I used to be very worried about forever.
When I first took the reins on diabetes and tried for the first time to wrestle it into control on my own (without my parents, who had managed diabetes throughout childhood), I was very concerned about numbers. And I was very concerned about forever.
I would sit thinking about how I was only 24 but had already had diabetes for 15 years. And I would think about all the statistics that said that 90% of people with Type 1 had some complications after 15 years. And how I must be really lucky to be in the 10% that didn't yet have complications. And how my time must be coming up sooner or later.
And I would think about the people who were living with diabetes for 50 years. And how, after 50 years of diabetes, I would only be 59 years old—probably not even retired! And how, if I lived until I was in my late 80s, I would have diabetes for over 75 years.
And I wondered how anyone could possibly manage this disease for 50 or 75 years.
I would think of how many times my skin had been pierced to keep me alive. The thousands of insulin injections, tens of thousands of finger pokes. More than five dozen blood draws. Half a dozen emergency situations. Countless highs and lows.
It was overwhelming. How could anyone possibly do this all day, every day, forever?
The one day I was looking at quotes (sometimes I do occasionally when I'm bored) and came across the quote, "This, too, shall pass."
I immediately thought about diabetes. I immediately loved it. So much so that I put it on my pump's home screen.
I have since switched to a pump that does not allow customized messages on its home screen. But, even since putting that mantra there, I have always tried to keep it in mind. Every time I see a high or low reading, every time I feel frustrated or helpless, I remind myself that, eventually, the high or low or other circumstance will pass.
Diabetes may never pass for me, but that one moment or hour or day or week will. These days I try to take things one reading at a time. If it's high or low I deal with it, without worrying about where the next reading will land. I do, of course, try to anticipate blood sugar in terms of planning for things like exercise and travel. But I no longer begin the day wondering how I'm going to manage for the next 50 years—managing for the next hour is sometimes hard enough.