What’s normal anyway?


We were laughing on the couch–my friend C, my friend J, and I–as I treated a low blood sugar with glucose tablets and explained the intricacies of low blood sugar to the two of them.

“Do they taste–good?” asked my friend J, peering at the large tablet I was about to pop into my mouth.

“I think they do. They taste like Sweet Tarts. Want one?”

J giggled and finally consented to eat half out of sheer curiosity, while C, whose picky digestive system doesn’t like sugar, made this strange sound halfway between a laugh and a groan at the thought of eating pure glucose.

In the months since my diagnosis, I’ve struggled with a persistent, perverse desire to be normal, a desire that makes it harder for me to be content and sometimes harder for me to take care of myself. But at that moment, there with my friends, watching Downton Abbey and eating glucose tabs, I remembered something: they’re not “normal” either. C is gluten and lactose intolerant and multiple food allergies. J has tunnel vision. What is normal anyway and why does it matter so much to me?

I highly doubt my desire for normal will go away, but for a least a little while, laughing on the couch with my friends, it didn’t seem to matter so much.


About Nel

As a graduate education student, I've come to the conclusion that teaching requires an addiction to caffeine. My favorite caffeinated beverages are coffee, tea, and diet Coke. And when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January 2012, I also came to the conclusion that living requires insulin. I blog about my busy life juggling graduate education courses, a teaching assistantship in my University's English department, and my recent type 1 diabetes diagnosis the The Clumsy Juggler. I do not live in New York City.

2 responses »

  1. My husband of 17 years has had diabetes for 30 years. Things can be tough managing his blood. I have written a book called Vegetable Cake. After looking at this problem for many years, my advice is to live like there is no tomorrow. Love food and life. Enjoy eating and always check your blood.

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