Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hamburger Meat

That's what my mother always said my fingertips looked like when I was little. She didn't say it in a mean way. But she always said it sympathetically. Like she felt so sorry for me. Which I know she did. She felt so helpless to not be able to fix her little girl.
When I was diagnosed in 1985, testing was so much different. We didn't have the luxury of micro fine lancets, or lancet devices with different depths on them. They hurt. A lot. And they bled. A lot. And sometimes, especially to a little four year old, it felt like the lancet was going to go straight through my finger.
This left many many ugly red and brown dots on my fingertips. That's why my mother said it reminded her of hamburger meat. I, myself, still look at my fingertips and think to my self "Look. Hamburger meat." It makes me want to cry sometimes, knowing that I will probably never have beautifully manicured hands and soft fingertips that are free of callouses and tiny red spots. I don't think about it often, but today was a day I thought about it a great deal.
I was visiting Kerri over at Six Until Me. Her post today started out with a picture of her fingertips. I laughed. They were MY fingertips!!! How'd she get a picture of MY fingertips?? At that moment I felt loved, understood, and absolutely not alone in this fight against diabetes.
Then, this evening, I stopped by Amylia's blog, Amazing Grace. Yesterday she had posted a picture for diabetes 365. This was also a picture of her (my???) fingertips holding a cell phone. Again, I felt connected. This time to someone on the other side of the world. Again, I felt loved, understood, and absolutely not alone.
I live with diabetes every day. It's a part of nearly every decision I make. I don't complain about it very often. After all, what would the point of that be?? I just live with it. I test, I get turned down for short term disability policies, I go to doctor's offices where they know me by name, I count every gram of food that enters my body. It's just part of me and my life.
But sometimes, you can't help but feel different and alone. Today was not one of those days. So I'd like to thank Amylia and Kerri. Even though I've never met either of them (I would count myself blessed to be able to meet either of them), I feel like I know them. We share a common thread. We share a life. We share our fingertips.


Unknown said...

Thank you, Cara, for this beautiful post. I felt the same way when I saw Beth's photo and here.

Juicy tips of hamburger meat, eh? Well, I suppose if we have to share something, hamburger meat is a place to start. Ooh, I'd love a juicy hamburger right now (can you tell I miss the States and haven't eaten lunch?)

Hope we can meet someday! :)

Jillian said...

Hey Cara! I know exactly what you mean about seeing someone else who has fingers like mine. The first time they were Beth's (like Amylia pointed out). I also took a picture to show mine, but they were not that close up.(http://www.flickr.com/photos/10985580@N08/1599547839/)So you may have just inspired a new close up picture for Diabetes365 today.

PS. I'm glad you voted so many times for Sam! We definitely need that money for JDRF. I only voted about 15.

Donna said...

I saw those pictures on Kerri's & Amylia's blog & felt the same way. I had been trying to get a picture of my fingertips to post, but my camera isn't that great so the photo turns out a little blurry. But I don't really need to post a picture of them, do I? Mine look exactly like theirs & yours. We know; we understand; we're all a part of this big diabetes family because of this disease. But what a great group of people to be associated with!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Great post Cara - it is often so isolating to live with diabetes.

It has helped a great deal to share all of these experiences with the OC.

Very familiar things to all of us.

Bernard said...


I felt the same way about those pictures, they were just amazing. I think that's part of the great thing about diabetes365, we can look at a picture and understand it because of our diabetes.

I changed to BD 33-gauge lancets about 4 years ago. They are almost completely painless and I still use them today (they came with a terrible BD meter that I abandoned). So if you've not tried these, I highly recommend them.

Paige said...


I love this post. It has made me a little weepy. Poking O's tiny fingertips so many times a day...I kind of have to go on autopilot and not think too much about the damage I am doing.

We made the switch to the 33-gauge after Bernard recommended them and O says that they don't hurt as much, so that's something.