Friday, October 30, 2009

If I am diabetic, I will punch someone in the face

Well, no, I won't actually punch anyone in the face--mostly because I wouldn't know to whom to do it (though one of the people on the street who always asks me if I have an 'extra cigarette' might be in for it...just a note: I do not have any 'extra' cigarettes. I do not have any 'extra' anything, except perhaps pounds in the region of my ass and room in the trunk of my car, which is of a capacity to serve the needs of any major crime family. Each pack has 20, which I divide in the following way: 20 for me. Et fin. At least until I quit on OFFICIAL FINAL QUIT DAY TO END ALL QUIT DAYS, NOV 9th 2009. Leave me alone).

So there have been myriad tests. Glucose tolerance tests, pelvic ultrasounds (which somehow manage to be even less fun than they sound), rounds of superfluous antibiotics ("Is there anything else that's been bothering you besides the fatigue?" Dr. W asked solicitously. "Anything at all?" I coughed--again, because I smoke--and said I'd been feeling a little sinus pressure...and won a 10 day round of Augmentin that accomplished precisely nothing), got a CBC, a TSH, a hormone panel, another hormone panel, a metabolic panel, a urinalysis...And suddenly the discovery of a high fasting glucose, and ketosis. Perhaps my immune system has decided it's tired of munching on my thyroid and has decided to feast upon my pancreas as well. I cannot effing possibly have Type II diabetes. Why? Because. Because my diet is composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat vegetarian protein. Because I exercise every day. Because it would be so unfair ("Life isn't fair," I can hear you saying, to which I reply: "Bite me").

So I'm kind of pissed, and wondering why this is all happening, and having the usual struggles that people have when accosted by illness. 'Why me?,' while of course the most prosaically human of questions, is also the most difficult to answer. OF COURSE I don't believe that people get sick as 'punishment' for things, or that being virtuous provides even the faintest protection from harm--though you have to admit, popular culture does feed into the assumption that if you eat enough veggies, don't smoke, exercise, limit your stress and sodium and fat intake and get lots of fiber and antioxidants...you'll never get sick, never age, never die. Having in some ways lost the moral imperative in the realm of the soul, it's been transferred to the realm of the body. Which still leaves me thinking that I shouldn't be having all these problems, because while I'm certainly not perfect there are also many people 'worse' than I. People who eat puppy sandwiches with kitten au jus. Go after one of them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's the Big Secret?

Ok, they're not that big. They're actually little secrets. The ones you don't want people to know, not because you would be dragged before the tribunal at Nuremberg but rather because you know people would think of you a little differently--perhaps more negatively. Not the big, horrible, need-therapy-to-deal-with-it shames, but those things you wouldn't even tell your therapist. Because they're too small, but also because she'd think of you differently, too. The things that aren't crimes but rather matters of style, that would mark you as crass or a nympho or deeply un-PC. We all have them. Put up one or two of yours! Seriously. I know people read this but no one ever comments.

1. I love poetry. Love it to pieces. But...I really can't stand Maya Angelou's poems. I am aware that this makes me a bad person.
2. I have a thing for older women. Not 'elderly,' but older, and definitely powerful (Kissinger was right about power being an aphrodisiac. Was that Kissinger?). At various times in my life I've crushed out on Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Meryl Streep and Madonna. And on numerous female members of the Cornell and WUSM faculty.
3. In most areas of my life I am utterly nonjudgmental. You can be gay, bi, trans, straight; into SM or roleplaying or leather; you can smoke, drink and gamble. However, I cannot abide errors in punctuation or spelling. I have actually not entered restaurants just because of mispunctuated signs.
4. I haven't read Moby Dick, or The Grapes of Wrath, or Great Expectations. Nor do I particularly wish to. I can couch this in feminist ire by saying that literature by dead white men is overrated, but the truth is I'm too lazy. At the same time...
5. If I see you reading Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele on the Metro, I will judge you. Again, I realize this makes me a bad person.
6. I HAVE to exercise every day. If I don't, I am secretly convinced that I will gain 20 pounds and lose all my cardiovascular fitness. The only day this doesn't apply is the first day of my period, when I'm not in a condition to be exercising anyway.
7. I've been drinking it since college, but I still can't stand the taste of coffee. Vicious bitterness, that's what it is. Finishing the dregs in the bottom of the cup often makes me feel that I am literally about to vomit... which is why I often throw the last 1/4 to 1/6 of the cup away.
8. Speaking of beverages...before I got nice stemware (read: 1.49 a piece at World Market) I occasionally drank red wine out of a coffee mug. Classy.