There’s that old myth that says we humans only use about 10% of our brains. And though that number’s been disproved, I still feel like I don’t get to use all of my brainpower on a daily basis. I’m always wondering how much of my mind is left for normal life after most of it gets eaten up by diabetes stuff.
Today has been the first day in a few weeks that I haven’t been so busy that I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of screaming. Don’t get me wrong: I’d rather be super-busy than unemployed. I love my job — it’s a constant stream of fun and interesting projects, it provides me with good health insurance, keeps a roof over my head and infusion sets in the closet, and I’m surrounded by talented, funny people. (Also, I can get away with wearing jeans and flip-flops at least 4 days a week.)
There’s just a shitload of stuff to do — all at the same time — and the busier I get, the more I resent the space that diabetes takes up in my life — and in my brain. It’s one of those things that never gets checked off of my worklist. And if it’s not the carbs that need to be counted or the insulin that needs to be picked up from the pharmacy, it’s an out-of-nowhere low that leaves me scarfing down Smarties while trying to write a semi-coherent e-mail.
Would I be any more productive if I didn’t essentially have two full-time jobs? If keeping myself alive didn’t involve so many tubes and measurements and granola bar breaks and itchy adhesive rashes, would I be out conquering the world? What if the brain space that I use to remember how many carbs are in a Yuengling Light is the exact amount of mental capacity I need to write the Great American Novel? Would I be a world-class wood carver if I had a little extra time? Would I write more than one blog post every 10 days?
In the end, I know it’s a pointless thing to spend even more brain space thinking about. Things to Worry About — diabetes-related or not — have a way of reproducing and expanding in our lives. If it wasn’t diabetes, it’d be something else. And if it wasn’t anything else, I’d probably get bored with my perfect, highly productive life.
For now, I’m going take every non-demanding moment I can find and try to turn off my mind as much as possible. So if you see me walking down the street in sweatpants and bare feet, mumbling to myself about tree frogs and lollipops, don’t be alarmed. I’m not suffering from hypoglycemia or strung out on meth — I’ve just temporarily run out of room in my head.