I was wandering the supermarket, which means that I was thinking about carbs. By the time I wandered onto the "lunchbox" aisle, my thoughts had begun to turn sour. All of those adorably portioned carby goodies stared at me. Cookies, crackers, little crunchy bread sticks that come with their own suspiciously shelf-stable fake cheese dip, boxes containing cute little 100-calorie pack snacks.
A friend's old criticism bubbled to the surface of my memory... People think those 100 calorie packs are a good idea, but they're not. They're still not healthy, and you can just take a portion out of a regular sized box.
I (and she) did not know that I was diabetic at the time (I'm fairly sure it was already developing then), but now I realize that individually packaged snacks make it easier to eat snacky stuff with diabetes. No counting crackers necessary, just grab a pack and punch the listed carbs into the insulin pump.
But my slightly sour thoughts didn't lead me to find this fact interesting. Instead, I found it infuriating. Other people eat straight from the box of crackers, no counting, no calculating. That's how almost everyone else does it. Why do I have to do it? Why do I? Why me?!?!
The words rang in my head with the sort of angry, distraught tone I used as a child, the one that I felt certain would illustrate to my parents just how grave an injustice it was that I couldn't do what I wanted to do, the one intended to pull at heart strings, infuse guilt, and drive home just how incredibly strong my emotions on this subject were.
I was so taken aback by this inner tantrum that I stopped right there in the aisle. Where had that come from? I normally don't ask "why me?" when it comes to diabetes, because I don't think there's any kind of answer other than genetics. It occasionally strikes me as very strange to think of myself as diabetic, because I spent so much of my life without serious health concerns, but it usually ends there.
And all because I miss eating out of a full box of crackers? I'll admit that I am readily frustrated by anything that makes simple tasks like eating more complicated, but was it really this that inspired the strongest emotional reaction I've had to diabetes in quite some time?
It's no secret that I'm under a lot more stress than usual and that my mood swings more easily, because I'm pregnant. Maybe it was this added volatility. Maybe I was really throwing an inner tantrum over my pregnancy being 100 times more complicated due to diabetes (as in "oh my gosh this is complicated," not "this pregnancy is full of complications"). Or maybe this tantrum was buried deep beneath the conscious logic and practicality I've held to since diagnosis. Maybe that was my inner child finally shouting loud enough for me to hear her, finally striking that exact tone that would make the adult me stop, pay attention to her, and reconsider.
Only, dear Inner Child, I cannot reconsider diabetes. I'd gladly change this for you if I could, because I agree, diabetes isn't fair. It does suck. And that big box of crackers? I do want to blindly eat fistfulls of them on the couch without even thinking.