It’s not a competition, but I’m prepared to nominate myself for “worst diabetic ever.” I went to college – two universities actually – and got a degree as an architect. Not an easy thing, excuse all the braggin’. Over the years, I’ve designed and built hundreds of buildings. My architectural photography is on view in several public and corporate spaces. Thumbing my nose at the concept of sleep, I’ve also spent two decades in theater; acting, directing, and writing dozens and dozens of shows on topics ranging from serial killers to iconic cartoonists to living in apartments formerly inhabited by dwarves. I do the New York Times crossword puzzle with fairly decent success (Monday thru Wednesday at least).
All of this unhumbleness would make you think that I was the kind of guy who would take the news seriously when told by a doctor that I have a disease that, left unchecked, could lead to blindness, amputation and worse. And by worse I’m not talking about erectile dysfunction; oh wait, it could lead to that too. But SURPRISE I’m not that guy.
Instead, I’m the guy who in 1993, at the age of 31, on the day that I found out that I was a Type 2 diabetic, went on stage during a late-night sketch comedy show and did a “bit” where I drank a shot of vodka between each scene in the show – which amounted to drinking more than 10 shots of premium alcohol in the space of a 35 minutes. And on top of that I did my best impression of a carnival barker and announced to roars of laughter – I believe now it was probably uncomfortable laughter – that the audience should “stick around because I might go into a diabetic coma before your VERY EYES!”
The lack of comatization that night (Oh, also I like making up words too) didn’t scare me straight enough though, instead it marked the beginning of a life long ride of being good and bad and good and bad about dealing with this disease. This column will not be about educating you about anything other than my own experiences as an architect, actor, director, comedy writer, photographer, teacher, husband, son, father of twins and diabetic. Welcome to my roller coaster.