[graphic from GameBanana]
Don’t think for a second that I’m making fun of Wilford Brimley, because he’s a boss. It always makes me laugh a little, though, because that’s how so many people in my family say it. Maybe it’s a regional thing? Generational? If I had gone forward with a degree in Linguistics, I could probably answer that off the top of my head. Anyway…
Sometimes I swear I have a “learning disability” because no matter how many times I’m presented with a few bits of simple information, I can never, ever remember which bit is right. For instance, I can never remember which type of diabetes is which. Reading Worry Stone No. 1 seems to be helping. So many health conditions are things that I’ve heard of, and recognize a few concepts or words which I know are loosely tied to them, but I really don’t know what they mean. Like pneumonia. Pneumonia, to me, is like the boogeyman. No one I know has really had it – or I was never around when they did – so it’s like this thing that mothers tell their kids so that they’ll put on their coats in the winter.
Since I have actually known people with diabetes, seeing a few of them whipping out their glucose meters or pack fun size candy bars in their purse/pocket, it’s more tangible for me. But that still doesn’t really mean I know anything about it. Not because I haven’t been exposed to information, but more because my memory is incredibly high maintenance and I’ve never been able to figure out its whims. Jerianne’s zine helps me to absorb the information because it has a clean layout, straightforward explanations, and helpful cut-and-paste medical illustrations. I’m not really sure what magic is used here, but it makes it easy to read without coming off as a dry medical pamphlet.
I’ve always been weirdly healthy, despite the fact that I’ve never really “taken care” of myself. I mean, I’ve avoided some obvious risk behaviors (smoking, drugs, alcohol) and have dedicated my life to not getting overly stressed out, but my suspicion is that I’ll have to start taking care of myself sooner rather than later. Given my dietary habits, I’ve had the nagging idea that I would end up with Type II diabetes. No time like the present to be proactive. Also, hard to change habits until shite has already hit the fan. So…working on it. Kind of, but not really. Kind of.
So, yeah…endocrinologist. Another word I’ve heard thrown around a lot, but never really understood. Having to do with endocrinology. Which pretty much leads to information overload and I start watching YouTube videos of sloths [10 minutes later...OK! I'm BACK!]. But, at least now I can link it to something which relates to diabetes, among other things.
I really like this zine because Jerianne does a great job of describing her relationships with Denny and her son and the world through the filter of diabetes and it never comes off as a venty laundry-list, which – no matter how much you care – is sometimes hard to sit through. The zine is engaging the whole way through and really reflects on the greater themes of love, fear, resources, chronic illness, family, and uncertainty. Also, call me a nerd, but I really like that Jerianne cites the content sources in the back. I see that in so few zines.
Overall, this is just a great intro zine to hand to someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about the big picture of diabetes and how it can really impact someone’s life, and the lives of the people around them.