So How Should I Presume?

By Eric Lagergren | August 21, 2008 1:16 pm

The routine of self-management—the routine necessitated by the multiple daily diabetes tasks—has the potential to become a mind-numbing burden that triggers some new dread in me each time I perform an aspect of it.

Oh yes, I’ve given it much thought. Each fingerprick followed by its pinhead-sized drop of blood might easily remind me of my mortality, each low blood glucose[1] the Eternal Footman’s snicker, every high the sun dipping a bit lower on life’s horizon.


Diabetes and the routines necessary to stave off its complications[2] can wear on a person. The mind can easily make a misery out of a condition as insidious as diabetes.

But I’m not that morbid, and I don’t find it a burden, nor do I (often) allow each diabetes task to trigger dark thoughts. In fact, I never found it a pain to perform multiple daily injections. And once I moved to wearing an insulin pump[3], I discovered that the reservoir and site changes quickly became cake. The routine of checking my blood glucose and counting carbohydrates[4] and bolusing for meals: something I now do without thinking (or, I guess, without thinking too much).

These are the chores that come with the territory, that terra which is the land of the broken pancreas.

The routine of self-management—my routine of self-management (because I don’t presume to assume my experience is your experience)—has thus far not really been a burden. At least I choose not to think of it as such. Don’t get me wrong. These diabetes things I do: They did, for quite a while, fill me with anxiety and worry about performing each diabetes task correctly.

A few examples I look back on and smile wryly at the naiveté of (and those of you who know of what I speak can add any number of the dozens of things to the list):

But a year and a half into living with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve found that time indeed takes the edge off.

Is it possible I was measuring out my life in test strips?

Shall I go today without checking? Do I dare to eat a brownie?
I shall bring along no test kit and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the insulin pumps singing, each to each.

I do not think they won’t sing for me.

  1. low blood glucose:
  2. complications:
  3. insulin pump:
  4. counting carbohydrates:
  5. insulin:

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Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor.

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