My Coming Out Party
When we spring something startling upon an unsuspecting world we call it a coming out party. A young woman, formerly cloistered in the bosom of a sheltering family is presented to society. Someone who’s hitherto toiled invisibly behind the scenes, often unappreciated, assumes a new public role. Someone who’s gay, unbeknownst to family and friends, decides to share a fundamental truth with the world. Each of them deserves a coming out party. And so do I.
Ten days ago I received news that rocked my world. My first thought was to hide it. My second thought was to study it. My third thought was to reveal it, but how? To whom? And when? So, holding my nose and praying for a soft landing, I’m jumping off the high dive here and now. See me splash.
My life changed when I sat down with my doctor, who told me that I have become diabetic, joining the 8% of the US population who are similarly afflicted. If you’ve had this same conversation with your doc, you may have had the reaction I did, to wit “Oh the horror, oh the shame!” or some version thereof. I couldn’t help but feel that I’d brought this on myself, even though the unflappable Dr. Kim said “nope, it’s genetic.”
I began to read, night and day. My Google search history was replete with search terms related to diabetes, which I surreptitiously deleted each night, somehow ashamed to even need to be looking for information about a disease where the victim is often perceived to be the perpetrator. As the whole blogosphere knows, I’m a cook, a former personal chef, a food and wine writer, a person who loves to spend days in the kitchen preparing elaborate meals for my guests, and yes, I’m a person who loves to eat and drink. Was mine a case of “live by the sword, die by the sword” only with my chef’s knife subbed in as the implement of destruction?
Then I found this article, which is, despite the slightly tabloid-style headlines, a careful exigesis of the origins of diabetes. I won’t summarize it here, but I advise you to read it yourself, should you have any doubts. It might make you treat a diabetic with more sympathy. It might even save your own life.
But don’t worry. French Letters isn’t going to become a blog about my diabetes, any more than it’s a blog about Shel’s cancer. It’s a blog about our life, with all its ups and downs, but mainly about life in France, and about the foods and wines we all love. However, I can’t resist sharing a couple of discoveries, because I’m learning all day long, looking at my red, red blood 6-8 times a day. The bad news is that coffee, of all things, seems to be bad for my blood sugar. The good news? Wine and cheese are fine. France, here I come!
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