I have been Diabetic for about … ooh, thirteen years now. Let me give you a free piece of advice: if you ever get the chance to become Diabetic – just say “no thank you” and keep on walking. Like you were being sold The Big Issue. One that says “Janet Street-Porter NAKED inside!” on the cover.
For me, being Diabetic is a twenty-four carat, new-and-improved, AAA-grade, no-artifical-preservatives, high-colestrol 100% stinkeroo. It has taken away some of my freedom. I feel like I’m tethered to my doctor. I’m always on the sponge from the NHS. I must always know where the nearest bar of chocolate is, in case of emergencies. Going on any all-night drinking sessions, backpacking-around-the-world trips, life-changing exchange-programmed in foreign lands or open-days at Cadbury’s are all OUT. Insurance companies are not allowed to be prejudiced against you, but they quite clearly are. The effin’ DVLA makes your licence expire every three years so you must go through the beauracratic and invasive nightmare of getting it renewed.
Those of you who are not Diabetic – I must urge you not to take your Pancreas for granted! Make sure you tell it how much you love it, and what it does for you. Buy it flowers regularly, and send it romantic little text messages. Because when that auto-blood-sugar-regulating bit of it conks out, you’ll find that a collection of blood-testers, bottles, pills, syringes, and an overworked national health service make for a very poor substitute.
The good points are few. I am unlikely to be drafted into military service, when Gordon Brown declares war on the fuzzy-wuzzies. My prescriptions are free. And I have been promised a limitless supply of little blue diamonds should I so desire, which apparently are rather expensive for the Normal Bloke. So presumably I could claim them and then sell them on to some of my more mature male-friends, except that I’d have to visit my local chemist; staffed entirely by young and attractive blonde girls with Knowing Looks. No thanks. I’m sure that joke about “they’re just to stop me from rolling out of bed” must get old after a while.
If you have recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, or have a history of it in your family, then please do not allow my little rant to think you have no more reason for living (unless you live for chocolate, in which case you’re fucked). Nope, I have come across many other Brethren on my travels, and I’m extremely annoyed to report that ALL of them are dealing with it rather better than I. One in particular is healthy, attractive, likeable, and probably having olympic sex with at least one of his girlfriends at this very moment, the bastard that he is.
But not me. I am a sugarholic. I consider Dairy Milk and Galaxy to be basically class-A substances that no-one has noticed yet. There’s a Dinky Donuts stall in town manned by someone I refer to as “my dealer”. These kinds of addictions do not make good bedfellows with Diabetes.
I am considered by everyone who knows me (including my wife) as “the girliest/gayest straight bloke” they know. I prefer to think that I am just in touch with my feminine side. As such, I am likely to get depressed for no reason every month or so, and want to hit the dessert menu in Frankie and Benny’s. And at this time I am presented with a dilemma – do I control myself and just remain a grumpy bastard and torture everyone around me, or do I just throw caution to the wind and then spend tomorrow squatting in one of the office’s toilet cubicles, trying to hide the evidence by lighting matches?
I figure that either way, people are going to suffer. But only one of those choices gets me a Cinnamon Waffle.