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...

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