Monday, May 18, 2009
Nonna always tells me, "Jen, I gotta the sugah." She is saying she has "the sugar," pronounced shoo-guh, meaning she has diabetes. Nonna doesn't have diabetes, but in her off-kilter Sicilian mind filled with hypochondriac worry she does have "the sugar," among other Sicilian conditions like "the pressure" (high blood pressure) pronounced pre-sha and everyone knows this one, "the agida" (heartburn) pronounced ah-gee-duh. Nonna was so convinced she had the sugar that she demanded the doctor give her a skin prick diabetes sugar testing kit, which can only be obtained with a prescription. The doctor, knowing she didn't have diabetes refused, so Nonna threatened to go to another doctor, and he caved and gave it to her. This is why our healthcare is so screwed up! Now Nonna follows cannoli eating with sugar monitoring and she is very pleased. She is also convinced that other people have the sugar, like my father, who doesn't have the sugar. But her friend across the street, Mrs. Lombardo, who is the strongest most hearty old woman I have ever met, (Ex. She is ninety and moved my refrigerator when I lived downstairs from Nonna.), according to Nonna, "Mrs. Lomardo really has gotta the sugah." And Mrs. Lombardo is in fact diabetic but it does not stop her from eating cannolis, either. I guess there is a difference between having the sugar and really having the sugar. "I gotta the sugah," just means you are worried you might get the sugar.