I’ve Got This

126, waking.

The skin on my thumb is too tough, so I never stick my thumb. I haven’t the heart to use my pinky – it looks far too much like a child for me to sacrifice it. The one time I used my index finger, a bruise bloomed before I lifted the lancet. So my left middle and ring fingers are chosen over and over and over. I wonder if my fingerprint will change from this?

I am afraid to eat, I don’t yet understand the whims of what will spike my blood sugar and what won’t. This diagnosis is a new sweater and I’m not sure I like the way it feels, the yarn is still coated with newness, it hasn’t yet adapted to my form. It doesn’t smell like me.

134, pre-meal.

In statistics class, the professor is using an example of how to determine which of two golfers is better. He blocks them so that they have a random daily draw as to who will golf in the morning and who will golf in the afternoon. This is to ensure that each player is exposed to the same conditions at the course. I raise my hand.

“Why don’t they both play at the same time?”

I understand the concept. But the example is too flawed.

86, pre-meal.

My doctor asks, “Well, did you expect this?”

I shrug, “Probably.”

She’s seen me through the last four years, my life crumbling like bleu cheese. I put it back together again, but she knows that bleu cheese is always a bit moldy and that I do not take care of myself because there are kids, two jobs, a house, a yard, other family, and now classes.

“You’ve got this.”

She said the same thing when she ordered a biopsy of a lymph node in my neck. Everything was fine then, everything will be fine now. It’s just one more thing.

147, two hours post-meal

The ocean hasn’t swallowed my home. My pregnant spouse hasn’t been diagnosed with aggressive cancer. I have all of my teeth. I don’t have a criminal record. My kids delight me even as they stomp all over me making wine for bedtime bacchanalia. I have everything I need, for which I spill gratitude.

I do not deserve the right to cry out to the heavens. This is a situation mainly of my own making. Did I really think I could just eat with impunity when I was hungry and bored and lonely and up all night working? Did I believe that genetics and inertia and needling stress would leave me unscathed? Apparently, I did.

And just like everything on my plate – no, my platter – I’ve got this.

124, bedtime.

9 thoughts on “I’ve Got This

    • I love the structure of this. I thought the number blood sugar readings were effective continuing reminders of the challenge of your illness as you go through your day. The emotion behind it was evident, but understated. Nice piece.

  1. Love this line: This diagnosis is a new sweater and I’m not sure I like the way it feels, the yarn is still coated with newness, it hasn’t yet adapted to my form. It doesn’t smell like me.

    It took me a bit to figure out what was going on (my mind went to sewing…not sure why), but then once I understood I could see the rhythm clearly. It’s not an easy thing to share and I could almost see the “slow breaths out” trying to keep it centered.

  2. The glucose stats in between paragraphs worked really well to anchor the essay. Being pre-diabetic myself, I instantly knew what the topic was. The pinkie finger being a child part and the making wine for bedtime bacchanalia wasn’t clear to me.

  3. I had to read a few times to understand what was happening (but I absolutely think that’s me being dim and no reflection on your writing which is great!).

    Good luck. I don’t doubt that you’ve got this.

  4. My heart goes out to you. I instantly understood what the piece was about, made clear by the digits, the bruising. Sending you lots of strength. I especially loved the breaks with the glucose readings; it really gave a perfect, unsteady pause as the anxiety of the section rose.

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