Diabetes — especially Type 1 — has been having quite a moment in the spotlight lately. Take Bret Michaels’ Celebrity Apprentice win, or almost-American Idol Crystal Bowersox visibly fiddling with her insulin pump during rehearsals. Then there’s one of my personal favorites, Sam Talbot from Season 2 of Top Chef.
And while I wouldn’t wish Type 1 on my worst enemy, I’ve always secretly wished for a real Type 1 celebrity champion. Someone who would make the disease part of their personal and public persona. Someone who would be completely, unabashedly honest about the good and the bad parts of living with the disease — no matter what the JDRF, or the ADA, or the Surgeon General or anyone else had to say about it. Someone like Lady Gaga.
In general, I tend to lean more toward the likes of Neko Case and Stars and Belle and Sebastian when it comes to the music department. But I’m not ashamed to say that I freaking love Lady Gaga. And it may be kind of cheesy, but her whole “embrace what makes you feel like a freak” philosophy can get me through a day when my blood sugar’s all over the place, or my pump goes off in a meeting, or my CGM sensor shows through my shirt sleeve.
Can you even begin to imagine what Gaga would do for Type 1 diabetes? Suddenly, having the disease would become something of a luxury. People would be lining up to have their pancreases surgically removed, or they’d buy off-market insulin pumps to wear as accessories. None of this Nick Jonas Omnipod business; Gaga would resurrect the enormous backpack-style insulin pump prototype for special occasions and sold-out shows. Everyone would be checking their blood sugar levels at parties and over dinner and during meetings. It’d be just like texting in public, only less rude and more useful.
You think Myabetic accessories are exciting? Wait until you get a load of Bleed! by Haus of Gaga, the line of sleek, futuristic, glamorously bedazzled carrying cases for testing supplies, syringes, insulin and batteries that she’d inevitably launch within months of her diagnosis. When my sensor readings hit 200, my pump would play a few lines of Bad Romance instead of sounding a boring, robotic alarm. When I dipped below 70 in the middle of the night, I’d wake up to Paparazzi.
No longer would we shrivel our noses at the weird band-aid smell of insulin or the sterile aroma of alcohol swabs. Lady Gaga would meld these two pungent scents into her first fragrance: Islet.
She’d pen and perform a blockbuster hit that detailed the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 and Gestational and LADA — and I’d dance along, knowing that I had kick-ass new ally in my life with diabetes.