Remembering

BetesOnTap selfieDanielle, Alex, and Me Boston 2018

The healthcare advocacy world swiftly teaches you about vulnerability.  By virtue of showing up, you innately care.  You meet wonderful, kindhearted people- those friends you just know will go straight to heaven.  And sometimes they are gone too soon, and we feel that raw emotion of loss, here, on this earth.  We are suddenly more thankful that we paused for a moment during the fun to take a group selfie, to remember that day.

Alex and Kim, you are both on my mind and in my prayers a lot this week.  May we learn to be as graciously brave and good as you.

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Monthly Post

Is it obsessive-compulsive behavior to post here each month for the sake of writing somewhat regularly? Or is it simply hope? Perhaps this- once a source of joy, a shared mission, will feel that way again, somehow.

another month

by which to create

Representation

If you step in the logical flaw rabbit hole

of proclaiming to represent

ALL PEOPLE WITH DIABETES!!!!!,

then the least you can do is

own it.

 

Was your six-figure “non-profit executive” salary there

to represent Shane Patrick Boyle

when Go Fund Me fell fifty dollars short?

 

Have you ever seen a human being in DKA,

breathing labored, blood poisoned?

Would you look her in the eye

and still have the audacity to suggest,

“This could all be easier

if you just took the bus to Walmart,

bought cheap insulin there,

took a wild guess at a 3:52 am dose

of one of the most powerful Rx’s on earth.”

 

Her breathing is labored.

Her blood is poisoned.

There is no more room on this bus.

 

I’ve written long enough

to know that I, too,

have made mistakes.

The ‘disease warrior’ metaphors

The representation claims

Forgetting to check my privilege

at the coat rack

Running my mouth too loudly

to listen

 

How can we pretend to represent

all people with diabetes

when we have strong Wi-Fi connections

the acquired ability to read and write

the color of the skin we were born with

the restocked fridge,

while so many of our diabetes brothers and sisters

are dying slowly and painfully

without access to the prescribed air

we breathe?

 

Our stories are the only ones we can tell fully.

To say otherwise is to snuff out others’ lights

which have already borne enough pain.

 

There has to be a better way

to make room on this bus.

 

 

Feelings

“A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, ‘So does God. That’s why you can see the Grand Canyon from the moon.'”

-Andrea Gibson, “Jellyfish”

#TuesdayRain

There are -or at least there should be- a few main constants in life:

Church

School

Work

Therapy

And Weather

On many Tuesdays in 2017 and 2018, I awoke to a single umbrella emoji texted from one of my best friends from college, Krissy:

And so, #TuesdayRain officially became ‘a thing.’

Tuesdays are notoriously busy- often jam-packed with work meetings, extracurricular activities, medical appointments, sporting events, dating, and the like- for me and my fellow Millennial friends.  Eventually we noticed that during our hectic Tuesday pace, there was usually one predominant theme: rain.  And in the winter, there was snow, which is just cold rain after all.

In 2017, Krissy and I lamented that we had not tracked the Tuesday weather on paper.  The more we mentioned this phenomenon to others in our local area, the more heads nodded in confirmation of requiring raincoats on Tuesdays.  In 2018, we resolved to document the Tuesday precipitation events on a calendar.  Although analyzing the weather patterns of every day of the week would make for a more scientific inquiry, it surely would not be as fun.  There’s just something about solo Tuesdays.

 

“Beautiful outside, isn’t it?” the parking lot attendant quips as I pull my car into the safety of the dry garage.

“It rains almost every Tuesday!” I retort, sprinting towards the office doors.

 

“Fun fact: Did you know that it has rained for 11 out of the past 12 Tuesdays?” became the most creative introductory line on dating apps this fall season, in our humble opinions.

 

The rain is my loyal companion when commuting to and from Tuesday doctor’s appointments in Boston traffic.  No matter the health prognosis, life somehow goes on for the moment, as evidenced by the steady cadence of the droplets falling on the windshield.

“Look at that sky!” is how my doctor and I often begin our sessions.

 

In 2018, it precipitated on 29 Tuesdays in southern New England / Boston.  November 2018 is particularly notable, having rained every Tuesday that month.  For the record, the first day of 2019 was a Tuesday.  And of course it rained!  Our meticulous calendars reflect this data.

Yet, I also know this because my mind hones in on such dates and patterns, weaves the world together in this way.

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I spent the larger part of my “adulting” years, unfortunately, yelling at God.  “Why does my mind have to be stuck on that thought, that painful memory?!!” and so on.  I lost so much time engaging in these cycles while somehow managing to survive, and, even, to succeed, at various endeavors.  Now, I simply try to be cognizant of this concept and to move forward.

Despite the chaos, however, I have still experienced brief moments resembling peace, rare times when my mind was so fixated on the colorful pattern of the Oriental rug or the pitter-patter of the rain that I finally knew quiet in the midst of the loud.

#TuesdayRain has been that calming song, that unifying presence in the community, that dependable force no matter how turbulent the times.  Truly good friends, good doctors, and heck, even good parking lot attendants, are hard to come by.  How blessed are we to get to weather the storms in awe together.

 

 

*Calendar photo credits: Salve Regina University 2018 Calendar