Thursday, April 5, 2012

HAWMC Day 5 - Ekphrasis

I have searched high and low for a picture that inspires me like the one from last year. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with anything. So today I'm revisiting the post from just about a year ago and marveling at just how far I've come in the last year. Hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

Prompt: Ekphrasis (writing about another art form) Post – Find a Flickr Image in Creative Commons that inspires you in some way (positively or negatively) and free write about it. Give yourself exactly 15 minutes to write without stopping. Don’t think! Brave bonus: Publish to your blog without editing! (You can include a disclaimer)

I found this amazing picture of a weathered door by Jar () on flickr - as per the instructions, I'm posting without editing. As you all well know, I have a tendency to ramble so here goes nothing...

This weathered door instantly made me think of my life as a PWD. The wear and rust that’s on this door has happened gradually over time. So slowly, in fact, that you don’t really know it’s happening until it shows up. One of my biggest fears is that if diabetes related complications become a part of my life, they’ll pop up seemingly out of nowhere like the rust on this door. That there will be no warning and there will be nothing that I can do to make it better – I’ll just wake up one day and I won’t be able to see. Or I’ll feel fine one day and the next I’ll be on dialysis. Rationally I know that the inordinate amount of doctors’ appointments I have throughout the year are a good way of keeping complications at bay for as long as possible and picking up on the little things before they become big problems but in the mental and emotional sense, every time something feels off kilter I wonder if it’s the beginnings of a downward spiral that I won’t be able to stop. The emotional wear and tear that happens when you have an invisible illness is also much like the rust on this door – no one really knows how much diabetes kicks my ass at times unless I start to crumble under the weight of it. Unless you’re a PWD or a Type 3, you can’t really understand just how much work it takes to make this look easy. All the thought and planning that goes into every day. All the battles I fight with my body and my paperweight-pancreas when it has other plans than I do. All the times that I just want a damn vacation from my own body so I can remember what it’s like to not have to second guess every single thing I want to do and not have to plan every minute of my day. Just a few hours to breathe easy and be free of it all.

Yet despite all of that, I can't overlook the fact that even though this door was subjected to repeated beatings in order to end up so rusted and weathered - it's still standing tall. It hasn't buckled, warped, or cracked, it's still there showing the elements who's boss.

The padlock on the door is what I’ve I've been like offline when it comes to my diabetes. Unless you've spent time with me since my diagnosis, you won't have a clue that anything’s changed. I purposely don't post my blog to Facebook and whenever someone links a post, I graciously remove it from my wall without saying anything. I don't want people to realize that I'm a PWD just because they’re nosy and want “the dirt” on me as they have since grade school, I want them to know it because they've seen me live it. I feel that over the last year I've gotten better at putting things out there on this blog but in real life, not so much. I still tend to think it's no one's damn business what I'm going through and that attitude is helping to keep an invisible disease remain invisible. It’s definitely something that I need to work on and a goal that I have, but it’s just been easier not to talk about it. Granted, if someone sees me check my blood sugar or notices my medic alert bracelet, I’m more than happy to discuss it but otherwise, diabetes has largely been my best kept secret for the last 3 years. Maybe it’s about time it stops being a secret?

[Note: In the year since I've written this, I've become the resident diabetes advocate in all of my classes. It's amazing how good it feels to finally have found my voice offline.]


  1. Loved this post last year, and still do this year. So glad that you've found your voice offline, and proud that you actually use it.