A few months ago I read a post by a medical student who experimented with pretending to have type 1 diabetes for a week in order to gain a bit of insight into our world. She hopes to serve patients better with her newfound perspective. I was impressed that she even thought to do this and left a long comment adding some things I hope she and other medical students/doctors take away.
Part of my response was this:
“I hope many medical students/doctors read this and take with them your message and this one:
Anyone can do anything difficult for a certain period of time but after a while, a toll does come down on the person. Can you imagine being in medical school your entire life? Do you think you might eventually crack under that kind of intense schedule and pressure? That’s kind of what type 1 diabetes is like. It never ends and there is never a break. I think if doctors understand this and are sympathetic to this, they can really connect with patients and provide them the compassionate ear they often need before being able to really soak in any medical advice. It’s a win, win.”
I thought I might use this example of medical school with doctors from now on because I think it’s an analogy they can relate to and make them really stop and think about how exhausting diabetes is. We’ve got to find clever ways to communicate with them right?
Any other analogies you know of? Remember George’s? It’s an excellent one:
“Imagine having to pump your own heart because it didn’t do it by itself. And when you want to sleep you have to pump it slower. For exercise you would have to speed it up. You would have to know the rate of pumping for every activity. Do you think you could do it? Do you think that would be easy?”
What are some others? Do share.
These analogies are clever diabetes advocacy tools and armor. And they keep me entertained :)