Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day. Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day. Is there something positive you tell yourself? Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through? Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost? Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too?
“The only weapon I have is comedy,” said the great Mel Brooks. I’m not in that league, but I try to laugh at diabetes as much as I possibly can.
When you laugh at something, you take away its power. You are now in control. Mel Brooks always said that about The Producers; he cut Hitler down to human size so he could humiliate him in front of the world. So he could laugh at him. We watched a lot of Mel Brooks movies growing up and my parents loved and encouraged any kind of comedy. I’ve found it’s not only my armor against diabetes, it’s my therapy when things get tough.
Do I have to say it doesn’t mean we’re making fun or taking things lightly (or that diabetes isn’t Hitler)? Humor is my way of choosing to respond to the non-stop drudge that diabetes can become. I have plenty of anger, plenty of sadness at this condition. It sucks. But it’s also completely ridiculous.
Some of the humor comes very naturally. The language of diabetes lends itself to easy jokes. Are you “high?” in school? Did you “shoot up” yet? When Benny was very little, he made up words for the parts of his pump. The end of the tubing was the “click,” the inset was the “button” and something else was the bubba. I can’t even remember. What was the bubba? The tubing? Now I’m laughing at myself!
We’ve laughed through the first time Benny held his pump. He looked at it for a second, then threw it across the floor. We laughed all the time when potty training a little boy with an inset on his backside (everything has to be done very… carefully). Recently, I was in Target, on the phone with school saying, “Hmm. He’s high AND hungry? No, I don’t need to pick him up…” The looks from the people around me were priceless.
Of course, the serious stuff isn’t funny. There are times you just have to grind down and keep going. Pull on some strength you didn’t know you had. We’ve had some A1C issues last year, better now, but I’m not laughing at that. That’s when you get serious and try to manage as best you can.
Then you can do things like smile at the kitchen white board. Mine keeps track of my son’s inset changes, Dexcom insertions.. and our dog’s heart-worm pills. Hope I don’t mix those up.
What? You’ve never seen The Producers?! Enjoy: