I'd like to thank Sandra Miller for pointing out that today is D Blog Day. I had no idea, but, heck, until 6 months ago I did not know what a blog was either.
To preface this, I will say that I have not yet read anybody's posts today - it was slow at work and really hard to keep my paws off the Web - and I'm sure there will be some overlap. Second, I am not going to censor any of my thoughts. Most of the time I try to focus on being optimistic and positive, but tonight, anything that comes flying out of my fingers will stay.
I hate living with diabetes. And my friend J hates living with metastatic breast cancer. And my co-worker D hates living with rheumatoid arthritis. And my departed brother D hated living with AIDS.
My two distinct memories of my diagnosis (1974) were: 1) my hospital bed was right outside the nurse's station and they were having donuts and coffee late in the evening. One said to the other "Did you get bed 2's test tape (a dip strip used to measure sugar in uring)" and she replied, "Oh gawd, is she one too? These diabetics are more trouble than they're worth". 2) When I got home from the hospital, I turned on my favorite television show, Marcus Welby, M.D. - about this kind, fatherly GP and his handsome, hunky associate. It started out showing a girl eating ice cream and she immediately went into a diabetic coma. The next week she was suddenly blind due to retinal hemorrhaging - obviously caused by the dietary indiscretion.. But, Dr. Welby contacted a colleague who was involved in a new, experimental procedure - a vitrectomy and said it coule probably give her some vision back. "Not reading vision", he cautioned. I felt that cold chill of fear wrap around me, and have felt it many times since. Oh, incidently, I have hadtwo vitrectomys and I can read just fine. Ahem.
Diabetes sometimes makes me feel like a freak. After my father's funeral in 1986, we were having a gathering in the church reception hall and offering refreshments. A big tray of cake was being passed down the table and when it got to me, a woman on the other side of the room stood up and screamed , "Don't let her have any - she's diabetic!". Dead silence ensued and the flush rose up into my face. I hate the way that woman made me feel.
The burden and struggles of diabetes wax and wane, just like anything else bothersome in life. I frequently feel like I'm that mythical character that pushes the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down to the starting place. Mary Tyler Moore once described the effects of diabetes like "termites" - they are doing slow, consistent damage to the innards of the house while everything looks fine on the outside.
I have had DB for nearly 3/4 or my life. It is a part of me, a companion, that sometimes quietly walks beside me, and other times is a hissy-fit, tantrum-throwing brat that demands attentionat the most inconvenient times. And occasionally it is a fire-breathing demon that threatens to rob every last ounce of strength from me.
Living with DB reminds me of the words of this Motown classic -
So take a good look at my face
You'll see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears..........
Oh, baby, I suddenly want to put on Aretha and find a dancing partner!