Hey, there. You're my hero.
I know what you're thinking. BCR's first bout of the season is tomorrow! This blog post is going to talk about nervous poos, road trips, and the best foods to eat before skating! Well, I think most of my friends have covered that, so I'm heading in a different direction:
Derby and diabetes.
If you've read my book, you're probably sick of hearing about that combination. If you haven't read my book, you should go to lulu.com right now, search for Pivot, and add my semi-fictional masterpiece (snicker) to your cart. Then after you press "PAY NOW," you should go smack your head against the wall for your previous, heinous disregard of literary genius. (Just kidding...but you really should buy it. It will help me out! It will help my team out! It will fill you with tears, laughter, and band names you've never heard of and don't care about!)
But anyway, I'm getting off topic. When I talk about diabetes, this tends to happen. It's serious. It's bothersome. It's really fucking annoying on bout days. It's something that scares me to talk about, because talking about it makes it real, and I don't want it to be real. When I write about diabetes, I like using the pronoun it. Not naming it makes it seem less absolute, and that makes me happy. (And yes, I am in counseling working out this 24 year denial. No worries there.)
On bout days, my blood sugar takes its own loops around the track, taunting me and telling me that I'm never going to make it through that pack. Due to stress and excitement, my blood sugar usually skyrockets to the 400 range, which is way too high. My legs tighten, I get extremely dehydrated, I have to pee more than a pregnant woman, and I get tired. Really tired. The whooshing of wheels around the track sounds louder than a line of windmills. When this happens, I just give myself doses of insulin that would kill an elephant and have to wait. I keep strict tabs on my blood sugar on bout days, but sometimes, that blood sugar just wants to be lead jammer and grand slam me every two minutes.
I can't have that happen tomorrow.
During the Mobile bout (that I've referenced in just about every blog I've written so far...hmm...), a random fan saw me checking my blood sugar and said that I was his hero. He told me that most people with a disease like diabetes wouldn't attempt roller derby. He told me that it must be hard for me to keep everything under control at bouts. And then he kept talking and talking and talking and talking until I had to excuse myself for the team huddle.
Though the fan's comments were very nice and heartfelt, I am nobody's hero. While I'm dealing with my blood sugar, someone else is dealing with a torn meniscus, a broken arm, or a concussion. Yet diabetes is my biggest enemy, that invisible jammer who wants to hip check me off the line post whistle. Diabetes wants me to cut the track and sit in the penalty box. Diabetes wants me to yell at a ref and trip someone on purpose. Diabetes wants me to die.
But I am not going to let that happen. (Well, not yet, anyways. According to doctors, I still have a few good years left in me.)
If I am any sort of hero at all, it's because I don't quit. My blood sugar could be 9 million, and I would still be skating around that track. It's not that I want to harm my health; it's just that I want to be who I am, and who I am is a determined, intelligent, wacky woman who does not want to miss a single moment of my life. I want, I need to be lead jammer against this thing. Ironically, in some ways, I have diabetes to thank for that extreme willpower.
But unfortunately, it isn't going anywhere. It is going to be trying to score points throughout my entire life. Diabetes wants my eyes! My kidneys! My feet! Oh noes!
After my last doctor's appointment, I gave my endocrinologist a copy of my book. I told him that it was the story of a diabetic who joins a roller derby team. He looked me in the eyes and hugged me. (Side note: He is NOT a man known for his good bedside manner.) However, it's his goal to make sure that his patients are healthy and normal. I'm sure he felt a little flutter in his heart, all because one of his his patients did something that not a lot of people (non-diabetics and diabetics alike) have done. He was proud of me, and he was proud that in some way, he was doing his job.
Tomorrow, I have a job to do. I have a bout to play. Tomorrow, it's my job to block diabetes outside of that rink and concentrate on beating Chattanooga. Just watch. It's going to happen. You're going to like it. You're going to forget that I'm a diabetic. You're going to forget I have enormous boobs. You're going to forget that every time I'm drunk, I cry and ask Blicker for a kitten.
You're going to forget that I've written this blog, and that is exactly how I want it to be.
Hey, one of them Jonas boys gots the sugar! Do you think it stops him from singin' them songs and gettin' them ladies? No way, bub. No way.