Friday, April 10, 2015


It started around this time last year.

I think the first thing I noticed was at my friend's bridal shower, the dress I'd bought just a few weeks earlier was already a bit looser on me. I'd been snacking more lately, too, finishing kid's lunches at work and clearing out the cabinet of our emergency snacks.

I went through phases like this, I assured myself. It was probably PMS. At least you're losing weight I thought smugly, when I bothered to think about it at all.

As I applied for new jobs, of course my mouth was dry. I was nervous, after all.

I'd always been a thirsty person. I often had to pee during the night. No big deal that now it was every night, sometimes twice a night.

There was more to come, of course. Now, it's become a fond joke in our household--the rattling of antacids in my purse that signaled my approach; my absolute trudging and utter exhaustion on simple 5 mile-hikes; the times I fell so deeply asleep on the train that I missed my stop; my secret fro-yo and Slurpee runs; the abandoned workout routine; the perpetually sunburned face; the days I spent in bed, binge-watching TV and playing Bejeweled.

I remember all these things clearly, of course, and more. I was slipping into diabetes for four long months, but I don't need to provide a WebMD litany of symptoms here.

What I remember most, though, was feeling completely and utterly empty. Resigned. Too exhausted to care about anything I'd ever cared about before. Everything was a burden and, what's worse, is that I assumed that it would just be that way forever. I guess this is what getting old is like. I guess I just don't like anything anymore. 

I read a kook doctor's book about diabetes, and he said that it's called diabetes mellitus because, while untreated, your body is literally melting into sugar. I'm not sure what I was melting into but it mostly looked like a desiccated, bony mess, curled up on the bed, sleeping 15 hours a day.

I don't have a pithy ending for this post...I feel a million ways at once when I think about how far I've come in the past 12 months. Grateful to be alive again, to be totally wrong about everything, relieved that aside from my pancreas, I am still me. Tired, when I think about all the time and stress and brain fog and body pricking I have endured and will endure. Sad, when I think about my students' last months with me and how lackluster I was. Ashamed, because there is no truly blase way to check your blood sugar in public. And of course, the ever-lingering sense of what-the-f*ckness...the utter confusion of going from completely, 100%, top-of-my-game healthy to someone who is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act? There's definitely a lot to think about these days.

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