I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member. – Groucho Marx

They don’t give you a card. There’s no pin. The best offering is probably the medic alert bracelet. Without fanfare, pomp or circumstance, but simply the confirmation from a blood panel ordered by a medical professional, I am now officially diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic.

This isn’t a club I wanted to join, but I have been suspicious of my eventual membership for years. My A1C was measured at 6.8%, which is considered “controlled,” so I am happy for that. My home test kit said 7.2% but the lab is much more reliable. In 3 months, that number needs to be down. Below 6 would be nice. But if intense workouts, dietary restrictions and hopefully notable weight loss don’t add up, I may have to consider medication.

Many people would just ask for the pills now. Type II Diabetics are considered the most non-compliant patients in the country. Plenty of people have the condition and ignore it. Or, they think the meds give license to act as if it’s not an issue. I was offered sparkling wine at a wedding reception last night, and said “no thank you.” I was offered the choice of non-alcoholic (since I’m a pastor I suppose) and I said “no, it’s not the alcohol, it’s the sugar.” The nice man who had offered said “oh I understand, I’m in the same boat. I just make sure to take the pills.” The conversation ended there, but in my head it went on. I don’t ever want to have that attitude. I’m not 100% anti-pharmaceutical, but I am not an early adopter either. It’s a last resort, not a quick fix. My Dad had great insight into his own father who had an overly optimistic attitude about modern medicine. He was a man who saw the airplane and automobile become common within his lifetime, marveled at the advent of nuclear energy, and never would have imagined as a child that he would see a man on the moon. As a result, he believed that there would be a pill to fix anything and everything, all within his lifetime. He did live to be over 80, but medicine still lacks the power of magic.

I’m still having trouble uttering the word diabetic. It’s packed with guilt, shame, and failure for me. I am beginning to understand why people prefer euphemisms, though I will never ever utter the phrase “I have sugar.” That has always made my skin crawl, and maybe I’m a classist elitist snob, but to me it has always been a phrase that reeks of ignorance. Oh well. Nomenclature is peripheral. It doesn’t matter what you call it, I have it, I am it, I am dealing with it.

Training notes for the day: After SnowFest I was wiped out. I took Monday as a rest day, and by nighttime I had a serious cold. I woke up with it, but decided to run anyway: 3.2 miles.


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