A Crash Course on Sponge Cake and The Pancreas

Hey internet people,

I’ve been absent from this corner of the web for a while now. I spent all summer working in and loving jobs that had nothing to do with teaching, while nurturing a nascent love of baking (see above and see also: I love you, Mary Berry). In September I came back to Spain and now it’s ALREADY NOVEMBER AND ALREADY DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH AND I AM LIVING IN ALL.CAPZ!

Fact: I’ve been living with this piece of shit for nineteen years! I am always grateful for my health and for the fact that the nature of my birth and my current residence make it so that I can live life with diabetes without worrying about going bankrupt. Nevertheless, it feels good to recognize certain truths from time to time. Like this one: as enlightening and formative as its been to live with chronic illness for most of my childhood and all of my adulthood, I am capital O, over it. I’d like my carry-on suitcase to be full of normal people things and I’d like for my days off to not include insulin or test strip pick-ups. I’d like to not know about any of this.

But I do know about it. So here I am. Do you have questions? Cool. I might have some answers.

Continue reading “A Crash Course on Sponge Cake and The Pancreas”

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Hey, are you aware? It’s November!

Every time November rolls around I think of a line from Amy Winehouse’s “Me & Mr. Jones.” “What kind of fuckery is this?” she sings. She’s referring of course to the fact that her boyfriend made her miss the Slick Rick concert (note: never keep a girl from her music).

This month always takes me surprise, hits me right in the gut. Two months away from a brand new year, Thanksgiving around the corner, the horror of Halloween behind me, and the only thing my heart beats is “what kind of fuckery is this?” How does this happen year, after year, after year? Alucinante! the Spaniards might say. But here we are in the reality of November which also, it just so happens, is Diabetes Awareness Month. DAM!

Since I started writing about life with T1D again, I’ve been thinking a lot about what awareness means to me. When I think about awareness, I think about a lot of things. Too many to write about in one post. One that I think about more than others, though? The vast majority of people with diabetes who haven’t been as fortunate as I have. I was lucky enough to be born in a place and into a family that afforded me the luxury of worrying and thinking about things like the philosophy of illness, in a place and into a family where fighting for technological tweaks and tools that would make my life easier was the norm. I think about that and, while fighting for those things has its place, too (after all, tech progress is invaluable), my awareness focus today falls on those who don’t have the privileges that I do.

Living with diabetes is difficult and demanding in the best of cases but without access to the tools necessary to manage it, it’s a death sentence.  I want people to be aware that there are many people with diabetes in the world who don’t have access to or can’t afford those tools. Insulin, test strips, and the education to know how to use them are absolutely vital.  It is 2016 and people are dying and suffering from a disease that has been manageable since 1922. What kind of fuckery is that?

Because Type 1 International sums it up succinctly, this is the part where I refer you to the Diabetes Access Charter. The world is overwhelming and the advocacy world even more so (there’s so much fixing to be done). The easiest thing one can do, though, is show solidarity. So this November, please take five minutes of your time to read and sign the charter.