Being a PWD is a lot like being Rocky Balboa. How, you ask? Well, let me explain. I was watching the movie that started them all – the original, very first “Rocky” movie the other day and it just kind of popped into my mind and stuck. Being a person who deals with diabetes 24/7/365, I kept ticking different attributes of Mr. Balboa off on my fingers as they went by. Yep. I do that. Uh huh. Diabetes is like that. Sure. I feel like that.
- Rocky is a fighter.
- Just his profession alone is like having diabetes – or any chronic condition for that matter. Every day, we wake up to take on whatever fun things diabetes decides to throw at us at any given time. Bring it on, ‘betes!
- Rocky trains. A lot.
- Cue “Eye of the Tiger” and mentally call up the scene where Rocky runs up the Art Museum steps. Or better yet, mentally cue Rocky pounding raw meat. He runs. He punches the bag. He’s bloody and banged up. We train. A lot. We learn every day about diabetes and different technologies and treatment methods. We prick our fingers. We bleed. We train.
- Rocky takes on challenges that might seem unattainable.
- Consider: Rocky Balboa side-by-side Apollo Creed. Apollo is bigger. He’s more prestigious and has a far better record than Rocky. Diabetes can seem daunting and hard. Diabetes IS daunting and hard. Some days, diabetes can seem downright impossible, but a PWD doesn’t shy away from that. We take it one day at a time and we can, will, and DO attain our goals.
- Rocky has a good support system.
- Rocky has many people in his corner, plus a woman who loves him. One of the best things for a PWD is an excellent support system – family, friends, health care professionals, the DOC…you name it. Support comes in my different shapes and sizes, but it’s always there.
- Rocky doubts his decision to fight Apollo at a point in his training – he doesn’t think that he can win…
- One night, Rocky comes home and sits on the bed with Adrian and says that he is not sure he can beat Apollo in the fight. As a PWD, we doubt ourselves a lot about a lot of things. Diabetes is not an illness of absolutes. We are never and can never be 100% sure. What works one day, doesn’t the next. Unseen things such as stress or whatever the weather is doing on a particular day can sink our boat. Doubt is part of the deal.
- …but he still fights anyway.
- So, PWD have doubts, like Rocky, yet we forge ahead anyway. We merely need to find ways to help us deal with the questioning and doubt…and move past the peskiness. We diabetics know a thing or two about rallying. Diabetes is in a lot of ways like an uphill battle, yet our legs are strong and our shoes are comfy.
- Rocky doesn’t always win.
- PWD don’t always count carbs correctly, or calculate insulin as needed – whatever the daily epic fail might be. Trying to be perfect is an imperfect idea. Rocky had a record of a handful of wins, 25 some losses and he loses to Creed (don’t worry, he comes back in “Rocky II” for the win…). The point of Rocky is he keeps going and doesn’t give up.
- Rocky, despite any doubts or cold feet, doesn’t give up.
- I think that’s enough said. PWD should never give up. This illness sucks, but always know there is someone out there willing to listen and help. ALWAYS.
- Rocky doesn’t always win.