Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why I March

Why have I marched, and yelled, and donated money, and held signs big and small, so many times the past weeks?

It's not because I have a huge history of political activism. I don't, actually. I used to be more involved, in college, a familiar story, but I've fallen out of practice in the ensuing years. There are protests and movements I wish I had been part of, but really all I did was look on sympathetically as others took up the mantle.

It's not because I have a Muslim best friend, or because someone is my mother or my sister. It's not even because I'm a woman, a government employee, and someone with a chronic illness who depends on having health insurance.

It's not because my students are afraid of their president, afraid for their families, afraid because, as they said, "I feel like if I met him he would tell me to get out."

It is all of that, but it's not that.

It has to do with something that diabetes has taught me, actually. Which is that, when it comes down to it, there's just you and your body. Your brain. Your heart. Your own two feet. Your pancreas (or lack thereof).

And I can use my body to send a message. To people trapped in airports. To my contemporaries who would like to be speaking out but are rightfully afraid to draw attention to themselves. To women trapped in unwanted pregnancies. To people who walked so far and "broke the ocean in half to be here. Only to meet nothing that wants you."*

And with my own head, and heart, and body, I can tell these people. You are not alone. I am here. I have feet, I have a voice, and I will protect you.

*poem by the lovely and always topical Nayyirah Waheed


Saturday, January 28, 2017

That One Time my Diabetes Was Dangerous for Everyone Else

Why have I been gone from the interwebs world for the past 5 months, my pack of adoring fans might want to know? I'm not sure, actually.

But that's not what this post is about.

The time for self-reflection is coming, I'm sure. But for now, I'm writing about a topic less covered in the diabetes blogger universe. I'm writing about the dangers my diabetes can pose to those around me. And no, not children who are younger and dependent on me. No, I'm talking about FULL GROWN adults here.

A few weeks ago, I was home visiting my family for the holidays. I came home from seeing a movie with a friend (La La Land....discuss???) and was greeted by my family at the door with an accusation. "You're beeping!" they informed me. Confused, I did the standard mental checklist, squeezing each item in turn. CGM sensor? On my body. CGM receiver? In my pocket. Omnipod? On my body. PDM? In my purse. Phone? Also in my purse.

Slowly, warily, pretty sure I was incorrect, I informed everyone that...well, everything I owned that could possibly be beeping was well, with me, while I was gone. And that I hadn't heard any beeping while I was away. As I was talking, I heard the slow, single beep they were referencing. Coming from upstairs. Nowhere near me. Sounding totally unfamiliar.

Well, actually....not totally unfamiliar. I'd heard that beep before. That single, piercing note came from only a few devices....smoke alarms and CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS. Luckily for my family, it was only a warning beep to let them know that the detector had been unplugged. Otherwise my family would have GASSED THEMSELVES while sitting around and BLAMING ME for beeping instead of actually investigating the situation.

So I've broken my long hiatus to bring this safety message to the world: STAY VIGILANT! DO NOT BECOME NUMB TO THE BEEPING! It may save your life in a totally unexpected way one of these days. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Is Butter a Carb?

And now for an edition of "No such thing as stupid questions" with your favorite blogger (all 12 of you that is).

I have this expired glucagon. And I'm wondering....how expired is expired? Like....considering that one of these things costs $200-$300 and studies show that they are rarely deployed effectively even by trained caretakers...how expired is really expired?

Anyone have any advice?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Whole New World....

It's a new school year, folks.

A whole new year in a whole new school in a whole new grade (kindergarten).

Buckle up because something tells me there's gonna be some great kid quotes coming your way...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Pat on the Back

I saw my endo a few weeks ago when I got back from India. We chatted about the new school year, about my trip, about my A1C. I regaled her with gnarly tales of my 2 week long stomach flu episode and she said something really surprising to me.

She said, "Wow! The stomach flu and all that traveling...and your A1C stayed pretty consistent and you didn't go into DKA? Good job."

I was warned that diabetes would be like a part time job that no one every pays you for and that you never get a vacation from and that's honestly a pretty decent analysis. But I forgot that someone could still compliment me. Two little words and it brightened my whole week.

I'm used to interacting in a world where, while people are often impressed and/or interested and/or proud of me, they don't really understand what exactly it is that they are impressed with/interested in/proud of. Not in the way my doctor does.

I am doing a good job. I know because I'm still alive and (mostly) optimally functioning. But dang it feels good to hear someone say it. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mischief Managed ;)

It's rare that having diabetes is actually fun. It's mostly just, not bad, often it's frustrating, but I would rarely, okay never, actually consider it amusing.

But the shocked look on the Indian TSA agent's face when I shamelessly yanked up my skirt to show her the Dexcom sensor lodged there that set off her magical-wand-terrorist-threat-detector? Yeah that gave me a few giggles, I won't lie.

"Diabetes," I said, nodding gravely and proffering my doctor's note.

"Oh, diabetes," she said, her head bobbing from side to side in the distinctly Indian gesture of acknowledgement.

She gave me the tentative smile you give to a crazy person you wish to avoid on the sidewalk, asked no further questions, and ushered me through.

And I continued on my merry way, a smile on my cyborg face. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Live from just outside Bangalore India...

...It's your host, me! And when I say host, I really mean host. Because I have won (without any competition it's true) the definitive title of Diabetes Ambassador to Shanti Bhavan School (which, side note, is the *amazing* school I've been teaching at this summer and I highly recommend you check out their website and get involved with their mission). If I thought my students back home were curious, well, curious has a new meaning here, that's for sure.

It all started when the students caught sight of my OmniPod ticking away on my upper arm. Cries of "Miss, what is that?!" and "Miss, is it paining?!" followed me for the duration of my stay. Teachers, staff, students, everyone wanted to find out more information, share tips and tricks (eat chappati, not rice, for example), and generally just discuss diabetes with me pretty much all the time.

Result? I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, so I think posting on here might be light for a while...