N is for Nectrotizing Fasciitis: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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It is the stuff of which horror movies are made or something that may crop up as a storyline in a Grey’s Anatomy episode. Almost fourteen years ago, it was the primary focus of our lives. People who know me now will occasionally hear me say, “That was when my husband was sick,” sort of tossed off like it was something fleeting or commonplace. It was neither. It was flesh-eating bacteria, clinically known as nectrotizing fasciitis.

My husband Billy and I had just moved into our new home in Danbury with our 18-month-old daughter. We’d been living there not even two months when he started to get an aching pain in his leg, which spread quickly to his hip. He had gotten his first ever flu shot and attributed the aches and pains to the common side effects that come with the flu shot. He went to the doctor and an x-ray showed nothing, so he was given steroids and pain medicine and was sent home.

After a couple of days, that pain had gotten so bad that he wasn’t even able to get out of bed. That morning, before I headed off to Stamford to work, I packed a cooler with a couple of sandwiches and some Gatorade, hoping that he would eat or drink something. I called him from the office in the afternoon and told him that I was going to take him to the hospital because, if anything, he was surely in need of fluids.

When I got home, his brother greeted me in the driveway and told me that Billy had called an ambulance and that he was taken to the ER. I rushed straight to Danbury Hospital, where my husband was being tended to by a fleet of doctors. When he had arrived at the hospital, the doctors removed his pajama bottoms to discover a dark purple rash. They circled the rash with an ink pen and in the mere hour that he had been there and you could visibly see how fast it was spreading. I remember Dr. Nee, the infectious disease specialist, looking at me and saying, “It looks like we are dealing with a bacteria of the flesh eating variety.” Wait! What?

My husband was then rushed to the OR where they did emergency surgery to debride the necrotized tissue. In addition to the extremely large wound on his leg, he had also gone into renal failure. Had he waited any longer, the disease would have gone systemic, attacking his heart and lungs and most likely killing him. Fortunately, the team of doctors at Danbury Hospital acted quickly and expertly. He was then placed into a medically induced coma for 10 days.

When I asked Dr. Jimenez, the head of the intensive care unit, how my husband contracted this bacteria he looked at me and said: “The bacteria that causes it is ubiquitous.” That is one of those weird moments in time that you always remember. I looked at him and said, “What does that mean?” He responded, “It’s everywhere. It is caused by streptococcus A, the same bacteria that causes strep throat. It just gets into the body at a site of trauma and wreaks havoc.”

The night the surgery was performed, the surgeon called me and told me that the surgery went well and that we would have to wait and see whether or not the leg would need to be amputated or if he would ever walk again.

The next morning, I dropped my daughter off at day care and headed straight to my husband’s office where a close friend of ours worked. I didn’t want to be alone when I went to the hospital. My friend, who had known Billy since his college days, accompanied me to the hospital where my husband was in the ICU.

I spent the majority of the next 10 days in the ICU waiting room, almost always accompanied by friends or family members. The people that came and visited Billy or just sat with me in the waiting room, they hold a very special place in my heart. I saw it then and I’ve seen it since, when confronted by the fear of loss, the cream rises to the top and you are able to assess who the true friends are. My husband is a much loved man and people flew from all parts of the country to be with him and support me and our daughter. Others did whatever they could around the house – painted rooms, did minor electrical work, prepared suppers or babysat our daughter.

Ever practical, as soon as the initial surgery was completed, I asked the doctor’s if I could see the wound. They advised me against it but I insisted, telling them that I needed to know what I was going to be dealing with. From that point onward, the doctors and I documented in photographs the healing process. (Click here to view the pictures. WARNING: Images are graphic and may be unsettling to some.) The months that followed were difficult ones. For my husband, they involved over a month in the hospital, several surgeries, including skin grafts, hours of physical therapy and a wound vac to close a wound located in a tricky spot on his hip.

I am happy to report that my husband defied all of the worst prognostications. Not only did he keep his leg but he walks without the aid of cane or crutch and, in fact, dances from time to time, even if he does look like this when he does it.

In fact, almost a year to the day of his diagnosis, Billy and I welcomed our twin girls, Isabelle and Delaney. They were like the Universe’s way of showing us that even out of the darkest of times, miracles can happen.

And that, really, is what life is all about.


Click here to read an article about my husband’s return to the stage after his battle with necrotizing fasciitis.

M is for Mop: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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I know it is a trivial thing but when you have hardwood floors there is nothing better than a good mop. A couple years ago, we had the old linoleum in our kitchen removed and replaced with nice tile. We also had the hardwood floors in our home sanded and stained, restoring them to their original, yet slightly scarred beauty.

For the past two years we’ve relied on the Swiffer for the kitchen and have treated the hardwood gingerly with some fancy dust mop the floor guy gave me. Well, that hasn’t really cut it.

The other day I was in my local Price Rite and picked up this little beauty, an O-Cedar EasyWring spin mop, for the low price of $19.99. I know, it’s a mop. Big deal. But it has a cool little spinny thing that extracts the water, making it a true damp mop. And it works great, combating the dust much better than any dry mop could. I have never been so excited to mop my floors.

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Now if only I could get my kids as excited about mopping as I am!

L is for Letting Go: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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A couple of weeks ago I upgraded my iPhone 4s to a 6. I always like it when a capable Verizon employee transfers my contacts and stored information over to my new phone. It’s sort of like a security blanket. I know I don’t need to go on about our pathetic reliance on our smart phones. I also know that if I had to call any of my daughters on their mobile phones by recalling their numbers from memory, I would be screwed. Before upgrading I ensured that I backed my phone up to the cloud. CYA truly is a highly recommended standard operational procedure, in case you wanted my opinion.

After the salesman was done porting my info to my new phone, he asked me to review my contact list to make sure it looked complete. It did. All of my voicemails were there and my apps were in my settings, waiting to be repopulated to my home screen. I toggled over to my text messages and the folder was empty. I instantly panicked and asked the schmoozy Verizon guy where my messages were. He said they don’t transfer but that the messages were still on my old phone and I could download them from the cloud and transfer them to my new phone.

And I breathed.

See, the thing is, there was a text conversation between me and my friend Jude, who passed away almost a year ago from Stage IV metastatic cancer. I loved it because it was a conversation that took place over the course of a year, maybe longer. We chatted about theatre, her health, writing, my health, Olivia Pope’s white silk pajamas. Silly stuff. Important stuff. Not sure why I didn’t delete the message thread. I think it was because she was sick and there was no way to know when the last text would come. On May 16th, I think that’s the date, it did come. Jude had arranged home hospice and I was meant to go to Green Acres to have lunch that day. That morning, when I was confirming our date, her husband sent a message telling me that she’d had a rough night, would have to cancel and that I should make a point to see her soon. I said I would but I never did. Two days later she was gone.

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It comforted me having that text conversation on my phone. I have yet to retrieve it from the cloud. I found some instructions online and apparently I am to locate a text file and then somehow move it to my new phone. This is presuming, of course, that I figure out how to do it so that I would not be overwriting any new data. Needless to say, I can no longer access that conversation with the swipe of the finger on a touchscreen. I miss having that piece of Jude with me; those frozen moments in time that I could just reference whenever I missed her. Something that was just ours.

There are similar pieces of the recent past that I have a hard time letting go of. I have two voicemails that came from the Danbury Public Schools alert system on December 14, 2012. It was a robocall alerting parents about a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I can’t delete those messages. Nor can I delete the message from an agent informing me that I was no longer going to be the book writer for an optioned show that I had co-written. Very different threads in my digital tapestry and each one so very important to me.

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A friend of mine experienced something similar when a light bulb had burned out in her home. The last person to change it was her late husband, who she lost about two years ago. She struggled with changing the light bulb because it was almost like letting go of a presence that remained for her and her daughters. Yet another friend was so thankful that her husband purchased software for her so that she could download a treasured voicemail to her computer. It is a process, this letting go. This moving on. And damn it, it’s hard.

Of course, we do have the objects, the tactile reminders: the pictures, the sweater she gave you, the hat he wore, the furniture that they purchased when they were newlyweds. We also have the family recipes, the traditions and, oh, those beloved shared memories. I portend that it is the intangible things that are harder to let go. They are the things that, once gone, they cannot be retrieved. When you paint over the height markings on the door frame. When you delete the text message. When you change the light bulb. Something fades away. Even memories, the most personal and persistent way we stay connected to a lost friend or loved one, even they disappear.

Krysta Rodriguez, a young member of the Broadway community and someone who’s had a pretty enviable performing career at 30, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. When Krysta started her blog dedicated to her journey through a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy, it made me think of Jude. Jude wrote Breast Left Unsaid, a book about her battle with breast cancer and it is one of the funniest, most poignant and informative memoirs out there both about being a woman and about fighting this insidious disease. I typed in the URL for the book’s web site so that I could send it to Krysta and I got an error message. The web site had expired.

Again, another part of my friend, without a breath of warning, disappeared into the ether. Her Facebook page still exists, her Twitter feed is still there, I can still find her on YouTube, and I can read her blog, her Huffington Post articles and her book*. In many ways I can still hear her voice across space and time, loud and clear.

Letting go is the hardest thing to do. Those moments of missing come out of the blue and in different ways. They can hit you like a ton of bricks or like a soft feather, gently tugging at your heart and soul. It never leaves, that longing for just one more moment to share another word, another sip of wine or a knowing laugh.

If you never met Jude, I am sorry that you missed the opportunity to know a truly extraordinary woman. She will be forever and often missed, by so many.

* If you are dealing with cancer, divorce, career changes or challenges in general, Jude’s book, Breast Left Unsaid, is a must read. You can order it on Amazon here.)

K is for Kids’ Night on Broadway: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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I am incredibly fortunate because I was exposed to theatre at a very young age. My father was a college professor at SUNY Fredonia and then at University of Pittsburgh at Titusville. In addition to teaching English, he directed shows at each of these institutions. Needless to say, I spent many weekend afternoons at the theatre with him as he conducted rehearsals or worked on the sets. Undoubtedly, those early years were what sparked my insatiable passion for theatre.

When I was in the fifth grade, my father took a sabbatical from his teaching position and took me and my sister to London for a few months. We were enrolled in Fox Primary School, where we spent our days, while he hammered away at his typewriter, writing. In the flat that we lived in near Earl’s Court, we had a caretaker. He was an elderly gentlemen of modest means, yet he and his wife attended the theatre every week. When my father asked him why they went every week, he simply stated, “Because one should.”

I am a firm believer that theatre enriches the soul is so many ways. Yesterday I was in New York City with two of my daughters and my eldest noted that she has, at fifteen, already seen twenty Broadway shows. Twenty! I didn’t see my first Broadway show until I was seventeen, after we moved to Connecticut.

Clearly, attending Broadway shows is not a viable option for many. Unless you live in the tri-state area, it is not incredibly convenient to get to the Great White Way. And, even if you do live nearby, the price of a full priced Broadway ticket can run you in the neighborhood of $150 or more. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to see shows at a discounted price, most notably the Theatre Development Fund‘s TKTS booth in Times Square.

One great way to expose children to theatre is to plan your visits to Broadway in January, when Kids’ Night on Broadway gives children between the ages of 6-18 the opportunity to go for FREE with a paying adult. This is an incredible opportunity to bring your children to the theatre for half the cost. Not only do you save money, tickets are usually made available to shows that are otherwise sold out. I fully expect to take advantage of this deal if Hamilton participates next year and, given the show and its creator/star, I would be surprised if they weren’t included in the list.

In addition to the variety of shows that take part in KNOB, there are discounts for restaurants and parking, as well as special programming offered by a few venues! Tickets usually go on sale a few months before, so add your name to the mailing list and get ready to take your kids to the theatre!

J is for Jealousy: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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I work for an amazing company and over two decades ago, shortly after it it went public, growth was rapid and profits were abundant. The CEO would have these awesome company meetings where, after announcing another great quarter, would randomly tape $100 bills to the bottom of our seats, give away tickets to the Superbowl or have cash machines from which employees could grab at bills of varying denominations. One year, a colleague of mine won $5,000 in some sort of “Let’s Make A Deal” type game. I was in my late twenties at the time and my husband-to-be and I were in the process of planning a wedding that were paying for, mostly on our own. I really needed money. I remember being so envious that this woman, who lived in Darien and drove a luxury automobile to work, won this money. I was happy for her but, at the same time, the green-eyed monster reared his ugly head. I remember saying something about it and my friend saying, “Alicia, don’t be jealous. That isn’t flattering at all.” And she was right.

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I try so hard not be be jealous. But i am not perfect and I shamefully admit that it is the deadly sin that I am most guilty of. As my Facebook feed is flooded with people on their Orlando-bound flights, I find myself wishing that I wasn’t spending my spring break working. Then I realize, jealousy is really about timing, isn’t it? I am a very fortunate person, my family and I have had some wonderful spring vacations to Québec, Disney, Pigeon Forge and Barbados. As we are posting our photos from our vacation we aren’t feeling so envious, are we?

I’ve had a lot of single friends become deeply depressed after their social media feeds were flooded with engagement announcements, wedding photos and baby pictures. I suppose the same would hold true for the unemployed when they see others are getting promotions or raises or the high school senior who gets rejected from every school they apply to while their peers get full rides from their top choices.

As someone who is active in the theatre arts, the opportunities to be jealous are omnipresent. It is especially difficult in a tight-knit community, where the people you are competing with are usually friends. As friends announce landing their dream role, or getting their first Off-Broadway/Broadway play produced, or launching their first CD, or publishing their first book, there is envy waiting in the corner of my mind. Anyone who says they are never jealous is lying. Again, it is all about the timing. For theatre artists, if you aren’t creating something, if you aren’t performing or writing or directing, you invariably find yourself wishing you were. When you are fortunate enough to have your creative outlet, it is amazing how quickly you forget to feel jealous.

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There are two things I am constantly reminding myself of when envy creeps her way into my thoughts. First, did I make the choice to put myself in a position of longing for another’s good fortune? If I chose not to do the work or invest the time in developing my creative endeavors, I have no right to be jealous. If I don’t write something, there is nothing to publish. If I don’t audition, there is no role to be had. If I don’t submit for directing opportunities, there are no productions to helm.

The second thing, and the one I find saying most often, is this: Another person’s success does not equal my failure. If anything, another person’s success should inspire me to succeed. So quit your bitchin’, Alicia! Work harder. Work better. And remember when you succeed, be gracious enough to inspire and give thanks. Be the person that other people are genuinely happy for.

And that usually kills the green monster.

I is for Improvement: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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We have lived in our house, built in 1931, for almost fourteen years. Within the first year of living in our house, we experienced September 11th, endured flesh-eating bacteria and welcomed our twin girls. While no year will quite match the first, the years that followed were generously filled with birthdays, holidays and gatherings for a family of five, their pet Shih Tzu and all of their family and friends. It has also seen its share of wear and tear.

Through the years, we haven’t done much renovation or many improvements to our home. And when the bottom fell out of the real estate market, so did our property value. Which means we are likely to be here for at least another 10 years while we endeavor to improve upon what we purchased in 2001. Most of the changes we’ve made have been cosmetic, mostly painting. Through the years we have been through two wall-to-wall carpets in our living room but in 2012 we did our first major improvement to the house, we had the original hardwood floors sanded and stained as well as some nice tile laid in the kitchen. But that’s about it, folks.

The list of remaining improvements is long and bit by bit we are trying to tackle them, somehow managing to squeeze it into our schedule and budget. This year, we are getting our roof replaced. Let me tell you, if you don’t already know, this is a tight squeeze into both our schedule and our budget. In fact, this year’s spring break vacation budget has been reallocated to the roof replacement. Try explaining to the children that we aren’t going to Florida just like “all their friends” because we cannot make it through one more lengthy and brutal New England winter without sustaining permanent damage. Not fun.

The roof of our 1931 Colonial, awaiting sparkly new shingles, chimney repair and bright shiny gutters.

The roof of our 1931 Colonial, awaiting sparkly new shingles, chimney repair and bright shiny gutters.

While I am most certainly missing the warm weather, sandy beaches and tropical cocktails, there is something almost euphoric about scratching something so monumental off of the proverbial “to do” list.

Maybe next year we’ll get to go see the Mouse. This year we can look forward to weathering a thunderstorm without waking up to a smattering of asphalt shingles on our lawn.

Little things. Big things.

H is for Henckels: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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The other day, with the help of my friend Wayne, I “harvested” and packaged my first ever attempt at homemade capicola, a delicious dry-cured Italian cold cut made of pork shoulder and the perfect blend of seasonings and wine. As we were running our hunks of meat through the Food Saver, we were noting how difficult to it was to slice the pieces that probably should have been taken down a few weeks earlier. After we were done packaging (and tasting) the capicola, Wayne told me that what you really need is a good sharp knife.

Now, don’t get me wrong, as a lifelong foodie we have decent knives at home. Our wooden knife block and knife drawer, contain some Wüsthof knives that are nearing the twenty year mark and one Henckels paring knife I picked up at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets years ago. The Wüsthof aren’t high-end knives, they are the affordable starter set. While they have served us well over the years, they aren’t top of the line.

Between Christmas and my birthday at the beginning of the year, I maintain a pretty good Amazon wish list. I had heard about Global knives being a good kitchen knife and had it on my list with the hopes that someone would gift it to me. As of the night in question, when I desperately needed to be able to slice my capicola, I had not received the knife I had wished for.

With a bag full of capicola in my back seat, I headed to Bed, Bath & Beyond with the intent to purchase a good, sharp knife. I looked at the Shun and the Global knives, known for their sharp blades. Then I held the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 6″ Chef’s Knife in my hand. It was a little heavier, the handle felt a little more comfortable and the blade was the right size with a nice curved end, perfect for chopping and multi-purpose use. And this baby is sharp! Wowza!

My fancy new Henckels Pro knife contributed to today's healthy lunch: smashed avocado on low-calorie wheat bread with a sprinkling of Hawaiian pink sea salt!

My fancy new Henckels Pro knife contributed to today’s healthy lunch: smashed avocado on low-calorie wheat bread with a sprinkling of Hawaiian pink sea salt! Yum!

As someone who likes to cook, I have oft been told of the importance of a good, sharp knife. Now that I own one, I see exactly why it is so important to the true foodie. This versatile kitchen tool, resplendent with its super-sharp blade, is the beginning of what I am sure will become a lifelong insistence upon decent knives in my cutlery collection. My knife and I have been getting along famously. So well, in fact, that I may or may not have been overheard, as I pull it from its sheath, referring to it as “My Precious.”

F is for Facebook: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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I’m in my mid-forties and I will be the first to admit that I am addicted to Facebook and have wasted countless hours scrolling through my feed, reading your memes, looking at your cat pictures and silently judging you for your snarky, passive aggressive statuses. Admit it, you do the same thing. Well, maybe you aren’t judging quite so silently, depending on how many cocktails you’ve had or which hot button has been pushed.

I was a Facebook early adopter. When I first joined in December 2006 most of my friends were high school and college students that I did theatre with. Slowly, as my circle of friends grew, so did the average age of the people with whom I interacted. As time wore on, Facebook became this hybrid social media platform. It was a networking tool, an advertising medium and a way to keep in touch with friends and family, both near and far.

When my eldest daughter turned thirteen, I told her that she could get a Facebook account. I had artfully dodged requests from her friends while they were still in elementary school and told my daughter that when she was thirteen she could get an account. When her thirteenth birthday arrived, she sneered at me and said, “Facebook is for old people, Mom.” Oh, the humanity! Instead, her digital biography is being played out on Instagram, Twitter and, the site that I really don’t get, Snapchat.

For the better part of the last decade, I have checked my Facebook multiple times a day, with the exception of a brief hiatus I took during a difficult time a couple years ago. I have learned that when I begin to exhibit the Facebook behaviors that I loathe in others, it is time to step away.

There are several bad behaviors on Facebook and numerous articles about the subject have surfaced through the years. For me, Facebook reminds me of high school, a place fraught with cliques and stereotypes that really aren’t that different from the ones I endured almost thirty years ago:

The Mean Girls (Boys) These are people on Facebook that are constantly making sure you know how much better they are than you. They have more money, they have better jobs, they are smarter and better looking. They will constantly post selfies and statuses letting you know it, too.

The Popular Kids These are the people that have more “friends” than God. Their status can be something as mundane as, “I just ate breakfast,” and within five minutes 50 people will have liked their status.

The Jocks These are the folks that are constantly posting very excited comments about whatever ball game is on TV, in the language of the sport and referencing the team and/or player that everyone obviously should know.

The A/V Club If you need a video or photo fix, just check out their wall. Every viral video or meme that is trending is sure to be in their feed. These are also the folks that cannot resist taking pictures of their meal or every single sunrise/sunset.

The Theatre/Band Geek These are probably the people you get the most Facebook invites from. “Come see me in The Life and Times of Debbie Boone at the local community theatre!” or “My band is playing at the Up ‘n’ Chuck! Come on down!”

The Kids from Under the Bleachers They are just so in love and can’t stop displaying it, publicly, for all to see. Just… Ewwww!

The Class Clown Every status is an attempt at humor. Whether it’s about their kids, their boss, their pets or the funeral they just attended, they will find some way to make it funny.

The Nerd This the person you look up if your computer stopped working, thereby <gasp> making it impossible to post anything on Facebook. They are also the grammar police, the fact checkers, the urban myth de-bunkers and all-round social media buzzkills.

The Desperate to Fit In Type These are the ones that like everything you do on Facebook. Everything. Within seconds of posting it. They’d like it twice if they could.

The Debate Team This person must have the last word and will argue with you about anything. Whether it is gun control or the weather, they will always have an opinion that is different than yours. Oh, by the way, it’s the right one.

The Quiet Kid in the Corner In Facebook lingo, I call this person “The Lurker.” They never interact with you on Facebook but they know everything that is going on with your life based on what they gleaned from reading your Facebook page. They never comment on or like your posts but when they see you in person they bring up every detail of your life as if they had. Creepy.

The Rebel It’s all about the shock value. These are the ones that post photos of their open wounds, give you play by plays about their Grindr encounter or share every detail about their Brazilian wax. These are the people whose Facebook posts make you gasp or roll your eyes then run screaming from your computer with the “TMI! TMI! TMI!” falling from your lips.

The Party People Every single post involves alcohol or drugs. They are either planning a party, are on their way to a party, are at a party or are recovering from a party. (NOTE: Party can be used interchangeably with “bar,” “GNO,” “poker night,” etc.)

The God Squad People that can quote scripture from memory and use it in an effort to let you know how wrong your views on marriage equality, homosexuality, politics or religion are.

The Editor-in-Chief of the School Paper Facebook’s own town crier. Every circle of friends has one. Was there are a car accident in town? Did Kim Kardashian get exposed to Ebola? Have they found a cure for cancer? Did your third grade teacher die? Whenever something remotely newsworthy happens, this person is the first to share it. Even worse is the town crier of gloom and doom, the newsie who only shares bad news.

Have I missed any? What types of people do you see on Facebook that make you momentarily consider unfriending them? That is until you realize that you fall into one or more of those buckets yourself. Which one are you?

E is for Earl Grey: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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I used to be a coffee drinker. I was never a die hard caffeine junkie and I’m not one to ask for a triple shot at Starbucks, although I do like an occasional espresso. I like the flavor and the smell of coffee. Recently, however, I find my body reacts adversely to strongly caffeinated coffee drinks. I am not a person who is offended by decaffeinated coffee drinks but when I fire up the laptop in the morning I do find I like a hot beverage that has a little pizzazz.

So now I’m a tea drinker. Earl Grey is a favorite of mine, it is still caffeinated but it doesn’t leave me jittery like the rocket fuel at Starbucks. Besides, and I think Dr. Sheldon Cooper would agree, being in the company of Captain Jean-Luc Picard is pretty nifty.

D is for Diabetes: Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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Two weeks before my 40th birthday I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. For the last six years I have been living with a chronic illness that, for the most part, goes undetected by the people I encounter in my day to day life. Only when I suddenly have a low blood sugar or have to calibrate my insulin pump are people fleetingly aware of what I live with every moment of every day.

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Diabetes is one of the more stealth of the chronic diseases. Every seven seconds a person dies due to complications from diabetes. One out of every 12 people has diabetes and one of every two people with diabetes don’t even know they have it.

When I was diagnosed, I had very little knowledge about diabetes. As with any diagnosis, I am continually amazed at the things that people say:

How can you have diabetes? Nobody in your family has it! No. Nobody in my family has it, thank goodness. I guess I got lucky. Surprisingly, even doctors have said this to me.

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Do you have the good kind of diabetes or the bad kind of diabetes? Ummm… Any diabetes diagnosis is scary, whether it is Type 1 or Type 2. The difference is that Type 1 is insulin dependent and Type 2 is managed with oral medication. Both types of diabetes are better managed with close attention to diet and exercise. So are many other diseases.

Wow! I can’t believe you have diabetes, you aren’t fat! I’m not thin, I’m not fat. I’m diabetic. In fact, before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was quite happy with the weight I lost. Little did I know it was because I was living with blood glucose in the 500+ range for quite some time.

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You must’ve had a sweet tooth as a kid. Actually, no, I didn’t.

Well, at least it is a controllable disease. Yes, modern medicine has made diabetes a much more manageable disease. However, it cannot be cured. I will never go into remission. Also, it is a crazy expensive disease. Thankfully I have good insurance. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t. If I didn’t have insurance, I wouldn’t be able to afford my insulin pump supplies, which average $700/month. If I didn’t have insurance, I wouldn’t be able to afford insulin and test strips, which average $760/month. That is $1,460 a month for the rest of my life. Just to stay alive.

I could never do finger sticks and inject needles into myself! Yeah. I never thought I would have to do that either. It is amazing what you’ll do so that you don’t feel sick or end up in the hospital. Or worse.

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Should you be eating/drinking that? I can eat and drink anything you can. I just have to take insulin to cover it.

I read on the Internet that if you do X then the diabetes will go away. The number of cures and ways to regulate sugar levels is astounding. I am amazed that medical practitioners that devote their lives to helping people live with diabetes haven’t heard about how eating a pound of beans a day, adding cinnamon to everything or taking Vitamin B every day will cure diabetes!

These are just some of the things that I’ve heard since becoming a diabetic. As with any disease, questions or statements that seem irritating or uninformed are best answered with proper information and, even better, with a little humor.