Thursday, June 13, 2013

An open letter to Meri Schuhmacher

Dear Meri,

Hello.  For many months I have lived in your diabetes supply cupboard.  Trust me when I say, I’m intimate with your life.  I know diabetes is a big deal, even though you tell yourself it isn’t.  I know you spend a lot of time calculating, and I know you don’t spend a lot of time sleeping.  I also know that I am part of an army of cannulas that save your boys’ lives daily.  I have been dutifully waiting my turn to lay down my life for one of your boys.  It was an especially proud moment for me yesterday when you choose me.  Surely my Medtronic box glowed a little brighter than the others when your hand reached into the cupboard.  My heart was racing so fast…I was born for that moment!

As you readied me into the rocket for insertion, my mind raced back to the conversation you were having with the boys’ minutes before.  The littlest one had told you his blood sugar was 490.  I heard the buttons beeping as you gave him a giant bolus.  In my guestimation, you retested about 30 minutes later to find him at 103.  A swear word indicated you were not happy with this.  I heard his feet run off to the kitchen when you decided to change his set, and as the fates allowed…you chose me.

It took a lot of guts, but I knew what I needed to do.  If I did what I was made for, I would be providing your son with insulin…yet I had gleaned enough information to know insulin LOWERS blood sugars.  I was shocked.  My duty was to protect your son, and surely more insulin would have made things worse.

So I did what I was born to do...I laid down my life for him.  When you were inserting me into his stomach, I tucked and rolled at the last minute as only my natural cannula instincts dictated.  Being bent in half, I took one for the team…thus resulting in a rise in blood sugars, rather than a deadly drop.

I heard you test him a half hour later, and I heard your sigh of relief.

You’re welcome.

I heard you test him an hour after that, and then again an hour after that.  Both numbers were pleasing, and both numbers caused you to smile widely.

Again, that was all me.

You slept for 5 hours last night and it was all thanks to my quick thinking, and the bravery I had putting my thoughts into action.

So imagine my surprise this morning when you checked your son’s sugar right before running out the door to work, and you muttered that ungrateful swearword under your breath, instead of the thank you I’d been waiting all night for.

No…”Thank you.”

No…”You are the most wonderful cannula ever for letting me sleep!”

No…”You kept my boy from having to eat a mountain of sugar!”

None of that!  You were angry at a stupid 496.

My brothers were at the ready to fix that 496.  I’m just seriously confused as to why you were so upset.  When you pulled off the sticker to find me in a perfect “V” you looked at me in disgust.  Woman, my form was perfect!

And this after I sacrificed everything just for you.

I feel as though my life was wasted. 

If I wasn’t raised with better manners, I might just have a few swear words in reciprocation for you Madam!  Instead I’ll just leave you with my disgust.

Sincerely, and with great nobleness,

The bent cannula you ripped off your youngest son this morning


  1. "Woman, my form was perfect!"

  2. hey, it did it's job and then it was time to be done and move on! ;)

  3. That was so funny and so true. When the supplies do not do what they should it only make diabetes that much harder. It is great that you can look at it with humor.

  4. Absolutely brilliant, Meri! Thanks for the laughs... but I'm sorry for the Highs and experience overall. Hope it all balances out soon.

  5. Ummm what happened that a 490 came down to a 103 in THIRTY MINUTES?? Sounds lucky this little cannula did his job!

  6. Loved this...I LOVE your writing...makes my day when I check and see you have a new post for me.

  7. LOL!

    That poor cannula! It gets no respect in the Schuhmacher house!

  8. haha! I love it!! Awesome post!

  9. OMG!! i am just doing some catching up on some reading (i've been so out of the loop!)
    and this is just priceless!!! i love it!!! you have made my day, Meri!!


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