Diabetes Daily: Fabulously Brilliant Diabetes Cartoons (By Riva Greenberg)

“The other day I was browsing the wonderful cartoons of Haidee Merritt – a wonderfully talented artist and cartoonist living with type 1 diabetes. Haidee contributed a number of her cartoons to my book, Diabetes Do’s & How To’s, and has often and generously sent me more for fun. We had a great time working together, she was diagnosed at the age of 2, me at age 18.”

CLICK THE IMAGE below to read more of Riva’s article and view my images!!!

get a room


Hypos Cause Typos

fingerprk_typosIt won’t come as a surprise to any diabetic that we’re not at our best when our numbers run low.

Glucose usually helps the brain to operate and without enough of it simple brain functions can be impaired. This is why we can feel confused or disoriented when we haven’t eaten enough, taken too much insulin, or extended our exercise period to a full hour of cardio.

In school, my Mom always made sure I didn’t take tests before lunch, a precaution to be sure my blood sugar was at a level to have ALL my brain cellsworking at full-power. Gives the saying “food for thought” a whole new meaning.

Fourth of July Everyday

fingerprk_firewrkThis cartoon is based on an actual event in my uneventful life. I was with a friend during a thunderstorm recently when the sky lit up. He said, Whoa, that was close! To which I responded, Oh you saw that too?

Bright flashes of light are very common in my peripheral vision; there are also pulsing or flickering shapes almost constantly like a strobe light. It’s a party in there 24/7. Like diabetes, my eyes are different today than they were yesterday and tomorrow will be different from today. Blood sugar levels, stress, the brightness of the sun, anything can influence how each will behave.

The left eye I refer to as a write-off; I pretty much gave up on hoping it would ever be useful back in my twenties, during the Dark Ages of vitrectomies when technology was primitive. I think the surgeons considered it successful for the mere fact that I retained the eyeball. The judgment was certainly not based on the level of vision I see from it: it’s like looking at the world through a bowl of oatmeal. Part of me really wanted that glass eye they talked about – no one with a glass eye is ever boring (I turned out to be creepy and fascinating in other ways). The result of keeping the left eye, however, is that I see double.

The left one is the obvious bad eye, like there’s no way for me to even read the E on the optometry chart (the one that gets the test rolling with a letter so huge that everyone passes to the next level). No, the right eye is the deceptive one for sure. It scores a 20/20 or better each time she runs the course. Doctors are thrilled with their vitrectomilogical success and assert, with confidence, that there’s been no significant change in the last 20 years. A medical victory. However – and this is where there’s a clear difference between the diagnosis and the perceived condition – it’s not that simple.

Though my right eye can see the letters more than halfway down that same chart, that doesn’t really explain what I see. First and foremost, there are floaters that are constantly changing in size and number (floaters are spots of blood on the interior of the retina, common after surgeries and in diabetics with retinopathy). I can never tell if there’s actually a bug on my windshield or a dog running across the road up ahead. Floaters don’t indicate depth perception and the mind tries to make sense of the moving blotch instantaneously. It’s quite a hoot. Not. Sometimes – and this is weird – I feel like there’s a dark cloud in my right eye, just sort of hovering there to the side never fully eclipsing my vision. This condition is disconcerting because I want to keep turning to look behind me for the person or object that is blocking me from the sun. Like a large bird about to land but never does…

In case you haven’t heard, diabetes isn’t just a disease, it’s a lifestyle. I’ve been living it long enough to know it sucks... I’ve put my complaints to paper, although I can’t quite remember why I started. Maybe I thought my dark sense of humor would pay off someday, somehow? So, thanks for helping me out: if you’ve got a few minutes, grab a seat and let me enlighten you.

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