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Unbreak my panc. (another parody)

(in homeage to the Toni Braxton’s Un-break My Heart, and if Melissa Lee would just let loose with her version of this, that would be awesome.)

Un-Break My Panc

You left me when I was small
Didn’t make insulin at all
Come back and bring back my islets
Come and take these syringes away.
I need panc to work beta now
The nights are so unkind
Bring back those nights when I slept all the way through

Unbreak my panc!
Please make insulin again.
Undo this hurt you caused
When you stopped that big job
And walked out of my life
Undo diabeeeeetes.
(I cried a couple nights.)
Unbreak my panc.
My panc.

Take back that sad word “disease”
And make insulin, would you please?
Don’t leave me here with these fears
Come and bolus like you used to
I can’t recall when you left
Life has still been kind
But panc is so cruel without insulin inside me

Unbreak my panc!
Make insulin again.
Undo this pain in the ass
That you brought to my world
When you took that long nap
I promise you thiiiiiis
I’ll stop all of this whiiiiine
Unbreak my panc.
My panc.

Unbreak my panc.
Oh baby.
Come back and say you’ll bolus.
Unbreak my panc.
Without you I will still go oooon … ooooooon!
I’ll still go on.

Look to the Edges.

I saw this thread on Twitter last night from Dr. Jake Kushner, Chief of Pediatric Diabetes & Endo, BCM/Texas Children’s Hospital in response to a person with type 1 diabetes living without health insurance. Here is her account of what that experience is like.

You can throw whatever stones you’d like about people needing to pull themselves up by the boot straps or whatever you want to use to explain their perceived inability to fix their dire situation, but I read her words and they were overwhelming. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of seven and right away, I was on my parents’ insurance policy and they fought the access battles for me. I stayed on their insurance through college and started my “real job” two days after I graduated, on my own insurance policy and finally understanding what it was like to ensure I was insured. Now, I have the support of my family and access to insurance coverage that, for the time being, covers what I need and also a fair amount of what I want.

I am lucky. I know this. I appreciate this more now, in these strange political times, than I ever have before.

Dr. Kushner mentioned “the edges” of the diabetes community, where people are crowdsourcing funding for their insulin or forgoing other bills in order to afford their supplies. Where people are struggling. Where people are dying. These stories aren’t often heard. But they need to be. Reading Ana’s story didn’t open my eyes to the fact that these stories exist, but more than they need to be told and amplified and heard.

They need to be heard.

“We need to look to the edges of our T1D community, away from the center. Who is having trouble? Who struggles to get care? How can we help?”

If you feel as though you are on “the edges” that Dr. Kushner mentioned, and you have a story about diabetes, access, and what real life is like with this disease that needs to be heard, please share it. If you’d like to share it here, please email me. I would really, really like to share this platform for stories that make a difference, and those stories are so much bigger than mine alone. Our collective is powerful.

But whatever you do, please don’t stay quiet. We need to hear your stories.

Every single person with diabetes counts.

This kid is nine months old.

Oh my nine month old tiny person,

You talk.  Or at least you want to talk.  All the time.  ALL.  THE.  TIIIIIME.

“Cahhhhh….t,” you whisper whenever the cats walk by, as you reach your hand out in an attempt to grab a puffy tail.  “Caahh….t.”  The T joins the rest of the word as an after thought, like you’re mumbling an incantation that you have trouble remembering.

“Dadadadadada …” this is your favorite word and you say it in a jumbled rumble.  We know you mean business when you pare it down to simply, “Dad.”  It sounds official without the “adadadada” suffix.  Dad.  Can I have a cell phone, Dad?  I don’t want to go to baseball practice, Dad.  Stop with all the dad jokes, DAD.

“Bob!  Bob!  Bob!!” is another word that you like to yell … often.  We don’t have a Bob in our family, so we’re assuming “bob” might be a bottle, only we’re having trouble correlating those two things.  Unless there’s a secret Robert trolling around the place, in which case you’re the only one who can see him.

“Mamamamamamamamamaaaaaaaa.”  How I love to hear that word, even if it’s hollered through the baby monitor at 4 in the morning.  “Mama!!”  You know it’s me. You don’t say it often but when you do say it, I melt and am ready to buy you any color pony you want.

This morning, I attempted to gently wipe away the booger mustache that had emerged and hardened onto your face overnight (ew), I realized you’ve been part of our family long enough that I have very little memory of “before.”  I’ve always been your mom. I’ve always been discouraging you from peeling off my Dexcom sensor.  (“No, don’t pick mommy’s sensor,” I admonish and you expertly side-eye me, knowing I picked your nose only moments earlier.)  You’ve always been my boy.  We’ve always been a team.

You are a handful.  No joke.  You want to climb me like I’m a tree and you’re the monkey scuttling to the top.  (Only you are a particularly deft monkey and you manage to stick your toe right on the bit of my c-section scar that is regaining feeling and it totally feels super weird.)  You wiggle and giggle all the time.  Unlike your sister, you are discerning with your smile.  You don’t let loose with it constantly, but instead it has to be earned.  Once we earn it, the whole room lights up in response to your still-toothless grin.

At the suggestion of our pediatrician, you’ve tried all the “allergy foods” and so far, so good. Peanut butter and banana is a mash up you LIVE for, and homemade apple sauce goes with everything (including broccoli … sorry for the weird and future-blech food pairings, kiddo).  We’re keeping you off gluten until you’re 15 months old (like we did with Birdzone), but the Happy Baby gluten-free puffs and gf bread we bake here at home fills you just fine.  Despite being tooth-free, you gum the hell out of everything we serve you, and being the messiest eater I’ve ever encountered, you have a lot of baths, too.

You’ve discovered pump tubing (SO FUN!) and glucose tab jars (BEST RATTLE!) and when my insulin cartridge is low, the beeping sound has woken you up accidentally more than once (DAMN IT!), but my diabetes is secondary to your cute self.

Little Guy, you are a joy.  A bit small for your age, you make up for your size with a personality that is gigantic.  We’re grateful for you, and all the chaos and happiness that comes with you.


Help! (a rotten parody)

swedish fish(to the tune of the Beatles Help!)

Help! I need some sugar
Help! I’ll take any sugar.
Help! You know I need a snack

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I made my insulin and that was that each day
But now these days are gone and my islets are uncured
Now I find I need a snack, Swedish fish are much preferred

Help me if you can, I’m feeling strange
And I think my blood glucose is out of range
Help me get my numbers un-deranged
Won’t you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence didn’t vanish, I’m just dazed.
Every now and then I just feel a little low
I know that those Swedish fish can help me up and go.

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now I need a hand, it happens now and then.
And I’m grateful for community that steps up again and again.

Thanks for all your help, I’m feeling fine
It just took a few minutes, but I’m aligned.
Thanks for understanding while I whined
Thanks for help, helping me.

Your moop or mine?

The first flight out was jumbly, with the plane riding into some kind of air pocket right after takeoff, eliciting audible screams from some of us.  (No, not from me.  Turns out that, if things get scary, I resort to frantically saying the F word under my breath whilst clutching the arm rest.)  Once the plane hit some smooth air, everyone breathed a little easier and tried to mellow out.

In the silence of folks calming down, I heard that low, moop sound that the Dexcom G5 app makes when it is ready to be calibrated, like the sonar ping from a submarine.  It’s subtle but unmistakable.


My sensor was fine when I boarded the plane.  I pulled out my phone anyway, just to make sure my CGM wasn’t crying for attention.  Huh.  Not me.  Sliding the phone back into my purse, my peripheral vision caught the movements of the woman next to me, who had her phone in hand and I could see the little pigeon head I knew by heart.

“Type 1?”

She grinned.  “Yeah.”

“Me, too.  Since I was seven.”

“I was 13.”

“I thought it was my CGM that needed to be calibrated,” I said, gesturing towards my phone.  “But it was you this time.”

It’s the thread that runs through all of us, that instant and unfettered understanding of the thing that simmers on the back burner some days and threatens to burn the house down on others.  I know that feeling. So did the woman next to me.

Instantly, she became familiar. I didn’t know her name or where she lived or what kind of history she brought on board with her, but there was an instant connection of, “Yeah, me too. I know that thing you have. I also moop.  And beep. And check. And worry. And celebrate. And dose. And fight. And laugh. And keep perspective. And move on.”


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