What A Diabetic Sees When She Sees Circles


I’m immensely interested in cosmology.  Headlines like this one, “The Circular Logic of The Unvierse,” in the NYT are sure to pull me in.   I won’t claim to really understand anything about the universe, though.  I mean, I learned a few things in college, like, despite the claims of Akkadian poetry, Babylon was not – in fact – the center of the universe.  And I know that Aristotle was wrong too; the universe is not geocentric.

Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Vasily Kandinsky, “Several Circles,” 1926.

In her essay, “The Circular Logic of the Universe,”  Natalie Angier writes about looking at Vasily Kandinsky’s painting “Several Circles,” on a recent trip to the Guggenheim museum in New York.  When Angier looked at the painting she thought “of yeast cells budding, or a haloed blue sun and its candied satellite crew, or life itself escaping the careless primordial stew.”  Guess what I thought when I saw this picture?  Hey!  Cool!  Those little red circles look just like drops of blood that pop out of my fingers and forearms when I check my blood sugar (A note- I use Abbott’s freestyle glucometer, and my favorite place to test is on my left forearm).  So in response to the topic Catherine Price brought up earlier this week, How To Know When Diabetes Is Taking Over Your Life, I offer this reply:  when you begin to see your diabetes in works of fine art.

And speaking of testing… this morning I have a purplish bruise on my left forearm because yesterday I tested four times in a row in pretty much the same spot.  It all happened in the course of one hour during which I felt so tired that I was sure my blood sugar was over 200.  Each time I checked, however, I was between 89 and 120.  The exhaustion, it seems, came from nothing more than regular old lack of sleep.  For this I blame not diabetes, but Baby Adam (center and dictator of my universe), who thinks 4:45 a.m. is morning.

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13 years ago

In my early, heady days of having Type 1, I wondered why we were just limited to testing on our fingertips (or forearms). Why not other places, like, for example, the muscular part of your thumb? You know, the fleshy part that looks a little blue? I learned something interesting that day: the blue comes from blood vessels, and if you stick a needle into that part of your hand, you get a really big bruise. Now I’m all about the fingertips (and the CGM). My favorite ones are my left ring and middle finger, occasionally the pinky, on the… Read more »

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