Friday, February 4, 2011

Same Cake, Different Icing.

My friend Megan writes this blog, see. It's this wonderful collection of stories she's assembling about the ungodly process she and her family are going through while (eternally) remodeling their house. They've been dealing with things like indoor water fountains. Ginormous built-in cabinets that don't make sense.  Walls made of tile, concrete, and steel meshLove toilets. She's insightful, witty, and a great writer with a panache for clever delivery. Reading these accounts leaves me feeling slightly more knowledgable, and a bit more glad that Aaron and I bought a house that didn't need work. (We're not handy.) Her posts leave me feeling entertained.

Until this week.  Until this post.

You see - it turns out they've got massive termite damage. In most every room they've torn apart. I read through this post the other day, and saw passages like the following; sentences spliced between the graphic photos of the termite's havoc:
When I was in college my car was broken into. The contents of the glove box and center console were strewn everywhere. I felt so violated. It was this tightness in my chest. Someone had been in my place. A trusted, safe sanctuary. And they messed it up. Perhaps you’ve found sanctuary in a friend. Put your complete trust in them, only to be betrayed. Suddenly, they are not what you always saw. Seeing what lies beneath can be very upsetting. It sticks with you. You can’t shake it. There are days that I feel betrayed by our house. After all the time and money we’ve invested, how can it do this to us? How can an entire wall just be… gone? How did we not know?
 And then, this:
The decay and destruction are so quiet, but you can hear the despair, the defeat. The room is haunted by the spirit of its old self. It did not mean to betray us. It’s a ghost that whispers "help me" as the cold winter wind blows right through it.
Now, it might be the tequila talking.  Or the subsequent box-o-wine.  But I truly adore this house, and I tell him that.  It is a part of me.  I love it for what it is, and for what it can become.  I love the beauty in the remodeled, and the potential in the yet-to-be. I think about the beauty that can be found in those that need repair.
And that's where I lost it.

Maybe I'm just overly emotional, or too quick to shed tears. Maybe I saw something implied in that writing that was ever intended. Or maybe, for me as well, it's the wine talking.

In any case, her words drew a beautiful parallel. Though she was speaking about home renovation, the emotional foundation she spoke from is beneath all of us. As I poured through the post, I couldn't escape thinking that this is precisely how many of us diagnosed with diabetes feel. We can all relate to feeling betrayed by our bodies. To wondering, "How could my pancreas just... stop producing insulin?" We know that feeling of violation; of something being messed up that was never supposed to be. We know our bodies did not mean to betray us, and yet, they did. You can do everything "right" - food, exercise, whatever - and it still comes for you. It still tries to defeat you.

What really got me about this story was that last bit, because that's where I tend to be at this point in my life with diabetes: I "love it for what it is", because it is a part of me. (I know. You're thinking, What? You LOVE it?)

Don't think that I'm saying that I'm happy I have diabetes - I'm not. I wouldn't wish this on anyone; no one deserves to have to live this way. But with the passage of time, the acquisition of experience, and the support of the online community especially, I can "love it for what it is". Diabetes is, for better or worse, a part of me. And if it's a part of me, (because I don't really remember life without it, being diagnosed at six), I'd sure as heck better find something good about it - because I do like "me". Diabetes helped to shape me into that person - good and bad.

And, oh, is there ever room for remodeling... I can look forward to better treatments. I can look forward to continued support and encouragement from others. I can look forward to having something to write about each day, and to the lovely people who read it. I can look forward to being able to connect with others who share my heart.

There is beauty in those that need repair, you know.


  1. Loved this...and I could tell where you were heading by reading the passages from the "remodeling blog". I never really felt that way about Joe's pancreas...I am not sure he has either,b/c it is truly all he knows. Living with "d" sure does give us plenty of entertaining material to write about doesn't it?

  2. There was definitely a deeper meaning intended! I'm so touched that you read it, and that it meant something to you. Here with you every step of the way as we fight/live/love Type 1!

  3. Beautiful post Kim. I couldnt agree more. I hate that Justices pancreas is broken as he says but that doesnt make us love his life or him any less. Just needs some more nurturing and attention.

    And yay for remodeling :)

  4. Ahhh....remodeling. Pass the wine.

    LOVE IT.

  5. Houses infested by termites, bodies poisoned by high blood glucose levels ... good analogy!

  6. Having experienced an islet cell transplant and getting a taste of life without the daily struggles of diabetes did take an identity adjustment. It was and is such a predominant part of my life. I discussed this with my doctor who said she considers her patients to be Type 1s in remission. That seems about right. I'll always count carbs and get exercise and be very cautious of my health. And, I hope to hold on to the strength that I had acquired throughout my struggles.

    The scientists are working hard to find ways to prevent or repair what our trader pancreases have done to us. Keep hoping.

    Best wishes to you.


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