Last week, the film Midnight Three & Six was featured in the New York Times. A lot of commenters hated it. Most disliked what they saw as its overly dire presentation of diabetes. One pointed out that it feels like an ad for Warren Retrievers.
It is less about dogs than it is about how precarious life with diabetes can be. Or can be perceived to be. Or is. Grace, the teenager at the center of the film, has many friends with T1d who have died. The family is understandably terrified.
More familiar and comforting is this zero-drama “yeah, we’re used to it”/”meh, it kind of hurts sometimes” video, also from the Times. It’s from 2008. I like the matter-of-factness of it: not everything is all super-dee-duper, it is just life, let’s play basketball and have gorgeous long hair and participate in drug trials.
But I’m drawn to drama. My anxious mind cooks microdramas up all day. So far they’ve all fizzled before any major fireworks have gone off, and for that I am grateful.
WALKING THE DOG
We walked down to the cove so Grover could sniff around the water. It was frozen. Bubs started shoe-skating on it. Fun! Then he skated far enough away that I began imagining what I would do if he fell in: What instructions could I call out regarding effective self-rescue, in order that I might remain dry? And then I was snapped back to reality but the Dexcom buzzing in my pocket. Quick peek: crap. Double-down arrows. And of course I had just cleaned out my pockets, which moments ago held freshly laundered SweeTarts.
LOW and DOUBLE FALLING. OH MY GOD AND HE’S STANDING ON ICE. He is going to be low AND fall through the ice—maybe twice!
Instead he sneaker-skated back to shore, felt fine, we walked home and he had cocoa before he even hit the 80s. Regardless, it would have been a good scene for a documentary about diabetes or places to not ice skate.
RIDING THE BUS
After school. Bubs is medium-high, like maybe 140, and falling fast. Joe suggests a homework-time snack. Nonchalant Bubs announces I almost fainted on the bus.
BIGFOOT: You did? Did someone help you?
BIGFOOT: He did? Were you sitting together?
JACK: No. I was behind him and he told me he was going to faint.
BIGFOOT: (Looks at Dexcom. It displays un-graphable lowness at bus time.)
JACK: So I told him to eat some glucose tabs.
BUBS: But I couldn’t find any.
JACK: So I told him we should get off of the bus and go to the nurse.
BUBS: But then the bus started leaving.
JACK: And then I called you but you didn’t answer so I called Dad—
BUBS: Then I found them in the other pocket and I was really sweaty and shaky and hungry so I had five. And then I found my peanut butter sandwich so I had that too.
JACK: So then we got home and no one was here and we made cocoa. So that’s why he’s high.
BUBS: And then I did a correction and now maybe I’m going low. Sorry.
Two of my big imaginary fears came true in one afternoon: low on the bus with no glucose! and low and no parent here to help! But that turned out fine. Ho-hum. (Hooray for ho-hum!)
Yesterday I went back to read more comments on M3&6 and found this from Grace’s not-quite-so dramatic parents (emphasis mine):
It would require a great deal of space to respond adequately to all of the comments being generated by the film, especially those of a critical nature. The following remarks are, regrettably, very brief…The film represents a real (though edited and distilled) peak into our life with a T1D child. It isn’t propaganda, but we are interested in fundraising for research & treatment re to T1D; so…do we want to stir the waters and get people’s attention? YES!