Saturday, January 06, 2007

Junior's Got Sugar

OK, I have been unashamed to write about black things, cultural things, New Orleans things, book things, bisexual things, gay things, "the children" voguing uptown, my wine loving lesbian friends, sperm thieves (well, that has yet to be written about), Nashville hell, Germany, ex-loves, true loves, faux loves, a one night stand, Brazilian women and snapshots from a New York present that still needs a bit more focusing. What I have not written about has been my diabetes in great detail.

The reason I am coming out as a diabetic, though you have all known this for sometime (just like most queers creeping from behind the coat hangers), is because of the guilt I have concerning my eating habits at points. I have not always the best choices, and sometimes it is because I don't want to be excluded from the places and people I enjoy. Plus, I can't stand being under gastronomical surveillance. I abhor it when people start inspecting my food without knowing what an insulin pump is, the difference between bolus and basel doses, or that if I faint you should not look for my needle. That will more than likely kill me. I NEED SUGAR! But I think you should know about my illness in a more formalized manner, and I think you should understand that a spoonful of cake is different than a whole slice, just as a bagel is far deadlier than half a Twix candy bar. And that, my friends, is the motto of my life.

I must make a detour today. I was about to write about my daily rides when I was 14 to the projects with a childhood friend named Andre. That piece I wanted to construct in a proper manner because part of my New Year's resolution is to construct better pieces over longer periods of time, rather than constantly running to the computer with frothy tid-bits of disconnected parts of my compartmentalized life. I am looking for something else in this writing project. But yesterday I received my first diabetic reader (that I know of) and I have been introduced to a whole list of people brandishing glucometers and trying to deal with the same disease I have. So, it is nice to feel a sense of community beyond my doctor's waiting room where I see a whole bunch of supportive families and solitary professionals. Some families in my waiting room experiences are so overly supportive that you can see the actual diabetic patient retreating into some smiling silence, on the other side, 10 years ago many were running into offices with a incomplete charts, desperately trying to fill in little squares with numbers for the epicurean miss deeds that the nurse practitioner will demand in your confession.

I remember one nurse at the Joslin Center telling me that the psychology of diabetics is very interesting. It dawned on me then that my very character was changing. No one told me that when it first happened, and no one has explained it to me since. Nor did I know the importance of living with someone when diabetic, just in case your blood sugar goes so low you can't get up. Great, another reason to get married, or maybe to pass a gay marriage bill!

So today I am coming out of the closet. I am a Type One Insulin Dependent Diabetic. Only ten percent of all diabetics are Type One. I am not like your Type Two grandmother. If I go jogging and watch what I eat the disease will not go away. If I go jogging and watch what I eat, I will still have to put a needle in my stomach, my ass, my arm or my leg at some time of the day. There will never be a point when I am not going to have to do the work that my pancreas should be doing. He gone. But if I exercise, watch my weight and eat correctly I will have a better quality of life and reduce my risk factors for complications -- a public relations sort of double speak by the medical community to make the realities of kidney failure, blindness and my feet getting chopped off more palatable for discussion. Don't call me cynical, just trust.

So on that note, today is January 6th. The first day of carnival in New Orleans. It is the Feast of the Epiphany when the kings arrive to the manger and present gifts to the King of Kings. So, I am going to make a King Cake for my father. And, I will have a whole slice today.

Thanks Kerri.

I like your blog Scott.


J.P. said...

You're not alone; I'm also a type 1 diabetic. It's funny because during my heavy party days I always said it was my fear of needles that was my saving grace. Now I inject myself with a 70/30 mix twice a day. Good times...and isn't the Feast of the Epiphany great? I mean, those guys were so wise they did their shopping after Christmas!

Littlemilk said...

See. First, Anniston, Al. Now diabetes. I knew we had a greater connection on some deeper plane. We talk mixes later.

Gotta go buy those ingredients . . . and yeah, those Feast of the Epiphany folk really do get a good deal.

Mr. Brian said...

My grandmother had adult onset diabetes, and had lots of complications, including blindness because she refused to take care of herself properly.

I'm glad to see you are resolving to take that step.

Be proud. :)

Lyrehca said...

Nice coming out on the type 1 and welcome to the tribe of bloggers writing about diabetes.

Littlemilk said...

Thanks guys. Very nice to see you reading my blog and knowing that you are around.

art-sweet said...

Hey - another gay diabetic reporting for duty here...