In all honesty, I’m terrible at that whole live for today concept. I live by a John Mayer quote- “People say: ‘live for today’. I don’t think it’s right. You gotta live for the big picture.”
It’s really how I feel. I LOVE looking at what is ahead for me. When I’m stressed or upset; that light at the end of tunnel keeps me going. It serves as a reminder for why I am working so hard, and why I am putting in so many hours. It’s nice to think about when my hard work will pay off, or the next phase of this journey we call life. I also do like to look back on occasion and see how far I have come and how much I have changed and where I have been and where I have met.
I know I need to enjoy life’s little moments, or big moments, and I have gotten better at that- BUT I still live for the “big picture.”- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love Life’s Contradictions- well fun ones; hoodies and flip-flops, converse and dresses, etc etc.
But throughout my life, there has been one glaring contradiction that relates to Diabetes. Diabetes is the one place where I live for today in a sense. I have my whole life, and as I have “dealt” with my changing of plans for after graduation and with everything Diabetes News related, I have realized this fully.
When it comes to Diabetes, I live for today. I have to. I cannot focus on that cure supposedly coming down the track. I cannot put all of my “eggs in one basket” because I will be so focused on that I’ll miss out on what I might need.
When I got diagnosed in 2000, EVERYONE in the medical community kept telling me that a cure would arrive in 10 years when I was 17. When I was 14, I knew that wasn’t happening. Stem cell research had come to a halt, other possible cures had not worked or the complications were way too much. So my 17th birthday came and went, my 21st birthday is about turn into my 22nd birthday before I know it- and a cure- it’s still not here? But I have watched the news before my eyes; test trials are going on; new breakthroughs, etc etc. But honestly, I think of a cure as that date that stood you up, again and again, and you told yourself ‘this time will be different.’ But it’s not. It never has been. Someday, who knows when, there will be a cure I am sure- that new date who proves you wrong and shows up (early). But scientific progress or new findings do not guarantee us a cure right now or even “soon.” I think it’s cool to watch and be up to date- but I cannot and will not say “this it- my cure is coming.” Because realistically, I don’t think it’s here yet. Research is definitely on the right track, but we are not there yet. not too mention all of that red tape and policy and making sure it is all okay- especially in the US, takes A LOT OF TIME.
Sometimes, I feel like the Diabetes community (and other people in general- ESPECIALLY the rest of the world) gets so caught up in a cure, they forget about the people and families who are living with Diabetes 24/7 right now. They forget that there is this whole mental health side to Diabetes. They forget that teens and young adults are still here. We are still living with Diabetes.
But we also forget all of the scientific advances that have been made- I would NEVER take a pump vacation if there hadn’t been a huge change; Regular and NPH anyone? being the only choice anyone? Now I can take a pump vacation. oh yeah and I wouldn’t have POLI- which I LOVE. I don’t have to change the code every single time I open a new bottle of strips. Meters have lights and can take less than 5 seconds. Pumps can calculate your insulin for you. You can have sweets! CGMs. and so much more. I am benefiting, along with many others, from research and breakthroughs that are not a cure- maybe looking for a cure lead us there- but my Diabetes management and even my mental health has benefited from all of that- and I won’t forget it.
I think if my parents and I put all our focus on a cure, I would be a different person today. Instead I have focused on taking care of myself because who knows when a cure will come. I don’t want to wait my life away waiting for a cure; I have stuff to do. I have places to see. I have Dawgs for Diabetes and the College Diabetes Network to be a part of. I want to make sure that teens and young adults don’t get lost or left out of the Diabetes community. I have little moments to enjoy. I have ideas and hopes and dreams I want to follow and tackle with my clumsy grace. I have a CASA kid in foster care who needs me. I have school. I have a big city to move to soon. I have to travel. I have to meet new people- AND SO MUCH MORE.
and if I focus on that cure- would I stop trying to take care of myself? Would I get so hopeful, and then possibly let down because a cure didn’t work- I feel like that happens a lot for people- and your mental health takes a hit.
I’m not saying- don’t get excited- by all means get excited- but use your critical thinking and make sure that’s not the only thing you are living for in terms of Diabetes Management.
I’m not saying don’t stay up to date. Be informed. that is SO important.
I’m not saying there won’t be a cure. There will be- SOMEDAY.
I am saying- please don’t send me articles that say Diabetes is cured; or article after article. I might like to just talk to you? Instead of just speak in Diabetes Articles- feel free to send them- but maybe ask how I am doing or tell me how you are doing?
Because honestly, I have probably seen and read it; I am VERY involved in the Diabetes Community, and I read the news (from many different sources- always check EVERY bias).
I like to think of it in the view of People’s First Language- I am MORE than a possible cure. I don’t know when that cure will be. In my lifetime? I really don’t know. But until we have one, in terms of Diabetes management and self care, I need and have to live for today.
Until next time!