A woman I know was talking about a friend of hers who has severe asthma. She was describing him as a rigid person, though she also said she understood that his chronic illness contributed to his behavior, she still thought it was his basic personality. Which made me think that I might be viewed as a rigid person too, given all the things I do to accomodate my diabetes. Eat a pretty fixed range of foods that work for me. Exercise the same time everyday. Plan my adventures meticulously, to make sure I have everything I might need. Worry about the details. Consider the potential risks. Always have backup. Someone who didn't know me well or didn't know about living with diabetes, could easily describe this behavior as rigid.
My husband says this behavior is regimented not rigid. Which is actually more accurate and less judgmental. But he is kind and has an investment in seeing the subtlity of language and description. He works to understand the impact of this disease on my life in particular and on our life together. He tries to understand the distinction between what I have to do and what I'd like to do if I had a choice.
Which brings me to a question. After 20 years with diabetes, have I changed to become a different person than who I really am?
I know. It's a silly question. I am who I am, with diabetes, period. As with everyone, my experiences, including having diabetes, have helped to form me into the person I am today. Rigid? Some might say yes. But thankfully, there are others, like my lovely husband, who see it another way. They see it as regimented or diligent or committed. And thankfully still, they see it as something to be supported and understood.