There's also the point that my own personal life is probably not so vitally interesting to others as it is to me.
This week I am breaking the pattern to say something about my recent discovery that I have type 2 diabetes and that as a result of it I have already suffered some mild neuropathy (nerve damage).
For a couple of years I have known that my doctor was somewhat concerned with my blood sugar levels, but it somehow hadn't sunk in just how serious this was. I took metformin (Glucophage) for awhile, improved my diet and exercise, was able to stop the metformin, gradually went back to my old carelessness on diet and exercise, and now find that I really really have diabetes, and it isn't going to go away. I'm back on metformin, now measure my blood glucose levels several times a day, and carefully watch my diet to keep those levels somewhere close to where they should be. I'm even exercising again - a practice that in my case goes very much against the grain. I'm conscious that this diagnosis is potentially a great blessing to me, since it gives me a chance of preventing further nerve damage (not to mention all the other gruesome complications that can come with diabetes).
I find that some writers about type 2 diabetes want to reassure me that it isn't "my fault" and is probably genetic (though I could have prevented its symptoms by eating better). This seems like a double message. The important point for me is not to fix blame for the disease but to find the best way to cope with it and to be or become as healthy as possible while living with it. Somewhere in there I sense a parallel to the spiritual life in general, to all the weaknesses we fall prey to, and to the steps we can take, with God's help, to be strengthened.
I also want to take note of how encouraged I am, as I look around my Meeting, to note the example of other Friends who have been living, often for many years, with various chronic conditions. These Friends' ability to live well and continue giving to others gives me great comfort and some courage.
- - Rich Accetta-Evans