I have a long history with the Clara Barton Camp for Girls with Diabetes. Those of us who attended as campers or staff call each other “Barton Girls” and we have many great memories and some inside jokes. One joke is about the number “117”. Back in the 80s, a staff member from the boys camp (Elliott P. Joslin Camp for Boys with Diabetes) was interviewed by a reporter. She had him check his blood glucose on camera and it came out 117, to which she replied, “Fantastic!” For the past 20-something years any one who has a blood glucose of 117 gets a rousing round of “Fantastic!” from anyone who understands. The great thing is that it really never gets old.
The other day I was driving with my daughter and I saw a vehicle with a license plate that simply said “117”. I just about flipped out. My daughter, believe it or not, had a camera with her and tried to take a picture at the stop light, but it didn’t come out. I lost the car when I turned to go to the grocery store. When we came out of the store I decided to go looking for the car. Crazy, but true. And would you believe I saw it again, going in the opposite direction on a nearby street. I watched it turn in my rear-view mirror, and then proceeded to turn around and try to find it.
Although I never did find the car, it got me thinking about people with diabetes and the quest for 117, in other words, “happy” blood glucose levels. We can work really hard at it and sometimes get the results we’re after, while other times we don’t. How often do we just give up? I know there have been times when I have just said, “forget it”, but luckily, I get myself back on track at some point (usually the next morning). It’s easy to want to throw in the towel when things (blood glucose levels) are not going the way you want them to. With diabetes it’s critical that we don’t beat ourselves up when this happens. We need to stay calm and focused and remind ourselves that we are good people and we can start again tomorrow.
Don’t give up on your quest for 117. And remember that no matter what your number, you are truly fantastic!