My general reaction to unpleasantness is a combination of "stiff upper lip, old boy" and a pause to smell the flowers before powering through whatever unpleasantness has reared its' ugly head.
Coupled with this attitude is a state of general physical health that apparently has to be experienced to be believed, along with an immune system aggressive enough -- to borrow a phrase from Ambulance Driver -- to attack squirrels in the back-yard.
I have literally been told, on more than one occasion, by a doctor, "I don't know what the hell you brought back from Nigeria, but it seems to be clearing up."
Diabetes is the first major hitch in my get-along that I've ever experienced.
When I was diagnosed, my doctor sat down and asked if I had any questions. I really didn't, so he looked me in the eye and said, "Your death certificate is going to read: Complications of diabetes. That's a fact. However, we can get another thirty or forty good years."
It appears that I may have locked in on the first part of that sentence and ignored the last part.
I have done extraordinarily well. My HbA1C levels have been consistently better than expected. My doctor wants my A1c to be at or below 6.9 -- and it's been between 4.8 and 5.6.
However, getting the old blood sugar down that low has required some fairly significant life-style changes. Stress and pain, I have discovered, tack on a decent 100 points to my blood sugar ... and me with a job that is nothing if not stressful, and the occasional pain is unavoidable.
Pizza and rice -- two foods that have been staples of my diet in the past -- elevate my blood-sugar all out of proportion to what they should, damn it.
Last week, I was checking my blood sugar at work. Normally, I do this in a closed office, or in a quiet corner somewhere, but there was a fairly major fur-ball hanging-fire, so I was doing it on the Ops Desk in Central Control.
One of my rookie officers happened to see me doing so, and was obviously squicked-out about the whole finger-stick thing; the stress had run my blood-sugar too damned high; I really wanted a medium pizza; and I was suddenly heartily sick-and-tired of being diabetic, of the responsibilities of rank, with the whole kit-and-kaboodle.
The icing on the cup-cake was when one of my best subordinates walked up and handed me a two-week notice of resignation.
Have you ever seriously thought of crawling into a dark room, shutting the door and staying there?
My officer apologised for the resignation, but explained that the officer's spouse was going to be dead in less than a year because of a medical condition, and that my officer was determined to spend as much time with the spouse as possible before the end.
The officer then shook my hand, thanked me for being me, and calmly reported that part of the fur-ball had been dealt with and what were my orders as far as the rest?
After work that evening, I walked out to my pick-up, looked up at the moon and said, "I get the point. I'll pull my thumb out."
So I can't have pizza. Or a sandwich whenever I want. Rice is right out. So what? Assuming I don't zag when zigging is the right answer, I've got as many good years ahead of me as I have behind me.
I can think.
I can talk.
This morning I woke up above ground.
You know what? Everything else is just gravy.