T Minus Two Type Two Diabetes and Other Passions


Diabetes Limericks

This post, originally published on September 23, 2010, is my response for today's prompt for Diabetes Blog Week

I wrote the below as relief from having written several rather earnest posts. I hope none of the below crosses the line from funny to offensive for you, and hope that you'll forgive me if they do.

My doctor had offered me kudos
On maintaining an excellent glucose
But I blew it away
On the way home that day
That sweet shop was entirely too close!

A 'betic in old Narragansett
Who hated to swap out her lancet,
Said, "I know that it's strange,
But it's annoying to change,
So I guess that I'll just have to chance it!"

My pharmacist showed an example
Of a test strip that took a small sample
"You don't need a quart,
I'm pleased to report,
A teensy bit ought to be ample!"


Makeover: Not a Post About Clothing or Hair

An allegory. Or a metaphor. Or a random neural firing. Or something.

Once upon a time there was a man who’d never paid much attention to how he dressed. He tried wear clothing appropriate to the situation, but mostly wanted things that were comfortable and easy to care for.

Then, a friend talked him into making some changes. The friend took him to a store where he replaced his business clothes with things that fit well, were made of quality materials, were fashionably cut and colored, and made him look like he earned a bit more than he currently did. Then, the friend took him to a different store for “having fun” clothes that were bright and pleasingly eye-catching.  Finally, the friend took him to a salon where he was taught to style his hair in a way that was very attractive but much different than he’d ever worn before.

Back alone at home, the man examined his new look in the mirror. The changes, he knew, were just beginning. Getting ready for work or a social event would take longer, and he’d have to spend more time caring for the new clothes. Further, he would have to regularly replace items in his new wardrobe to keep it fashionable and in good repair.

There were other things, too, maybe more important. The man suspected that the people around him would react to him a little differently, and new acquaintances would be meeting a somewhat different person.  And, he understood, he would even have to adjust how he perceived himself.

The man loved his new look. But, as he examined himself in the mirror, he asked himself:

“Am I still me?”

Flashback Friday: Nocturne

(This post first appeared October 3, 2010.)


A nocturne ... is usually a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night.(Wikipedia)

It is late evening. I'm lying in bed, on my stomach, perhaps with a pillow under my chest. I may be on my laptop, in order to read, to tweet, to blog, or to play a silly game. Or I may be reading a book, though not as often anymore, or I may be working on a crossword puzzle.

I may have a radio on or - rarely - the television is providing background noise. Usually, though, the only sounds are the hum of the laptop, what few neighbor noises come through the concrete apartment walls, and the noise from the highway and the rail yard nearby. Because I live atop a bluff and have a west-facing exposure, there is usually wind. All this is not silence, but it's close, and my brain easily filters it out and passes on a sense of silence.

Being here in this place, enjoying the quiet and the soft lighting, is often the most enjoyable time of the day. No one expects much from me. The phone's unlikely to ring. E-mails that contain obligations do not come at this time of night. I am at peace, more or less, and I feel a sense of security that often eludes me at other times.

It's a struggle for me to turn out the lights, to willingly bring a close to this time of peace. If I've got work the next day, I am usually able to choose sleep at a reasonable time. If not, or if my heart or mind are burdened, I may extend my evening activities much longer than I healthily should. If I become drowsy, I keep going until I am simply longer able to do so.

For as far back as I can remember, such have been my nights. It's not a problem with sleeping, although I sometimes have that as well: it's a problem with choosing to sleep.

I see headlines from diabetes news sources suggesting that insufficient sleep may play an important role in the development of Type 2 diabetes. I know that frequent fatigue eats away at the energy available for exercise and other healthy activities.

But, late at night, none of that seems to matter very much. And so, as it always has, my nocturne plays on.


Measures (Poetry)

I prick my finger, load a strip, get a result.
It's just a data point, Brain tells me,
Meaningless except among a host of others.

I step on the scale: the number flickers, then resolves.
Another data point, Brain says: too many variables
For one result to have meaning.

I turn my head as the tech draws blood.
The results are clinical feedback for treatment,
Brain says, and convey no judgment.

But Heart, right or wrong, has its own story to tell.
These tests do not measure my body,
They measure a part of my worth.

This is my response to today's prompt for Diabetes Blog Week

Approaching the Gates

We have ridden all night, my wife and I:

All night, and all day, and another night, and another day,

Stopping only for brief rest and meager meals

For ourselves and our tiring mount.

We have ridden through biting cold and perilous times,

The villages through which we pass are filled with mistrust:

They have seen too many raiders, and they

Have not yet felt the hope to which we ride.

My wife behind me presses herself yet closer to my back.

Her faith in our journey is as great as mine.

But she is cold, and though she has not yet spoken of it,

Something about her tells me that we will soon be three.

At last I see a glimmer from a hill far ahead.

I nudge my love, but she has seen it already.

Now, finally, we perceive with our eyes

What has only been percieved in our hearts.

We have come to take arms,

To fight beside friends we have not yet met,

To fight for peace and for this land

To be ruled by those that speak its tongue.

We have ridden all night, and we are weary,

But we are refreshed by the lighted walls before us,

And our hearts have the courage to begin our new lives

As we approach the gates of Camelot.


I am Contradiction

Health and disease;
Connection and isolation;
Passion and fear;
Commitment and negligence;
Solemnity and silliness;
Weakness and strength.
I am Contradiction; I contain dualities.

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I see a dozen grackles sitting on a wire,

All as alike as alike can be.

The grackles, of course, know they ae not alike:

Each one might be gracklesexy, gracklechubby,

Grackleclassy, grackleloving, or gracklecranky.


But does one of the grackles

(all as alike as alike can be)

Feel more different yet?

Has he a beak that's chipped or an wing that's wonky?

Does he hate to fly or prefer berries to bugs?

Does he wonder if he really is a grackle,

Or even kind of wish he wasn't?


I see a dozen grackles sitting on a wire,

All as alike as alike can be.


Nighttime is for Healing (Poem)

Please click the link below to read my poem in a PDF format: I don't know enough HTML to create the formatting I want.


Nighttime is for healing


Error 5: A Nonappreciation

I have to admit that this is pretty low on the list of global problems, or even the list of my problems. But I really dislike Error 5.

On my blood glucose meter, Error 5 means that there wasn't enough blood on the strip for a successful test. Usually this just means that I screwed up touching the strip to my blood drop, but sometimes it's just bad karma or something.

Really, Error 5 just means the waste of a few seconds and a test strip. It's not a big loss, at least for me. But it's still irritating.

Error 5 is the forehead pimple of diabetes problems.

As long as I remain alive,
I'll surely dislike Error 5

It seems no matter how I strive,
I can't avoid that Error 5.

It ain't no lie, it ain't no jive,
I really do hate Error 5.


Before Breakfast: A Poem of Sorts


Find meter
Find lancer
Find strips
Pick up meter
Remove used strip from meter
Open strip container
Remove strip
Place strip in meter
Close strip container
Put strip container down
Find lancer (again)
Pick lancer up
Cock lancer
Draw breath
"Ow!" (sometimes)
"!" (rarely)
Put lancer down
Gently squeeze finger
Touch strip in meter to drop of blood
Wait for the result
Read result
Assess result
Put meter down
Go on with my life.

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