What's your diabetes month?
For me it's February. I still remember it all: the harsh-smelling soap in the hospital shower, the prick of the IV, the first shots and fingersticks. I remember watching TV with my parents, wishing I could go home to see my brother and my cat and sleep in my own bed. And wondering why everyone was so upset about me having diabetes. The fluids and insulin made me feel so much better. I was grateful to finally have relief from the siren of sleep and thirst that had literally consumed me in weeks before. Every February I am there again, feeling the rough sheets of the hospital bed, the smell of insulin fresh in my mind and my 12-year-old self close to the surface.
But it's November now and so the 'official' observance of National Diabetes Month is underway once more. For me it is a sad month on the calendar. The earth gives up the breath of life a little and goes into a deep sleep. Encroaching cold and darkness make me want to stay indoors, to cuddle up with my husband and cat or be alone for a while, pondering. It is somber in remembrance of veterans past and my late mother's birthday. The holidays seem a glittery blur far off in the distance. I am observant, chastened, repentant.
And diabetes is still there, waiting for me at every moment with tireless, destructive energy, every year. An endless string of Februarys stretches out before me. Of countless days of testing and dosing and guessing. Of wondering what I did wrong. Of kicking myself for 'bad' numbers. Of giving up, not caring, and then finding a way to get back in the groove. Of praying, and begging the higher powers for just one more chance to keep trying. Of getting up in the morning and doing it all over again, one more time. Of wondering when my time will be up. Of waiting.
Someday, maybe November won't be so bad for me. Maybe February will pass without a memory. And maybe, just maybe, diabetes won't get its own star anymore.