You can’t be a citizen without a pancreas

Maybe that’s not true. There are probably ways. Doctors may have that whole pancreas thing sorted by now. I know you can be a citizen without a gall bladder. You have to go easy on the apple pie a la mode, but you can do it. I also know, not from personal experience, but still, you can be a citizen without an appendix. You don’t need limbs to be a citizen.

I became a citizen of the United States on August 24, 2011. It would have been sooner, but I had to choose between a swearing in ceremony in June and checking on my pancreas. They don’t tell you to prepare for that choice. They give you a booklet and CD with 100 different questions about the US, but nothing about organs. I am lucky that my friend Josepha Conrad had previously prepared me with the slogan, Not Everybody Can Have Perfect Organs. It’s true.

At the time of making this unexpected choice, I had one citizenship and one pancreas. I wanted to hold onto both. So I left before the June swearing in ceremony, and then I came back in August. August 24 is my mum’s birthday too. So that’s good.

When I came home that day in June, not a US citizen, but a little more confident in my organs, I made this collage:

citizen pancreas

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