This video is older, by Internet standards, but I remember first seeing it and laughing out loud. “Laura … I called for you, I said ‘Laura!'” (And for the love of God there’s a Wiki entry for it. The Internet is forever an amalgam of chaos and delight.)
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been running through my older posts and migrating some content from previous iterations of SUM, and at first (second … third …) blush, it seems like diabetes is THE THING that dominates my communication threads. Writing about it, videos, speaking about it … my engagement with my pancreas seems like a focal point, and sometimes an over-involved one. Like I don’t have the ability to see beyond the ‘betes. Man-cold diabetes style, you know?
But in “real life,” offline and out of the space of this website and my diabetes advocacy efforts, diabetes is not that much of a THING. It’s like a lowercase thing. Diabetes is not a big discussion point unless I’m low around my friends or family, and even those are minimally intrusive.
While this blog makes my diabetes look big, it’s actually pretty small in the grand scheme of my existence.
It’s the subtleties of my support network that help to keep diabetes as the awkward pot on the back burner. It’s my mother who checks in when my husband is traveling to make sure I’m doing fine. It’s my neighbors, who keep a stash of juice boxes in their house (in addition to a bottle of Riesling, because they’re awesome on all sides). My best friend, who hears me out on the things that freak me out while celebrating the small victories, diabetes or otherwise. My husband, who is on board for this and more and has been the champion for my health that I sometimes forget to be for myself.
And it’s my kids, who don’t know me without this disease so for them, this is simply how mommy rolls. Or beeps.
And it’s you guys, too. Being able to come to this space, and spaces like it, to let some of the diabetes stress come to the surface and boil off positively influences my mental and emotional health in ways I’m still struggling to articulate. With three weeks left to SUM, I’ve been wondering where I’ll bring those concerns, and what it will be like to somewhat close off part of my support network. Does writing daily pick the scab off of diabetes, or is it a bandaid? The answer is obviously very personal, and I think my answer has changed since I was 25 years old. It’ll probably change again when I’m 60.
Small things keep diabetes whittled. But it’s really, really odd to live with a disease that requires, for me, thought and planning and work and attention and yet strangely invisible to anyone on the outside.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been working on two ideas that excite me as a writer, and neither of them are related to diabetes. I have a document I’ve started, and thinking about it makes parts of my brain go off like fireworks. There are notes in my phone with ideas that have nothing to do with my disease.
(“Islet you work on something different,” said my pancreas.)
This post is a long rambling one, but I’ve sort of missed that, too. I’ve felt, for a few years now, that long-form blogging is starting to phase out, replaced by more frequently updated, often live, bursts of content. And while I like seeing that stuff, that’s not how I share most comfortably. I like a lot of words. I like shuffling them around and finding new ways to attach them to one another. It’s like chicka chicka boom boom up in my head at all times.
How does this post end? No idea. Ooh, it just did.