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Dee – the name I’ve given my diabetes after living with her for nearly 16 years.

D-Blog Week – Ten Things I Hate About You, Diabetes

1. I hate that you require SO much attention. Minutes here and there really add up and that’s time I could be spending with family, or shopping, or at the dentist. Because really, I think I would rather visit the dentist every day if it meant living without YOU.

2. I hate that you stole the last sliver of kid left within me and pushed me full force into adulthood at a far too early age.

3. I hate that you have such an impact on my husband and I’s decision to have a family and I hate that you will be so much a part of that process.

4. I hate that you occupy so, so much of my mind. I wish I could just shut you off and shut you up but that would only mean harder times for myself.

5. I hate that you cost me money – and I’m not just talking about a few bucks here and there. You cost me so much that I don’t even want to add it all up for fears that I might want to spend it all on something else (like central air conditioning for the house or a fancy vacation somewhere).

6. I hate the hurt you cause me. You hurt my fingers, my stomach, my eyes, my heart, my kidneys and pretty much every other organ and body part.

7. I hate that you cause the people that love me to worry about me. I’m responsible and independent but no matter how well I care for myself, they will always have cause for concern with you around.

8. I hate that you’ve stolen a bit of my independence. I know I can do many things but many ignorant people think I cannot and will judge me for being burdened by you – and the world is full of ignorant people.

9. I hate you for keeping me from being a pilot. It doesn’t really matter that I’ve never actually wanted to be a pilot, I just hate that you would keep me from realizing that dream (if it were my dream).

10. I hate that I will be thinking of you ever moment, of every day and night, for the rest of my life. You don’t deserve to be looked after so well but I forever will.

But, Dee, as much as I hate you and everything about you, I am thankful that you choose my body to reside in. Because, if given the choice between watching those I love go through this or living through it myself, I choose me a million times over.

This post is part of the Second Annual Diabetes Blog Week

 
 

Furious Determination

Last week Friday, I stopped into my Endo’s office to pick up my Dexcom CGM (well, not mine, rather mine for a few days). The two nurses kindly gave me the low down on the sensor, transmitter and CGM receiver. The sensor didn’t hurt a bit when it was inserted. I did find the sensor and transmitter to be a little bulky under my shirt but not much more offensive than my Animas Inset infusion set. The receiver is a bit of a pain to try and hide under clothing, especially when lugging around a pump and cell phone, but I managed (see Pinning Extra Cloth into Skirt Linings). I was a bit apprehensive nervous lazy at the thought of actually counting all carbs I put into my mouth but was excited to be able to see how my numbers were trending. If you knew me, you would probably know that I’m an intense Swag and Rage boluser. despite that, I kept things in line and did what any ‘good’ diabetic should – I managed to write down every carb I ate (yes, every carb) and write out all my meter readings and meds taken. It was hard but totally worth it for everything I learned. Like the fact that I was taking far too little insulin when guestimating my carb intake at meals and I learned that my numbers would then spike quite high about 30 minutes following a meal but drop again within a few hours. I learned that I have near perfect numbers at night which is really only the result of a previous CGM experience (last time I didn’t write down carb intake at all so that data was pretty much useless besides my fasting numbers). I learned that I need to take my BS a lot more since I really had no idea where my numbers were between breakfast and dinner, subsequently not catching any of those prior mentioned highs. But more than anything, I learned that my previous knowledge of caring for Dee pales in comparison to how much I now know and continue to learn. The reality that I’ve found someone I love and want to create a family with (including children someday) has caused me to want to be as health as I can, as fast as I can. Which is why it was so hard to return that CGM today. It was a means to a better future for me, a healthy and happy future. Not one without diabetes but one where Dee doesn’t affect every aspect of my life. One where I make the decisions based on what I want to do and what’s best for me and my family, not what this disease is requiring me to do.

Walking into my Endo’s office today, I felt empowered. I was back there with 5 days worth of knowledge under my belt that I didn’t have before. I was finally, after 15 years, holding my head high because I did the best I could and felt good about that. I realized that, when I allow myself to choose and to change, I’m filled with furious determination to achieve all the things I want in life. I won’t let anyone or anything get in my way of my own happiness.

 

Dia Déjà vu

I haven’t given myself a whole lot of time to think about Dee lately and I’m feeling the effects of that. A good friend and I went on vacation for about a week and my numbers hovered around 200 most of the time. We spent days laying by the pool, hardly moving for hours which didn’t help out those highs. Nor did the sun exposure to my pump, heating up the insulin inside (NO GOOD!). I also thought it would be smart to bring along all my extra supplies one day, including insulin, to a beach that was hours away. Well, since it was 85+ degrees outside, you can imagine the temperature inside the car where I left said supplies :/ But all the hours we went shopping and walking around while do so, resulted in my BS spiraling down, forcing me into chugging 1-2 bottles of Sprite during each outing (and being a not-so-friendly shopping companion). And all this was making me feel like Dee dragged me onto a self-propelled roller coaster of sugar and bad insulin.

Then one afternoon when my friend and I returned from the pool, she asked me, “Don’t you wish you could just take a day off from doing all that?” (referring to Dee and Dee management). Truth is, it’s something I think about at least once a week. The early years were tough and it was a strange thing to be reminded of it, of all times, on vacation. Through my early teens, I neglected this disease for years. And instead of feeling liberated and free, I felt like crap each and every day. My vision was junk, I was always thirsty and I could forget about a good nights sleep when I had to get up every couple hours to empty a full bladder :/

It’s hard to be diligent with Dee management and after so many years of doing so, I do sometimes feel like I’ve earned myself a day off. But after taking a whole week as my ‘day off’ and having wacky numbers the whole time, makes me thankful and grateful that I’ve chosen to be healthy.

Life is so much more wonderful and different than it was 15 years ago. When put into perspective, Dee can be a manageable thing, it just requires effort and determination from me. I’ve shed my fair share of tears over Dee but it’s my own self I’m fighting for, not the disease. I’m finally allowing myself to realize this. And, as tough as it is, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have someone or something remind of it every now and then.

 

Dee – Frenemy at Large

After much thought, I’ve decided my diabetes really deserves a name and title. So, I introduce you to Dee, my frenemy at large. (FRENEMY Definition: a person who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy; a rival with which one maintains friendly relations, fraught with risk and mistrust.)

Dee has become like a person, or being, of sorts. She’s always following me around, uninvited, telling me what I can and cannot eat, what I can and cannot drink. If Dee isn’t enjoying our game of softball, she will force me to shovel handfuls of skittles into my mouth between innings, resulting in near death moments when running for a fly ball and struggling to breath. She drenches me with sweat and wakes me up in the middle of the night, demanding a snack. Dee makes me angry when, like a basketball stuck behind the backboard on a stray shot, she sends my BG soaring for no good reason and leaves it hanging there for hours. She forces me to spend my hard-earned money to buy her insulin, test strips and pump supplies instead of that new purse/shirt/jewelry I’ve been eyeing. She won’t even pack her own supplies when we go on the vacation that I didn’t invite her to in the first place. She’s tempermental, selfish and makes me suffer when she wants her way.

But I can’t just leave her behind. After all, I’ve know Dee since I was 9 and there have been a few times along the way when she’s come in handy. Like during softball tryouts in high school when we were doing sprints and I told the coach that Dee wasn’t cooperating so I would have to sit out for a while. Or when I was younger and a big bag of sugary candy was meant just for me and Dee, not my three siblings (even if it was just to treat lows). Or when I got to leave class so I could tend to Dee (she was always fine but we would skip out for some time alone).

Alas, I think this friendship is destined to last a lifetime – for better or for worse. But that’s not to say that after the ups and downs and years we’ve spent together that I wouldn’t ditch that b***h Dee in a heartbeat if given the chance 😉

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Dee, Frenemy