Diabetic White Noise
The house was completely quiet this morning when I woke up. A sliver of sun cut through the bedroom shades and hit a patch on the floor that Fat Cat Abby was stretched out in. Siah was napping on the bed, tucked neatly against Chris as he slept. No noise from outside. I reached for my testing kit, which was sitting on the bedside table and the zzz-iiiip of the case broke the silence.
There’s a steady hum of diabetic white noise in my life at all times.
Even if I don’t notice as much anymore, there are signs of diabetes everywhere in my house. My black zipper kit sits on the bedside table. Cake gel is tucked in to the little drawer of the table, laying flat against the bottle of blood pressure medication I take every night.
The master bedroom closet houses all of my clothes and shoes. I am a complete clothes horse (another phrase that makes about as much sense as eating a horse) and there is barely enough room for my summer wardrobe, nevermind every item I own. But there is also a large, white cabinet tucked within its doors, which holds all my back-up pump supplies, lancets, bottles of test strips, and some spare pump clips.
Bathroom cabinet? Moisturizer, eye makeup remover, toothpaste, a bottle of Clean Provence perfume, and the Quickserter for my infusion sets. Cake gel is in there, too, just in case.
Refrigerator? Aside from the stock of produce and milk, thirteen vials of insulin stand at ready attention in a compartment in the door, alongside my stock of Humalog “just-in-case” insulin pens. And the juice. Always juice.
Dead test strips: on the floor right by the bedside table, under the couch cushion in the living room, a shoe in my closet, one was on the bottom shelf of the fridge this morning, and scattered around the garbage can in the kitchen. (It’s like they rebel against being thrown away. I make the effort to toss them and they still don’t make it in.)
Even on my own body: You wouldn’t know by looking at me that I was diabetic, but the spotty scars on my fingertips and the dots (and tan lines) of past infusion sets on my thighs tell a silent story. My purse is never without my kit, some juice, and some kind of carbohydrate source. My boyfriend checks my forehead for beads of sweat every time he wakes up in the middle of the night.
All these little signs. Tucked away into compartments and drawers but at every turn and in every room. I noticed them all this morning. Every last one.
Always there, humming away like white noise in the background, like the air conditioner at your office or the fan in your computer. You barely notice when it’s on, but imagine, just for a minute, how much you’d notice if it starting spinning out of control. Or if it hiccupped and stalled.
Or if it just stopped. Creating silence, like my house this morning.
… and the silence is broken by the sound of Ms. Siah, who found a ping-pong ball underneath the couch and is chasing it frantically across the kitchen floor. I just picked a test strip out of my computer keyboard.
So begins another day.