Today, on April 5, we are prompted to “Go to flickr.com/explore and write a post inspired by the image. Can you link it to your health focus? Don’t forget to post the image!”

WEGO Health calls this the ekphrasis post.  Naturally, I had no idea what ekphrasis means, so before I began I googled that and here’s what I discovered:

Ekphrasis or ecphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. – Wikipedia.com

Well…I won’t be graphically describing an image. Nor will I be describing it through dramatics.  But I will speak a little bit about the image that came up for me at flickr.com/explore and hey! – I can even relate it to my diabetes!

The image that came up for me was an image of a girl in a big open expanse. She is alone. She appears to be looking for something.  While the colors that surround her are peaceful and beautiful, whatever she is standing in/on (water?) seems to be a bit choppy and tumultuous.

The connections to diabetes are overwhelming. I often feel alone with my diabetes (the way the girl is alone in the image) – despite being a part of a large online community of PWD, knowing others personally with diabetes, and having a loving and supportive fiance and friends.  It’s still often a lonely disease – one you cannot escape and must think about quite often if you want to maintain control. It’s always there.  Being alone with those thoughts about it is often lonely, I think, because it’s hard to put into words how I feel about it. I feel very isolated in some situations in which I must stop and test or give insulin, especially around strangers.

The girl in the picture is looking for something – and aren’t all people with Type 1 diabetes looking for/hoping for a cure? I know I am waiting. I know that while being cured would be weird for me because I don’t remember what it’s like to not be diabetic, it’s something I’m looking forward to (assuming it happens while I’m still alive).

And like the girl in the image, I often feel like I’m standing in/on something tumultuous, while surrounded by peace and calm. Normal people can eat, exercise, get sick, etc. without having to deal with much in terms of any of those things affecting them.  That’s not so for me or other PWD.  If we want to eat, we have to calculate carbs, dose insulin, and give a shot or a bolus through a pump. If we want to exercise we can’t usually do it spontaneously; we have to plan ahead, cut down on basals, or eat more ahead of time. And then deal with lows hours later that might or might not happen. Getting sick for us isn’t just getting sick – it affects our blood sugars, our resistance/sensitivity to insulin, other hormone levels in the body which can affect our use of insulin, etc.  Nothing is simple for us.

That isn’t to say that all of those beautiful colors and peace around me go by unnoticed.  It’s just that I have a bit more on my mind.


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