July 4, 2005

Firsts and repeats

Last week Charlotte and I attended a fancy-shmancy awards banquet at a conference related to my job. Here was an interesting pumping challenge: I needed a formal outfit, but I couldn’t hide the pump under a dress because the dinner was a business function with numerous courses & I wouldn’t be able to politely excuse myself every time I needed to bolus. Nor could I safely estimate the carbs ahead of time because I didn’t have the menu up front. (If I were very organized, I could have gotten it, but I am not.) I’m also not so good at counting carbs while I’m eating them. I need to see the food, count, bolus, and then eat exactly what I've counted if I’m to estimate well.

I ended up trying on most of my wardrobe hours before my flight to the conference. Finally I sorted it out: fancy skirt, Charlotte at hip on waistband of same, fancy blouse hanging down over Charlotte. Which is pretty much what I wear every day of my life, just a more formal version. Go figure.

Anyhow, Charlotte and I happily meandered through the meal. I pushed buttons as needed, chatted with the guests, and so on. Feeling especially free, I even ate dessert, which I seldom do. After the dinner, during a mingly period, I went to talk with the guests who were seated too far away for conversation during the meal. One lady was quite friendly. She wondered many things about me: where was I from, where had I gone to school, how had I come to work for my company, what was the meaning of the medical ID bracelet on my wrist?

Ooh, interesting segueway. In my 8 months of wearing the bracelet, this was the first time anyone who didn’t already know I’m diabetic has noted (at least verbally) that it’s a medical ID. It’s a rather pretty one and relatively subtle as these things go: Minnie

“I have diabetes,” I explained.

“And when did you go on the pump?” my new friend inquired.

Touché. Another first: Charlotte called out in public by someone who is Not Violet.

See, I’m still a child at all this, really. I’m not the bold, brilliant, beautiful K at the beach with Charlene. And you guys with the type 1 kids have been around this block many times already, only you’re coaching kids of 4, 6, 9 on how to answer much less politely phrased questions than this one. I'm still just a neophyte.

I guess what I’m saying here is that I needed my mom.

Mom was not, alas, in the vicinity. So I answered the question, briefly noted my happiness with Charlotte, and waited to see what would happen next.

As I waited I observed to myself: how strange this feels, to have been dining gracefully (I thought) with my pump while this woman across the table was observing me the entire time. How strange to be discussing my medical status with an important guest in a business setting. How strange to have seemingly no control over any of these things. How very diabetes-ish life can be, since I got diabetes.

The woman went on to explain that her son, age 24, has had type 1 since he was 4. (Ohh.) And hasn’t been to the doctor for 3 years (ohhh), though he seems fine, but she worries about him, naturally, it's been 20 years with DM and of course he knows he ought to go to the doctor but still he seems to be doing fine…


It wasn’t about me at all. Not at all. It was just another one of us, needing to tell a story. That, my friends, I know plenty about.

July 1, 2005


I am not (never have been), but the MRI was. Phew. Thanks for the support, guys. I still have the pricklies, not quite as often, so perhaps the B12 injections are helping. I need to follow up more aggressively. As much as I like Dr. Keeper, her approach to this situation is very "wait and see," which is not to my liking. Consider, for example: if I'm having nerve problems due to B12 malabsorption (unproven), might I not also be malabsorbing other nutrients? I might, depending on the cause of the B12 problem (if there is one). But Dr. Keeper is not checking for this. She's just waiting to see if I get better, which could take "a few months." I'll have to go back in and ask her for more tests if I want to find out if I'm low on any other essential-to-life entities.

Meanwhile, change abounds in Pumplandia. My company is transferring me (at my instigation) to New York.

New York!

Home of Bionic Bagels. Home of Spamalot. Home of very tall bulidings with intriguing shapes.

Oh, yeah--also the home of Mr. Brooklyn and his remarkable children.

More to come...