkeep or it crumbles quickly. I don’t love my box but I will live with it because I have no choice. You know, there are worse things out there, so they say.
30+ years with D, two wonderful children