Looking Back: The Sounds of Diabetes.
After a discussion on Facebook last night about old school glucose meters (and the lancing/torture devices that went along with them), I was reminded of this post from December 2007 about the sounds of diabetes. And since today is Chris's birthday (Happy birthday, Chris! Or, as your daughter says, "Happy happy day!"), I thought it would be a good day to spend away from the Internet.
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I was reading through the November issue of Men's Health at the gym a few weeks ago and came across an article written by Jeremy Katz, the father of a child recently diagnosed with diabetes. There were parts of this article that really resonated with me, but this sentence caught in my throat.
"The clink of the insulin bottles against my wedding ring was hauntingly familiar: I'd heard my father make the same sound a hundred times." - Jeremy Katz
I immediately thought back to my own childhood, with the sound of the bottle of NPH as she rolled it against her wedding rings. Every morning, she would wake up at 5 am to get ready for work, stopping by my bedroom to test my blood sugar. Even though I was still asleep, the sound of her approaching slippers made my finger automatically stick out from underneath the mountain of blankets. She would then roll the NPH to mix it up in preparation for my morning injection.
Clink ... clack ... clink ... clack.
The glass bottle rolling against her rings in the early hours of my school days. The stale and hollow beep of my old Accu-Chek meter after it had counted for 120 seconds in efforts to offer up a result. The scratchy sounds of the cellophane wrapper on my Nabs crackers, or the shunk of the straw easing into my Capri Sun. The hot fizzing of the urinalysis tablets as they cackled from their glass test tubes on the bathroom counter.
These are the sounds of my childhood with diabetes.
Now, after 21 years and easing ever-faster into a new phase of my own life, there are new sounds that define my diabetes life. The boop beep boop of my insulin pump as it boluses for lunch. The whirring of the pump as it primes itself. The quick thwap of the lancing device as I prick my fingertip. The chalky scrape of glucose tabs rustling against one another in the jar. The gentle click of the beads on my medic alert bracelet.
These sounds have replaced those of my childhood. I wonder what twenty years from now will bring.
Even though I now use Humalog insulin that doesn't need to be mixed, I'll roll the bottle against my rings and make myself feel like a child again.
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