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…
I love your honesty, you dope.