The battery mishap that reminded me I’m only human

You know if you’ve read the post below that I am not exactly tech-savvy. Well what happened to me this morning is almost embarrassing to reveal, but what the heck. In the name of diabetes it may offer you some solace.

A month ago I cancelled an interview I was going to do with a patient, as I continue to collect all our stories of living with diabetes. I cancelled because my tape recorder didn’t work. Kaput! When I pressed the on button, nothing went on. I am reliant on it to record, and although there are 2 other recorders in the house, I don’t know how to use them.

I was disappointed I had to postpone the interview, and even worse, felt bad that someone had set aside time for me and I had to reschedule. Of course she was very kind and we rescheduled for four weeks later – after my husband would be back from Holland to fix the recorder or help me work one of the others in the house. You know I’ve heard of couples becoming co-dependent and in the past actually felt sorry for them. Yep, here I am.

So this morning I pulled out the recorder and showed my husband how when you press the power button nothing happens. Then I handed it to him. He began to look at it when he remarked, “It’s awfully light. Are you sure there are batteries in here?”

I lifted the battery cover to discover, to my dismay, there weren’t. He laughed like a hyena. His six foot, 128 pound frame shook from head to toe. I immediately pulled two batteries out of the drawer, put them in the recorder, and presto, it powered on. I’m sure what happened was the last time I used the recorder I pulled the battery cover off to take out the memory stick, took out the batteries as well that were likely running low, got distracted with any of a million things, came back to the recorder and forgetting I was going to change the batteries, closed the empty battery tray and put the recorder away.

I disclose my error, foolishness, absentmindedness, laugh-inducing mishap for one reason. Since life has become so increasingly fast, busy, frantic, chaotic, multi-task-demanding, haven’t we all noticed some lapses and spells of absent-mindedness? Now ponder: how are we expected to perfectly fulfill the multiple and constant requirements of good diabetes management? 

Just to name a few:

planning meals

counting carbs

taking your medicine, if on insulin calculating your dose before each meal and post meals for corrections

checking your blood sugar x times a day and deciding what to do about the numbers

deciding whether it’s safe to exercise, grab some glucose tabs or wait an hour

seeing your team of doctors

getting your lab work done

shopping for healthy food

preparing healthy meals

managing the tightrope between highs and lows

packing and carrying your supplies everywhere

always having fast acting carbohydrate on hand for a low

figuring out how to manage the time difference when you travel. I still haven’t cracked this one

explaining when people tell you you can’t eat something

explaining when people ask you to eat something they made just for you

hitting a rough spot, tough time, mysterious readings, burn-out and depression

knowing no one “gets it” who doesn’t have it

knowing it never lets up

knowing you have a responsibility each day to do your best, yet being human simple can’t always do it

wondering how that will impact your here and now and long term future

and on, and on, and on, day after day after day after day after week after month after year after year after year after decade after decade after decade.

Now tell me what we do every day isn’t miraculous. And I’ll tell you when you falter, it’s human nature, like forgetting to put the batteries in your recorder. 

When you notice you’re out of juice, just put your batteries back in, and turn the power button back on and let it be.

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