Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt like a slave to diabetes. Say me if you’ve ever drawn a parallel between the Passover Seder ritual of dipping your finger into wine ten times while reciting the ten plagues, and pricking your finger ten times to check your blood sugar while reciting various four letter words.
Tonight Passover begins, and I’m not a big fan of Passover. The Seders of my childhood took place at my grandmother, Bashy’s, house. While I recall Bashy, who passed away two years ago at the age of 99, with great love and fondness, her Seders bring to mind only traumatic memories. The food, for example… I don’t know how she did it, but while Bashy’s gefilte fish, matzoh balls, chopped liver, and charoset varied from one another somewhat in flavor and texture, each dish looked the same- and as gray as a teenage boy’s soiled tube sock. And every year being served such food would cause us to add a few more questions to the famous four questions of Passover like: Are these last year’s leftovers? Did Bashy use matzoh meal or is this made from a ground and seasoned cardboard box? And then there was an older relative, always just drunk enough to push me and my little brother out of the way when we found the Afikomen, and claim it for himself. And the reading out loud (I hate reading out loud!) from the Haggadah, trying to pronounce words like pestilence, while above mentioned drunk relative snickered. And on top of everything, I had to endure all of this while wearing an uncomfortable skirt under which I always wore a pair of shorts so there was absolutely no chance anyone would see my underpants.
Holidays are stressful, even if you aren’t worried about someone seeing your underpants. Stress, like holiday food, can make your blood sugar go crazy. Lucky for me, I am already so stressed out, no holiday-induced stress will seem out of the ordinary to my body. Moreover, I (as you might have guessed) don’t like Passover food. So it will be very easy for me to pass up every single course of this long meal. My blood sugar levels should be fine. But despite the fact that I’m not expecting to struggle with diabetes tonight, I can’t resist this opportunity to say Let my diabetes go. And since we’re talking slavery… say me if you remember Bryan Ferry’s 1985 song, Slave to Love.
If you’re having a Seder tonight and you happen to have diabetes, I suggest you surprise your guests. Opt out of the traditional (same old, same old, same old rounds of Dayenu) and instead break out in a loud chorus of Slave to Blood (sung to the tune of Slave to Love). Now that I think about it, even if you don’t celebrate Passover, this may be a very good exercise for anyone living with diabetes.
No I can’t escape. I’m a slave to blood.