Sunday, December 18, 2005

My First Martini(s).

There was no way I could play it femme fatale aloof. I could barely keep the smile off my face. It was like a first date. We held hands as he ordered our wine and the room churned and spun with a mass of people but I couldn’t focus on any face but his, though we shared a bed every night.

The meal arrived. We talked animatedly through our meal, exchanging opinions between bites and making our way to the bottom of the wine bottle. Plates cleared, we finished the wine. It’s almost midnight at this point, but the conversation is energetic and animated and we’re not ready to go home quite yet. The waitress brings the bill but he sends it back gently with a request for two espresso martinis.

It was my very first martini. I drink about seven instances per year and I very rarely stray from the vodka/cranberry juice/orange juice combination, as I’ve got that one figured out on the diabetes front. But tonight there was that wine. And my first martini. So all bets were off. Bloodsugar tested. 183 mg/dl. Quick unit bolus to bring me closer to 120 mg/dl. Take a sip.

Should I be drinking, being a diabetic? Should I avoid indulging once in a while for fear of something happening? Is it enough that Chris is armed with the knowledge of how to test me, bolus, and treat any fluctuation in bloodsugar levels? It is okay for me to be out and drinking with my boyfriend? Is it the responsible thing to do?

My mother's words resonate. "I want her to come to the end of her life and not feel like she missed out on anything. Not on anything at all."

We leaned across the table towards one another and talked about the movies we’d seen over the last two weeks. We talked about my book. We talked about the website and the distribution deal and the Big Move to NYC. We talked about the moment we met. We talked about the precarious first date so many months ago.

Two more martinis were ordered. The Girl is in a deliciously inebriated state. Chris is happy to see his girl having such a good time. Bloodsugar tested discretely at the table. 147 mg/dl. No bolus necessary.

We held hands.

We closed the restaurant at two in the morning, bundling up to brave December’s cutting chill. A quick stop at a nearby party brought us closer to home and confirmed my status as RI’s Happiest Drunk Girl.

Home brought the comfort and warmth of our Christmas tree, with a cat asleep under its branches. The room spins but he steadies me with his arm. I test. I have a big snack before I go to bed. He lies next to me, brushing against the pump on my hip. It’s normal to him now. And to me.

I fell asleep, warm and safe.

Drunk on my first martinis. And comforted, knowing that I will not miss a thing.


At December 19, 2005 12:02 AM, Blogger Alex said...

I would just like to say that I love the way you write. I just wanted to tell you that. I hang on every word.

At December 19, 2005 1:01 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Ahh. martinis. one indulgence I do not allow myself anymore. I'm glad you enjoyed!

At December 19, 2005 8:02 AM, Blogger Nicole P said...


I LOVE this post. I love that you savor every single moment - and that your expressions of those moments make me feel at home with them.

Boy, am I familiar with the occassional vodka, orange/cranberry juice combination -- but, Yay for Martinis!!


At December 19, 2005 8:02 AM, Blogger Violet said...

I am fascinated by this. And glad you didn't miss out.

It's very hard to know where to draw the line, for me, of caring wisely for the disease vs. caring wisely for my life as a whole.

On the practical side: HOW do you handle vodka + orange juice? I'm afraid of shooting up high from the juice and then crashing. The only thing I drink now is wine, or diet soda + liquor, bleah bleah.

I especially miss margaritas.

At December 19, 2005 8:22 AM, Blogger Kassie said...

Seriously, I think your mother *rocks*. Please tell her she's got a fan club out here in the O.C.

And I love OJ/Vodka/Cranberry juice but can never remember what it's called. I end up ordering the wrong thing and getting grapefruit juice, and that's just wrong!

At December 19, 2005 9:28 AM, Blogger Kerri. said...

V -- I've only been drinking for the last 8 years (since my freshman year of college)and I always found that the only drink that didn't send me into a hypoglcemic tailspin was the vodka/cranberry/OJ mix. It brings me to a cruising altitude of about 212 mg/dl, ending later in the night with an 80 mg/dl or so. I shoot one unit per drink, to compensate for the juice. It's not a perfect formula, but I drink so rarely that I'm willing to sacrifice the ping ponging in exchange for, as you sagely put it, "caring for my life as a whole."

I do test every 45 minutes when I'm drinking, though. And if I get to the point where I'm very Happy, my college roommates, my best friends, and my boyfriends have been trained to test and treat accordingly. Chris, once unfamiliar with the disease almost entirely, can now navigate almost any bloodsugar with a calm head and a reassuring hand.

Kassie -- it's called a Madras! But be careful, because 8/10 times, the bartender asks, "Did you say mattress?"

And Nicole and Alex -- Thank you. Very, very much.

At December 19, 2005 9:35 AM, Blogger David said...


I'm a former Providence resident. Every time I read your location, I smile. RI is such a bizarre/rich/unique state. Many of my fondest memories are dining on the world-class Providence food. After shrimp and cocktails at Hemenways, martinis at Ten, or an open bar party at the Red Fez, that icy RI air loses its bite.

At December 19, 2005 9:44 AM, Blogger Kerri. said...

David -- We were at Paragon on Thayer Street. What other place serves until midnight?

At December 19, 2005 9:46 AM, Blogger Tekakwitha said...


sounds like a wonderful evening. I'm so glad you enjoyed it so and shared it with us all. :)


At December 19, 2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

This entry brought me back to a bike ride this past summer.

Me, Ryan and the kids riding by the university football stadium on game day. College kids partying on the sidewalk. Many holding beer cans, laughing, and yeah, stumbling.

At the time I remember thinking-- how is Joseph going to bolus for this?

I'm pleased you cracked the code for martinis... and that you weren't afraid to try.

At December 19, 2005 1:03 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Ah, alcohol and juice. Perfect balance for a diabetic :)

I'm fond of Cosmopolitans...cliché, I know, and cranberry and vodka.

At December 19, 2005 2:17 PM, Blogger Val said...

Before dx my favorite drink was a toasted almond - kahlua, amaretto and milk. I have it maybe twice a year now - but boy, do I savor it when I get it. I love the way you captured the enjoyment of the whole thing! And I want to join your mom's fan club too ; )

At December 19, 2005 4:15 PM, Blogger SUPERMOM said...

I also loved the post and how your savor each moment of your life. I too think you mom is great and I want to be that kind of mom to Carylanne. She often asks "mom will I be able to do (fill in the blank) when I get older. Its through you and many of the other wonderful people I have found on the OC that I can feel sonfindent telling her ":you can do anything! Thanks for all your inspriration in your every day life.


At December 20, 2005 8:42 AM, Blogger Johnboy said...

Kerri, you are moderate, even in your indulgences. You are blessed with a brain and common sense enough to use it most of the time!

I like and share your attitude that having this disease doesn't exclude us from enjoying life, in all its dimensions. :)

At December 20, 2005 11:58 AM, Blogger David said...

Paragon, home of amazing Lobster Ravioli. And you gotta love the Paragon Salad. :) Now, I have quite a vivid image of your evening. Can't wait to get back to that part of town...

At December 20, 2005 1:21 PM, Blogger Erica said...

This post made me smile - I could totally envision it all. :-)

At December 20, 2005 6:36 PM, Anonymous gina said...


While I was reading that I almost thought the end was going to have a MARRY ME at the end haha...

You and your boy remind me of me and my loving

At December 23, 2005 10:09 AM, Blogger Penny said...

Thank you for that. Although, I don't relish the thought of Riley getting drunk, it does make me feel hopeful that he will lead a very normal life and do exactly what he wants to.


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