Am I being threatened?
It wasn’t the words, but the tone and body language that made me ask.
I was shocked, standing still in a puddle of milk– relatively new to marriage, but no stranger to bullies. I felt my face turn fierce.
Years of self-defense training reassured my mind. He was blocking the exit to the kitchen, and he was bigger– but I had knives. I was mentally packing my bags when empathy and reason sneaked past fear.
The light had been hurting his eyes and he’d been getting confused lately. The day before, I found him crouched in a corner, afraid. The day before that, he ran our car into the side of the garage– the first accident of his life as a driver.
Something was wrong. I calmed my nerves enough to consider what I knew to be true about my husband of two years.
He wasn’t a threat.
I repeated that truth as I scooted my way towards him. It was a tiny kitchen– in a stereotypical first apartment– but I took my time. Carefully, as if approaching a rabid dog, I put my hand on his head. He was hot– too hot– and clammy. Three or four strands of his hair were on my hand when I looked down.
“Did you cut yourself when you dropped the bowl, Rara?” he asked softly, as if the moment before didn’t happen, worryingly reviewing every one of my fingers. He cleaned up the glass and milk– silently and with total competence, just like normal.
“You called me stupid.” I whispered sadly. Then, defiantly, for no reason at all, I added, “And I think your hair is falling out.”
He mumbled, confused again, “I don’t know what I said. Maybe we should go to the doctor.”
When we arrived, the nurse asked why we were there.
Stoically, without looking in my direction, Dave told her, “My hair is falling out, and I think something is wrong with my brain.”
I took his hand, shaking. He hadn’t told me that something might be wrong with his mind.
“I’m sure it’s nothing,” the nurse said soothingly.
It wasn’t nothing. It was diabetes and it was raging out of control.
The symptoms were explained away as sugar’s ability to change brain chemistry. What sugar can do to you and how it changes your brain– even if you’re not diabetic– is barely starting to be exposed. I just happened to bear witness to what would make a great case study.
I don’t like talking about the tone and words that pushed us to the Urgent Care, because it makes Dave sound like a man on the brink of anger. People always think the quiet ones are angry and that sugar is harmless, so it’s like one little knight defending two sides of a castle at once.
When people asked what symptoms Dave experienced that caused me to give up sugar too, I leave out the bone-chilling truth that sugar tampers with your mind’s ability to process information. I leave out the exhaustion it creates and the debilitating fear that it pushes through your veins.
Instead I tell people that we gave up sugar when he started losing his hair, because it’s an easier and more effective argument.
Most people don’t care about their brain, but no one wants to go bald.
Are you afraid of baldness?
… and yes, I did write this post only after writing several about Dave’s true nature (here, here, and here) because of how people so often react to stories from his month of illness, no matter how much I edit them down.
– Wow! Thanks for the love guys: