Daddy Is Dope


Did I mention I have 2-year old twins?  Well, I do.  I feel very lucky.   I’ve got the kids a lot during the week because I’m a freelancer and a proud PTSAHD (part-time-stay-at-home-dad).  Amongst the diaper-changing-in-the-park and not-letting-them-run-into-the-street duties, I realized that I also get to teach the kids a lot of things including what’s funny – or what I think is funny.  I’m in charge of their senses of humor.  For now at least.  And lately one thing that cracks them up is when I ask; “what is Daddy?” they now answer, “Dope.”   I was hoping for “funny” as an answer, but  recently I must have done something I shouldn’t have and exclaimed aloud; “Oh, daddy is such a dope!”  They hear EVERYTHING.  They actually seem to say; “Daddy is dope.”  Now I know that if I was more street, or I felt like they were, I could rationalize that they are using a wayback machine and calling me “cool” circa 1995.  Luckily I think they just think it’s a funny word because we all laugh after they say it.

However, now that I’ve started this blog, the ”dope” label is not so off the mark.

I opened the door with my first post to explaining a little bit about my history of ignoring/denying my diabetic condition, but now I’ll push it in.  I’ll get back to the future in the next post, but for now I guess I have my bad back to thank for me even knowing that I had such high blood sugar levels.

In 1993, I felt a twinge.  I’m not even sure I remember exactly how it happened, but since I’m in triatholon-type shape (I’m SO NOT), I ignored it and kept on working – during the day slumped over a desk at my architecture firm, at night performing and/or rehearsing a show I was directing.  I didn’t slow down until my body made me.  It made me go see a doctor, which I hadn’t done in about, forever.  It was then, while playing catch-up on everything that was wrong with me that I discovered (due credit, the doctor discovered) a blood sugar level in the 300s.  I had ignored all the signs before hand – primarily that I was getting up to pee in the middle of the night every night the last few months before this.  I was a dope.

I immediately got the lecture, the info, the fear-of-god speech – and some drugs.  At the time I took this very seriously.  I ended up having back surgery and going through physical therapy.  My life slowed down and I took my drugs, I did my exercises, I lost some weight, I made some attempts at eating better.  My numbers started to look good after several months.  Yay me.  And then, as I started to feel better, I did the dopiest thing of all, I let the rationalization monster into my life.  I was feeling good so why not fill my plate up again with a main course of work, with heaping piles of play on the side?  I didn’t leave much room for my disease, because, hey, I had the drugs and they seemed to be working.   After those several months, I started to have small lapses in stupid stupid ways –  maybe I didn’t have time to pick up my prescriptions because of (fill-in-the-blank), but so what, I feel fine… or I don’t have time to make myself something good for me, so I’ll just grab a quick bite for lunch… and dinner… and snacks at the bar after the show.  I let my lifestyle get in the way of my life.

(I should say that the one thing I have going for me – that’s I’ve always had going for me – is that I don’t drink alcohol (the first posting aside, it’s very rare that I do).  Everyone else is drinking up a storm at the bar after a show and I’m having a diet coke.  And I don’t smoke (anything).  My blood pressure has always remained normal.)

Suffice to say this was a pattern that has repeated itself over the years.  I had another back surgery in 1998 (cue sound of roller coaster dipping fast), but luckily nothing else major since then.  Except for this darn diabetes thing that won’t go away.

I used to improvise a bit where I played a bad stand-up comic who had lines like; “The other day I got some mail… this ever happen to you?”   Well, I don’t know if I’m typical.  I don’t know if everyone dealing with this has had these experiences of feeling like a dope.  But I hope that by writing about it, I’m taking another step to remind myself that I’ve got to take care of myself.

Especially for those kids.  Did I mention how cute they are?

The ride continues…

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13 years ago

I love your honesty, you dope. 

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