I’m Not Ready

I’m eating apple pie. It’s not a wise choice, but it is the choice I have made tonight.  My choice is completely unrelated to the numbers that flash at me when I step on the scale. If anything, for the first time in my life, I think I need to add a few pounds.  Excuse me while I take a bite of my pie.

No one will find out about my pie. I won’t tell anyone that I snacked on pie at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.  It’s not a dirty little secret. It’s a life-threatening one. I’m eating apple pie on a Sunday evening despite the fact that my blood sugar levels have been fluctuating all day. Despite my dark intuition that my Type I diabetes is progressing.

My friends and family are concerned about me. Yet I’m still nibbling and picking away at this slice of pie on the dessert plate sitting next to me. So I feel like a hypocrite. I feel ashamed and angry because I’m lying to the people I love the most about my health and because I don’t want this fucking disease anymore. It’s not even fully here and I don’t want it.

Raise your hand if you thought, “well, clearly she’s eating the pie because she is angry and is having self-destructive tendencies.” Congratulations. You passed psychology 101. So did I. And that’s not why I’m eating pie.  I like apple pie. And I still can’t see the connection between a snack of pie and the effect it will have on my blood sugar.  I don’t want to see it. I don’t care that there is a connection because I hate this disease and I don’t want it. It sucks. And although I vacillate between accepting that it sucks and hating it because it sucks, I’m still going to eat some pie when I damn well feel like it.

Oh, but this isn’t new to me, these feelings. I’ve been addressing them in therapy for four years since my 2007 diagnosis. My kind and patient therapist listens to me rail and flail about how much I hate this disease and how angry I am at the bad luck that brought it to me and how I don’t want it (that last one delivered with a grouchy pout and hint of whine).

But it’s not going away. If anything, the time is approaching where it is getting bigger. It will start to loom large over all aspects of my life shortly.  So I eat pie. Which is dumb because I can’t do a damn thing to regulate my blood sugar now.  At the very least, once this disease breaks wide open I’ll have syringes full of insulin to bring things down when I snack on some pie. But for now, all I can do is watch the numbers rise and fall, fluctuate without explanation sometimes, and, at other times, be the clear result of the choices I make.

The pie has been eaten and I’ve finished a glass of milk. My stomach feels tight. There is a familiar pressure at the back of my throat. A headache is blooming, and I want to cry. I put my head down and run my hands over my head, I tangle my fingers in my hair. I feel the curve of my scalp, the silkiness of my hair, the familiar slip and tug of the waves that seem to linger in the layered, choppy ends of my simple bobbed cut. I can’t say I am disappointed in myself.  I’m not angry or ashamed. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m not ready to be diabetic. But I am.

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Tremendous Victory in Annapolis

At 1:00 today, SB 107 and SB 175 went before the judicial committee. We were the fifth bill(s) to be presented. I sat in the front row of chairs, directly behind the podium where individuals were giving testimony. In those moments of waiting, I frantically scratched notes, double-check sources and rehearsed my testimony. Sitting on my right was Trooper R- from the Maryland State Police. On my left was his Commander. And on his left was the head of Government Affairs for the MD State Police. They were there to support me and to testify that these bills will make it easier for them to do their jobs. Behind me and to my left sat Vector, quietly supporting me.

After Senators Raskin and Brochin introduced the bills, I was asked to testify. I had three minutes to deliver my story in bulleted points and sparse narrative. As I was speaking, I could hear reactions from the people on the committee in front of me, and the supporters sitting behind me. There were gasps, an, “oh!” and I’m pretty sure I heard a “my God!” It was heartening to hear empathy in the room.

The reactions from the committee were strong.  As more people came up to testify – lawyers, state’s attorneys, domestic violence representatives, the room’s atmosphere grew heavier with the awareness that online harassment and stalking is now a very serious crime and that the current legislation has failed many victims.

After all the testimony had been heard, and I left the proceedings room, I was approached by committee members, senators, other witnesses and spectators. I was called “courageous” “a warrior” and “brave.” I was thanked, hugged and I shook many a hand. I wish I could say I was aware of what was being said, but my vision was blurry, and my head felt like it was filed with cotton. I was dizzy from the impact of what I had just done.

In case I didn’t say it, I deeply thank everyone who was there to support these bills.

And to my friends, family, therapist, schoolmates, Trooper R-, Vector, J!, and Mom and Dad (who listened to the live stream of the proceedings!) I love you all dearly for walking this path with me.  Your presence, words, time, and unconditional love allowed me to carry myself with grace and dignity when I wanted to hide in shame.

Here is a link where you can listen to the judicial proceedings:

http://mlis.state.md.us/mgaweb/senatecmtaudio.aspx

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