Pancreas ex vivo

This isn’t my real pancreas.

It’s my new fake one. My new pancreas ex vivo.

The manufacturer recommends placement on the upper arm.

Or on the hip.

Where it should blend right in.

In high school I learned that if you had perfect legs, they made diamonds in three places. Above the ankles, below the knees, between the thighs. I learned this from a cheerleader who showed me in gym class. She put her feet together and pointed out how the light came through. I don’t remember where the backlighting possibly could have come from, but I remember the diamonds. I don’t remember if I showed her mine.

Here are my legs two years ago after I fell shins-first down a brick staircase. My shins scarred but the silhouette stayed good. Above the ankles, below the knees, between the thighs. You can really see the light.

I don’t know what the insulin pump manufacturer would say about placement here. I do know what the cheerleader would have said. She would have said, oh wow, weird diamonds. I guess you have four now. Since it was high school, I probably would have said oh wow, Michelle, you know what? I guess you can shut the hell up.

Arm model from the Green Point Market in Cape Town thanks to Scott Fee. Hip model by Henri Matisse, leaded glass by David Hanel. Pancreas ex vivo by OmniPod. For more talk of legs, love, hate, and insulin, visit The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes blog featuring literary/diabetes superstar Amy Stockwell Mercer.

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5 comments on “Pancreas ex vivo

  1. weight4me says:

    You have a beautiful way of making certain realities bearable, even acceptable. OK in fact!
    It’s right, and we know it.
    Can’t wait to start decorating!
    Love, mom

  2. I would so totally like to hear you tell Michelle to shut the hell up in person. That would make my year.

  3. alsmercer says:

    I love the way your mind works…such a beautiful and powerful collection of images!

  4. Val says:

    So how do you like it? Does it simplify your life? Do you feel safe?

    I remember so little about the specifics of your diabetes, and I know it’s unique to each person.

    But some blood sugars fly and down like crazy.

    I sell real estate now, and yet during the recession went back to work part time as a nurse.

    I work in memory care, and some are diabetic, and each person’s diabetes situation is unique.

    And if someone is running a fever? Check the blood sugar. If someone has a high blood sugar, check the temp. Variables are always in motion.

    How much does your blood sugar swing, and how easily?

    And this: I stab a lot of fingers—and this is the expectation. Yet fingertips are so sensitive.

    Is there a better place to do this? Fingers are the expectation, but I’d gladly relocate if you have suggestions.

    And the diamonds.

    I have skinny legs, so sure, yeah.

    And yet, they’re knobby around the knees, with cellulite at the top, Oh, yeah: this is why God invented capri pants.

    But where does that leave the rest of the girls?

    A couple of my daughters who complain they’re fat–one 17 another 27, have the most gorgeous, long, full, tanned legs. They also have broad shoulders, great teeth, and luscious hair, and these smooth perfect legs.

    That they complain about, lol.

    I hope this device simplifies and improves life for you. love, Val

    • Thank you, Val! So far with the pod, it’s all new equipment and routines, not simplifying anything yet. But honestly hour by hour I can tell it’s managing my blood sugars much more accurately, which was my hope. It’s inconvenient at one level but I very much love the idea of going a longer stretch without complications. My fingertips are doomed regardless. It’s lovely that you’re sensitive to that. On behalf of all my fingers and those of your clients, thanks. Sometimes toes work and you can do them more on the end, not the side, which I think hurts less. It’s a matter of being able to bend to reach your feet with the lancet. You know what, it’s a little surreal and exciting to realize that that’s a thing I know. Thanks for reflecting on this whole deal and being in touch. Cheers and love to beautiful you and your beautiful daughters.

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