Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Traces, the number 100, and other things...


When I was a teenager, I realized that I loved words. I realized that whatever job I eventually had as an adult, if it involved writing creatively, I'd probably be pretty happy doing it. Since that time, you could always find "traces" of writing laced through my life, my home. The ink stains on my right index finger where the pen sits. The notebooks and napkins and business cards and junk mail with paragraphs and stanzas scribbled on them that you'll find in and on my desk, in my car, in my purse, and pretty much in or on anyplace or anything else that I visit or use with frequency. The books - oh, the books - on the bedside table, in the desk drawer at work, on the passenger seat of the car, in the bed or on the couch - everywhere. One wouldn't need the detective skills of Lenny Briscoe to realize that I'm having a love affair with words - to realize that if I could, I'd spend the whole day reading beautiful writing and/or dreaming up poems, stories, essays and writing them down.

I was reminded during a visit with friends from the DOC, of the "traces" of having diabetes that are just as prevalent in my life as those of being a writer. My powdery glucose tablet fingerprints on the back of a black sweatshirt after giving a hug got me thinking of those hints that tell others and remind me - in those rare seconds I forget - that I have diabetes. The trail of test strips that seems to follow me wherever I go and the deep and tough calluses on my fingertips from testing. The connect-the-dots pattern on my thighs and abdomen and hips from old pump sites from which there is no break - when one set heals, new dots appear. The hypertrophy and scar tissue that remain from years of multiple injections before I started pumping. The bag of supplies that never leaves my side. The square bump of my pump under my clothes. These physical traces make me feel like I'm carrying a sign with me that says "I have diabetes."

The truth is, these traces are probably more obvious to me than they are to any bystander. What in my head screams out and calls attention to this disease, more likely than not goes unnoticed by others. But they do so bother me sometimes. In those moments when I want nothing more than to forget for awhile - to feel 100% normal - it is these things that cruely take me back to the reality of this life. Caught in a daydream or a moment of bliss - and then I catch a glimpse of that supply pack or I see a wayward test strip lying in a place it shouldn't be or I look at my scarred fingertips and there diabetes is again - rearing its ugly head.

I suppose some might say that diabetes is as much a part of me as being a writer is - and that, of course, the traces of it are just as important in defining my life as those traces of my love affair with words. I couldn't disagree more. I WANT to be a writer - I couldn't imagine a life without the stringing together of words - I choose to pursue it because it makes me feel whole. And the physical reminders that I write are a soure of joy. When I find a strip of paper on which I've scribbled something and then forgotten, I am thrilled to rediscover what I've done. It is different with the traces of diabetes. I did not choose diabetes, it is not something I pursue - it is something I HAVE. And the traces of it are more often sobering or sad than they are amusing or thrilling.

And I wonder, sometimes, if a cure is found - will these traces linger on? Will there be whispers of this life still left? I presume so. They'll be there to tell me the story of where I've been - and how I got there - and to remind me that I'm strong.

***

As for the number 100 - that would be the # of this post on Curious Girl. I'm grateful if you're still here and checking back regularly, as I'm not the most consistent blogger and it's taken me a long while to reach this milestone. :)

***

More on the DOC/Pawsox meet up later... But, stealing from Shannon - I'll give some hilights.

*Shannon and Sandra - and Sandra's sister have the BEST kids. Brilliant really.

*Both of these ladies, and Mel are as cool and as down to earth and as beautiful in person as they seem.

*Minor League baseball players are a mixed bag - some of them have REAL attitudes.

*It is always nice to be in the company of people who understand.

***

I skated with the roller derby girls, folks - got some photos and other stuff to follow on that.

15 comments:

Penny said...

Nicole,

This was an excellent post.

I often am jolted back to reality by a stray test strip on the floor or Riley's pump tubing sticking out of the waistband of his pants.

You can't forget about this disease even if you want to.

And, if there is a cure I do believe the traces will remain.

You may still have the scar tissue from MDI. But, you will also still have that fighter attitude.

There is no doubt diabetes has helped shaped you into the person you are today. And that is a wonderful, caring, resiliant woman who kicks butt when a challenge arises.

There may be scars from this disease, but there are also triumphs.

Carey said...

This was a great post. Thanks.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Yeah Nicole, great post.

The thing that gets me about those little "D" reminders is that they follow you around. You can't escape from them. You can't run away. They are always there, and that makes me angry.

Shannon said...

Well no wonder why you want to be a writer...you're good at it!! Excellent post.

And thank you for all the compliments about me and Bren.

We'll have to get together again more often than once a year.

cesnh said...

Nice writing! And... congratulations on #100!

Anonymous said...

Nice. Actually very nice post.
I love when people explore so deep inside and have the will to share it.
The actual relationship that each of us establish is unique.
Congrats again...I love your writing....

BTW...if you do read "espaƱol" visit my blog..

http://diabetessalud.blogspot.com/

Rachel... said...

#100, wow...and what a post.

Anxiety/depression stuff comes close to it for me, thinking of the long-term - it's always there in some shape or form. I can't go a day without thinking about it.

Can't wait to see the roller derby pics.

Hannah said...

I am slightly disappointed that I am not in on these derby pics.

But huge congrats on post #100, and the ways you and I relate are continuing to be ridiculous. My purse is filled with scribbled-on scrap paper and discarded test strips. Maybe this is some sort of metaphor for our lives.

Nicole P said...

Penny - Thank you, as always. There are triumphs - you're so right - some days, they're just much more difficult to see than the scars... I guess it helps when you try to focus on those little bits of victory.

Carey - Thanks. :)

Scott - Oh, yes, they make me furious sometimes. So angry, I don't see straight... Except for my view of those things, which seems to get more focused and clear in those moments of anger.

Shindigger - I can't refer to you any other way, you know. It was GREAT to see you and Superman. My writing career is obviously a work in progress.

cesnh - Thank you!

Anon - Thank you - and thank you for your note on tudiabetes - which I have yet to respond to. I'm happy to be able to tap into things that others might relate to.

Rachel - Thank you :). The always there-ness of both D's can be overwhelming... How's the internet SS?

Hannah - I believe it is a metaphor - little scraps of ourselves scattered willy-nilly... I sort of like that idea. I am flattered that you to see the commonalities... I can't believe you're headed to the National Slam. AWESOME.

Finally - all you derby wanters. I am waiting to get photos from the chicky who took them. And then they'll need to be closely re-reviewed... I can't post anything too untoward on the internet... (GASP!) :)

Bernard said...

It's just amazing the amount of diabetes trash we leave in our wake. And if there was a cure, I don't think I'd miss it for a second.

Good to see you're doing well Nicole. We'll be at the Pawsox this Saturday and I'm looking forward to being there.

And congratulations on hitting post 100, that's a milestone.

Amylia said...

Thanks for the awesome post. I enjoy your writing. I just stumbled across your blog today via tu diabetes. As a writer and diabetic myself, I related to this post particularly well. Thanks for inadvertently making me realize, yet again, that there are other like minded souls out there.

Allison said...

Nicole-
Very moving post. Everything you wrote about I have felt at some point in time with my diabetes over the past 6 years. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Allison (Type 1 dx 2001).

My biggest challenge with the visibility of the disease was the adjustment to wearing the pump. Before pumping, I felt that I could control whether or not people knew I was diabetic by “hiding the signs”. I was very concerned that wearing the pump would scream “diabetic” to anyone in close vicinity. For the first couple months I was very conscious about the pump and always wore it in a leather case to disguise it. I received many questions like “why are you wearing a pager?” and “what are you wearing on your belt?”. I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point in time I didn’t care anymore if people on the street knew I was diabetic. Like it or not, I am a diabetic and it has shaped who I am today.

You are strong, and I think WHEN a cure is found, the traces will remain with all of us. Having battled the disease has made us different, stronger people. I know it may be a while before we see a cure, so I’ve started working for a company that makes really advanced glucose meters. If you have any thoughts on how we can help leave fewer traces, I would love to hear from you

I greatly look forward to your next 100 posts.

Allison
Community Outreach
AgaMatrix, Inc
www.wavesense.info

Nicole P said...

Bernard - It is TOTALLY astounding... Me and my wave of trash just spread forth over the land... :)

Amylia - Thank you. I'm so pleased that you can relate... and that the post touched you - as a writer, I know you know how much that means... :)

Allison - Thank you for stopping in - and thank you for your comments. I agree on the pump - the visibility of it sometimes makes me crazy. I would love to email back and forth regarding monitors and how they might be developed to leave fewer marks... Can you email me? Thanks! Nicole

Shannon said...

Uh, I'm still waiting to read about your roller derby experience.

Hannah said...

Update! Derby! Please? :)