Saturday, April 6, 2013

Beauty and the Beast

Today's Prompt: Letters. Write a letter to your condition – what do you want to get off your chest?

You know, you'd never know it to talk to me about diabetes, but one of the first emotion words that wells up in me when I think no one is around to judge me for it is ANGER. Anger. Not at the universe. Not at fate or my lot in life or the path I've taken. Just undirected, unfocused, impotent anger at the daily crap that this disease brings my direction.

Having no one to blame is a hard anger to sift through. You don't ever find the bottom of the barrel. As soon as you dig your hands into the sand and make a hole, more sand rushes in around your fingers. You never quite scrape past the surface. I suppose that I'm angry that life couldn't have been easier. Angry that my body didn't work the way it was supposed to. Angry that it has cost so much money when my family didn't have a lot to start with. Angry that it in some way affected my momentum.

Disclaimer: These are not our actual angry faces.
Just our pretend ones. About a year ago.
It's not an apt description thinking of diabetes as some sort of emotional upheaval in my life though. It was NEVER that for me. I think that that's the way someone might describe it who was diagnosed as an adult. For those of us diagnosed as children, there was not much life lived yet to upheave. It was just LIFE. That was yours and this is ours and ours had this huge wild beast that lived in the house. Like Wil Dubois says in his book Taming the Tiger, you can live with a tiger, but you'd better never turn your back on it.

I don't ever claim my tiger as part of who I am. No more than a dog would call its parasites part of its sense of self. I resist when my husband claims that diabetes affected the person I became. Absolutely not, I snap. I will not let it have that power over me. No, I was going to be me regardless. And this is the only me that ever was and that ever will be and the only me that I ever get to be, so fuck it. Fuck this disease and its obstacles and its platitudes about "making us more observant about our health." I won't allow it ownership over any of the good things.

Still not the legit angry faces. But we're both saying "ANGREEE!"
I am strong. I am beautiful. And I refuse to afford diabetes credit for any of that. I worked really hard to have the life I've enjoyed and I work really hard every damn day. The endless checking of blood sugars, the pinholes in my hands, the up and down roller coaster of feeling sick and nauseous one minute to be followed up with faint and weak the next. The strapping on of devices and maintaining of supply orders. For every time I've flicked a bubble out of a syringe, someone else enjoyed the act of not having to flick a bubble out of a syringe.

I want my minutes back. I want those stolen moments, that supple unmarked stomach, my dignity in those moments where I had to ask someone to get me a juice box or some jelly beans. I want it back.

But I swallow that anger and tell everyone how manageable this disease is. Manageable if you don't mind the daily presence of a wild animal that will surely somehow figure out how to kill you in the end.


  1. Love. Just love. (And Sweetie has the cutest fake angry face.) I want my minutes back, too. They don't roll over like my cell phone minutes.

  2. word, my sister. and truth. so much truth. I want all my stolen moments back, too. Love you.