I remember one summer when it felt like I heard the words, "Harry Potter" everyday. There were commercials online and on television, beach towels by the pool with the young wizard's face and it seemed like everyone wanted to see the movie about the boy with the scar on his forehead. I felt like I couldn't get away from the words, "Harry Potter"... but then one day it was all gone. No one uttered the words, the towels were packed away and the world moved on to the next thing. Today, maybe I see one of the films on cable while trolling the channel guide or because the films are so engrained into out lexicon, someone makes a joke with a HP theme, but for the most part I live my life without hearing the words or focusing on a visual reminder.
Last night, still a little loopy from our vacation, Arden and I fell to sleep on the sofa together. Kelly asked me to bring her upstairs as she went to bed, I agreed, and then promptly went back to sleep. I slept last night next to Arden and held her DexCom receiver like it was my teddy bear. When I opened my eyes this morning that receiver and Arden's OmniPod PDM were the first things that I saw. Then, as it does each time that I awake, my mind sent me a message. I receive this message each time upon waking without fail. It comes to me when I open my eyes in the middle of the night, at my alarm in the morning, and after I nod off for ten minutes on a flight to a family getaway.
I wouldn't call the message something I hear in words, it's more of a feeling that I get, like someone whispers into my brain, "Arden has diabetes, is she okay... check on her".
After I woke up this morning I wondered how many times do I hear, say or think the word, "diabetes"? How much of my conscious and unconscious consideration is used everyday, managing, calculating and worrying.
I tried to imagine what it would be like to live an entire day without that word popping into my head. Would it be freeing, would I suddenly have all of this free time that I wouldn't know what to do with? Do you think that I'd find a new hobby or take more time to write. Would I exercise, get a bike, could I finally plant the vegetable garden that I know my wife desperately wants but I just can't figure out how to make time for? I'd like to find out...
You know what though? Forget about me, I'd love to see Arden live a day without the word in her head. I'd like to know what it feels like to write one last blog post wishing you all well before I closed my diabetes blog because some company developed an artificial pancreas that was foolproof or a genius in a lab found a way to reverse all of this. More realistically, I'd take a day pass, but they don't really exist do they? Remember in the first HP movie when the wand salesman, Ollivander, told Harry that no one speaks his name and then everyone went on to say Voldemort about a thousand times? I bet if there was one more film about life in the Wizarding World after Harry defeated him, I bet people would still say, "remember when we were fighting with Voldemort, that shit was crazy!".
Perhaps everyone gets a Voldemort in their lives. Maybe that's each of our chances to add to the collective human understanding. I think that I prefer to think about diabetes like that, not as a burden but a mantle. Still, I would like a day off once and a while. But since that's not going to happen...
Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort!