Thursday, November 09, 2006

D Blog Day (Chaotic Ramblings)

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!

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

hjahaha! Im gonna be singing that song all night! I have never even SEEN urine tape, or sugar tape!

Kerri. said...

I don't remember the test tape, but I do remember the meters that took 120 seconds to render a result and the test tubes for testing urine ketones. (Diagnosed in 1986)

We've come a long way, baby. ;)

Sandra Miller said...

I've never even seen the test tape (Joseph was dx'd just 2 years ago), but I do remember Marcus Welby very well-- I loved that show, too.

But like most depictions of illness on television, the worst possible case was always shown.

It must have been devasting for you to see.

I'm so glad you've come to know that the reality of this disease doesn't have to be that worst case.

Not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

I think I would have punched funeral lady and that nurse. But I know when it happens, you're just too shocked they said that to do anything.

art-sweet said...

I'm glad to dance with you, even if it's just in my own head.

You've brought so much warmth and wisdom to our little corner of the internet.

julia said...

Sisyphus. Great analogy.

AmyT said...

Test tape - ugh. We've come a long way, ay?

Happy D-blog day to you indeed!

Anonymous said...

I would have hucked the cake at the church lady. I hate that so much! When I read that, I swear i was there with you, feeling your pain.

I am so thankful that you found blogging and the OC. Funny, it seems like you have always been here but, everyone seems like that to me.

Happy D-Blog day!

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Yeah i remeber the test tape and even befor that the tablets you dropped in the test tubes with urine and water - they fizzed up to the horrid orange or the happy blue color. I have had D for 45 years, since I was 10. We are still here. Amazing isn't it?! Is it just luck? Or what? Please answer my email.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing those feelings. I for one so appreciate you and your words, so glad you are part of this online family.

Bernard said...

Kathy

Didn't you just love the good old days - NOT.

I never used the tape. I started with tablets in a mixture of urine and water. I loved the cool fizzing and the heat given off by the reaction. I hated when the color was orange.

When I was in hospital there was a crazy old guy (I was 15, he looked like he could have been 90). He'd lost both of his legs due to diabetes. That was quite the memory.

Thanks for the post.

Kassie said...

thank you for this - I'm not so good at putting my diabetes anger into words, it's so comforting to read my thoughts elsewhere.

Minnesota Nice said...

You guys are all just beautiful, in every possible way. Thank you.
Blogging has been such a positive experience that I have now joined a poetry group and a storytelling group (and I'm a shy person).

And Chrissie, I got an email about a week ago that I think might have been from you (initials P/E?) but I could not open - go the message, "MSN is unable to retrieve this message". Whatever the heck that means. Maybe you should try again.

Scott K. Johnson said...

You are such a gem to me MN.

You have, and continue to be, such a support for me - not only with your great comments, but with the stories you share with us on your blog.

We have all gone through so many things that just stunk (worse than skunk butt), and we have somehow made it through. I like to think we are stronger for it.

I'm so very thankful that you have taken the plunge and started blogging with us. It's been very valuable to me.

Minnesota Nice said...

Ditto back at ya, Scott.

.....but skunk butt...oof dah

Hannah said...

I'm glad you're here. I haven't commented much, but it's always great to read what you have to say. :)

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