This is one of those blog posts where I have no idea if anyone else will be interested, but it’s something I felt like talking about.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been diabetic (type 1) for a little over ten years. My father was diagnosed with the same thing back when I was born, so in a way, I’ve been living with this thing for my whole life.
What fascinated me when I was diagnosed was how much I had never noticed before. I knew in a vague way what diabetes was and how it could affect you. I knew about keeping insulin in the fridge and daily shots and blood sugar checks and your spouse shoving Peppermint Patties into your mouth at two in the morning because you miscalculated the dosage for lasagna.
But I didn’t notice the smaller things.
Those dots on my fingertips are from checking my blood sugar, usually 6-7 times a day. (If you’ve seen me at a convention, there’s a good chance you’ve seen me doing this.) It doesn’t usually hurt — I don’t even think about it when I do it … as opposed to the very first time 10 years ago, when it took me at least a full minute to finally press that button.
I go through one finger a day, which gives each one nine days to heal before it gets picked on again. I’m currently on the pinkie, the one on the left with the fresh dots. Occasionally it stings, but it’s far preferable to the alternatives. Personally, I think the fact that I can verify my blood sugar in five seconds with a tiny droplet of blood is pretty amazing.
As writers, we learn that description is about the details, the little things most people might not notice at first, but that help to create a larger impression. For me, this is one of those details.