Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Maybe Not Soul Mates?

I found my soul mate (or so I thought). He was perfect for me. He's a chef, a granola-munching hippie, and a type 1 diabetic. And it doesn't hurt that I wouldn't kick him out of bed either. Soul mates! We have so much in common. Even though we never actually met. A person can just tell these things!

That is....until I read his cookbook.

Of course, I'm talking about Sam Talbot, former Top Chef contestant, who recently published The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries. This book combines anecdotes about living as a type 1 diabetic with interesting, delicious-looking recipes that even non-diabetics would want to eat. It challenges the idea that diabetics need to live a life of rigid diet restrictions, overly structured mealtimes, and no fun...hence "The Sweet Life." I know. The cheesy title already has you questioning it, doesn't it?

While I completely agree with the content (and who am I to challenge a professional chef on his recipes), there were some parts of the book that I thought were...well, sorry soul mate...a little obnoxious. Like the story Sam included about the time he dropped his insulin vile on the floor of a puddle-jumper airplane during his travels. Eek! Feeling his anxiety and stress levels rising, he checked his blood sugar. He writes that he was at a 120, little high for him! What?! 120? A little high?! 120 is my daily goal!

Throughout the book, there were a number of other habits he discussed that caused me to snicker, roll my eyes, and suck my teeth. Like that he only eats 15 to 30g of carbs per meal. Like when he drinks, he always follows that drink with a glass of water and a blood sugar test. Whatever, dude. I can pick up any diabetes book that tells me about the way endocrinologists think I should live my life. But, that doesn't help me in the real world, you know, where the rest of us diabetics live.

After some reflection, I realized that my judgemental snarking was more defensiveness. Sam has some pretty high standards and a fairly rigid regime. I, definitely, do not. It makes me feel like a bad diabetic.

But, then I realized, "Of course my standards aren't as high!" Nor should they be. Sam has been a diabetic for over 15 years. I've been a diabetic for a year and half. He's had a lot more experience learning about his diabetes, of what works and what doesn't, and how his body will respond in certain situations and to certain foods. I haven't had those experiences yet. Even though I have good understanding of this disease, I'm still a newbie at this whole chronic illness thing. I have a lot to learn.

I forget this tidbit of information on a fairly regular basis.

So, I'm sorry I was so hard on you, Sam. You seem like a great guy.

I still don't see us working out. It's really not you. It's me.

But the whole "not kicking you out of bed" thing still stands. :)

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