Help

February 19th, 2009

“I didn’t know it would be raw,” Kevin said, looking at his seared tuna.
We swapped plates.
Before, I had gnocci.
Now, I had raw tuna.
Kevin looked at my plate.
“Did you take the right insulin for that?” he said.
Oh.
Good thinking, I said.
I took gnocci insulin. Gnocci insulin is a lot more insulin than raw tuna insulin.
So I had some bread.

That’s all.

I was on the Cape last summer with Kathy. She’s a diabetes educator.
She works with diabetic kids and their parents down in Children’s Floating Hospital.

Those parents complain a lot.

“He won’t take his blood sugar,” they say.
“He never changes the lancet,” they say. “It’s dull. It’s unsanitary.”

Kathy and I are standing in a kettle pond. It’s August.
Slivers of fish are bathed in light, flashing in the sun that pierces the water around our legs.

“I tell them to put the strip in the glucometer,” Kathy says.
“I tell them to hand it to him before he eats his breakfast.”
“I tell them to put a new lancet in for their kid.”

I didn’t know you could ask.
I didn’t know you could expect help.
I didn’t know anybody would help.

There’s a hard lump in my throat.

The fish are streaming in silver light.