Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pied Beauty

Freaky Friday - Friday 5/17 Link List
Today's Prompt: Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions? (Thanks to Jane of Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE and Bob of T Minus Two for this topic suggestion.)

As many of my bloggy brethren are pointing out today, chronic conditions often come in boxed sets. You might not get just type 1 diabetes. You can end up with its pesky autoimmune family members, too - its little cousin Celiac, its uncle Hashimoto, its crappy sister Crohn's, or grandpa Arthritis. The list goes on.

Me? I got Diabetes' sweet great aunt - Vitiligo.

As chronic conditions go, I'll be honest, she's a peach. Well, not a peach so much. Maybe a speckled peach.

She's quiet. She wouldn't hurt a fly. She's just a little odd-looking. You rarely even notice her. Maybe you'll walk past a mirror and catch her there. Or she'll photobomb you when you're working on your best duckface.

I noticed her today when Sweetie and I were giggling over my stomach growling. It was a cute moment between my daughter and me. But boom, there was Auntie Vitiligo via a blanched spot on my stomach staring at both of us. I outlined the circle with my finger. "Mommy has a spot," I said.

I notice Aunt Viti's intrusion when I'm nursing my toddler son. I'm looking down at Dibbs' contented face and there he is liplocked with Great Aunt Viti. Um, oh yeah, I have a vitiligo spot on one of my bubbies. Now we're super-close friends.

I notice her looking at me from the other side of the mirror. She's cupped around my eyes like goggles and dotting my chin. You probably wouldn't see her. But I started choosing glasses over contacts so that it was less obvious.
It's always obvious to me in lower res pictures.
This was a forward-facing camera shot
that I tried to take on Valentine's Day.
But she's never doing more than staring at me. Just staring.

I feel lucky that I live in an ivory tower already so that her ghost white hair (oh, yeah, my hair, too) and freckles and spots are not much of a distraction for people. I have some serious respect for people of Indian, Latino, and African descent dealing with Great Aunt Viti and her latent hostilities. (She's much rougher on the dark-skinned folks. Bigoted old bitch.)
Now you don't see her, do you? I'm that white.
You can see the silver in my hair though.
But if you told me that I could choose any chronic condition to take the place of diabetes? I would ask her to stay forever. Me and Aunt Viti! Besties! I'd name my next dog or cat Vitiligo. I'd write epic poetry about beautiful, pale, pigmentless, dappled skin.

Aunt Viti would never dream of doing any of the hellacious things her nephew Diabetes threatens. Her nephew and his needles. Her nephew who could take control of my car, frighten my children, drain my bank account, and whom I find standing over me menacingly most nights as I sleep.

Her nephew is a rat bastard.


  1. I've never heard of this condition - thank you for educating me!

  2. one of our D-babysitters has this and I never see anything---thank you for splaining.

  3. I had Graves Disease back 20 or so years ago and have been speckled all over almost as long with Vitaligo. 6 years ago I added LADA or as the Doc put it late bloomer T1. Living in Florida means I have to be careful with sun as my spots FRY !!!! But one thing I still remember is this young lady who was so thrilled to see my hands " You have clouds on them ! " she exclaimed and wanted to paint them for her art school assignment. Yes I let her paint them even though I for the life of me could not figure what was special about them.