Somebody New

It’s hard to not feel constantly defeated by diabetes. It’s hard to not feel defeated when the numbers continue to peak, but you’ve already bolused more insulin than you should have. It’s hard to not feel defeated when you need to ask loved ones to call at midnight and 3 AM to ensure you haven’t slipped into a diabetic coma while sleeping. It’s hard to not feel defeated when you must carry this weight around constantly.

A little voice in my head cries “I just want the needles to stop, is that too much to ask?” I don’t want to have to think so much before eating. I don’t want to weigh my food. I don’t want to force blood out of my fingers. I don’t want to monitor my life supplies. I don’t want to survive. I want to live.

Adhesive residue covers my body; my back and sides look more like the aftermath of a duel than skin. I gain weight and lose weight, gain weight and lose weight, gain and lose, gain and lose and gain and lose and gain and lose as my blood sugars fluctuate and stabilize.

The smell of maple syrup is one I’m all too familiar with for all the wrong reasons. The taste of cinnamon coerces relaxation while enticing conspiracy theories. Chalky artificial fruit flavoring triggers memories of summer camps and middle-of-the-night emergencies. There are test strips everywhere.

*Alarm blares* I check my sensor. I brush my teeth. I check my sensor. I pack my lunch. I prick my finger. I sit in class. I bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Deflect stares confusion curiosity questions. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Don’t wait just Eat because my mother does not think about my diabetes. Eat because my mother forgets my pain. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Prick my finger. Bolus. Pray to a god I don’t believe in. Pray I make it through the night so I can do this all over again and again and again.

Don’t think about how hard you work to live. Don’t think about how no one notices, takes the time to care, takes the time to love. Don’t think about how your mother does not need to wait to eat, so she forgets that you do. Don’t think about how your mother doesn’t see your suffering. Don’t think about your father and his selfish lifestyle. Don’t think about how he cares more about his own pain than yours. Don’t think about the needles. Don’t think about the vials. Don’t think about the alcohol and lancets and adhesives and sensors and test strips and measuring cups and timetimetime. Don’t think about the pain.

Push the pain away like a blanket when it becomes too warm. Fold the pain into a drawer. Now close the drawer and lock it. Throw away the key. Push the desk to the back, innermost corner of your mind. Get a new desk. A desk with no drawers because now you don’t have pain to hide. You have no pain.

Until three hours pass and it’s needles again. Until three days pass and it’s needles again. Until seven days pass and it’s needles again.

Push the pain away.

You have to think about living. You have to think about your choices, because you know more than anyone about their consequences. You have to think about what makes you happy and what makes you sad and what makes you mad and what makes you anxious and what makes you feel because that all impacts how your body behaves. Sometimes I want to turn off my feelings. I don’t want to think.

Sometimes, I ignore the needles. I don’t inflict pain. But then the pain comes and oh god it’s too much, is this what death feels like? it must be, oh god, I don’t think I can make it call the ambulance go to the hospital, is this what death feels like? A part of me dies every time. I promise I won’t do it again, and then I break that promise.

I didn’t ask for this life. I didn’t want it. Can I cancel this transaction and start over?

Sometimes, I ignore the needles. Sometimes, I want to die. Sometimes, I doubt that my life is worth this much work.

Is worth the needles is worth the pain.

Sometimes, Always,  I want a taste of Normalcy. Sometimes, I want to be Somebody New.