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how to live with diabetes
and consistently get it wrong; with musings of another sort
by scott patrick humphrey

Hi, I'm Scott and I'm a diabetic. Interchange the given name anew, and this is an all too common statement these days. Diabetes is the fastest growing health issue we have; not just in America, but worldwide. Current empirical statistics show that 1 in 3 people born after the year 2000 will have diabetes. (http://www.diabetes.org/for-media/scientific-sessions/06-14-03-2.jsp) I have been living with this disease for 13 years, and I am still learning; as much as I attempt to suppress its attack on my system, I am always reminded of who the master really is.

Today (8-10-09) I was once again brought in front of our Lord Diabetes. I am 33, gained onset diabetes at the age of twenty, and have been grappling with it ever since. I am a healthy person, but my history tells a different tale; my twenties. At first, I changed everything about my lifestyle. I focused on the details of the disease; the medication and treatment, what I had to do to survive.

I quit drinking, smoking, eating junk food; I started running and biking again. I was hitting this thing head on, totally committed, nothing would stop me from getting control. And it lasted, for a while, then you realize that it is OK to enjoy the things you enjoyed before; treat yourself well once in a while.

So it's like "fuck it", I am 20, I deserve to have a beer; some beers, and maybe a few shots. I can smoke, I don't smoke all the time, just occasionally; when I drink. Some habits have a habit of staying with you for a time; sometimes, for sometime. So I become convinced that I am OK because "I don't drink all the time", and I exercise regularly; now.

For us diabetics the smoking and the drinking should be left alone, but come on; really?

My twenties, I suspect, had a similar undercurrent to your twenties; increased desire for independence, ridicule of our family life and need for our separation; self expression that at times took on many forms, and had many catalysts. Turmoil and conflict about who we were as 'adults', consumed by the American consumer culture, and still predominantly focused on the internal self. It wasn't until thirty that things began to change.

I am not saying that our twenties are a period of time we spend listening to our Id, developing our Ego, and getting into a fist fight with our Superego; actually, I am saying that, but not all. The global or world scope should be incubating from 20 onward; for some, not all. There are many moments of profound insight that comes from a passionate place; idyllic truth wrapped up in an adaptation to new societal rules; for some, not all.

So, I didn't always take care of my body.

I could justify all sorts of misgivings, if I had to, and I did. I was enjoying a new found sense of health and personal care. I did a lot of good for my body that had been lacking before. In the midst of the incubating tranformation from pseudo intellectual adult to actualization of said entity, I struggled with the duality of my health conscious and debaucherous personages.

Then come the dirty thirties. My first reaction to them was positive, I renewed my sense of self awareness, and health conscious attitutde. It was a necessity; the latter twenties had fits of an increased caustic metaphysic. But as I said, old habits have a habit of staying with you; intermittently I would reassure myself of this.

I have good cause to be reactionary to my treacherous twenties. The first near tragic experience was going into insulin shock while on a 46 State tour across the Unites States in Atlanta Georgia; I was twenty six. We were one week into the tour when all hell broke loose. Hotlanta is a name well suited to the sweet southern lady; weather and women alike. We arrived at the best restaurant in town and were going to have to wait for an hour before being seated, I had already taken my shot before leaving the hotel. A few sangrias later and a few shots to boot, we sit down at our table to enjoy a well deserved fine meal. Five minutes later my face was in the soup.

My tour mates were not accustomed to dealing with diabetic related emergencies, yet handled it well. They were unable to get me to drink juice or respond to cues. I had to be carried out of the restaunt, all 230 pounds of me. Luckily Dan, was there, he was a big guy and carried me all the way out to the parking lot. The taxi driver outside refused to take us to the hospital, even when they explained what the emergency was; wonderful human being. I remember Dan telling me that the bouncer told him I would digest the alcohol before any sugar or juice that they were giving me, that's just the way the body works I guess.

The ambulance was called and I continued to vomit up all of the alcohol I had consumed; it was like a bad acid trip gone haywire. The lights of the bar, the noise, the chaotic confusion of the tour members, me in my altered state; I really know how to party. So I come to in the emergency room at 4:00 am in the morning, with a throbbing pain in my ass; the needle filled with emergency glucose was inserted there. Back to the hotel, four hours later we are back on the road again.

Three years later, behind the wheel of my 98' Altima, which I had just purchased 5 months before, I was travelling home after a session at the gym; running and the hot tub. During this time I was drinking pretty excessively, regularly, and also exercising; an odd combonation. On the way home I lost the ability to see clearly and lost motor control, before it was too late I turned off the main road onto a residential street and took down the stop sign, ran over the fire hydrant, and headed straigh for the House in front of me. I had totalled the car and activated an engine kill mechanism; thankfully.

I come to, sort of, when the paramedics arrive and ask me "Were you drinking?" "No dick, I'm a diabetic, get me the fuck out of here." I laboriously respond. After a few minutes and the obligatory needle to the ass, I am coherent and realize something has gone wrong. The paramedic looks at me and says "Man, you sure know how to leave a path of destruction in your wake." I look out the back of the ambulance to see the front of my car mushed in, the tread marks on the lawn of the house I almost plowed into, and the streaming fountain of water spewing from the fire hydrant I toppled over.

Now the beast with two bottles of Jameson is all but buried. I keep him in a cage and ask him to tell me stories of the former glories, with destruction abound. At thirty I competed in my first 5K runner race. I have consistently moved towards the person I wish to become. Occansionally visiting my old friend, but daring not to keep up with past accomlishments. Even so, the road is bumpy, the frustration constant, and the harmony of homeostsis; non-existent.

I continue to struggle with insulin shock, as on 8-10-09. A simple missed procedure in testing ones blood sugar in the morning to see where I was at resulted in another visit from the paramedics. Previous to this it was on 3-16-09 that I went into shock and blacked out for several hours while convulsing; waking up with a severe injury to the muscles in my back, that I have been working to correct ever since.

The other day, I started the morning out with a bowl of cheerios and organic milk, biked 8 miles, came home and had to containers of yogurt, then BOOM; out like a light. I wake up to the paramedics, and my fiance standing in front of me. Cue all the stupid questions they have to ask, "what day is it, do you know where you are?" And my instant reaction is coming from frustration; "Of course I do, no more stupid questions please" I say with a big salesman smile on my face.

My fiance was instant messaging me online and stopped receiveing responses, tried calling; no answer. She came home to find me in my incoherent state. There is a connection between us that is profound; I am lucky to have a woman who is that in tune with me, and can be intuitive and assertive enough to perhaps save my life; if necessary. Without her, who knows. Now I am taking the best care of my body and mind that I ever have. I am having succeses and an occasional major failure. This has happened a handful of times and may happen at any time; to any one of us (diabetics), and there are many; our numbers are growing, we are on the march.

That is the real issue here; the epidemic of this disease. I am not the narrative; this shouldn't be about me. There are much greater issues in this arena of health care than my personal tale of woe and struggle with diabetes. I have been criticized for a lack of personal inflection in past provocations, like that is the measure by which ideas should be judged; arbitrary, asinine.

Let's go on a little ride, shall we?

The interest should lie in the source of the epidemic, the underlying causality. The food supply in this country is a disgusting conglomerate of filth and self interest that has sold you, I, and the American farmer down the river decades ago. (This message has been approved by the F.D.A. and U.S.D.A.)

The result is a food supply that is tainted and contaminated; physically and morally, to the breaking point. Food allergies, sickness, disease and death are a product of our American food supply, and the subsidation of the corn and soy industries are helping it to grow. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a gnawing bastard of a food additive. The body's cells do not process fructose the way it does glucose; fructose is metabloized by the liver, while causing disruption to many of the body's operating systems. The food supply gives us a plethora of perceived choices; the truth is it is run by a handful of corporations who have maintained the image of the American farm produced food supply, through scumbag marketing and advertising tactics, while feeding us the same steaming pile of putrid bullshit they shovel around everywhere else.

As a digression, these corporate marketing assholes could do us all a favor and set themselves on fire. I'm tired of people who spend their time figuring out ways to manipulate people and bend them to the corporate will. People who say things like "There is nothing sexier than success." In my opinion, these people should kill themselves. Essentially their (life) perspective is sophmoric, self centered, and unenlightened. Fuck these people, fuck'em in the ass with a big rubber dick. But, these are fruit for another tree, to be grown later...

A second issue here is the giant thiefdom of the health care industry. How many of you are asking questions about the standard of care in this country? Just as an example, what is your opinion of the system of health care we provide to people in this country? Take a moment to think it through.

We have a confusing system of bureacracy, premiums, pre-conditions, and doctors who function as drug dealers by proxy. When people ask "Aren't the pharmaceutical companies close to a cure?" I say they are close to making 10 billion dollars this year, in profits coming directly from the treatment of diabetic related health issues. Doctors had my mother on four medications and her blood sugar was 300 or better, most of the time. i suggested going on insulin to get... Read More control of the spiking sugars; the doctor then complied with the diagnosis (that I made, not her) and the insulin regiment worked; why did I have to suggest it? Did I go to medical school? NO, they are drug dealers by proxy, working for BIG PHARMA, and they give less than a shit about true health care for us. Health care is a corporate assfuck, like everything else, including the notion of what this country (used) to be; just look at the AMA.

I actually was shocked to have seen a t.v. show at a friends house called 'Doctors' on daytime television. This episode consisted of video vignettes with young women asking about advice concerning breast implants. one young lady says "Hi I'm Alisa, I am an A cup, you know A for "awful". I mean this is what these corporate marketers are responsible for; disgusting. The sooner people realize that everything on the T.V. is a fantasy and plays on primal impulses that serve to keep us in conflict by dividing us the better off we will be. The system is rigged folks, the game is fixed. Just look at the people working on major policy issues in our governmet.

How about Michael Taylor, the former lawyer for Monsanto corporation; the one that is systematically destroying the American family farm and acheiving patent possesioon of almost every seed grown in our food supply, by genetically modifying these plants and claiming ownership of "life", something that has never been done before and is unconstitutional. These same patent laws against family farms are upheld by our illustrious Supreme court; American justice at its finest.

Michale Taylor the former lawyer and VP of Monsanto INC. is now the the main adviser to the Commissioner of Food Saftey at the F.D.A. Did ya catch that? Who the hell is the standard bearer for ethics in this country? We have been bought and sold according to corporate necessity. Wake the fuck up and wash the shitstains from your underpants; this is impotant, it requires your regard.

This is me for better or worse. Am I abrasive; even dickish? You bet.
I am here to ask the questions, push the buttons and call the shots. I live the life; examinate, looking for abstract structures; truth in the human condition. When you search for truth and recognize its opposite, the process becomes burdened by the weight of falsity in all institutions of modern society. How can I restrain my desire to look levels deeper than the accepted norm? I fucking can't, so get over it.

My self is irrelevent outside of the writing; if you look, it is me in there in form and content. This century of the self that we are in is a mindfuck. The larger scope has given way to the miniscule observations that make life opaque.

I haven't written this column to make a "personal connection", I do not want your understanding or sympathy; I am self reliant in those repects. I want the subtext of this piece to be understood as it stands. I do not need help, I am not sufferring; sans the fools.

There is an endless list of questions to be asked about this life, and while many are content with conjecture, I am cutting to the core. I do attribute my increased philosophical self awareness to the purposeful absence of the unnecessary systematic, catalytic, hyper consumer creator and maintainer; Television. I read primary source information as well as philosophical texts, and base my thought process on a wide field of intellectual and philosophical relativity. This will be the one journey inward, to state a point; in contrast to the good Dr. Thompson, I intend to let future concepts find their own way, by staying the fuck out of it.

You may love me or hate me, but please do not pray for me, I will be just fine; I wouldn't rub a rabbits foot for you, or bleed a cow, not even cut the foreskin from an infants penis; no, I'll leave you to it. I am willing participant in this life, and play it by my perceptions, backed by my convictions. People who say to understand life and achieve balance one must be closer to 'God', to that I say thanks but no thanks, I've been trying to avoid that fucker for as long as I can remember.

Kudos and cheers to those who "bought the ticket, and took the ride." I hope you gleaned, something, from it. And those who oppose I suppose you'll implode, and expose your repose in the dealings of discourse.


A post modern culture enthusiast with a penchant for radical thought. I am very close to becoming a Theatre and English teacher here in New York City. I have Bachelors degrees in Theatre and English and I am completeing a Masters in Secondary Education. I most certainly believe we live in a hyper-real non referential world which none the less holds a great amount of hope and mystery for me. Lets tease this thing out and see where it lands.

more about scott patrick humphrey


green values in action
an initiative from the green party of poughkeepsie, ny
by scott patrick humphrey
topic: general
published: 7.21.09


candy green gustavson
7.2.10 @ 7:08a

my son has a similar story...he developed something (we think) called Leber's Disease...diabetes, stress, drugs, alcohol are linked...he now only has his peripheral vision...but surfs and does construction work...enjoy yourself, but check your levels seems to be the latest word...moderation in all things is a universal theme.


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