Elaine Stritch, 88 years young, type 2 and going strong

A few days ago i saw the documentary film, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. I was bowled over. I first saw Elaine Stritch, singer, Broadway actress, comedian and larger than life figure, in the original production of Steven Sondheim’sCompany on Broadway. She stole the show.

I must have been in my twenties, I have no recollection why I was at that show, it was much too intelligent for me at the time, but anyone who saw it couldn’t help but be moved by a musical number that was Elaine’s alone, “The Ladies Who Lunch.” She commanded the stage and her deep throated voice grabbed out to the unsuspecting in the last row.

The documentary I just saw, which is more about her present life still putting on a pair of tights and while shirt, performing at 88, shows her as just as she’s always presented herself – authentically. From skipping down along Central Park in Manhattan to yelling at cab drivers, to fearing for her life having a low. She’s one bawdy broad. Elaine is just one of those people, the millions among us, who has type 2 diabetes and is on insulin and has lows and sometimes ends up in the hospital.

If you want to be moved and you have an independent film theatre in your town, maybe it’s still playing. Or netflix it soon. 

Today, it’s been raining all day and grey enough to keep me inside. and so I’m now watching her London performance from 2002 called Elaine Stritch at Liberty, a summation of her gorgeous career. This you can Youtube now. 

It has nothing to do with diabetes, it’s pure performance, but hey, living with diabetes, and being sixty, more and more I realize, life is not just about work, but also play. Enjoy.

Oops, no insulin on board

For the first time since I don’t remember when I left my apartment and went around the corner to my local pub restaurant, and forgot to bring my insulin. 


Wow, it didn’t even dawn on me until still seated at the bar after a glass of wine and an appetizer, the entree came and my husband said, “Aren’t you going to shoot up?” Oh, my gosh, I thought, not in a bad way, no, sort of a tickled how could I be so mindless way, “I forgot to bring it.” I answered the look of concern on his face with, “That’s OK, the wine will drop me and I’ll shoot up as soon as we get home.” Home only being two blocks away.


Then I sat back and enjoyed the absolute freedom that “normal” people experience every day, actually several times a day. No calculating carbs, no pulling out the syringe and vial, no turning away to give myself an injection, no wondering if I just took the right amount of insulin. No afterthought that I’d have to check my blood sugar two hours later to see. No making a mental note when two hours later would be. No, I just sat back and enjoyed the utter, overwhelming freedom, and the incredible wiener schnitzel in front of us in this super Austrian pub. 


I don’t know what caused me to forget my insulin, although I can guess. I was doing a million things before I left the apartment, my mind was equally in a million places, forward and backward, and I had just had an upsetting phone call with a friend. In part, that’s what prompted the last minute desire to go out for dinner; I needed to get out of this tiny apartment and change the view and my head. 


But whatever the reason, it’s amazing that forgetting my insulin doesn’t happen more often, like once a day or once a week, really, and so I have to give myself credit for the 99 times out of 100 that I remember to bring my insulin with me. 


So even my mistake gives me justifiable cause to pat myself on the back for all the times I succeed. OK, here’s the part where you laugh with me.