One Road Divided
Late-night thought rambles have made me sleep through more alarm clocks and miss more appointments and classes than I care to acknowledge. I had another one last night. Lying awake. Eyes glued to the ceiling or pursed shut begging for sleep. Mind forming beginnings and ends and middles of passionate speeches. Each roll-over tossing out a new revelation. A new declaration. A new epiphany.
If you were given the chance to go back to before you were diagnosed and had two roads to take, one was the road that leads you up to the point you are at now with all that has come with diabetes and the other will lead you to a life without diabetes, which road would you take and why? - Gina's Blog
I wrote that I would stay on this road. That I love my life enough that I wouldn't want to be a non-diabetic. But then Kerri pointed out that it isn't about whether or not we like our life or if we think this is a God or universal decree, but about whether or not we would choose diabetes.
I am eight years old.
I am sitting in an empty classroom. Multiplication tables are stapled to the wall. Posters of international children holding hands smile down on me. Colorful paintings are taped to the window.
A man walks into the room. He is wearing a white coat and has a stethescope around his neck. He smiles and sits down. "Hello Allison."
I am shy. I don't say anything.
"I have a very important question." He hands me a piece of paper with the word Diabetes in 36-point font. Below is a list of symptoms and complications. There is a description of the day in the life of a diabetic. He opens a box and shows me a glucose meter and a syringe. He asks, "Allison, would you like to have diabetes, too?"
Honestly, who in their right mind would say, "Oh yes, please sir, I'd love to have diabetes!"
If I didn't already know this life, I would not choose the potential.
However, as I thought more and more about this question, and thinking about all the different responses given (did you notice the ones with diabetes would keep while the ones without would not?), I thought, "The entire tone of this question makes it seem like a life with diabetes is horrible and a life without diabetes is not."
Why else would you even contemplate not having diabetes? Obviously, there are a lot of things about diabetes that we don't like and we want to get rid of it. But by saying we want to go the "non-diabetic" route, we're saying that we believe a non-diabetic route is: safer, healthier, nicer, easier, funer.
If you haven't noticed, there are quite a few non-diabetics who are crazy, messed-up, unhappy people. There are a quite a few diabetics who are crazy, messed-up, unhappy people. Life without diabetes is not necessarily a "better" life, and a life with diabetes is not necessarily a "harder" life. I think it all comes down to attitude, to cards drawn, to choices made, to faith.
Joseph. Bailey. Brendon. Zach. Chris.
Brett. Brenton. Amanda. Hollie. Sydney.
Daniel. Clare. Kimberly. Kelsey. Nathan.
Kerri. Amy. Gina. Wil. Gary.
These are just a few of the people I know with diabetes.
The first line is your children. The ones most precious.
The second line is my children. The ones I used to babysit for. The ones I've watched grow up.
The third line is my friends from camp. The ones who helped me survive high school and finding myself.
The fourth line is you. The ones who will help me survive adulthood and everything that comes with it.
Do I want these people to have diabetes? I don't know. I don't know because I don't know where the line is between taking away a disease and taking away a life. Life is full of challenges, of tears, of death, of hope, of courage, of bliss.
If you removed one thing, if you removed diabetes, is that really going to solve all problems? Will that prevent us from ever bleeding? Of ever crying? Of ever accomplishing our goals? Of ever meeting new people? Of coures not. It still happens. It's life.
This is Life. This is the only one we have. If when I was 8, I had been given the choice, I would not have chosen diabetes. But thank God it isn't a choice. Because who knows what kinds of lessons I would have missed out on? I don't know if I would have liked the other life more or if I would have liked it even less. I want to focus on this one. This is the one I'm on.
This diabetes road is a hard one. But looking at the world, looking at people, and looking at God, I really can't see how another road is anything particularly better. I can understand why people don't want diabetes. I can understand why people want diabetes. I'm sure at some points we wish we never had it, and I'm sure at some points we almost love it. But I think everyone does that.
This road is bumpy, and crazy, and messed up. But so are all of them.
I wonder where this Road goes.