Your Diabetes Supply Drawer: A Conflicted, Constant Reality
Am I the only one that looks inside my diabetes supplies drawer, cabinet, etc. and thinks: “what the actual hell?”
I can’t be. I have a surplus of diabetes supplies, with the extras resting in a room in my family’s basement. But for my diabetes management in the near future, a cabinet by the back door on the first floor of my house– in a piece of furniture named “Joey” – lies my endless cache of medicine. By the way, naming your furniture can actually be pretty helpful when you’re trying to find things.
For people without diabetes who may be unaware of how the disease operates, the drawer may be a collage of medical boxes and zip lock bags. They see it, but it doesn’t seem like anything significant. For a person with diabetes, especially type 1, that initial gaze is a survey of lifesavers for yourself or a loved one. It’s your test trips, pen needles, syringes, pump infusion sites, reservoirs, lancets and anything else you need to keep your diabetes in check and your life complication free. It’s the phone calls you make to order supplies and the unboxing of the endless deliveries, some accompanied in tough moments by an exasperated sigh.
When I look into this drawer I see infinity. An endless supply of test strips soon to be filled with blood, pump sites to be shot onto my body for days and lancets to jab my fingers with. It’s the thought that I’m going to be throwing out boxes and then replacing them with new ones over and over. A look into the drawer is a look into the future at a nagging problem I can’t ignore. Seven years have passed since my diagnosis and the only home for these items other than Joey has been under beds across college dorms and apartments. The drawer is a meticulous, constant chore.
But in some ways the drawer is also an inspiration, and a simultaneous look into the past. It’s a journey through mixing and matching Novolog and Humalog, Novolog and Lantus and now Novolog and my insulin pump. It’s a reminder that letting it slip now is a means to void all the thought and action of injecting, testing, calculating, correcting and living with diabetes.
On days when I’m feeling like an eternal optimist, I try to think of it as a reason to focus on how much you have already accomplished rather than stressing over how far you have to go . I want to look at those boxes and think about their distribution across the world for diabetics everywhere, and see with clarity a unified struggle.
That’s a powerful thing and it’s a large part of the JDCA’s initiative to form an Alliance that will work together to ensure the responsible appropriation of funds to the major diabetes non-profits. Our report on shrinking cure funding indicates that the four major diabetes non-profits have decreased funding for type 1 cure research grants by 44 percent from 2008 to 2011.
This means there’s increased funding for prevention and the development of more convenient and advanced treatment methods. For me, that increased funding priority only means making the things in that drawer smaller, less burdensome and less painful. Wouldn’t you rather the drawer cease to exist?
We want to help create the necessary shift to bring money back to cure funding. You can help us by using our Donor Action process when donating to these charities and indicating you want your money put towards a cure.
Because let’s face it…aren’t you sick of all the feelings that refilling your “personal drawer” can bring?