Insulin Pump Demystified

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A sweet new year...

This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the celebration of the creation of the world. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love the opportunity to think of starting the new year with a clean slate, with a fresh start. In Jewish tradition, we perform the act of "Teshuvah" which translates into repentance. We go to people whom we have hurt, and ask forgiveness. We go to God and pray for forgiveness for sins that we have committed against the Holy One. It is a time of introspection and reflection. Now we are in what are called the "Ten Days of Awe" which come between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Much is on my mind. I use this time to look inward as much as possible, and try to do an honest accounting of where I am falling short, in both my deeds and intentions.

One of the themes and rituals for Rosh Hashanah is about a "sweet new year." We dip apples into honey and make a blessing over them. We wish friends and family members to have a sweet new year, we cook apple cakes and honey cakes to serve on our holiday tables. This metaphor pushes a button in me, someone living with Type 1 diabetes for over 25 years now. What does "sweetness" really mean to me?

Yes--now with the pump I can eat my apples and honey, and even my honeycake and rugalech and all kinds of goodies, and still keep my blood sugar under control. But the idea of "sweetness" is still a complicated one for me. I think about the sweetness that was denied to me after my diabetes diagnosis and the bitterness that filled inside me in its place. I think about the way people have often used the adjective "sweet" to describe me, only to be shocked when they discover the tough-as-nails part of my personality that lies beneath the surface.

"Sugar works better than vinegar" my Grandmother used to tell me and I watched as she used sweet talk to get things done. I've often modeled that tactic and been successful as a result, laughing coyly as she used to do, once the mission's been accomplished.

I am wishing for a sweet new year, though the word "joyous" feels better to me than "sweet" because of the baggage that I've just described. A joyous year for my family, for my friends, for everyone. A year of sweetness and joy and hope and peace and also, especially, for health--without which, we don't have very much of anything at all.

L'shana Tovah--a sweet New Year--to each of you (Jewish or not!)--


  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger Minnesota Nice said…

    G - that was just lovely - beautiful thoughts to focus on.
    Thank you, and Happy New Year.


  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger Adrienneck said…

    My son is 24 and was diagnosed last December1. he is a third year medical student and knows more about his disease than most.
    The holidays were very troubling for me as his mom. I am definitely having a test of faith this year.
    We went to services on rosh Hoshanah with the entire family.. his sister and 4 granparents... something we are very grateful for at this time in our adult lives.
    The rabbi's sermon was quite upsetting.. the theme was "A day that changed your life" All I could think about was Dec. 1 .She went on with a ltany of tragedies that changed people's lives.. My husband and I looked at our son and he was sobbing. We all left the temple (including the 4 over 80 grandparents).
    I was hoping for a service that would give us reasons to be joyous. I have found very little to be joyous about this year.
    But, my son, being a kind and caring person, wanted to go back for Yom kippur. I went with a smile for hime, but the sadness pervades.. i don't know when I will feel good about walking back into Temple.
    Thank you for letting me go on about this. It is helpful to read other people's experiences, even if they are not like mine.
    By the way, he is on the omnipod and loves it.. he feels like he has been given a little freedom back.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger GabrielleK-M said…

    Hi Kathy and Adrienne--

    Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. I do think that connecting with other people living with diabetes is so important, it has been very helpful and healing for me to write about my experiences and read about what other people are going through.

    Adrienne, no doubt your son's diagnosis--less than a year old--is very fresh and still feels new and painful for him and for the whole family. He sounds like he has amazing spirit and intelligence, which will help him greatly. I was diagnosed at age 10 ( I am 35 now), and can still get emotional when I think about the day of my diagnosis. Living with Type 1 does get easier--so great that your son has found the omnipod. It will soon become just a part of the fabric of your life...but it is also compeletely normal and okay to have times when you just wish you could turn the clock back. But joy will return to you, as you see your son rising to the challenges he faces.
    It is also a very hopeful time to be living with Type 1, there are so many advances to make our lives better and I truly do believe that more answers are on the way.
    Check out this web site: and please share with your son--it is very hopeful research.

    be well,


Post a Comment

<< Home