Always Dreaming of a Better Life with a Pre-existing Condition

A little more than a week ago I had the AC on and was basking in the midday sun. I felt excited for the day even if my new social energy pushed me to physical exhaustion. Life seemed full of hope again.

Then the work week arrived. And rumors of a new health care bill surfaced — one that would destroy protections for those with pre-existing conditions. I reached out to my representative. I spent a troubling amount of time trolling Twitter and tweeting about advocacy opportunities as well as sharing my own story.

On Thursday morning, a few hours before the bill was put to a vote, I went to the bathroom and cried. I just let it all out — the anxiety of a future that goes back to a time where I had to struggle to access the supplies I needed to live; the emotional devastation of living in a country that does not support my right to live; and the empathy for all those who may die (possibly millions) as a result of this bill. Continue reading

How to Choose a Life Partner ‘Single-Style’

Enjoy not knowing where life is going to take you.

Apparently I said this a few years back. I have no recollection, but often when I am giving advice to others (as I imagine most of us do), I say things I would never say to myself. And only recently have I learned to value all that I want to contribute and give to those around me and the world.

I don’t expect to be famous or rich. It’s never the life I envisioned for myself, but I always imagined I would give something back even if to those I didn’t even notice. That’s already happening. We are each impacting people we hardly know, maybe even people we’ve never met. We will never know the impact we’ve had, but we should learn to value that unknown impact. There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with us.

Maybe we have characteristics and personalities that do not mingle with this society or its system? But that does not make us wrong. In fact, throughout most of history, that makes us visionaries. And I am not including anything that violates human rights or life itself. I am talking about those of us who maybe don’t fit in with the life society has drummed up for us. But we’re not backing down. We’re taking a different path. Continue reading

Are We Special? A Millennial Year in DC

Today a doctor put a scalpel to the skin beneath my left bicep. She removed another birth control method, the last I will try for a while. And although the implant was the best I’ve had, after about six months, it interfered with a cycle that should come natural, and the consequences no longer seemed worth it.

Oh the things we women must endure.

But this isn’t just about reproductive rights for women. It’s about the child I am not ready to bring into this world. I am a Type 1 diabetic. I would not take reproduction lightly normally, but with a chronic disease that could do irreparable developmental damage if I’m not monitoring it carefully enough, I especially do not take it lightly.

After the application of a burning numbing agent, the doctor pierced my skin and opened the wound. I watched with a side view anxious to have this hole repaired. I knew I was making the right decision for myself and my body but I couldn’t help but be abhorred by the whole procedure. What was I doing to myself?

She used her gloved fingers to dig around beneath the skin, and what seemed like seconds turned into minutes. How big is this thing? She asked for help from her assistant. Is it stuck inside me? Will I never be free of this thing that can’t be more than the size of a blunt razor blade? But then I realized she was removing scar tissue from the implant. After all, it had been in my body for almost a year.

And then it was out. As thin as a paper clip, it was no bigger than my pinky finger. And to think of all the hassle that tiny strip caused. Incredible. Continue reading

Just Be Brave

I’ve been in a bit of a reflective mood lately. Could be because I just returned from vacation, am preparing to move apartments, or the fact I recently bought an adult coloring book (which oh my god I love! how did it take me so long to invest in one of these?). Anyway often when life changes are happening and I’m feeling particularly doubtful, I look back to an old post I wrote back in 2013 when I was commuting five hours a day from Baltimore to Bethesda and nearing the end of a four-year relationship.

I never published it but I feel the sentiments ring true. Just like tonight when I was coloring inside these insanely detailed lines from my new coloring book, my fingers started to hurt but I kept coloring because I needed to see my ideas visualized and because I knew however hard it was it would make me happy.

IMG_4151

Just Be Brave (December 2013)

I retweeted a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert yesterday that went something like this: “Met a woman tonight who said, ‘Just because a decision makes you sad doesn’t mean it was the wrong one.’ Things I wish I’d known at 25 …” Continue reading

Making Up for the Break-Up: 10 Hard-And-Fast Rules

Break-ups are hard. I don’t know what it is about them that makes one question everything. Like why am I in DC? Why did I go to grad school? Why do I have so much student loan debt? Why am I still single? Why did I give up everything for a job I only semi-love?

I just went through my second hardest break-up in two years. Didn’t really know it was going to be hard until two weeks later when I spent eight hours of the day crying. Seriously, isn’t there a limit to how many waterworks one can produce?

But I guess it’s hard when you come to depend on someone for certain needs – a certain happiness so-to-speak – and then that happiness is taken out from under you and you’re left with a stark image of yourself in the mirror. Seriously how was I ever not single?

Anyway one thing I have learned from break-ups is as much as your friends and family may be tired of hearing about your failed single life, they kind of get it, and they’re totally there for you. And since I may be single for a long time now (okay just my pessimistic self speaking here), I might as well come up with some fun rules to get me back on the road to recovery and feeling excited about being free again.

So the next time I decide to end things for my own benefit (I’m being optimistic here) I’ll try to keep the following in mind: Continue reading

The 28-Year-Old Virgin

When I first met Harry outside of Peet’s back in May, he wore khaki’s and a shirt-sleeved collared shirt. His forehead was already smeared in sweat, and his red hair was pushed over to his right side. He walked with a subtle limp, and his glasses were completely transparent against his pale skin. But his smile was confident, and we immediately began chatting about running 10 miles along the Capital Crescent Trail.

And then in August looking across from him at a Bethesda German bar, taking a big gulp of my lager in a glass mug and losing certain motor functions, I realized how great he was. My palms were sweaty, and I wiped them along my deep purple work dress, the black belt tight around my small midsection, and my feet sweating in my navy blue flats.

It was still humid in DC. We spent hours catching up on the phone the past weekend while I was in Kentucky for my 10-year high school reunion. We agreed to stay friends after about six or seven dates when he hadn’t made a move and I realized I wasn’t physically interested in the relationship. But I enjoyed his company and the more I got to know him the more I became myself.

Although I’ve had my own series of sexual misadventures, I’m not one to make the first move. And I didn’t want to destroy the one good friendship I had going in the DC area. In the year since my move from Baltimore, I’ve met many young people, but I had yet to make any new friends or see anyone past a few dates. Continue reading

Taking a Break But Not Forever

Much has changed since I started this blog on September 11, 2013. My nonfiction grad school cohort can tell you how much I didn’t want to write about diabetes for my MFA thesis – the book that became the start to this blog. And in the six years since I’ve been diagnosed, I am still learning new things about myself with this disease.

I wanted to share those experiences with the world and contribute to a community of Type 1s. And maybe I wanted to prove to myself that I could manage life given this short end of the stick. What I didn’t expect when I started this blog back in 2013 was where it would take me and what kind of content my readers would inspire me to write.

I cannot tell you much I value your readership and support these past two years. You are the reason I keep this blog going. You are the reason I continue to write. And although this blog has kept me writing and contributing to this online community, I must now re-focus my priorities and take what little time I have to write to devote to other publishing opportunities. Continue reading