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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Groundhog day - again   (February 2, 2009)

Once upon a time, groundhog day was simply an opportunity for weathermen to compare their computer calculations of the severity of the rest of winter against the vision of a groundhog named Phil living in the isolated hamlet of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (See the Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club for excruciatingly-detailed discussions of the significance of the event).

Well, today (February 2) is Groundhog Day. This year, Phil saw his shadow. And the US will have six more weeks of winter. Sure. Unless it doesn't.

But ever since Bill Murray's hilarious portrayal in the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day," the phrase "Groundhog Day" has come to have a different meaning to me. In the movie, Bill played a weatherman in Punxsutawney who awakened every morning to find it again was February 2, and to repeat what he did the day before (more-or-less), with perhaps a slightly different outcome as he learned from his prior experiences.

Like Bill Murray's character, every day is Groundhog Day for me. I wake up at the same time every morning (although a bit earlier than his radio-alarm clock goes off in the movie), check my BG and check my e-mail, walk my two dogs and get the newspaper, eat breakfast and punch in my bolus dose of insulin into my pump, shower/shave/get dressed and then it's off to the daily grind. Yeah, Bill Murray didn't check his BG, but then his character didn't have diabetes. But for people with diabetes, regularizing the rituals of daily life make things a bit easier to cope - or at least to minimize the chances of forgetting some vital part of the rituals.

Yep, it's Groundhog Day again today. And again tomorrow. And again the day after...

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.



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