Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I am having a post-baby mid-life suspended-career crisis.

There is just a tiny bit of forethought to this, but only a tiny bit. Last year, as I was flailing through my pregnancy, with my hugeness and the baby's hugeness and my constant doctor visits and a bunch of little physiological glitches on top of the ones typically associated with pregnancy and the increasing discomfort of wearing my insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and 15 finger sticks a day ... I decided that diabetes is, in fact, a big frigging deal. In the seven years since I'd developed it, I'd mostly adopted an attitude of "it's not that big a deal, you just have to manage it" but this had evolved into a "for the love of god managing it is beyond exhausting and frustrating and discouraging and expensive and time-consuming and frightening (when the well-being of your unborn child hangs in the balance) and imagine if I didn't have insurance? or if I were a child? or I didn't speak English well? or I wasn't bull-headed enough to inspect all my medical bills carefully to uncover those thousands of dollars' worth of incorrectly processed claims and make all the calls to straighten them out? ... or, and I feel I take a risk by even thinking/uttering/writing this thought ... what if my children end up burdened with this?"

I'm not a scientist and there's little chance I will find a cure for diabetes or help figure out how to identify people who are at risk for developing it and stop its onset. The best I can do is try to help the scientists who are doing those things get it done.

I could be an "advocate" or an educator. I've thought about radically switching career paths and becoming a nutritionist to help people with the daunting task of figuring out how to feed themselves after they develop this disease. A few years back I was offered a job with a well-respected diabetes magazine. But there is something in me that shrinks from those possibilities. I think it's that I don't want to have this disease at the center of my universe. It is, regrettably, an incredibly large part of my life, but I don't want it to head the list of things that define me. I don't want to have to think about it more than I already do. I don't want to have to talk and read and obsess about it constantly.

So there is fund-raising, but here's the little snag with that: I'm terrible, absolutely terrible at asking people for money. For anything. Even if I deserve it. Even if they owe it to me. In this case, nobody owes me anything and most of the people I'm asking for money don't stand to benefit directly from handing any over. (And I hope they never will.) I feel like I have to do some sort of something to make it clear that this is a really important commitment to me, and also to prove that I'm not wishing for a cure for diabetes so that I can sit around on the couch and cram marshmallows into my face all day long. I'm living a pretty good life with and despite this disease. But I'm hoping that my little tiny stunt -- 12 half-marathons in one year -- will keep people interested enough that they'll forward my info to a small handful of other people and everyone will give a few dollars and eventually it will not seem as though I am just some crazy broad who is running her joints into a pulp because of some narcissistic conviction that anyone gives a damn.

That was your cue.

No comments:

Post a Comment