Thursday, September 23, 2010


My grandmother died at a relatively young age. I don't remember much of her. I do remember her black curly hair, with grey stripes in it and the yellow fingertips, from the nicotine she needed so desperately. And there's always this vision of my grandfather using grandmas bum as a darts board. She had type 2 diabetes and at a certain point, she needed insulin to treat her condition. In those days (I'm talking some 25 years ago), there were hardly any glucose meters around. She had to pee on a stick to check her glucose levels. Grandma wore those huge white panties, you know, the panties you could pull up all the way to your armpits? She would lower these and bend over, so grandpa could find the best spot on her bum to shoot up her insulin.

Grandma and grandpa were great fun. They used to laugh a lot. I don't know how much these two knew about diabetes back then. It was different than it is now. There was less education back then. I don't know if they knew about carbohydrates and the effect it had on your glucose levels. I do remember big bags of marshmallows. Grandma craved marshmallows: the pink and white striped ones as well as the chocolate covered coconut marshmallows. Of course those treats were an overdose of sugar.. I guess grandma would've liked the idea, that now you can buy sugarfree marshmallows..

I don't remember what exactly killed her. I believe she died of diabetes related complications, but I'm not sure. She was not the only diabetic in our family. I wonder if - wherever she might be now - she knows I'm a diabetic too. A different type and a non-marshmallow eating diabetic, but in the end: we all face the same obstacles and challenges. I don't worry too much about my future. I do the best I can to take care of myself and D.

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