February 17, 2008

Waiting for the bird to come...

Take these broken wings and learn to fly...

Okay, so I already knew I hadn’t been feeling so great lately. I seemed to be walking around in a never ending state of fatigue with every joint and muscle in my body screaming in agony. Sometimes there would be an odd tingling in my feet and my ears would ring on occasion. Yes, I tried pretending it was simply arthritis or the natural process of growing old, but I knew it was something different.

I just didn’t expect my doctor to tell me the fun is over and put me on Insulin. He thought I wasn’t taking my medication at all. As a matter of fact he questioned me quite thoroughly about it. It took a lot of reassurance on my part to convince him I was taking the medications and not simply flushing them down a toilet or something. Perhaps I’d have bought a bit more insulin free time if I had been less convincing.

He said that as a doctor he simply could not condone or permit me to continue on with the numbers my recent blood tests had returned with without doing the right thing. Then he played the child card and began lecturing me on how my son needed me to be around for him. He followed that up with the wife card and suddenly he was holding a far superior hand to my denial flush. God, I do hate doctors...

At this point however I’m willing to do almost anything it takes to make the pain go away. Yes, denial is a pleasant enough experience for as long as it lasts but eventually the novelty wears off and reality can no be held at bay. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I’m a big fan of reality, insofar as it doesn’t interfere with a pleasant life of blissful ignorance.

The pain in my extremities had almost become a close and enduring friend; it was something I’d come to know on a daily basis, it was a part of the most intimate moments of my everyday life and by God it let me know just how alive I still am at my current state of advanced years. Nothing says I am alive and can still feel like pain. It keeps you sharp and on your toes against the stalking death that haunts your every day.

The very thought of the needles makes me cringe in revulsion. I hate needles. I’ve hated them since a hospital stay during my childhood where they were a very unpleasant part of my hourly routine. The worst part of the experience was the shots only made things worse and no one figured it out and they kept increasing the number of shots trying to fix the problem. Experimental vaccines don’t always work.

The last time I saw my mother she was already lost to the diabetic coma. The doctor in charge of her said that she was a flat line. I spoke to the nurse in charge and made the decision to remove the oxygen and bag fluids keeping her trapped in her physical shell so she could go on. Not believing in the concept of God myself I have no great fear of dying. After all it’s something we’ve been doing as a species for a number of millennia now.

I do believe however that if such a thing as God did exist he would be subject to the very same universal laws of thermodynamics as the rest of us; all matter moves from organized states to ever increasing states of disorganization. When I look up into the nighttime sky I see it as Vincent Van Gogh saw it. The great and terrible beauty of the universe is in its demise as it occurs in and around us infinitely. Alpha and Omega, all things have a beginning and an ending. There are no exceptions. Vincent looked into the heavens and saw the true nature of God, as he dies slowly upon the canvas of the stars and takes every vestige of our hopes and dreams of immortality with him.

What shattered the spirit of Van Gogh has always served as a reality check for me. We’re born, we blaze through the universe until the fire within us fades and then we crash and burn in death and the ride is over. I’ve reached my apex and now come the insulin and the needles.

I feel old this evening. I hurt all the way down to the marrow of my bones. It is as if crushed glass courses through my veins and fills each and every nerve ending with a hot liquid fire.

I’ve been living with diabetes for some time now. I don’t blog about it because I really don’t care for disease blogs. I don’t wish to waste time commiserating with others about our mutual pain and suffering. I do not want my disease to be what I am remembered for. I want to be remembered because those who are my friends never knew what would come out of my mind next. I do not want to be remembered as a brave soul who battled bravely until the very end. I want to be remembered as a clown or a fool on the hill.

I want to be remembered exactly as those who know me truly experienced me. If I am remembered as an asshole or a prankster, a moron or a genius, a teller of truth or a liar it will be a valid memory in the mind of someone and that is the reality of who I’ve been. I was more than diabetes. I was a multitude of things and a variety of personalities during the course of my life. And that is how I want to be remembered...

I want to be remembered as a man, a husband and a father sitting on a corn flake...


Blogger Jay said...

Well dude, that does suck. But, that doctor is indeed right. If you've reached the point of no other option, then that's your only option.

February 18, 2008 12:16 AM  
Blogger Pepper said...

I am sorry that it has come to the needle. I hate them and have came close on several times to passing out. You are doing the right thing, you want to be the one that is sitting next to your son when turns on that ignition for the first time. You will want to be there to hear "Grandpa" as well.

As far as your comment regarding death. At one time I would have agreed with you. I had a son who showed me that life goes on, it is a circle, never ending. He was the one that led me to Carol Bowman for advice.

So when your son is playing quietly listen to him. God forbid if he does the same things that Scott did.

February 18, 2008 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it keeps you around, then poke away I guess. Although I'm really sorry :(

February 18, 2008 1:14 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I hope the insulin helps to keep your HBa1C under control. See? I can speak the lingo! Hang in there man!

February 18, 2008 2:09 AM  
Blogger barefoot gardener said...

You know, this post sounded eerily like what Mr. Barefoot said to me right after he was diagnosed diabetic. The talk of feeling old, of not wanting to be thought of as a diabetic, but a person.

We all know that you are so much more than just a diabetic. Don't forget that.

I am sorry that you have to do the needle thing, but your doc was right. Wife and son need you around, and if it takes something moderately unpleasant to keep you around for them it is worth it.

I'll be thinking of you...

February 18, 2008 10:46 AM  
Blogger Aileen said...

Pricks for a prick. How fitting! lmao

February 18, 2008 11:59 AM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

Officially, I'm not blogging, but I came over to see what's up with you and found this. I'm sorry, Dirk my friend.

That said, I expect you'll get mad, take the needles in stride, and get back to living the good life with your family. There's just no alternative. Your ride's not over, and in fact, the best is yet to come. Hang in there, stiff upper lip and all that: Micah has much to learn from his old man, and a few things to teach him.

February 18, 2008 9:59 PM  
Blogger Betty said...

I know you won't believe me right now, but you'll get to the point where the injection is just part of the daily routine. I didn't think I could do it, either, but the alternative is worse.

February 18, 2008 10:12 PM  
Blogger Arcturus said...

Well, I did it again -- I didn't read this entry before posting my previous comment asking if you are really sick.

I am sorry to hear, I really am. The doctor was just doing his job professionally. He would be wrong to not say what he did.

Hope you're feeling better, dude.

February 18, 2008 10:42 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

My heart is with you, Dirk. My grandmother had diabetes for a long time before even going to the doctor. She waited too long and lost her legs and was on dialysis before she died.

You will get used to the routine and your family will have you around longer.

In light and love


February 18, 2008 11:26 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Jay's right. That really does suck! Sorry you're having to do the insulin bit, and I can totally commiserate on the needle thing.

But, whatever else you may be, you're NOT just a guy with diabetis. It is a part of who you are, but that is not all that you are, and should you decide to occasionally blog about your fight with this disease, that is not ALL we will ever thing of you as. But, blogging about it periodically may also help you, and others.

I hope getting sufficient insulin helps you feel human again, and live without so much pain. Keep Strong, Dirk!!!

February 19, 2008 12:40 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

Please listen to your doctor....

February 19, 2008 6:57 AM  
Blogger Jahooni said...

take the meds with lots of booz... oh wait, that isn't good for your diabetes.

Take them.

Not many people tell me that I am pretty on my blog, so if you kick the bucket then I am shit out of luck. ;-)

February 19, 2008 2:57 PM  
Blogger SQT said...

I'd like to remember you as a man who lived a long long time.

My dad has diabetes he doesn't take care of and it's maddening. Don't be that guy.

February 19, 2008 6:27 PM  
Blogger Matt-Man said...

Just make sure you do what is directed to you so you can espouse your sardonic wit for years to come you moron.

And I meant that in the most loveable way. Cheers Dirk!!

February 19, 2008 6:48 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

ummm you just got the doc' lecture... if it were my husband he would feel lucky 'cause once I got through with the verbal abuse...well needles would be no big deal.. get my point?

February 19, 2008 9:03 PM  
Blogger Merelyme said...

what a beautiful post this truly is. and it just shows what a talented writer you are...to write with such depth and elegance about even such a topic as mortality.

on a personal level...i am just so very sorry you have to go through this. there is no sugar coated words to take this away.

i just want you to know that i care and in my limited way as your friend here on the internet...my hand is extended to you should you ever need anything.

February 20, 2008 7:28 AM  
Blogger zen wizard said...

Take your medicine, you pussy!

It's just needles--big whoop!

Don't make me play the, "Come Up There And Kick Your Ass"-Card!!

February 20, 2008 1:40 PM  
Blogger zen wizard said...

Okay--my last post was kind of harsh now that I think about it...

And on this job, I have losts of time to think.

The fear of needles stems from the childhood hospital trauma, obviously, and since needles are now the sine qua non of your existence, I would recommend some regression therapy with a hypnotherapist to go back and resolve the childhood issues.

Should take about five sessions at a C-note a pop.

The alternative is: DEATH.

February 20, 2008 1:47 PM  
Blogger cher said...

i'm trying here dude, i really am. but no matter what i do, when i think of you, all i think of is a man, a husband and a father sitting on a corn flake...who has diabetes.

February 20, 2008 5:25 PM  
Blogger Paul F. said...

Yes, I have known pain too. Pain like no other. Now the only pain I feel is in my heart (and that nagging knee problem). Just keep some hope in your demeanor.

February 21, 2008 2:11 AM  
Blogger Craig D said...


There is not cure for what you've got... and I ain't talkin' 'bout no diabetes! ;-)

Soldier on, my man.

February 21, 2008 7:53 AM  
Blogger Pepper said...

Are you okay?

February 21, 2008 1:20 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Dirk? Are you there? I'm worried about you dude!

February 21, 2008 9:43 PM  
Blogger Jahooni said...

Are you there? woo hoo... where's dirkstar?

February 22, 2008 4:00 PM  
Blogger Merelyme said...

still thinking about you and hoping you are okay...

February 22, 2008 4:20 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Hey Dirk!!! Hope all is ok as it's been a few days now since you posted this & we haven't heard any more from ya. We need you to come back & post your rants & insights into our government, our economy, and the upcoming presidential elections. *grin* See ya soon, hopefully!

February 22, 2008 6:55 PM  
Blogger You can Call me AL said...

I have no witty line for you or smart ass comment. You just have to do it. You're a smart guy and will research what you need to do.
Make the most of it and keep on keeping on!

February 22, 2008 10:11 PM  

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