Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tooth Sweaters and Empathy.

Yesterday, my friend George put something up on Twitter that caught my attention.

George Simmons
Hate this disease.

And he shared this photo:

And it just broke my heart.

A graph like that represents the cruelest form of math. You just can't eliminate x and y from the quadratic equation of diabetes every time. There will inevitably be times where you "do everything right", and your blood glucose will still refuse to get off of that trampoline.

Those three words, and that picture, really got to me. There I was, sitting at work in my Business Lady Attire and trying to be professional, and I could feel tears starting to form. (Decidedly not professional.)

It's hard to explain to someone outside of our diabetes community why I'd react that way. (Other than the whole, "Hi, I'm Kim, and I will cry at everything - including but not limited to Visa commercials, the kind acts of strangers, Pixar movies, and stubbing my toe on the foot of the bed" thing.) I mean, it was a tweet. And a picture. Posted by someone I've actually never met in person. Yet.

I get that.

But here's the thing - people with diabetes deal with a lot of the same stuff, really. And we don't need to have met face-to-face, or know each other's life stories, to be able to relate in a real, raw, emotional and deep way.

Seeing that graph got to me, because I know - exactly - what that's like. Because I've walked that zig-zaggy line, too. I know how it makes your body feel like it's been thrown around - and it has, in a way. I know the headache. I know the impossible thirst that leaves you feeling like you're wearing tooth sweaters.

Not what tooth sweaters actually look like.

I know how it drains all of your energy and patience. How helpless it leaves you feeling; how hopeless. How every attempt to "correct" seems futile, because apparently diabetes is just going to do whatever it darn well pleases anyway.

At those times, it seems like diabetes has you on a marionette string, and all you can do is try to figure out which way that puppet master will decide to pull you next.

And because I know the totality of how much that sucks, I tend to feel a bit protective. It makes me want to make diabetes pay for causing my friends to feel that way. It makes me want to run diabetes down and beat the crap out of it.

No one deserves to feel like that - or to feel that way about feeling like that.


  1. No one at all, indeed.

    (the sweaters on the teeth? sort of awesome in a dark humor sort of way.)

  2. I think I would like to steal that sweaters-on-teeth picture and put it on my coffee mug. LOVE.

  3. I have to agree. This broke my heart yesterday when I saw this. Some days it's like nothing you do works, and you're just going to have an off day... some days are REALLY off... but it hurts nonetheless because you work SO hard every day to get it right... and you feel like a failure when you don't.

    I think if we call could have reached thru and hugged George yesterday, we would have... Still would if I could. We all hate diabetes.. but even more so on days like this... when it is a bully to one of our own... our family.

  4. Absolutely NO ONE INDEED! I will have to ask my grandson if wearing teeth sweaters would help him describe how he feels at times!! But it gives me, just another reminder of the struggles you all endure on a daily basis, and it breaks my heart!!

  5. Are you sure that's not what tooth sweaters look like, because I am pretty sure it is!

    I hate days like that too when we are doing everything right that we can and it still goes so wrong!

  6. This is the post that made me cry.

    I hated yesterday and the day before. I woke up to a decent bg but it is already climbing again.

    I really do hate diabetes and all that it brings along with it. It just sucks.

    sorry to make you cry my friend. :(

  7. First time I really read in words what my boy feels like. Daily. Damn. HATE THIS DISEASE.

  8. I know what that is like. Sometimes it can be so upsetting, and all I want to do is give up! But, we are stronger than D. We have each other and we will get through it.

  9. I don't see it as a tweet from someone you've actually never met in person . . . I see it as a hurt cry of frustration from a good good friend. And that makes me cry too!!

  10. Tears, lots of them. They come from the knowing in my soul exactly what those highhigh sweaters and dips and rolls and plummeting lows feel like. A condition/illness/disorder/disease/24-7burden that just sucks, sucks, sucks. There's no denying the physical, mental and emotional pain, because it's there. Still, neverending gratefulness for virtual hugs and real community found online. Sending lots of love to all of us today...

  11. Exactly. Were you sitting in my cube yesterday?

  12. I have been so MIA from twitter..

    The pic and post made me cry, as soon as I saw it. I dont know what it feels like but I have seen this with Justice and I know how awful he feels.

    Diabetes is such a "Insert the nastiest word you like".

  13. We feel for you George, those rollar coasters suck the life right out of ya. Hey, can I get in on the beating up the finger printy dude reprenting diabetes? I too hate it!

  14. That broke my heart, too, and I feel exhausted just looking at that stupid Dexcom graph. Thank God for the DOC, though, and people who understand (unfortunately) just how terrible days like that are. Because the only thing worse than a day like that, is a day like that PLUS being alone.

    On a lighter note, I think you need to do a Part 2 drawing of what happens when you catch D, and do a painting of you beating the crap out of him with a baseball bat. Because that would be awesome :)

  15. Sometimes when people ask me why I'm not doing a certain diabetes task I need to do, I just want to say "because I don't feel like it."

    But you know... if you say that to a family member then you'll get the: "But omg, if you don't you'll go blind and loose a foot."

    So you're quiet, and you hold it all in, and anger just sits there boiling....

  16. Thank you. I laughed, while crying, reading this post.


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