Very Light, No Sugar celebrated its sixth anniversary this September. Every year I am humbled to remember that this website has been read by people in more than 100 countries worldwide. Other aspects of life have taken up more of my time and energy in recent years, and I have certainly reduced my blogging frequency. I am slowly learning to accept that perhaps this is just how the tide rolls sometimes, yet I still cannot quite let this blog go completely.
I’ll be honest: I feel a bit out of the loop in terms of DOC stuff lately. Snippets on Twitter allude to the latest in DOC news or passionate talking points, and I sense the gist of the backstory but do not quite know it all more often than not. Again, that is okay. Now is others’ time to shine and my time to listen. But it is not an excuse to be complacent on my part when there are inequities in diabetes, and healthcare at large. We can definitely do better, and although I may not be as vocal as I once was, I am still rooting for the good eggs and a better world for all people with diabetes.
Thank you to those in our community who have become friends over the years, those who have been along for the full ride- the ups and downs of life akin to a wild Friday night Dexcom graph, and to those who care about improving our quality of life throughout it all. Here’s to many more years together.
If it is too much to wear a mask
for thirty-four seconds
in the peppers and carrots aisle,
Imagine what it feels like
to stab your abdomen
with a gigantic Dexcom CGM needle
every week or so,
Taping a foreign device on your body
through showers and swimming pools,
on your wedding day
donning a mask again at happy hour
To be privileged by virtue of the pain
we don’t discuss
The incessant buzzing in your ear
that something is almost always ‘wrong’
What if we were just kind enough
to care about it all
about each other
I’ve done my fair share of tweeting (eh, venting) recently. The constant struggle of survival with chronic illness is a challenge only truly appreciated by those who live it, day in and day out, for decades. We never get time off, and our feelings and exhaustion are valid. Add a pandemic to that, and the Covid reverberations amplify this specific pain. But, it’s not all about me.
As for here, on this blog, right now, I am all about listening. I can never write a blog post that says I truly know how it feels. I acknowledge that privilege, often dictated by zip code at birth, has affected my life and its opportunities. Although I empathize with their struggles, I would not purport to know exactly what others go through, as influenced by lenses of psychology, disease, war, socioeconomics, race, lived experience, and so much more. Frankly, we only know our own stories best, and it is a disservice to others when we claim, via logical fallacy, to represent everyone. The current headlines are an example of why.
I simply want to write a note here saying that I am listening, and I hear you. In the niche example of the diabetes world, the ripple effects of Covid-19, racism, and healthcare, combined, are a costly threat. Our society snuffs out its promising people by these intertwined inequities by design. The voices of those affected the most should guide our way as our world demands change now.
I find us at the conclusion of yet another month, and perhaps my hopes to get back into blogging more frequently have lapsed or feel too self-centered, as evidenced by this last minute post for April. The hectic pace of work, life, healthcare appointments, advocacy, and, a pandemic!!!, have certainly taken up my time lately. But I do miss this space, and connecting with you regularly. I hope that you are staying well during all of the chaos in the world right now.
My main superficial, positive takeaways from self-imposed quarantine:
- There are never enough books to read! But reading voraciously again is a nice perk.
- The show, Power, on Starz is totally binge-worthy.
- Reconnecting with friends and family via phone calls or emails
- Long, quiet walks
- I understand the need for telehealth, but it is just not my thing. I can’t wait to get back to in-person care once it is safe to do so.
- Iced coffee at the drive-thru was a bigger part of my life than I realized!
- Too much pressure to Zoom!
To be continued in the future, as health/safety/time permit:
- Much-needed vacation with friends this summer / fall
- Perhaps more blog appearances
- Coffee dates!
How about you? Stay well!
A few photos of peace from earlier this year:
Free valet for all dysfunctional pancreases
Diabetes supplies for the win
What would you be doing right now /
if you were not already doing something else /
to survive the costs of healthcare?
Tuesday precipitation brought us all together again in 2019, with folks from Twitter, healthcare, work, and beyond taking notice of the water droplets on their windshields or their Tuesday raincoat necessities. #TuesdayRain is here to stay, it seems. The first two Tuesdays of 2020 have followed the precedent thus far.
2018 provided lofty goals, ending the year with 29 Tuesday precipitation events involving rain and snow. Admittedly, I had my doubts that we could surpass those numbers in our 2019 southern New England / Boston Tuesday-rain-tracking calendar, particularly given that March 2019 was a “dry Tuesday” month. However, an end of the year Tuesday precipitation rally yielded big results; we concluded 2019 with 31 total Tuesday precipitation events! In our geographical region’s recent history, it is more likely than not to precipitate on Tuesdays.
As we collect more Tuesday data, it has been interesting to compare the calendars from different years. Often, similar trends appear in the respective months. For example, May 2018 and 2019 both experienced 3 Tuesday precipitation events, while October 2018 and 2019 each logged 4 Tuesday rain storms. Often, the precipitation events occur around the same dates in these successive years.
At the risk of sounding corny, I have enjoyed the simplicity of shared human connection through #TuesdayRain endeavors. A single umbrella or snowflake emoji, a coworker pointing at the window in awe of the weather, a trend that my friend, Krissy, and I will always be happy that we discovered together- all of that brings joy to the weekly routine of life. Thirty-one precipitation events will be a tough bar to raise in 2020, but here’s to many more.
*November Calendar photo credit: “Sunrises & Sunsets 2019 12 Month Calendar” imported by Greenbrier International, Inc.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2020 from VLNS and friends! Wishing you peace for the holidays and in the upcoming year.