I am a Type 2 diabetic who, earlier in this disgusting and unforgivable summer (why did God create such a vile season, anyway?), decided that since I–with no job except becoming increasingly superannuated–was going down the shitter anyway, I could stop testing and eat whatever the hell I chose. So I did.
The summer from Hell. Unemployed, underemployed, unemployable: a new form of declension to mark new forms of decline.
- Dr. Wolman, Ph.D., cutting liverwurst for a bunch of people to whom I was invisible.
- Twenty-one nights of insomnia.
- Fear, trembling, and the sickness unto death.
So why eat right? Why exercise? Why test my glucose levels?
So I discovered that wonder drug, Fuckitol. I stopped testing and stuffed my face instead with sfogliadelle, breads, pasta, fatty foods. I stopped running. After all, I have early-stage emphysema too. Mortality sometimes needs to be helped along and God needs to be goosed.
Then I got another job. The work I was intended to do. But I had to play out the string in the supermarket. Living in two universes can do it to you, and it did it to me. The prospect of working for and with people with whom I can have a conversation…as opposed to the present reality of working for a collection of scumbags…of earning money I can see instead of $89.00 a week for take-home–that just about did it for me. So last Thursday night I got The Fear in the form of what’s called an Icepick Migraine, a headache in my frontal lobes of such intensity that it almost knocked me down because it feels like being stabbed in the brain. I pictured Sterling Hayden as that corrupt cop, Capt. McCluskey, assassinated in the Italian restaurant in the Bronx, bullet through the brain, with that combination goofy/WTF look on his face, and I had an idea of what he was feeling. I was doing a poetry reading at the time. I’m at the podium, you understand. One minute I’m okay (so I thought), the next I figured I was maybe having a stroke. Combine that with the chest pain and shortness of breath and you’re got a hypochondriac’s wet dream. While the idea of dying doing something I love is attractive, at the time I was just plain scared to death. The reality of possible death is not at all what I expected. Retrospection comes afterwards…in retrospect.
Retrospection: “Was it good for you too?” “Uh…will you be offended if I say not really.”
The chest pain faded. The headache keeps recurring. It’s much abated but not quite gone. On the last disgustingly blinding brilliant days of summer, back comes the headache.
I figured out it was my Screw You attitude toward my diabetes. I called up a friend who also has Type 2 and asked her about headaches. Can they come from messing with your diet? Right, she said, it’s the first symptom something is way wrong.
I have never had migraines before. I don’t look forward to them again, though I have a feeling that now the dam’s breached, there’s no telling how often they will be here. That’s as sure an incentive as I can find to get back to testing (just did that) and eating correctly.
Deliver us from evil and Burger Roi. This from a guy who just came out of Starbucks while his watch was being repaired….