Playing the Game of Life with Diabetes

Posted on May 24, 2011


While at spin, I started thinking about life.  Not just any life, my life.  Let me be more specific since “life” encompasses so much.  The game of life.  

For me, life is a game.  A game where the players, pieces, and rules might be different every single day.  No two days are the same.  If you stop and think about how many people there are in the world and how every single person has a unique day, that is pretty incredible.  Lots of synchronicities and idiosynchronicities must come into play at the right time.  Wow!

CandyLand for Diabetics

As a child, I loved to play games.  We owned just about every game on the market – Yahtzee, Monolpoly, Pay Day, Uno, Candy Land, etc.  Being competitive by nature, I loved to win too.  But there was, also, something fun about figuring out how the game worked.  Or at least trying to figure it out.  Was there a method?  A science?  Or just pure luck?

As an adult, I realize my life is like those games I played as a child.  Bingo days.  Risk days.  Clue days.  And the list goes on.

Some times I believe there is a method or science to playing the game.  And other days, I believe it  is just pure luck. 

Either way, I am part of the game and need to participate.   Even if I don’t feel like playing, the roll of the die, spin of the spinner, or deal of the cards will get me involved.

So am I winning or losing at the game of life?  That depends.

It depends on the game I am playing.    Let’s take the game of diabetes as an example.  Right now,  I am winning at Diabetes.   My bloodsugar is great, and I feel good.  However, earlier today, I had a low bloodsugar of 54 and felt tired, weak, and super hungry.  For a few minutes (okay – 30 minutes), I felt like I was losing the game of diabetes.  But, once I got some food in me and my bloodsugar normalized, I was back in the game.  Ready to be a participant again.  

I could have easily given up, thrown in the towel, and walked away from the game of diabetes (life).  But I did not stop playing.  Instead, I participated in the detour (part of the game), worked on the current challenge (low bloodsugar), and then got back in the game full force.  Even though I felt like crap during the detour, I kept playing .  I did not give up. 

Chutes and Ladders

Even if I had given up at that moment (and I have given up before), I could have always gone back in the game when the timing was right.  As a teenager, I had a few months where I really rebelled against my diabetes.  During a four week period, I chose to sporadically test my blood sugars and give my shots.  Perhaps I was trying to take control of my life?  Show my parents that I was indeed in charge?  Or maybe I was testing my disease?  Myself?   

Whatever my rationale, I was cheating at the game and could no longer be a player.  I was disqualified.  Yes, disqualified from my own game.  My life.  My diabetes. 

Yet, I soon realized that being out of control was horrible.  I felt sick .  I could no longer do the things I loved like running, skiing, and hanging out with friends.  I had to get back in the game of diabetes.  So I did.  I became a player again and followed the rules.  My life turned around, and I felt so much better.  I was a winner of my own game.

So you see, we are all winners.  We must participate in the games of life.  Taking detours and time outs is okay.  When ready,  we get back on the board and become an active participant again. 

Play the game of Life with Diabetes!  You are a winner every single day!