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Person holding a sign that says hungry.

Diabetic Lives Matter…

For the last month, I’ve had a local man contact my office with need of transportation to his dialysis appointments. Appointments which are about 40 miles away. We cannot help directly — but we work with him… for we have other helpful agencies which can step in. In a wheelchair, he already has a leg amputated as a consequence from uncontrolled diabetes. He has come up to talk to me, this time, about how his car is not working anymore, how it needs to be junked, and well — how that was his home. It shall stay on our lot for another week or so. Friends at another organization are housing him, but during the day, he has to go somewhere — and so he is here. And so he looks at me, dark skin and eyes of ebony, through the glassiness of tears… and says he’s hungry. There is some food downstairs, but it’s all carbohydrates. When one is need — all that agencies tend to give the poor is bread, grains, and cheap carbohydrates… Outright poison for a person with diabetes — especially if one isn’t on insulin, or can’t afford it. He will wait for dinner, later tonight in our building, where a more nutritiously balanced meal will be made and shared, no questions asked… but the hunger he feels RIGHT NOW is very real, and he needs to take his medications… And there’s only bread.

He is hungry. He is wheelchair bound, he is diabetes bound. He is crying. The last 30 some years of familial diabetes, wheelchairs, dialysis and amputations, flash before my eyes, like a flash flood of grief… So I give him my lunch. After all, when I go home in an hour, I’ll have access to food. I… and my privilege. Pastor Tim goes to find him some fruit, and a deviled egg.

I can’t work right now. All I see are visions of my past… And my own familial loss. All I feel is red, hot rage at the state of our healthcare, and toward those who don’t want us to have universal healthcare because THEY are healthy and THEY can work…

I am rage… I am diabetic rage. I am.

Through glassy tears of amber… I’m hungry. Hungry for a LOT more of what he really needs.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably bring him food.

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