Last week my 700 square foot city apartment expanded to hold professional video equipment. For two days it become more than our COVID-inspired workspace, gym, movie theatre, restaurant. It became an actual video studio. The photo above is the after-shoot celebration with the husband.
These two black cases arrived from UPS filled to the brim with a camera, tripods, cables, microphone, monitor, laptop, and two ring lights arrived as well in separate boxes. The video was being shot in three locations, the homes of each of us who were in the video, in Boston and Brooklyn.
The video began as an idea for a pop up in a digital anniversary book on insulin. The book is being produced by VPR, the same company through which I participated in the Sanofi-sponsored A1C Champion peer-mentor program for 10 years.
The video will also be shown at the American Diabetes Association’s conference next month, and posted on Sanofi’s website. You may also catch it somewhere else as wider distribution is being discussed among diabetes organizations.
The idea for the video is education and uplift, and the talent was in part chosen because our ages add up to 100, just like the 100th birthday for insulin. Kat and Maddie, who’ve had T1D respectively 12 and 7 years, accompanied me through this video. I leave it to you to guess our ages. 😉
In the video we share our experiences of T1D from our respective ages. In other words, I ask Maddie, today a tween, how it felt hearing she had type 1 diabetes at only six! Kat was curious what advances I’ve seen in diabetes since my diagnosis in 1972, the prehistoric ages. Certainly, those were pre-glucose meter ages; it would take 10 years before I had one.
Pre-shoot: examining the set up. Trust me I did not do the set up, that task was taken on by the “helper” husband. He groaned, but I think it actually appealed to his love of gadgets and photography. Lucky me.
Rolling: and yes, you will only see me from the waist up. When asked about my feelings upon diagnosis, I share what I will never forget: getting T1D at 18 felt like my life was beginning and ending all at the same time. I couldn’t imagine living my whole life with a disease, and taking shots every day.
Of course we all quickly learn that the shots are the least of it. It’s the constant decision-making, the effort to avoid ‘riding the rollercoaster’ and the carrying on through better and worse days. All of which we do.
While Kat and Maddie shared about becoming independent managing their diabetes, I talked about the opposite – learning to become, not dependent, but letting the husband into my diabetes after handling it alone for 30 years. I remember the first time he told me, seeing my CGM blood sugar numbers on his Apple Watch, “You know you’re 63…” “I know,” I said. To which he responded, “Does it bother you that I tell you?” “Not yet,” I said. And we laughed.
That’s a wrap: something Kat, Maddie and I learned was that even though we’re different ages, and have had different experiences, we can still learn from each other. Like the learning that goes on on social media among people with diabetes every day. Not to mention the bonding. It was 22 years after my diagnosis before I met another person with type 1 diabetes. Now I may just have as many friends with diabetes as without.
I will post the video here when it’s available. Meanwhile, I can’t believe how big my apartment is now that it’s only a workspace, gym and restaurant.