"People with chronic conditions are able to lead efficient lives when they effectively treat their disease."

This is a loose quote from my daughter's Health class notes.

I was helping her study for her quiz on non-infectious diseases.  The notes about the two types of diabetes were accurate, if vague, but this sentence gave me pause.

The Dictionary.com definition of efficient is this:

performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill,and industry; competent; capable

I suppose most of this is truer than my initial reaction assumed.  With the requisite skills and competency, people can manage chronic conditions and live well.

But I still struggle with the 'with the least waste of time and effort' part.  I suppose it's not 'wasted' per se, but managing diabetes takes an enormous amount of time and effort.  So much so that it decreases our efficiency in many other tasks.

Diabetes decreases my daughter's and often our entire family's efficiency in:

-preparing and eating a meal
-getting out of the house to go anywhere, even a walk around the block
-taking a shower
-getting in and out of the pool
-ordering and eating a restaurant meal
-getting through airport security
-packing for vacation or even a day trip
-any task which is sidelined by a low or high blood sugar
-sleeping through the night

And that list barely grazes the surface.  So yes, we're grateful that she has the tools to live well.  But sometimes diabetes still slows us down.  Efficient still isn't a word I'd ever choose to use to describe life with diabetes.

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