June 19, 2008

Laughing in the Face of Diabetes

I am going to talk about humor, sorry if this is too solemn but I am very serious about this.

I have a guiding principal here at YDMV and in life, serious and solemn aren't the same thing. Life should be fun and at times silly. Doesn't mean you don't give it your all. YDMV also means sometimes you forget about the fun because of the D and V parts.

Diabetes breads depression. It is well documented that people with D suffer from higher rates of that other D. I would bet cash money to all comers that the parents of type 1 kids have elevated rates too. When it becomes clinical see a professional. Until then see the rubber chicken on the silly side of the path of life.

Yes, I take the D care very seriously; but I see no reason not to laugh about it. In fact I think that one key goal for newbies it to get to the point where diabetes is second in their lives. The point where having a life other than diabetes is primary for a moment and they have made diabetes second. It still there, they are still doing the stuff, but it part of the background habits and rituals of a life.

You know you are getting there when you forget a bolus. It is hard to roll with the punches the first time you forget. But you remembered you forgot right? Or you did a blood test and it was out of whack, but you remembered to test. You are doing the behaviors. Cut yourself some slack. Congratulations on getting back to a life.

I remember reading an essay by John Cleese. It was on the Wall Street Journal editorial page many years ago. Even he was astounded by how much he was paid for funny advertising. His point was to value humor. His example was if he could get you to laugh you would be more inclined to remember and trust the message he was trying to get across. Now I don’t know more serious places than the Wall Street Journal editorial page and this was where I saw someone first separate the idea of serious and solemn.

Being perfectly serious, we need to remember how to care for diabetes, maybe we will do better at that remembering if it is something we allow ourselves to laugh about.

They say laughter makes you live longer. The point of diabetes care is much the same if more immediate, live longer. The key point is to really live, to laugh and love. Without laughter what is life anyway?

There are those who think joking around in diabetes conversations is an off topic sign of a lack of seriousness. To me laughter is not only on topic it is a mandatory part of the topic. It is a sign of life.

The funniest guy I know is my Type 1 son Connor. I hate his diabetes. A cure would be beyond wonderful. If the all powerful diabetes god offered to cure him in exchange for his sense of humor; no way could I even consider it. It would be a cure at the expense of the heart and soul of his life.

I am seriously sorry for the solemnity of this exposition. So here’s a corny joke;

Why did the diabetic cross the road?

To get to the rubber chicken vendor on the other side.


  1. But...why did the rubber chicken cross the road, pray tell? ;-)

  2. Humor is mandatory when it comes to The big D!

  3. Nice timing, as I forgot to bolus at lunch today - d'oh! I figured it out pretty quickly when I glanced at my dexcom as I'm not normally 400 at 1:30... So I will accept this not as proff I flaked out, but as proof I am letting D come second in my life ; )

    My alternate answer to your riddle -

    She was following the trail of used test strips....

  4. Well Araby according Val it was following the trail of used strips but that means the diabetic was there first testing...

    Probably she was low and didn't have a clue what was going on.

  5. I understand completely!