The Problem With Diabetes...

I've often said, is that it's not the same for everyone. You can read my blog - with my tough guy logic and talk about how it's all just a matter of simple rapid math (carbs - exercise = insulin required) - and conclude that - all in all - it's really not that difficult of a disease to manage.

On the other hand, you can know a guy like Kerm. Kerm was the first diabetic I was introduced to when I left the hospital after my diagnosis. At the time, I was 13 and he was 17. His name was Chris, but everyone called him Kerm due to his resemblance to the frog that was in vogue in the 80's.

While I never saw Kerm have a bad attitude about diabetes - in fact, he was a counselor at many diabetic camps - he also rarely seemed to be in good control. Truth be told, I was never close enough to him to know why he was always running high or low but - at least for Kerm - the "simple math" I preach here often didn't work. We all know that out of control diabetics are prone to complications and Kerm was being treated for eye problems before he was 19.

From time to time, I'd get updates from people who bumped into Kerm and the story was usually the same. "He was happy. He asked about you. He's having problems with his diabetes." I imagine it's been at least 18 years since I spoke to him.

Last week, Chris Blevins died. He was only 40. I'm truly sorry the math wasn't as simple for him, because if anyone deserved better, he did. Everyone who knew Kerm loved him - diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

Does Kerm's death mean anything for my diabetes or - if you read this blog because you have diabetes - yours? No. My blood sugar was 95 when I got up this morning and will do what it always does - more or less. Your diabetes, also, isn't dictated by how difficult it was for Kerm. On the other hand, if diabetes feels like a punishment to you and you struggle to maintain a good attitude about it, don't use Kerm's story as a crutch. Because while his blood sugars were frequently out of control, his attitude never was. And years from now, that's what his family and friends will remember about him. I know I will.


  1. Anonymous10:11 AM

    You knew Kerm too? He and I were counselors in the same cabin several years ago at HDYC.


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