LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, December 22, 2006

Morning Prayers

It was a couple of years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was up in the cold dark of pre-dawn. I had shaved and showered, and I was looking at my clothes laid out on the bed. I had carefully centered my name tag on my scrub top the night before. Putting it on, taking it off again, then putting it on again. Trying to get it just right. My stethoscope was polished and ready. I had two black ink pens and a brand-new pair of white shoes and I was scared to death.

It was the day of my first “clinical” at the regional medical center. All the classroom and lab fun was behind me. Now it was sink or swim. Time to do the job for real. The two Tums left a chalky taste in my mouth and didn’t do much to settle my stomach.

Above the closet hung a retablo that my Hispanic/Catholic wife had bought for me when I went back to school. It is St. Agatha, patron of nurses. A retablo is a hand-painted image of a saint on a flat board. It is a folk-art tradition as old as New Mexico. I think the gift was her way of signaling me that she thought I was on the right path.

Actually, like most Catholic saints, Santa Agatha is a multi-tasker. She’s also the patron of women with breast cancer and she’s in-charge of volcanoes. The story is a bit murky, but as I recall she was a virtuous early Christian woman who refused to marry a powerful pagan Roman Senator. He did various horrible things to her with no effect, such as cutting off her breasts and throwing her into a volcano. My little retablo shows her calmly holding her breasts in her hands and looking saintly.

I pulled on my scrub top. Laced my white shoes. Draped my stethoscope around my neck, shiny metal name plate out wards. The stethoscope name plate was a gift from my fellow students. It read: “William, NTD.” NTD stands for Not The Doctor. A problem that faces me to this day. I always get mistaken for a doctor. Well what can you do? A six-foot middle aged white guy with a beard and a stethoscope working in a rural New Mexico clinic…..????

Anyway, back to the cold dark morning. I’m a spiritual guy, but not a church going type, and I rarely pray in an organized way. But on this morning I kissed my finger tips New-Mexico-Catholic-style, brushed my fingers lightly across the face of the retablo and prayed:

Santa Agatha--
guide my heart,
my head,
and my hands.

I don’t know where the prayer came from. It just came. And the day went well. I was compassionate, smart, and capable. St. A now hangs above my desk at the clinic and I say the same prayer every morning when I get to work.

Santa Agatha--
guide my heart,
my head,
and my hands.

And she does.


Blogger Kelsey said...

Wow, that's a great story.

I'm Catholic, but I've never gotten that much into the Saints. However, I love the Mexican style art depicting Saints, very beautiful.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Wil!

I hope all is going well for you!

I can think of no better way to start a day than to go through the routine that you do.

Take care!

9:56 PM  

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