Friday, August 2, 2013

Searching for Divinity

As I searched for Divinity Street, the meanderings of the paths resonated with the meanderings of my mind.  I'm an English teacher.  Analogies abound.  The paths echo my journey with diabetes.

My brother says the streets of Boston follow the meanderings of drunken cows.  Getting from the Red Station to Divinity Street, Harvard seems to have merely paved the wandering paths created by students straggling from one building to another.  Unlike the U of I's quad, whose paths form squares and triangles, Harvard's paths seem like a toddler's scribbling.  Two paths run parallel then veer off in slightly different directions. Illinois city streets and county roads are laid out on a grid.  Negotiating them is done with algebraic simplicity. To get from A to B, you go up so far and over so far. No wonder all the directions people gave me consisted of vaguely waving over that way.

When first diagnosed, I approached diabetes as a Midwesterner.  It's not a new disease.  Millenia old.  They gave me I:C ratios and correction factors and I thought I should be able to get this easily. Do this. Do that. But LADA doesn't behave linearly, logically.  My carefully constructed equations don't work out as neatly as I calculated.  I miscalculate.  Too high.  Too low.  I thought if I just studied hard enough, knew enough, I could figure out the answer.  So I read, I studied, I plowed through research papers, attended lectures and watched videos of conferences.

And then I met the staff at Faustman's lab. Nice, helpful people.  The phlebotomist was particularly skillful. But I expected a deeper understanding of diabetes. I'm used to hearing the same old, same old. The people sitting beside me on the bus and train I don't expect to get it.  But the people working in the labs, in the hospitals and clinics, with my insurance, the journalists: that's their job, what they are paid to do.  And time after time, they are the least informed, the least curious, the most mired in the past.  It's frustrating.

And I am realizing that the street I was heading for isn't Divinity either.  I turn around and look for someone new to ask.  Harvard campus is really big.

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