Diabetes Zoetrope: All We Need is a Strobe Light.
At the Australian Centre for the Moving Arts, Chris and I saw this zoetrope thing crafted in the likeness of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (wiki info here). Fully lit and standing still, this exhibit looked like an overzealous layer cake, and didn't impress me too much.
But then the music starts. And the thing starts to spin, blurring the little figurines together. And then the strobe light switches on, and it becomes something I stood there and watched about fifteen times. So fluid, so seamless, so detailed without seeing any of the real details.
The work that went into creating this exhibit is tremendous, but you don't see all that effort when you watch it. It's hard not to marvel at the magic of how all those details become art.
Diabetes, to me, is exactly like this zoetrope. All of the details of diabetes management, mapped out with precision and painstakingly attended to? The blood sugar tests and the insulin boluses and the mental math we attempt in our heads whenever a plate of food is served? Thinking ahead to make sure we have insulin in the fridge when a bottle runs dry? Knowing that feeling of waking up with glucose tab dust on your pillow case? Planning and scheduling and worrying and panicking?
It's all a blur. And when the day starts spinning and life is moving forward, you don't see any of it. You don't see diabetes and all its details. Sure, you might spy an insulin pump clipped to someone's jeans, or you see evidence that there was another PWD in the wild when you spy their test strip on the floor of the public bathroom, but for the most part, you don't see diabetes when you see people living with it. You see them. You see their life.
The work that went into creating this exhibit is tremendous, but you don't see all that effort when you watch it. It's hard not to marvel at the magic of how all those details become life.