I had a dream a few nights ago. And, NO, before you ask, it has nothing to do with guilt feelings. You see, in my dream, I was in prison (thus the disclaimer about guilt)…I’m not sure why. It was one of those vague dream-reality things that simply was true. I have the vague feeling I hadn’t done the crime, but also had no way to prove it.

This was a unique prison. There were counsellors to help you through your feelings about being in prison. Very touchy-feely. But the clincher came when I forgot I was in prison, and left and went to McDonald’s for something to eat. I finished my meal and was on the way out of McDonald’s when I remembered with a pang, and ran back to the prison before they could notice I was gone. I made it, and all was fine, but I also woke up, so that was the end of that! 

I’ve come to realize over the last few days that I was really thinking about diabetes as a prison, complete with diabetes educators and doctors to help me feel better about being in my prison and mad dashes off to McDonald’s or ice-cream land.

Can I eat at McDonald’s with diabetes? Sure. Like the prison in my dream, there was nothing me stopping me from going out the front door to McDonald’s. Eat ice cream? Sure. Not test my blood sugar? Sure. No guard at the front doors to this prison.

But, just as in my dream, there’s also nothing mitigating the truth that I have diabetes and must do the right things to take care of it. My kidneys and eyes and feet and heart all need me to take care of myself…to get back to the prison before I get "found out" by the appearance of some diabetes-related disease or another.

Diabetes is a prison of sorts, at least the sort of mild prison of my dream. A prison of healthy habits. There is no "diabetes diet," for instance…just healthy eating. I simply need to stick closer to it than most people. There is, however, a spot for an occasional mad dash off to McDonald’s…as long as I come right back to the diabetes "prison."

And I’ll have a junior hamburger instead of a Big Mac, and share my fries. I promise.