My worlds collide

I’m very open about my life style, living as a Type 1 Diabetic who lets nothing and no one stop me from living the life I want to live (okay, a low blood sugar has held me back for a few minutes before…) I am always happy to answer questions or correct someone who needs it, when it comes to Diabetes.

I was talking to a good friend a few months ago, telling her about my idea for this blog and what I was going to talk about and she had the brilliant idea to talk about how I manage my health while pursing my passion, performing. Immediately, I started jotting down ideas and thoughts.

My first thought was my very first show where I wore an insulin pump. It was my senior year of college and we were getting ready for opening night of August: Osage County by Tracy Letts, which also happens to be my favorite play. I was SO excited to perform in this show. We go out, everything is going great. And then we get about half way through Act I and what do ya know but my pump starts sounding like a damn fire alarm.

What am I supposed to do? No one ever teaches you how to deal with these kinds of things. How does Nick Jonas deal with this? I was so embarrassed. I shouldn’t have been, it’s not like I can ever separate that part of me from any character I’m playing. But that moment will forever burn in the back of my mind every single opening night.

Then I thought about rehearsals. Before I was on an insulin pump, I had to take daily injections every time I ate something. Occasionally I got lazy and just said “fuck it” and ate some ice cream anyway. So I’m walking into rehearsal, eating my ice cream, and slowly as rehearsal is underway I start to feel really weird. Imagine everything around you slowing down, your limbs begin to feel like they’re full of cement, your mouth is dry, you’re angry at nothing and everything, and on top of that you feel like you’re going to throw up and then die right there. This is what it feels like to have a high blood sugar. You can’t hide it from people who know you. I walk to my bag to take some insulin, maybe I can fight it and no one will see I’m failing. And then I see there’s no cooler bag in my backpack. I’ve left it in my damn apartment! I’m so incredibly lucky to have so many amazing and understanding people around me, a friend took my phone and called a roommate to bring my cooler to me and about an hour after taking a shot I felt just about myself again. I had people bring me water and hold my hand while my body returned to a familiar place.

There are countless times that being a diabetic has made me feel like an outsider or a burden to others. But every time I’m feeling like shit because my body hates me, there’s always a smiling face to tell me a joke or share a horrible pun with me (diabetic jokes ARE NEVER FUNNY SO STOP)

I’ve always found my home in the theatre, it has always been a safe place. A place where I can grow and cry and learn and laugh. After my diagnosis, it became a safe place all over again, not only because I love the arts but because it invites beautiful, selfless people to it so often. I found a place where people accept me and love all parts of me. From my lethargic, troll like highs, to my sweaty, debilitating lows. My worlds collide there, and it is a beautiful thing.

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