Ode to Diabetes, or Oh Diabetes

Maybe it’s the season, or that this is Eric’s last blog entry of 2007, but whatever it is, he’s pushed his prose into line breaks this week. So without much further ado, here’s Eric’s poem to close out his first year as someone with Type 1 diabetes. If any of the details of the poem make you say “What?” don’t worry; you may want to reference his first few blog entries from back in July, though. And Eric says that you needn’t worry—he won’t continue the poetic blog entries in 2008.

On My First Year With Type 1

Remember how easy it was last January
grabbing whatever was in the fridge or on the shelf
and looking past common sense simply
to indulge for delight? Late at night
the reduced-fat peanut butter and the strawberry preserves
were never wrong, and even after I’d glop one extra
tablespoon to get at that berry, nearly whole, and place it
in the center of the peanut-butter-on-bread, and even
when I was halfway finished and the sandwich
oozed onto the plate those pools of sweet strawberry
thick with sugar, dripping and heavy with carbs,
I didn’t care.

And then Cleveland. At least that’s how we remember it:
Cleveland happened. Snow, outlet malls, cough syrup.
Our four-day midwinter getaway became a Friday
in a hotel we hated, a seventh-floor downtown room
where I’d sleep and then get up and pee
and then drink and then sleep and then get up and pee
and then drink and then sleep and then, yes…on and on
all night, all next morning, and even after we got back home
for at least the next week. But it had to be the weather
or my cold or my meds. We joked that it might be diabetes
but we joked because we didn’t know
and because there was no way that it was.


Now that we know
we joke that it was Cleveland that gave it to me.
And we will never go back.

There is no in time, no what if, no blame,
and no matter how often I think I may want to say it,
the why me isn’t worth it. For the past year
I’ve lived a life wholly unusual according mostly
only to me. So when last Monday
my endocrinologist asked how it is
that I’ve so smoothly made the transition
to living with this, the only thing I thought to say—
and which I don’t fully understand
even as I write it down now—was that
I’ve nothing better to do than embrace it to beat it.

Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/ode-to-diabetes-or-oh-diabetes/

Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor. (Eric Lagergren is not a medical professional.)

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