It was 1982 and I was a sophomore in college. I guess I was 20 years of age. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 14. I was always a bit nervous speaking in front of the class. I had a crush on this beautiful girl who was in my class. We were friends but I was pining for something a bit more. What’s new?
We were taking this class on Political Philosophy. Reading Aristotle, Plato, Thucydides, Hobbs, etc… Only NPH back then and no “test” strips. I got called on to read from Plato’s Republic. I felt a rush of blood running through my heart, lungs and brain. I was thrust into flight and fight and I was dropping low fast. I started to read and I sounded like I had marbles in my mouth. I could not do it. The professor showed no mercy and had me read an entire page with my speech coming out like my mouth was stitched up. Suffice it to say I never got to first base with Betty (not her real name to protect the innocent).
When we are low we are comprised. And when a major stress event happens we go into flight and fight or maybe, instead, fear or facade? It happens and it has an effect that reverberates throughout our life. This is a “problem.” I know a lot of people don’t like that word “problem” …… Instead, some like to call it a challenge. Whatever. I like the word problem. Sticking with it. So what is the solution?
I am turning 57 in a few weeks. I really didn’t think I would get to 42. So, the way I see it, I am 15 years into bonus time. One profound awareness I have “received” through my work, study, challenges and, especially, my living with diabetes is that the KEY to life must include in it somewhere the concept of RESTRICTION. What do I mean? The Buddha calls it The Middle path. Some call it The Tao or The Way. Think about it this way……The way electricity works. There is a positive pole and there is a negative pole. In order to create Lasting Light one must add a third element called the Resistor or, in other words, Restriction. If the negative pole connects directly to the positive pole with no resistor or filament then there is a bright spark of Light followed by a short circuit. When the filament is added a current is created and presto……LIGHT.
This concept applies to our challenge of living with diabetes and the problem of being low or high or in range or whenever, but, especially when we are low. Restrict your first impulse to react. Even but for a moment. See what happens.
I believe, this is a deep spiritual insight that we as T1D’s live out all day…everyday and have the opportunity to become masters of, or not.