Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pale Blue Circle

Sagan described the earth as a
pale blue dot.
"On it, everyone you love, everyone you know,
everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was,
lived out their lives."

I feel that same wonder
when I hold a vial of insulin in my hand.
How it looks like water,
and how, like water, everything I am depends on it.

It's like I'm holding my heart outside myself,
careful not to squeeze it too hard
or hold it too warmly.
Without it, I'd have died in an emergency room.
a ten year old girl.

Everything I love,
Everything I know,
Everything I've experienced as I live out this borrowed time,
I owe to these droplets of science swirling in a bottle.

To Banting, to Best,
To starving children who reached for the first syringes
with faith and hope.

All so that I could stand here today,
marveling at this solution.

A century later, children still die without it
in places my privilege has not reached,
who aren’t alive to argue for access
and need a voice,
but more than that,
a vial.

In their obscurity, without that access,
They wait for a hint that help will come from elsewhere
while we stockpile for ourselves.

We are all part of a pale blue circle,
hopeful children
to be preserved and cherished.

In my hand,
I clutch a drug that cannot cure,
could certainly kill,
and cannot be trusted,
but an elixir that means
another day of life for me
and a day less for those without it.

With reverence and fear,
I marvel at its fragility
and tuck it safely away,
overwhelmed at the responsibility
and the random chance of the universe
that I hold it
and they don't.


Contribute your photo to the #insulin4all tumblr page.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Strong and Simple Challenge

The Asante Snap Strong and Simple Challenge is a smart, simple, and quick way to share how their pump has helped make diabetes simpler for you.

For every video (1min or less) submitted, Asante will donate $25 to one of two charities - Diabetes Hands Foundation and Diabetes Youth Families.

If you use Snap or even if you're just doing your free 30-day trial of their pump, would you consider making a video and choosing Diabetes Hands Foundation (or the other fine charity, sure, but seriously, DHF)?

I made my video. On my iPhone. In my car. In a Target parking lot. (Because that's where it was quiet and where I could be childless.)

It's that easy.

Answer (1) how has diabetes made you stronger? and (2) how has Snap made diabetes simpler?

Upload your video here and view my video here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Than a Number

I am more than a number.
 I am a child with dreams and determination.
I want to succeed. I want to be healthy.
 I am listening, learning, doing my best.
I'm staying active. I'm eating right.
 I am the victim of a system that fails my family,
fails to educate, fails to innovate.
I thrive in spite of the standards. I rise above the average.
In more ways than one.
I try new therapies boldly, but blindly. Alone. Terrified.
I sing, I teach, I shine. And I struggle.
 I am more than a number.
I'm a woman with dreams and determination.
 I find partnership. I discover community.
We are more than our numbers.
I am a woman, a mother, and I'm still listening, learning.
I rise and fall, ebb and flow,
knowing that there is much I don't know.
I am not a statistic.
I am a human being.
I am more than a number.
So are you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

D-Parody: I'm Still Here

I'm Still Here
(a D-Parody of Elaine Stritch's Live at Liberty recording of Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" from Follies)

High times and low times, I've seen them all
and, my dear, I'm still here.
Stocked closet sometimes,
Sometimes syringes and tears,
but I'm here.

I've found test strips in my shoes,
miscalculated, sung the blues.
Seen all my hard work disappear,
but I'm here.

I've slept in the ER,
courtesy of DKA,
but I'm here.
Tangled with PR
when they muck up what they say,
but I'm here.

I've heard cutting edge talk from the best.
Counted exchanges with the rest.
When I couldn’t get pregnant,
was I depressed?
Pretty near.
But I became a DOC-er,
so I'm here.

I've gotten through diabetic coma.
Gee, that was fun and a half!
When you've been through diabetic coma,
anything else is a laugh!

I've been thru Saccharine, Splenda and Truvia too,
but I'm here.
Drank Diet Dr. Pepper
back when the cans were blue,
and I'm here.

Tried every gadget, every tool,
Still I don't log as a general rule.
I should've gone to medical school,
That much seems clear.
Still someone said, "She's been there",
so I'm here.

Target range one day,
next day it flies out of whack,
but I'm here.
Roller coaster Monday,
Tuesday, you're back in the black,
but I'm here.

First, you're a poster child they turn out,
then careening through college,
then you're burnt out,
Then you see CDE to CDE to CDE.
I've almost got this thing figured out,
so I'm here.

I've gotten through,
"My grandma had diabetes.
She lost both her feet.
Or better yet, "My dad used to have diabetes,
but, you know, he got the thing beat."

High times and low times, I've seen 'em all
and, my dear, I'm still here.
Stocked closet sometimes,
Sometimes syringes and tears,
but I'm here.

I've run the gamut of A1cs
15 to 5 dammit, C'est la vie.
At least I got to be here,
and I'm here!
They said there’d be a cure in five years
but I'm here!

I’m still here!
Look who's here!
I'm still here!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

D-Parody: 365


365
(a D-Parody of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5")

Tumble out of bed
and stumble to the kitchen,
Pour myself a cup of ambition.
I check my number,
try to come to life.
Consider my clothes
ever since I've been pumping.
Blood sugar climbs as
blood pressure’s thumping,
For folks like me, with the D, for 365.

It's 365 days a year without vacation.
Just to stay alive,
and stave off the complications.
Those without can't see
and they never give you credit
It's enough to drive you crazy
if you let it.

It's 365 days a year of shots and bleeding.
It's the ups and downs
and the questionable readings.
Try to do my best,
but they call me noncompliant.
It's enough to make you angry and defiant.

[mmmm]

You get to work
and your number's climbing
Meet with a client,
couldn't be worse timing.
You check and treat
and hope it goes back to range.
You head back to your desk
'bout the time you're dropping.
Right about then,
the boss man is stopping.
You make small talk
and hope you didn't sound too strange.

It's 365 days a year without vacation.
Just to stay alive,
and stave off the complications.
Those without can't see
and they never give you credit.
It's enough to drive you crazy
if you let it.

It's 365 days a year of shots and bleeding.
It's the ups and downs
and the questionable readings.
Try to do my best,
but they call me noncompliant.
It's enough to make you angry and defiant.

It's 365.
No time off for good behavior.
Just to stay alive.
It's no love, but all the labor.
It's the counting carbs
and the constant health minutiae,
and the a1c to which doctors would reduce ya.

It's 365
and ten times as many blood tests.
It’s the lows and highs.
Ain’t nobody needing this stress!
It’s a healthcare game,
no matter what they call it.
You spend your life putting money in their wallet.

It’s 365!
Man, I didn’t even notice.
It’s 365!
Damn, did I forget to bolus?
It’s 365.
I don’t even know how my blood sugar got to be 365.