S*** Patients Say, #3

The patriotic edition:

Crochety Old Man Ranting to Me as I Am on Hold With Medicare: This is just ridiculous. And do you know that they keep cutting my Social Security, too? Dammit, I pay more and more taxes every year! It’s all Obama’s fault, he’s screwed this country. I tell ya, if somebody assassinated him, I’d buy everyone a round at the pub! I would start a f%$&ing parade!

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Nine

Wednesday was my ninth diaversary, but let me take you back a few weeks before we get to that.

In May, I went to see one of my fellow church choir members singing with the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir. Yes! A gospel choir entirely composed entirely of Broadway actors and actresses. Norm Lewis, the male lead in Porgy and Bess, was right there in the back row. You can imagine how phenomenal it was, especially for a girl like me who secretly has a fat black Baptist lady trapped inside.

My favorite song– besides the one in which my friend and fellow choir member Bertilla had a solo– was “It’s Only a Test.” The soloist was jumping up and down. People were dancing and shouting “Yes! Amen!” in the aisles. I was clapping along so furiously that my palms hurt straight through intermission. The Spirit was so fierce, I think if there had been one more encore we would have blown the roof off of the church.

It’s not quite the same, but here’s the original song:

I’m one of those obnoxious people who gets stuck on songs, so I came home, bought the original song, and spent the next three weeks playing it on repeat in iTunes and bopping around on the subway to it, singing along under my breath and perhaps generating a lot of looks from cooler-headed New Yorkers.

I was catching up on blogs and listening for the 46th time when I came across this post. It was a guest blog by Victoria Cumbow on the blog Diabetesaliciousness by Kelly Kunik. (Side note: if you do not read these ladies’ blogs, you should. They are both funny, fierce, and faithful!) It’s only a test! I thought. Diabetes is only a test.

Fast forward as I thought back to that moment on Wednesday.

This blog post I wrote last year sums up my usual approach to the diaversary. It’s a time to look back, to feel bummed out and do something nice for myself, to clink a glass to another year down with an often noxious chronic illness. Another year down, and how many more to go…?

This particular bummer always alights at this time of year: the endless grind forward. Another year and I’m still alive with limbs and kidneys intact, yay! The reward being….another year. And another and another and another and another. Until they find a cure– which, let’s face it, is on the horizon as much as Neptune is.

No cure, no remission, no test that ENDS like a breakup or unemployment or surviving the 74th annual Hunger Games.

So I moped until I remembered the chorus of that song:

Hold on!

Be strong!

It’s only a test!

It’s only a test!

A really long, annoying, potentially fatal test. A test that still makes me cry and scream periodically, nine years later. A test whose questions I sometimes don’t understand. But only a test.

So, like Victoria said, I remain optimistic. I’m going to spend another year, as Bishop Larry Trotter says, keeping the faith and not giving up.

And how did I celebrate another year of passing the test? By enjoying dinner with some of the dear friends I would have never met without this damn disease:

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And you’d best believe that I will doing something GRAND when I hit double digits next year!

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