Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The essence of mortality



Life is a very weird thing. All about ups and downs, peaks and troughs and then again in between, it tends to be about priorities. Can you avoid the troughs if you prioritise correctly or is it good to be made sometimes aware of your mortality?

I am not an atheist, though do tend to enjoy Ricky Gervais present views on them, but then neither have I ever been a God fearing person. Always been a bit sceptical, you see, especially during my school days. Being brought up in a catholic school was always interesting..Jesus seemed like a very cool bloke but somehow the resurrection bit never quite caught on. A young mind who was engaging in biology and chemistry somehow never quite understood how someone dead came alive. The dissected frogs never did, neither did my grandad or my uncle who passed away during those years, so the skepticism was healthy. On top of that was my devout family, believing in the Hindu gods and deities, which to me were always a source of enjoyment, not religious fervour. You see....Hindu gods were always associated with festivals, new clothes and lots of food. For any humbugs who thought Christmas can be a bit tedious, you haven't seen the Puja season on Calcutta. A kaleidoscope of colour, noise and pure fun. What exactly had God to do with it?

So it does make you wonder what causes things to happen. Do you see it as Gods way to "take you down a notch"? Or is there a Guardian Angel who wants to make sure a career with potential is not frittered away? Or is it just simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or is it it could be so much worse...so see it as a blessing in disguise? The optimist struggles with the pessimist, the resilience struggles with the resignation...

The guardian angel theory is an attractive one. I, for one, have been incredibly lucky. Kind friends and family think it's my "quality", "talent"...I know myself how big a part luck has had to do with it.School, college, jobs,family,colleagues...an incredible stretch of luck which has contributed so much....at times it does feel someone has been looking over me. The first few years as a Consultant has been a whirlwind...making friends, enemies..taking on issues...most of them deliberate...partly to force changes in the system, partly to make an image as a renegade, someone outside the mould...someone who could bring some change. But in between all that, I have looked for something to focus on to, make it my mission....and then I focussed on the Type 1 side of things. And I have loved every single moment of it...it felt...right. It felt like the right battle to fight...it felt like the one thing I wanted to make a difference in. And I have jumped into it full on. National politics, changing models of care...I have been involved...but somehow has never given me the joy that immersing myself in Type 1 diabetes has.

And I don't want to lose that. Troughs in life are supposed to give you an appreciation of your peaks....and over the last few days....it certainly has. A good friend called me "resilient"...maybe so...but it still hurts. But you know what...isn't that why you have parents? It doesn't matter whether you are 9, 24 or 38....sometimes a hug from your parents is all you need. And to open the door and see them standing there for me...in the pouring rain after a flight of 10 hours..meant everything.

So we build again. We try again...and focus on the things that matter the most. I think I can make a difference to diabetes care, especially in Type 1 diabetes....and not in any mood to give all that up. I have made a few promises to myself over the weekend...a few challenges have been set. Thing is....I have never lost a challenge....and I ain't ready to give that record up yet.

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