Dear Pancreas (My Turn)

Our dear Kerri got me thinking with her “Open Letter to My Pancreas.”  And then little Demarco chimed in with his own version and was so wise and sweet and matter-of-fact about it all in one.  And then it dawned on me, I have a thing or two to say to that useless organ of mine as well:


Dear Pancreas,

For 37 years I hardly knew you existed.  So maybe it was a case of neglect. The latchkey gland.  Or maybe I just put too much strain on you with all those years of ruinous eating habits and those three exhausting pregnancies.  But you can’t blame me.  Creating a child is perhaps the only true miracle any of us will ever experience in real life.

Anyway, you shut down one day in late May 2003, and I haven’t heard from you since.  How ironic!  Now that you’ve stopped performing your life-sustaining function of secreting insulin in order to “automatically” regulate my blood sugar, I think about you all the time.  Because I’ve got a manual transmission now. 

I look at these petite vials of clear liquid and think how bizarre it is that THIS is what keeps me alive.  And running on manual is tough, because unlike you, I don’t always know just when and how much is the exact right amount of insulin required to cover the carbohydrates I eat or keep my sugar from skyrocketing when I’m sick.  Sometimes it’s like driving a car with a broken gas gauge: I never know how much is really in there or when more is required or when I’m about to hit “empty.”  It’s a constant guessing game with ugly consequences when you get it wrong.

So frankly, I hate you a little for giving up on me. 

Oh right, you probably think I should consider myself lucky that some OTHER organ didn’t go kaputt.  It could have been my heart, or my lungs, or my kidneys … or God-knows-what.  But just a moment!  Don’t you know that the very fact of your pooping out puts most all my other vital organs at risk?!

All right.  Aside from venting, what I really wanted to say was this: I’d freeze you if I could.  I’d like to preserve you just as you are now — before you age any more along with the rest of me — so that you’ll be in the best possible shape when some day soon, the scientists and researchers come up with a way to revive you.  Do you hear me?   Hang on as best you can!  Your tour of duty may not be over permanently, God willing.  And you’d better darn well stand up and salute when the time comes!




6 Responses

  1. Allison
    Allison February 8, 2007 at 4:01 pm | | Reply

    I love all of these Dear Pancreas letters. They are so clever, yet touching.

  2. Steve
    Steve February 8, 2007 at 9:38 pm | | Reply

    You know, you’re a lot nicer to your pancreas than I would be. And your nicer about the “coming” cure. I’ve been hearing promises about this darned cure since the 70′s. Where is it! I hope to heck big pharma isn’t standing in the way of the necessary research because such a cure would kill a very profitable income stream. Somehow, I just don’t trust them on this one.

  3. Megan
    Megan February 9, 2007 at 5:58 am | | Reply

    Yeah! Where’s that cure! Anyhoo…love the letter. I’ve never thought of freezing my pancreas…seems like it would be the thing to do if it were possible.

  4. libby
    libby February 9, 2007 at 9:17 am | | Reply

    I don’t know…I think the immune system is the real culprit! Although I love the letter, but I think the pancreas is an innocent bystander. lol

  5. s chamberlain
    s chamberlain February 10, 2007 at 5:57 am | | Reply

    These blogs..letters to a Pancreas.
    They make me laugh through my tears—just how damn DAILY this all is for my daughter, Coki. But
    humor has to help right? Sarah

  6. InsureBlog
    InsureBlog February 13, 2007 at 8:41 am | | Reply

    A Sweet Grand Rounds…

    Given the theme, it seems only fitting to highlight this Diabetes Mine post, a letter to her pancreas. Well done, Amy!

Leave a Reply