I recently watched a movie called “Love and Other Drugs” where Anne Hathaway plays Maggie Murdock, a character who has early-onset Parkinson’s disease. I think the movie was actually a romantic comedy of sorts, with people running around naked, and enough drugs to fill a doctor’s office. The lead character, Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal), was a pharmaceutical rep…where is your mind at?
The “I notice you have an invisible illness, I have an invisible illness too” side of me could identify with a lot of the trials that Maggie was going through, even though they were sometimes probably downplayed for the sake of the film having popular appeal. One particular bit of dialog in the movie really stood out for me, because it resonates so loud in our world with diabetes, an incurable disease like Parkinson’s.
Maggie Murdock: I’m gonna need you more than you need me.
Jamie Randall: That’s okay.
Maggie Murdock: [crying] No it’s not! It isn’t *fair*! I have places to go!
Jamie Randall: You’ll go there. I just may have to carry you.
Maggie Murdock: …I can’t ask you to do that.
Jamie Randall: You didn’t.
Well break my heart. If that doesn’t connect with you, you’re cold-hearted and you need to go find a puppy or a kitten to hug on (stat!) before you freeze to death.
Think about your world with diabetes for a minute. Think about the times that you’ve needed someone, and they’ve been there, without you ever having to ask them to be. Think about the reality of knowing that there may come a time, at some point, where you will have to rely on someone else far more than you will be able to rely on yourself. Think about how guilty and vulnerable that makes you feel. It’s scary, and a really hard thing to admit to ourselves and accept. Although we strive so hard each and every day to manage our diabetes in such a way that maintains our independence and well-being, sometimes the unpredictability of it wins, and we need a little help.
Take a deep breath, because it’s okay.
Think about how lucky we are to have someone…a partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a coworker, a roommate, a neighbor, and sometimes even a trained dog…who is there for us, even when we can’t ask them to be.
Want to know who I admire? It’s those heroes.
Take a moment and read this post from one of my favorite bloggers, Saucy…well, her significant other, actually: FF’s Take On Diabetes