Showing posts from May, 2012

The Popsicle, or Having a Field Day With Diabetes

A re-posting from last year at this time. I must admit I looked it up to find the popsicle count, as tomorrow is yet another field day. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The popsicle was due to arrive mid-morning, midfield. The mother served her son jelly beans--five, then five again--and remembered the popsicle. Would it be a cherry one-stick pop or the break apart and share kind? The crab walk, bottle lid toss, and flag football required the energy a popsicle would provide, but not retroactively, if we could help it. Another relay. Two more jelly beans. The popsicle? The PE teacher drives the golf cart by.  How's he doing? Just fine , the mother says,  but about those popsicles . At lunch , he says, tipping his cap, driving away. Ah, at lunch. To be added into his regular insulin shot, then. Good timing. A kid walks up to the mother . I had diabetes once , he says. You probably didn't , she say

I'm In A Video That Has 2,307 YouTube Hits

At the end of a long day at Gleason's, some guy put headphones on me and asked me to speak in full sentences for the camera. I only agreed to play deer in the headlights because Phyllis did it. Phyllis is the other woman in the video. If she had jumped off a cliff, or the nearby Brooklyn bridge, I, too, at that point in the day, might have joined her in sheer exhaustion. We'll let them believe I'm a "NY boxer" and one of "the finest at Gleason's Gym" (see YouTube description), now won't we?

Honey, Help Me Out

While setting up a new computer for me, my husband actually said, "I plan to dummy-proof this for you." Yes: "dummy" and "you" in the same sentence. It must be said that this statement follows one particularly difficult week in which I (a) did not properly attach the cap to our bottle of honey, which in turn made said cap fall into his food, along with more than a serving size of the condiment, and (b) failed to fully turn the knob of the wine box, which began a Biblical flood at the base of the box, found 24 hours later, rendering our cabinet a robust aroma with notes of cherry and dark berries, ending with a smoky finish. I recall that when I took the test in What Color Is Your Parachute? my parachute did not lean toward machines or equipment of any kind. I should work with ideas, the test said. And yet these ubiquitous parts of life stymie me every day. Right now, for example, I'm eating my oatmeal in a bowl that's seated on a plate.

"I Go My Hardest"

As a wellness coach at the Y, I sit at a desk and answer questions. A large sign announcing "FITNESS" hangs over the top, and on occasion I've added some handwritten notes, such as "The doctor is IN" and "FITNESS HELP 5 cents." Last week a guy asked me about deadlifts. He loves doing them, he says, but he often throws his back out and has to sit out a few weeks. I checked his form--minus the bar, as he was still hurting--and aside from encouragement to keep his eyes up, he was good. Instinct told me that maybe this man is prone to injury, the proportions of his leg bones prevent ideal technique, and maybe he needs to find something else to do. But my gut said to think outside the box. The man declared his love for deadlifts, and was almost wistful while telling me he'd had to go without. I needed to find an adequate substitute. I demonstrated halo deadlifts and good mornings. He perked up and we got to talking. "They deadlift in the Ol

Even In The Darkest Place [video]

Click over there on "prison theatre" for the back story on Even In The Darkest Place, a reading by former prisoners. I wrote--arranged, really, as these are all their words--and directed. The videos are now online. Unfortunately, this isn't the original script, as one of the gentleman relapsed and went back to jail for a time. I cut out and/or delegated his lines for this particular performance. A bit of a time commitment for you, but the stories are powerful. And true. Wait and see. Find more on the "inside" church these men came from at .

A Conversation That Reveals What The Son Thinks of the Mother, Who Is Doing Her Best to be Normal

THEO (age 8): Mom! What day's Matt coming over? ME: Saturday. THEO: Oh good! Matt's a lot of fun. ME: Yes he is. I like Matt. THEO: You can even tell your jokes around him. ME: What kind of jokes do you mean? THEO: You know, the kind you usually tell--ones that are inappropriate.

Hands On Living

The brain, as recently reported in The New York Times, is unable to distinguish between reading about a thing and experiencing the thing itself. Reading produces a "vivid simulation of reality," to the point of lighting up the same neurological regions in both instances. I don't know. I've read a lot about boxing, watched videos, went through scenarios in my head. But when I got hit hard for the first time, in my head, something in there went "Hmmm. So this is what boxing is about." I'm convinced we live out experiences in order to understand a thing more deeply and then, it follows, to help others in the same neurological boat. Our pastor once took up a sermon series on the seven deadly sins. Perhaps he was holding back, but I had the distinct sense that he had encountered these vices mainly second hand. His examples came from books, and his insights didn't ring true. Surely the man's a sinner, but in comparison, I was the repugnant whore

What I Did On Mother's Day

41 push-ups in 1 minute. Can you top that, moms (and dads)? No half reps, either.

For The Mom Who's Neither Sweet Nor Gentle

There's a disturbing trend in Mother's Day advertising, and it has a lot to do with sweets and all things gentle. An email from the local art museum promises "a relaxing classical concert" for Mom, plus desserts. The newspaper featured a pancake recipe. Presumably one would make the pancakes and wave them under Mom's nose Sunday morning to wake her gently. But careful; we wouldn't want to spill any syrup on the frilly sheets. And then there is the jewelry. Moms must have diamonds and pearls. But what do we really want? Let's take a look at some recent purchases of mine for clues. As for accessories, for example, I recently bought one of these: Except in purple, which is more feminine. For entertainment last week, I wanted not the symphony or the art museum, but only a gaze at the Mayweather-Cotto fight. Had I managed the $59.95 fee for pay-per-view, my joy would have been made complete! This fits the jewelry category, as well: surely 50 C

Someone's Got Diabetes, Lord, Kumbayah

As parents of a type 1 diabetic, Greg and I can't make a date without serious preparation. A sitter must be experienced in giving shots; he or she must be reliable in emergencies, and knowledgeable in the life-threatening situation of hypoglycemia. Your average teenager will not fill this criteria, and if someone is found who is willing--we do have such a person--the training is too extensive to accomplish in a short period of time, or even a day. Giving shots takes practice, and we don't want someone practicing on Theo without us there. But shots are only needed at certain times of the day, so these must be scheduled around. With our willing person, we've had her around to watch a few shots, but not often enough. Surely she can't be expected to remember all that. And so we go out infrequently. Overnight trips without the kids are no longer an option. Even playdates in town or up the street require extensive conversations on what might happen and what to do and wher

It Is Good To Have Been In The House Of Someone Else

The first day of vacation is often rough. Even though I'd been looking forward to it, had sprinted off and away from the dirty dishes, that first day in New York was anxious. The luggage was cumbersome. The directions were confusing. The sights and sounds were too much, more stimuli than an average day back in Michigan usually holds. By the end of the day, when I met up with a friend, I was quiet but pulsing inside. He chose the calmest Thai restaurant in the vicinity, and even then, I sat wondering what I was doing there, eating rice noodles at this late hour instead of in my pajamas at home with buttered crackers. But finding my way midtown, then later, reuniting with the old friend I would stay with, would check off small accomplishments of self-esteem. New York would become familiar again, on this fifth solo visit there, and perhaps more quickly than the three days it usually takes. Until the next morning, when I was headed to Brooklyn for day one of the women's bo

Congrats To My Boy For A Winning Essay On Diabetes

I opened the city's monthly newspaper last night to discover that my eight-year-old son had won their literary award for children's non-fiction. (I had forgotten working on it with him, which makes for a great surprise.) The judge praised his sense of humor and personal anecdotes. That's my boy. Here's the essay. I Have Diabetes by Theo, age 8 One day, I had to go to the doctor because I was drinking and peeing a lot. That may sound weird. But it meant I probably had diabetes. And I do. Diabetes means I have to get shots for the rest of my life, because my pancreas isn’t making enough insulin. You’re probably wondering: 1. How did you get diabetes? 2. Can it stop? 3. Are you still normal? (Of course) Answer 1. No one knows. Answer 2. No. Answer 3. I am the person typing here. My routine of the day is like yours but when I wake up, before eating breakfast I check my blood sugar. That means I have to wash my hands and prick my finger wit