Protest

The pizza event occurred after another unsuccessful attempt to get insulin.  I’ve asked the government for a credit card number to mail order some Lantus from Canada (it’s OTC there).  Still, waiting, not holding my breath, but short of that, I will probably have to go on NPH.  It’s $25, no doctor’s visit required, but an absolute nightmare because it peaks several hours after the injection.  Like in the middle of the night when you’re asleep.

I came up with an idea for a protest.

I would like to organize a piece of conceptual art around the wall of the National Institutes of Health regarding type I diabetes.

The idea is to place signs representing medical bills or graves around the periphery, plastering each sign with colored stickers according to the number of years that the person lived with diabetes before they died, or maybe a white sticker if they are still alive. The colors should logically span the rainbow going toward purple the longer one has the disease.  so red would be < 10 years, yellow < 20 years, green < 30 years, blue < 40 years, purple < 50 years …  That way the visual impact can be appreciated.
In order to do this, I would need:
1) a protest permit
2) better data on the average medical bills of people with type I diabetes (the data I have access to are purposefully deflated to protect diabetics from denial of employment, etc.)
3) better data on the mortality of persons with type I diabetes by year and age
4) maybe a summary sign listing the number of complications people with type I diabetes experience as a function of year.
5) money to buy the cardboard signs, pens, and pickets (or preferably a recycled source of these material)
6) people to help to put this together so that it all appears on the morning of one sunny day.
If everyone got a sign, we would need over 3 million signs.  Maybe 1 sign for 100 people, putting people into groups.  It would still be 30000 signs, enough for the 2.8 mile perimeter of the NIH.
So typical signs might read:
1920
100 black stickers.  everyone with type 1 diabetes dies.
1935
first insulin treated diabetic died after 13 years with the disease.  Yellow sticker with cost?
1950
100 people buried
with colored stickers or dot corresponding to the number of years that each person lived with type I diabetes and a dollar value on each sticker representing the average lifetime cost of the disease at that time for someone who had the disease for that long.
1979
100 people buried
with colored stickers or dot corresponding to the number of years that each person lived with type I diabetes and a dollar value on each sticker representing the average lifetime cost of the disease at that time for someone who had the disease for that long.
1990
100 people buried
with colored stickers or dot corresponding to the number of years that each person lived with type I diabetes and a dollar value on each sticker representing the average lifetime cost of the disease at that time for someone who had the disease for that long.
1990
100 people buried
with colored stickers or dot corresponding to the number of years that each person lived with type I diabetes and a dollar value on each sticker representing the average lifetime cost of the disease at that time for someone who had the disease for that long.
1990
100 people buried
with colored stickers or dot corresponding to the number of years that each person lived with type I diabetes and a dollar value on each sticker representing the average lifetime cost of the disease at that time for someone who had the disease for that long.

I spoke to my relative with type I who just had a stroke.  She wondered if any of the researchers would understand.  I thought that maybe she was right about that.   But there would be a resounding flood of tears – a wail if you will – from the type I diabetics and their parents.

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