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D-Blog Week – Diabetes Bloopers

We’ve all done it, something so stupid it doesn’t seem possible. Something so dumb you just have to smack your head and ask, ‘What was I thinking?!’. Bloopers in life can be a little more serious for us PWD’s – the following are not such moments (well, maybe they were but I still lived through them ūüėČ )

Incident One:

Before I was put onto a pump, I did the whole multiple daily injection thing. And honestly, at my young age (then 14 or so), two shots at breakfast and two shots at dinner was a breeze. Sometimes it was easy to forget about being diabetic. Well sometimes, it seems, it was a little too easy.

My whole life, my family has camped. It was a ritual filled with hours of packing the van for 4 children, 4 friends, one adult, one dog and all that was required for two weeks away from civilization. This would normally include diabetic supplies – tester, testing strips, lancet, syringes, insulin, and even a one pound bag of skittles (for lows). No prob’, Bob, I was an old pro. But after the two-hour ride, setting up all 5 of the tents, building our firewood supply and getting food on the grill for dinner, I realized I forgot my insulin….whoops!

All the pharmacies were closed so that left only one option, the local backwoods Hospital Emergency Room. When we arrived, myself, my mom and my friend were convinced we had misread the location and ended up at a veterinary clinic – it was in fact the hospital (no larger in size than a Walgreens). I don’t recall a single other patient and there couldn’t have been more than 3 doctors and 3 nurses. I was checked in and spent what seemed like an hour explaining my ‘condition’ and what insulin I needed. They looked baffled, exited the room only to return and explain that they, nor any other doctors on staff, were aware of the existence of such an insulin.

I don’t actually remember how I ended up with insulin at that hospital but I did and I survived. And now we laugh about it often ūüėČ

Incident Two:

It seems inevitable that with age come independence. For me, that meant transitioning from daily injections to a pump. I thought, ‘Sure, I’m responsible (I was not).¬†I can handle a piece of technology worth thousands of dollars’. I did well with it for the first, ummm, probably couple of weeks. I was in high school – I was grown up, right?! Wrong. It was snowy one morning¬†and I forgot a book in my car so I ran out to get it. Hours later, I left for lunch and happened to exit out the same door as earlier in the morning and saw something in the snow. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, someone has a pump like mine!’ My excitement was short-lived when I,¬†A) realized that the pump was not attached to said person, and B) that it was in fact MY pump laying in the snow, outside the back door of the high school. Awesome. *shakes head*

There are many other moments, like every time someone asks me where I keep my pump, I tap between my boobs like knocking on a door (and then remind myself that people might think that’s strange or inappropriate to share such information). Or when I leave my glucometer at home and even sometimes forget my pump when I leave for work in the morning. But we can’t take these moments too serious, or we might go mad. All we can do is fix the problem and laugh about it for years to come!

This post is part of the Second Annual Diabetes Blog Week

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in D-Blog Week 2011

 

D-Blog Week – Letter Writing Day

Dear Little Marella,

First, I’m so proud of the way you have been able to handle this diagnosis. You were a trooper in the hospital and have taken shots like a pro. You were able to smile every day in the hospital, even when all those around you couldn’t. Your smile will be an important part of your life, so be sure to never let that go.

Second, life is going to be tough but you are tougher. You’re going to have to take shots every day. You’re going to have to poke your finger every day. But don’t give up. I know there will be many, many days where it just seems like life isn’t worth living¬†but IT IS. You will be so happy one day, just keep on smiling that beautiful smile.

Thirdly, your mother loves you more than you will ever be able to understand. She may not always say the right thing or act the way you want her to but she loves you and only wants you to be happy and healthy.

Lastly, in the years to come you will have terrible control and the doctors will tell you that your doomed for complications – no one can predict your future. Try hard, smile often and remember that there is always tomorrow.

Grown up Marella

Dear Present Day Marella,

Stop obsessing, stop blaming, stop worrying, stop planning. Life is going to be fine GOOD. You will never be able to control every aspect of your life – try your hardest and for goodness sakes, please keep smiling. I’m wishing for you all the happiness and health that¬†you’ve always wanted, because it’s something you so overly deserve.

Current Marella

Dear Future Marella,

I sat here today, thinking of all the things I’ve done wrong. All the shots I forgot or didn’t want to take, all the carbs I didn’t count or doctors visits I didn’t schedule. And it made me want to apologize for any complications you may have at the fault of me. You have always been such a caring, empathetic, loving person and my lack of control may be stealing precious moments from you. Are your eyes okay? Did you ever have children? Were they diagnosed with this terrible disease?… Did I keep my promise to take control of my own health? Are you happy? I hope you’re in the best of health and still celebrating the little victories.

I need to tell you, though,¬†that I’m sorry for the things I’ve done today that are affecting you now. I want to be able to say that I’ve tried but there are many days where I’ve simply existed and left this disease by the wayside. I can only hope that¬†you have fought hard¬†and are still¬†fighting hard against this disease and that you’re healthy and happy. I will be thinking about you and hoping that you are still smiling through it all.

Young and Naive Marella

This post is part of the Second Annual Diabetes Blog Week

 

D-Blog Week – Admiring our Differences

I married the love of my life last summer and realized shortly after that I wanted to bare his child someday. With a¬†limited amount of knowledge of pregnancy and¬†diabetes, I realized I would need to brush¬†up¬†on a few things.¬†So I began reading and researching¬†and shortly after, I came across a treasure trove of PWD’s blogging about their lives and all life’s moments affected by living with Dee. I’ve found it inspirational, uplifting, scary, hopeful, meaningful and more than anything, made me feel like life, REAL LIFE, was possible for me. It was tangible proof that real life PEOPLE were out there, making their life what they wanted and not letting Dee stop them. I spent a week straight on one blog catching up on the 5 or so years I missed (since it was newly discovered by myself). I’m new to the blogging world, as a writer and¬†lurker reader and just can’t seem to get enough of what those real writers¬†have to say.

I formed an immediate appreciation and admiration for all the other T1’s that, like me, were simply living their lives. But unlike me, they had found an outlet to share their experiences with the rest of the world. I found inspiration in their words and within a few short months, I found the courage to begin my own blog.

So thank you, to each and every one of you that found you’re own courage to share your life through your words, it has inspired me to changed my life and¬†give myself¬†to a cause far beyond my little blog.

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.

 

My Kitchen Floor has a Secret

This is my kitchen floor:

This is the place I sit, late at night, when Dee awakes me from my slumber and demands sugar. When my number is well below the norm, falling like a ton of bricks.¬†It’s late, or early, and my mind is spinning. My first thought is sugar, sweet life-saving sugar.¬†So I stumble from¬†bed then¬†seemingly just appearing in the kitchen.¬†I grab something, anything, and plop down. And this is where I sit, with my bowl of cereal or glass of juice (or, just that one time, cereal with water and sugar since there was no milk in the house). I’m usually¬†covered in sweat and confused about, well, EVERYTHING. This is where things get a little fuzzy. I stare at the floor. And begin to think to myself….¬†That floor, that linoleum floor. It’s always been there. But…. That floor… It’s almost tan. And look, its got a pattern. But what does it mean? I’ve never noticed that before, that floor….

And before I realize it, that floor begins to change:

My mind jumps to that scene from ‘A Beautiful Mind’, when Russel Crowe’s character is looking through newspaper clippings and words suddenly become¬†highlighted, as if someone is trying to tell him something. Or tell me something? So I think and I stare¬†at that floor, that floor, that odd little patterened¬†floor. Was it patterened yesterday? Who laid that floor…were they trying to tell me something? That odd little floor. Floor. Why is it called a floor…who decided that? I’m cold. On this floor, late at night. It’s 2:34. 2…3…4….2 and 4 is 6… 3 times 2 is 6….6 minus 2 is 4….2…3…4…. But that floor, four. Four, floor.¬†What IS that pattern?!….

I go on like this for a bit longer, debating myself on other objects around the house. Sometimes I think¬†I’m really on to something and should write it down (but never do). When I’m done with my cereal/juice/sugar, I raid the fridge one more time for a little protein to keep from waking again then head back to¬†bed, freezing now from the sweats and the cold night temps.

When I wake the following morning,¬†I’ll find¬†remnants of the previous nights low – orange juice container or¬†a cereal bowl in the sink. But that floor is¬†just a floor again, at least until Dee comes around, demanding sugar. Then that floor’s got something to tell me…

 

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 ūüėČ

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Dee, Frenemy