When you think “chronic disease,” you don’t exactly think slap-stick humor. More like ketone-stick horrors. There is nothing funny about kidney disease or diabetic retinopathy. Testing blood glucose levels, counting carbohydrates, and keeping track of medications – all the daily tasks of diabetes care can become overwhelming, making it tough to find the humor in diabetes.
Which is exactly why we need to find the humor in diabetes.
This disease takes up so much of our time. There are very few moments in the day when I’m not at least considering my diabetes. And while I am not ruled by my condition, in order to survive and live a wonderful life, I need to focus on the details of diabetes to maintain good health. I need to maintain good mental health, too.
My grandmother used to tell me that laughter is food for the soul. My endocrinologist used to tell me that laughter is the way to achieve balance. Even Readers’ Digest told me that “Laughter was the Best Medicine.” This is true for people with diabetes, as well as people with other chronic illnesses.
I often find amusement in the places I find discarded test strips. Multiple daily finger sticks are a part of my daily duties, and the strips are expensive, so that’s not particularly funny. But finding a test strip in my shoe or seeing my little kitten trot by with one in mouth does make me smile. Priming my insulin pump is sometimes an arduous task, but my fiance walking by and saying I look like a mad scientist as I tap out the air bubbles from the cartridge makes me smile. It may not be funny to some, but it’s funny to me and it makes my diabetes burden far less heavy.
There are also phrases that other people aren’t able to toss around so lightly. The phrase, “I feel so high,” has a definitive meaning to a person with diabetes, but may raise the eyebrows of those who aren’t “in the know.” Or “Excuse me, I have to go shoot up.” Out of the context of diabetes, those words aren’t normally thrown around at dinner parties.
There are also the moments that you laugh because, if you don’t, you may burst into tears. I have experienced severe low blood sugar reactions where I’ve come to my senses and noticed juice staining my shirt, my hair stuck to my forehead with sweat, and my meter in a thousand pieces on the floor after having thrown it at the wall. Moments like these are enough to break you in two. But sometimes a laugh bubbles up from deep inside you, where you are the most scared and the most vulnerable, and it escapes. It gives you strength. It helps chase the fear away for a few minutes.
When diabetes gets a little tough, it’s hard to find that silver lining.
Laughter has a way of illuminating it.
Therefore: LOL Diabetes!
If those LOL Cats can make their home on the internet, why can't our diabetes humor? Time to feed our diabetic souls with more than just insulin. Siah, who has made it quite clear that she doesn't plan on paying rent any time soon, has chosen to earn her keep by playing Host at LOL Diabetes.
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send anything funny: Pictures, YouTube clips, essays, cartoons, one-liners, Overheard in the Endo's office-style comments - anything! Anything that sends you into a giggle-fit and helps ease the burden of diabetes.
Please, keep Siah busy. Otherwise she becomes very annoying and ends up dancing with the shower curtain at four in the morning. Which rustly and loud. And makes me crazy. Make her earn her keep!