Diabetes Blog Week, Day 3 – Topic: Clean it Out . Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?
You know, I’ve had to think long and hard about how to respond to today’s topic, because there are half a million things, physical and mental, that I could stand to get out of my closet. I could write about my recent diagnosis with PTSD and how I’m still struggling to make sense of all that entails. I could talk about how that continues to interfere with my ability to properly manage my type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, etc… and a myriad of other things that I’m working on. For today, though, I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll be talking about getting rid of a physical item, that definitely has a mental component to it.
Some of you may remember the “Garden of Pain” sculpture that I created for the 3rd Diabetes Art Day in 2012. It’s inspiration came from another project that failed and from a visit to a sculpture park in Des Moines, IA while I was there for a TCOYD event. It was a great piece of work and one that I truly enjoyed making. And it seemed to go over well with others in the DOC, which was a plus.
From that day in late September until early July 2014, the sculpture lived on a shelf near the window in my office. It could see the squirrels and, yes, they were married.
At some point during the day of July 5th, the shelf that the sculpture was on collapsed, sending it to the floor where other items from the shelf landed on top of it. I wasn’t home at the time and found the mess upon returning home later that evening. It was quite disheartening to see.
After picking up everything that was on the shelf and surveying the damage, I pretty much decided the sculpture was beyond repair and that I should just clean up the mess and throw it all away.
I snapped the picture you see here and posted it on Facebook for folks to see.
One friend said that it seemed fitting for a sculpture called “The Garden of Pain” to meet such an end.
Another friends commented, “I suppose you could put it back on a shelf like that. You could just say it was a statement on a broken body or something. Go full snooty modern art with it.”
I really liked that idea at the time, so I carefully collected all of the pieces, placed them in a container, and stored them away until I had time to sit down and work on the new project that I had in mind.
I had every intention working on that new piece. Of using the opportunity to make an artistic statement about the fact that I do, indeed, live with a body that doesn’t work as it should. To express just how broken I truly feel at times. And yet, here it is, May 13, 2015, some ten months later, and I have yet to even look at that container again. Let alone open it and begin to work on the project.
And I’m not going to either.
The fact of the matter is that I do, quite often, feel completely, irreparably, broken. Both physically and mentally. My heart doesn’t work like it should. Neither does my pancreas. I live in constant pain from old injuries to my back, legs, hips, and chest. Then there are the migraines. And the asthma. And I can’t forget that bit about PTSD. The flashbacks as a result of that make it hard to forget a lot of things I really wish that I could.
Each visit with one of my half dozen doctors is a reminder. Each trip to the pharmacy is a reminder.
Each time I sort out a dozen oral medications for the month, and restock my supply case with glucose test strips and pen needles for my Lantus, Humalog and Victoza, is a reminder.
Each time I stick my finger to check my blood sugar is a reminder. And every insulin injection in my stomach is a reminder.
I think you get the picture.
And so that container filled with the pieces of that broken sculpture will make its way out of my apartment and into the dumpster this afternoon, and revisiting that project will never happen.
Because I do not need another fucking thing to remind me that I am… to make me feel that I am… Broken.