Diabetic Conclusion: my problem is the same as yours

For us diabetes amplifies everything; if you feel just-not-right then broken blood sugar will make it wrong, as alcohol does an alcoholic; every bone of contention, every pulse of ill will, slight upset or lull, every wave of exhaustion and misunderstanding all amplified.

Deformation of sadness, doubt, and dependency; symptoms lost in a bigger world, it leaves us wilting. We push on. Living with a profitable disease is a double-edged sword, sure they are going to make us new medicines every fifteen years once patents for the last have run out, and these on some level will spell vast improvement over previous. But it’s for us to direct and decide upon, which of
these medicines is suitable again in meeting with our state-of-being, not solely encapture the requirements of a mass Diabetes Industry’s profiteering. – It’s not such a bad situation to be
in; on a good day it’s not such a bad disease to have. Our health is readily manageable with the right communication: no miracle medicine in the world is going to work without precise communication. My problem is the same as yours: my solution the same as yours.

Before

At present I am lost, my character thin, my confidence gone, expectations
extinguished, soaked through with doubt, nurtured in worry, close to giving up entirely. I used to be better than this, I used to look the world dead in the eye and I thought I could stare down the sun, now the world’s gotten the better of me.
Responsibility for everything and it’s all too hard but I’m going to make myself better. Maybe it’s the time I find on my hands, or my current health status. This book just seems right.

After

Seventeen years of feeling like that fly, banging its head off the bar window. I’m a better person when my sugar is level. I’m nicer to be around. Content not frustrated. I do this because there is no other way. Please stay with me.

Now

Week four of being human and I have no intention of leaving this island. I crave new challenges I want to be involved. So this is what it feels like to be young? I don’t feel uncomfortable all the time anymore, I feel fresh and capable. I can’t remember feeling like this since I was a kid.
Clearing out the cobwebs and now to come to terms with having been ill for seventeen years.

Writing this book has made me realise how I see the world. Made me realise how high sugar has changed me. I’m actually quite a nice person.
I hope I’m nicer to be around and for me it’s great to see how lovely the people around me are. I don’t feel like everyone around me is having a go at me anymore. I don’t take everything to heart and no longer feel everything is a poor reflection on me.

Six months on

Every day is lovely, the trees show me how young I am, cool breeze refreshes me, water reflecting sky and I am privileged to walk around here in the company of all you beautiful souls. The smiles of others light me up and I know tears can be recovered from. It’s time to create some little ones, a George Victor, a Jack Stephen.

We should never and I will never again allow myself to feel guilty over being ill. I know I am doing everything I can to be healthy and that’s way beyond what most non-diabetics do.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. It’s true, it’s not good to keep it all bottled up inside.

Thank you,
Paul

Taken from ‘Getting better, state of mind (original notes).’

Diabetes is not an “en vogue” disease.

“Diabetes is not an “en vogue” disease.

It is not the kind of disease that gets a huge product campaign like breast cancer, nor is it portrayed as tragic and other worldly diseases like the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The public perception of diabetes is the polar opposite of the causes the media likes to promote. Instead of being seen as victims of illness, those millions living with diabetes are often seen as being lazy and unwilling to control their disease with a “simple” diet and exercise regimen. Paul Cathcart’s memoir stands to change that.

In writing “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes,” Cathcart opens the door a crack to shed some light on what it means to live with the disease. Beginning in the present, Cathcart starts at the end of his story, after years of testing, quick fixes, health scares, and doctor’s visits failed to manage his illness. But more than managing his illness, Cathcart seeks to the make others understand what it means to live with diabetes and see that it is a “state-of-being” as much as it is a physical problem, something those of us not conflicted with the illness fail to see.

With a quick wit and a sharp tongue, Cathcart weaves in and out of time to create a portrait of a young man trying to make it through life with the threat of his poor health looming in the background. He describes his childhood in Glasgow, Scotland growing up in a working class family with a single mom, who creates the picture that diabetes can and does happen to “normal,” everyday people. People that you went to school with, the first boy you kissed, or that friend with the great taste in music. The author has such a clear ear for dialogue and language that the reader can almost hear the words coming off of the page particularly when he describes his condition as “dying faster than I’m living.”

Throughout the memoir, Cathcart italicizes food items and restaurants such as “Rolo Ice Cream” and “Starbucks,” a technique used to signal the reader of how pervasive and accessible junk food is in Western culture. Seeing so many italicized words on the page is a frequent reminder to the reader of how hard it must be to be constantly reminded of everything you aren’t supposed to have as a healthy, fit person. For those of us not living with diabetes, it’s easy to take indulging in junk food for granted but it’s not life and death serious as it can be for a diabetic.

With the descriptions of his health scares and their adverse affect on his life, it would be easy to take Cathcart’s memoir as a sob story. But in-between the all too real descriptions of his illness, Cathcart keeps his humor and welcomes readers, both diabetic and non-diabetic, with the understanding that you don’t have to face life’s struggles alone. This book makes for an especially good read for those struggling with the sickness but it also serves as a good educational piece for those without.”

Tiffany Ezuma, Pacific Book Review, 27 November 2013

Diabetes: What If?

We bleed through this disease in more ways than one, but what if? And I’m not proposing some miracle cure, some hogwash alternative remedy beyond the honest diet and exercise. What I am proposing is purely theoretical – a fantasy or nightmare – what would you give up to stop the bleeding? Could you lose time to make time? And this is where it gets rather outlandish; her is the proposal; one year only (12 months, 365 non leap days) in a medically induced coma; where you lay there, sugar levels constantly monitored; fed and medicated through a drip; nothing fancy, nothing technical, just lots and lots of sleep to be caught up as you lay there oblivious to the world and your family pop in to visit – even the press have popped in to take a few snaps, you are flavour of the month.

It’s nice not to worry about money isn’t it? Your better half holds your hand, every day, playing the songs you love and whispering how they love you. Phoebe has had a baby! Your cousin Joey turned 21 today; he will be in a prison cell before he makes 22. Aunt Monica had a heart bypass; uncle Chandler, he’s got that angina.

Orderlies’ stretch and work your muscles; your colostomy bag is pure as the driven snow. That job you hated, they got taken over, under new management, said they had to let you go. Something in your contract: seems your days off in absenteeism have made your productivity terminally ill.

And your eyes are healing nicely. Your Dr. said you couldn’t do it but you did; all those little vessels retracting and BMI back to perfect. Twinkle toes the Nurses’ call you, but no one is around to hear them. Your life partner, the one you love, the one you drove crazy with the fluctuating blood sugar emotions, now makes your best friend very happy. It was hard to look at you, watch you sleeping; they had to take comfort in someone.

Hey, uncle Chandler and his angina. I’m sorry. What? We are forgetting, you didn’t even know he was ill when you went under.

Well that’s you then, time to get up, wakey-wakey-eggs-and-bacey, an ice cube in your mouth and peace of mind. A healing rest untouched by stress in a tidy, empty room.

And on a good day, diabetes is not such a bad disease to have.

By Paul Cathcart, Author of, ‘Persona Non Grata with Diabetes.’

www.pngwd.com

Click here to purchase “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes” on Amazon (US).

Click here to purchase “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes” on Amazon (UK).

Diabetes Awareness?

On a good day, diabetes isn’t a bad disease to have – I say this all the time. On a bad day, when I’m so crazy, infuriated and angry about the slightest, next-to-nothing, when I’m ‘exploitative’ hating myself for finding a normal day so difficult and I just can’t get my sugar to come down; when I’m so scared my eye bleeds again and a world of opportunity threatening to be taken away from me; well then I’ll seriously consider swapping you my diabetes for something else, you take your pick.

 

We sit around these closed groups, shuttered off from prying, probably numbed and uninterested eyes, ebbing closer on folding wooden chairs, and it strikes me, that to read into a diabetes blog on a personal level, to commit to comment whilst disguising our truer self from scrutiny; we are more-or-less embedding ourselves into the world of Alcoholic’s Anonymous, with all inherent shame and inaccurate social conclusion.

Diabetes Awareness Week then, is that the solution? Depends on what the awareness is I suppose. Because when Diabetes Awareness stands for diagnosis, balloons popped, smiles and cheers; well that’s not my diabetes, and in turn that diabetes awareness inherits me shame. But then again, as I always say, ‘diabetes isn’t a bad disease to have – on a good day.’

*On a good day definition

We live in a time when I won’t have to wrestle a Tiger to the ground to feed my wife. I could probably even hobble to the shops for some fish sticks on an amputated foot. Also, with level sugar for a couple of day, I feel awesome.