Oh, the judgement, sideways glances and assumptions I’ve encountered over the past week about the diabetes shortcuts I take. Seriously, if there was a diabetes heaven, St Peter wouldn’t be letting me in. Apparently, I am a ‘bad, bad diabetic’ in so many ways. The diabetes police have been making that very clear.

Interestingly – and not surprisingly – none of that judgement has come from other PWD. Instead, I’ve received understanding nods and similar tales. Extensive polling (N=4) has shown that my short cuts are pretty typical.

A discussion about lancet devices in a meeting the other day had me wondering whether I should curl up under the desk and hide, or admit to my reality. Which is this: I check my blood sugar somewhere between six and 12 times a day. I don’t change my lancet every time I check my BGL. I don’t change it every day. Damn, I don’t change it every week. I change it when the little pinch that usually accompanies the lancet going in turns into pain resulting in expletives.

When it comes to pump line changes, I am clearly not the model pump user. I don’t do a full line and cartridge change every three days. I refill my cartridge and sometimes reuse the same line when I’ve got a new cannula in. And sometimes the recommended three days stretches to four or five. I make an educated call based on the fact that there is no pain or redness around the site, and my BGLs are not climbing into the stratosphere.

I can explain in one sentence why I take these shortcuts: It makes things that little bit easier.

Don’t think for a minute that I don’t know that it is recommended that I change my lancet each and every time I check my BGL.

And I am very aware that it’s advised that I change the cartridge in my pump every time it runs out of insulin.

Diabetes is boring. It is tedious, dull, dreary, monotonous, mind-numbingly tiresome. The Groundhog Day that is diabetes never ends. And I live it every day – without Andy McDowell’s gorgeous curls.

I make no excuses for taking short cuts where I can. I make no apologies for saying ‘that’ll do’. Because I am actually doing a pretty damn fantastic job, really. Even if the numbers aren’t perfect, even if there are days when that number of BGL checks is below what I’d like, and even if there are days when I wish diabetes would just. Freaking. Go. AWAY.

It’s never enough. It seems that the positive things I do (regular BG checks, counting carbs, bolusing insulin, basal checking) get ignored by the judge(s) and jury because of the short cuts I take; the short cuts which really aren’t negatively affecting my diabetes management. I could argue that the short cuts are actually positively affecting my management, because the tiny steps I save make the monotony that little bit more bearable.

When is it enough? When does the judgement from others and the guilt from ourselves disappear? What does it take for ‘that’ll do’ to become ‘that’s brilliant’?

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