Labor Day means changing my lancet

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T’was the night before Labor Day

when I decided to change my lancet

How long had it been…

Hmmm, maybe since last I was in transit?

 

My used syringes cooed all snug in their drawer

Smug were they feeling and absolutely sure

that I wouldn’t come looking to change them too

for they knew my outer thighs had to first turn black and blue

 

I fumbled around mostly in my brain

Where in heck are those needles I’d seen when last it rained?

Surely I had some, maybe on this shelf maybe that?

Think, you must think, but only gobbledegook was coming back!

 

My husband approached while I searched, and then forgot

just what I was looking for -b-boom, b-boom – ever-quicker beat my heart!

Then the sweat started pouring down my face onto my chin

My husband panicked yelled, “Forget needles, you need sugar. I’ll bring!”

 

“No, I need a needle I insisted to thread my lancet

Who needs sugar? Hey, honey, you look so handsome!”

A moment later a jar of honey and a giant spoon

reached up to my mouth, likely not a moment too soon

 

I hate to admit it, when I fall down on the job

Sixty-one I’ll be tomorrow and still it’s just so hard

Because every day is different and we can only ever guess

How many carbs? Too much insulin? One minute “nailed it!” the next distressed

 

It’s the nature of the this life to be thankful and frustrated

Another crises over, those pesky lancets finally located

Hmmm…I wonder when this vial of insulin needs to be replaced

A week, maybe three, oh, my, could it actually be today?

Haidee Merritt’s fabulous cartoons

Omnipods

The other day I was browsing the wonderful cartoons of Haidee Merritt. Haidee contributed a number of her cartoons to my book, Diabetes Do’s & How To’s, and has often and generously sent me more for fun. We had a great time working together, she type 1 from the age of 2, me 18.

So, I was thinking why should I be the only one to have all the fun? Here’s a joyful look at some of Haidee’s published and unpublished cartoons. Enjoy.

2birds

Walk-a-thons

Of course, for more fab cartoons you can go to Haidee’s website and purchase her book, or get mine. Better yet, get both!

The marvelous cartoonist Haidee Merritt

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Here’s my solution for diabetes burnout. Pick up a book with Haidee Merritt’s fabulous, funny, satirical cartoons. 

You can find them on her website, as well as in my book, “Diabetes Do’s & How-To’s.” They are little energy-boosters in your diabetes instruction manual.

After all, we’ve all heard it, “laughter is the best medicine.” And, once you:

• know how many pills/insulin to take for each meal and snack

• test your blood sugar ten times a day

• get your hour power walk in

• bypass that chocolate muffin for a carrot 

• do some hot, sweaty yoga to get rid of all your stress

…you are definitely ready for a belly laugh. Just don’t look down at your belly while you’re taking it or you’ll be upset all over again.

Dear Santa, won’t you please take this diabetes away?

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You may have seen this before as I’ve decided I will repost this every Christmas, because, frankly, fun is healing. And if you’re stuck with diabetes, you need as many laughs as you can get!

Dear Santa,

All I’d like this Christmas is for you to take this diabetes away. I’m so tired of it already. All the time stabbing my fingers for blood and guessing when my sugar’s too high or too low.

Now that I’m in menopause I can barely tell whether I’m sweating because I’m losing estrogen or because my blood sugar’s crashing at 50 mg/dl!

And, can we talk… I mean the constant figuring out how many carbs are in a ravioli or bread stick or that fried calamari that will be at the company Christmas party. Some days I just want to lie down and shoot myself. Please, please, Santa, would you take this diabetes away?

Sincerely,
Riva

***
Dear Riva,

I’m very sorry you’re having a tough time during my favorite season. I only want people to be singing carols and drinking eggnog and feeling good cheer. Unfortunately, it says in my contract that I’m not allowed to interfere with life’s natural occurrences. So here’s my suggestion: although you’ve already opened your holiday gifts, go back and look under your Hanukkah bush for the gift in having diabetes.

You may have to spend a few days looking, so why don’t you schedule it for the week between Christmas and New Year’s while you have some down time? Then you can start the new year fresh.

Best wishes,
Santa and the gang

***
Dear Santa,

A gift in my diabetes? What are you, crazy? Meshuggah? Thanks, but no thanks!

Riva

***
Dear Rabbi,

I seek your wise counsel. I wrote to Santa to take away my diabetes, but he wasn’t helpful at all. Surely you who have studied the Torah and represent our people who have suffered throughout history can help me with this awful diabetes.

It’s such a strain, Rabbi. I have to test my blood sugar when I really want to be lighting the sabbath candles. I forgot all about the High Holy Days this year because I was so busy counting carbs in the Challah, bagels and honey cake.

Rabbi, please, what solace can you offer me? What words of wisdom? Surely you would tell me to just forget about this diabetes thing and go shopping, right?

Please write soon,
Riva

***
Dear Riva,

Santa and I just returned from the Caribbean, and he told me about your difficulty. He said he told you to look for the gift in your diabetes. I concur with Santa; there are many gifts to be found in diabetes, if you look. For one, my child, you won’t have to drink the traditional Manishewitz holiday wine anymore. The Counsel all agree that it is much too sweet. Bring out the Chardonnay!

When Santa asks you to look for a gift in your diabetes, he is not saying this because you are not Catholic and he is not bringing you anything, although this is true. He is speaking like our brothers the Buddhists, who profess that there is a gift in everything if you look for something positive that it can bring into your life.

Let me tell you a story, my child. My own Aunt Sheila had diabetes, and after she stopped kvetching, she went to a spa and learned how to eat healthfully. She shopped along Rodeo Drive and bought a cute little jogging outfit and started running. On her jog along the ocean she met her fourth husband, Marvin, and they’re very happy. They just moved into a $6 million mansion in Jupiter, Fla. — right next to Burt Reynolds! Everyone’s plotzing! The house was in foreclosure so they have even more money to decorate!

Darling girl, find a gift in your diabetes, because to be honest, since you’re not orthodox, and all I have are these great wigs I got on sale from my cousin Schlomo, I’m not bringing you anything, either. And really, it’s not very pleasant to whine.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi, Local Union 107

***
Dear Rabbi,

I thought about what you and Santa said and have decided to become a Buddhist. I picked up the Dalai Lama’s book, “The Art of Happiness.” He says, “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” I told my friend Joe I like butterflies, and I like the robe, so these aren’t bad gifts.

Joe said the quote meant that we are the source of our happiness, that happiness can only come from inside us, regardless of what happens in our lives. Hmm, I said, maybe I need to learn more. So I booked a flight to Tibet.

Now if only I didn’t have to drag all this damn diabetes stuff with me…. ohm… ohm… oy.

Take one cartoon with every meal

Food police

I first became acquainted with cartoonist, Haidee Merritt, on Amy Tenderich’s blog, DiabetesMine

Haidee is the new Sunday cartoonist in residence over there. And her weekend funnies are fantastic! 

There’s the absolute “getting it” as a girl who got type 1 diabetes at the tender age of two. And then there’s the living with it for the past 38 years.  

Haidee’s passion led to her book – One lump or two?. What began as a few doodles she says represents a lifetime of personal struggles and experiences. And they sit now here on my coffee table offering me a momentary release from the tedium of diabetes. 

Haidee said squirreling herself away to draw helps her temper her feelings about diabetes and the cartoons are a way for her to confront and accept things that are sometimes hard, and communicate with others. 

I know reading her work is a way for me to gain a reward belonging to this exclusive club – diabetes – I wouldn’t have picked for myself voluntarily.

Haidee writes in her bio, along with her artistic credentials, that her goal is to become a Celebrated Diabetic Personality, hmmmm…CDP, a new canon among the CDEs and NPs and LDs and MDs. Also, she says she has an opinion on just about everything, so just ask. Should you care to, you can contact Haidee at her website and also see more of the artist’s work. 

I told Haidee I’d rationed myself to one cartoon with each meal because each gives me such a lift I didn’t want to run out too quickly. She assured me she has enough material for book #2 and all she needs is the funding. So I’m personally appealing to anyone who appreciates the healing power of laughter and has a bit of a wad to spare to get in touch with this very talented and rising CDP.

 

Dear Santa

Unknown

At the North Pole Station

I posted this two years ago, and in truth, my letter to Santa hasn’t changed any.

Dear Santa,

All I’d like this Christmas is for you to take this diabetes away. I’m so tired of it already. All these finger sticks and guessing when my blood sugar’s high or low. Now that I’m in menopause I can barely tell if I’m sweating because I’m losing estrogen or my blood sugar’s crashing at 50! And, can we talk…I mean the constant figuring out how many carbs are in a ravioli or bread stick or that fried calamari that will be at the company Christmas party. Some days I just want to lay down and shoot myself. Please, please Santa, would you take this diabetes away?

Sincerely,

riva

Dear Riva,

I’m very sorry you’re having a tough time during my favorite season. I only want people to be singing carols and drinking eggnog and feeling good cheer. Unfortunately, it says in my contract, that I’m not allowed to interfere with life’s natural occurrences. So here’s my suggestion, after you open your holiday gifts, look under your Hanukah bush for the gift in having diabetes. You may have to spend a few days looking so why don’t you schedule it for the week between Christmas and New Years while you have some down time? Then you can start the new year fresh.

Best wishes,

Santa and the gang

Dear Santa,

A gift in my diabetes? What are you crazy? Meshuggah? Thanks, but no thanks!

riva

Dear Rabbi,

I seek your wise counsel. I wrote to Santa to take away my diabetes but he wasn’t helpful at all. Surely you who have studied so much and represent our people who have suffered throughout history can help me with this awful diabetes. It’s such a strain, Rabbi. I have to test my blood sugar when I really want to be lighting the sabbath candles. I forgot all about the High Holy days this year because I was so busy counting carbs in the Challah, bagels and honey cake. Rabbi, please, what solace can you offer me? What words of wisdom? Surely you would tell me to just forget about this diabetes thing and study the Torah, right?

Please write soon,

riva

Dear riva,

Santa and I just returned from the Caribbean and he told me about your difficulty. He said he told you you should look for the gift in your diabetes. I concur with Santa, there are many gifts to be found in diabetes if you look. For one, my child, you won’t have to drink the traditional Manishewitz holiday wine anymore. The Counsel all agree it is much too sweet. Bring out the Chardonnay!

When Santa asks you to look for a gift in your diabetes, he is not saying this because you are not Catholic and he is not bringing you anything, although this is true. He is speaking like our brothers the Buddhists, who profess there is a gift in everything if you look for something positive it can bring into your life.

Let me tell you a story my child. My own Aunt Sheila had diabetes and after she stopped kvetching, she went to a spa and learned how to eat healthy. She shopped along Rodeo Drive and bought a cute little jogging outfit and started running. On her jog along the ocean she met her fourth husband, Marvin, and they’re very happy. They just moved into a $6,000,000 mansion in Jupiter, Florida — right next to Burt Reynolds! Everyone’s plotzing! Darling girl, find a gift in your diabetes, because to be honest, since you’re not orthodox, and all I have are these great wigs I got on sale from my cousin Schlomo, I’m not bringing you anything either. And really, it’s not very pleasant to whine.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi, Local Union 107

Dear Rabbi,

I thought about what you and Santa said and have decided to become a Buddhist. I picked up the Dalai Lama’s book, The Art of Happiness. He says, “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” I told my friend, Joe, I like butterflies and I like the robe, so these aren’t bad gifts. Joe said the quotation meant that we are the source of our happiness, that happiness can only come from inside us regardless of what happens in our lives. Hmmm, I said, maybe I need to learn more. So I booked a flight to Tibet. Now if only I didn’t have to drag all this damn diabetes stuff with me….ohm…ohm…oy. riva