A Question of Framing

Yesterday's post brought with it a variety of responses, both here and through social media, twitter, etc. I expected it; heck, I asked for it!

I also will be upfront and say there is no right answer; the people who can automatically name something awesome about diabetes are no more correct and incorrect than those that say there is nothing. In the end, this isn't a question of right or wrong. However, I do think it's a question of framing. And, in my opinion, those who can find something "awesome" in the disease have the ability to use it to their advantage.

For me, finding awesome things in this disease IS the ultimate survival weapon. After all, it's here forever. It's a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Once you accept that point, now you have a choice: one that involves embracing the situation or fighting it. I've chosen to embrace it and I think I'm a better man for it.

Scott Strumello was kind enough to comment on yesterday's blog and I also wanted to take a few minutes to respond to his thoughts. Scott's blog is an awesome read and I certainly appreciate his points. However, his comment also illustrates one of the ways that I choose to frame the disease differently than Scott. Again, not better or worse, but just different.

He writes, "We have almost an unrealistic fixation on diabetes management which needs to stop."

To be blunt, I could not disagree more.

My personal ability to cure this disease? Zilch.

My personal ability to prevent Type 1 diabetes (where he writes we should spend more energy)? Practically nil.

My ability to change public perceptions of diabetes? Greater than I once thought but in a world of information bombardment, not overwhelming.

But my ability to manage my own diabetes through my own "fixation?" Extreme, to the Nth degree. I can measure my blood sugar as often as I want. I can correct it as often as I need. And in doing so, I can maintain a healthy level that allows me to succeed in all things. This "fixation" is the key that allows diabetes to be awesome.

Read Phil Southerland's Twitter stream. What stands out to me, compared to so many diabetic Twitter streams, isn't so much Phil's BG levels, but how many of the Tweets are almost always like a simple math problem: "My BG is X. Today, I'm going to do Y. Therefore, I need to do Z." It IS this fixation which allows Phil to accomplish all he has.

If you read Scott's blog - and again, you should - you learn what others are doing: pharma companies, JDRF, etc, and these are all wonderful things. But these are things that happen outside my own personal ability to dominate this disease. I've coined a phrase for these things: macrobetes.

My obsession - my fixation, if you will - is on microbetes, or what I personally can do to perform at the level I want to. Doing these things gives me a feeling of control and leads to my overall well-being. And, I believe in my heart, it's what allows me to be prepared for awesomeness.


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