Carey Potash is one of my favorite writers. Period. Not one of my favorite bloggers or one of my favorite diabetes-centric scribes, but just plain one of my favorite writers. His writing makes me think. He makes me laugh. (And he makes me cry while I’m laughing, but I don’t realize it until my cheeks are wet.) Carey has agreed to write a guest post for me today while I’m traveling, and I’m absolutely honored to have him.
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Several years ago I stumbled upon a blog post that flat-out knocked me on my ass. It was a riveting and terrifying account of a young woman experiencing severe hypoglycemia while at the movie theater.
I was immediately pulled in emotionally. I couldn’t help but view this as a future window into my son’s life – when he’s in his 20s and I’m not there to protect him when he’s in trouble.
Her vivid and eloquent writing thrust me into the scene as it played out like a diabetes thriller. I was a wreck. I found myself screaming at my computer screen – at the girl working the concession stand – while biting off half of my thumbnail. “For God’s sake, give her the damn juice! She needs juice!”
The writer’s name escapes me now, but whoever she was, she was a huge influence on me as a blogger. I think her name was Linda something.
Just kidding, Kerri. The blog was Six Until Me and I became an immediate fan. It was right about then that I decided that I too wanted to write about diabetes and share my story as a father of a child with this disease. It’s an honor to be a guest blogger today at Six Until Me.
This one goes out to all the ladies.
The fourth-grade ladies.
Hey, I know you’re a little young to be thinking of marriage, but …
Look at this face. Come on. Is this not marriage material?
Listen, I know you always thought you would one day marry Timmy Clifford. Timmy Clifford is a fine choice. I’ll give you that. But let’s not be hasty. Let’s not let his supernatural kick ball skills cloud your judgment. Have you seen some of the lunch trades he makes? Oreos for Fig Newtons? Fritos for cough drops? Are you kidding me? He is a failed stock options trader in the making. You’ll both be living out of a Walmart shopping cart by the time you’re 29.
If you’re thinking that Charlie would be perfect if not for diabetes, don’t. If you’re thinking that diabetes is contagious, don’t do that either. It’s false. There is so much more to Charlie than diabetes. Everyone is a bit broken in one way or another. So, Charlie’s broken thing is a sticky organ the size of a woman’s sandal. There are worse things. Charlie is strong like bull. He’s smart and he’s determined and he’s got a good heart. He can do anything. And he’d never, EVER, in a million years trade away Oreos. Choose Charlie! Act now and we’ll even send you this incredible onion peeler free.
OK, sure, he has some flaws.
He counts down NASA-style before launching every fart. Even worse, he gives the pre-emptive “Uh Oh!” just seconds before each blast. Your fear that he might still do this when meeting your parents and your two sisters for the first time at a fancy restaurant in Manhattan are legitimate. I’ll grant you that. I can’t guarantee that he won’t. I really can’t. Hopefully he’ll outgrow that.
Diabetes, he won’t outgrow. I hope you’ll know that and not give a crap. I hope you are blinded by love.
Know this. We’ve had Charlie enrolled in intense diabetes management training for more than seven years now. At 9 years old, he’s already quite adept at counting carbs, testing blood sugar and removing infusion sites. By the time you are married, we will have molded Charlie into a highly advanced, technologically savvy diabetes machine. Hmm, that probably doesn’t help my case. Scratch that. We will have turned Charlie into a nice boy with good morals, high career expectations and the tools to manage his diabetes responsibly.
Think of the pros of marrying a person with diabetes. You like going to Disney World but can’t stand those long lines? Well, when you’re with Charlie you’re with a VID (very important diabetic). No lines for you. Red carpet, paparazzi, complimentary Botox … it’s all quite lavish. Caviar wishes and champagne dreams.
Don’t know the time? Charlie is a human clock.
Need protection from British rioters? Charlie is always armed with sharp foreign objects.
Ran out of cake gel for that birthday cake you promised to make but the supermarket is closed? Check Charlie’s diabetes bag.
Late for work? Pulled over for speeding? Defaulted on student loans? Tell ‘em your hubby had a low blood sugar. Works like a charm.
Oh, and speaking of cake, don’t listen to what Timmy Clifford says. Charlie WILL be able to eat his own wedding cake. Feel free to shove that wedding cake into Charlie’s gullet and smoosh it all over his face. Just remind him to give himself insulin for the cake if he gets caught up electric sliding all over the place. Just be there for him in times of need. Just like he will be there for you. The way all married couples should be, disease or no disease.
Or maybe you’ll never know a thing about life with diabetes. You’ll never become the worried wife of a diabetic. You’ll just grow old together.
You will be on one of your evening walks with Charlie, your liver-spotted hands clenching his. He’ll tell you again about how he had diabetes when he was a child. You’ll remind him that it didn’t stop him from being a star baseball and hockey player and a world renowned architect. He’ll squeeze your hand and nod. He’ll recall the incredible party his parents threw for him when he was cured at age 22.
And you’ll smile, having heard the story many, many times before.
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Carey, if Charlie doesn’t mind a younger bird, I know just the girl. She’s never liked that Clifford kid, anyway.