Meet Wednesday the CGM!

I really haven’t abandoned this blog. I HAVE NOT!

Hello, friends. Life has been a bit much lately. But I’m figuring it out. I’ve been having some super weird stomach issues for like… months… that I was hoping would just disappear but nah… so I’m getting an endoscopy tomorrow and I AM TERRIFIED! And because of whatever has been going on, I haven’t had any energy or motivation or appetite or patience lately. It’s been weird. And physically and very emotionally draining. (I salute you, Orange is the New Black, for making all the hours I couldn’t get out of bed this past weekend much more bearable!) I have some suspicions to what may be going on but I had two dear friends tell me that I “shouldn’t manifest a negative outcome” so… I guess I won’t focus on that. Although it’s been buzzing through my brain for weeks and I can’t seem to shake it.

I also probably haven’t helped myself by working 12 hours days at 2 part-time jobs for the past 13 days straight. Whoopsie!

But in other news! I GOT A CGM. IT’S SO COOL. IT’S SO HELPFUL. IT’S SO 2014. I CAN’T BELIEVE I EVER LIVED WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT MY BLOOD SUGAR IS EVERY 5 MINUTES AND WHETHER IT IS GOING UP OR DOWN AND THAT GRAPH AND THOSE BEEPS!

Her name is Wednesday.

I change her sensor on Wednesdays. And she wears all black like Wednesday Addams. (Ok, that one’s a stretch.) Here’s Wednesday:

wednesday

 

As you can see, Wednesday and I were both wearing all black the day I took this picture.

Twinsies.

I get by with a little help from my friends

I think in many ways, this blog is good practice for me to open up about some things (read: diabetes) that I really just don’t talk about that often in real life for whatever reason (read: I’ll worry them or They won’t understand or They’re not interested/it will bore them or maybe It’s just not necessary.) But it fills so many of my thoughts, so much of my time, so much of my life…. I feel healthier when I acknowledge and express it outside of my own head.

Essentially, this blog is an experiment, a challenge, and a learning process for me. Since its beginning, I’ve already had several of my friends say things like “Wow, I had no idea you dealt with all of that on a daily basis, you never talk about it” and they’ll ask me questions and show genuine interest in this strange, invisible part of my life.

It feels good to connect with other diabetics online, but it also feels really good to know that through my friends reading this, I’m creating a connection between my life (with diabetes) and the precious people in it.

I don’t think I’ve done the best job of acknowledging the space diabetes holds in everything that I do. I haven’t really expressed its significance or impact to my friends. Not because I’m embarrassed or too emotional or too afraid, but simply because it doesn’t come up in conversation, and I never think to bring it up. There could be 1000 reasons, I don’t really know, it just isn’t what we talk about. When I’m with my friends, we split nachos and beers and laugh and stay up late and go on road trips. We talk about jobs we hate and people we went to high school with and where we’re going to vacation next. I still check my blood sugar, I still take insulin, I explain quickly why I’m drinking a juice box in the middle of a meal, “My blood sugar’s low. It’s fine.” But it all just skims the surface. I just skim the surface.

A big realization happened last week, when I was at a bar in Rhode Island with 3 friends, and my very best friend, Owens (who I’ve been friends with for about 7 years) asked me, “So, what would we do if you passed out from low blood sugar? How can we help you?” I stumbled over an explanation, shocked by how foreign the words were, how rarely I’d explained it before. I mentioned ‘Glucagon’ before looking down at the ground, admitting I didn’t even bring it with me. (Do I even have it anymore?) I mentioned any form of absorbable sugar. I mentioned calling 911. I made a mental note to explain it better…. later.

I’ve always, always been very responsible about bringing glucose tablets, a juice box, and a granola bar with me at all times. But I’ve still had some close calls, and in retrospect, in some of those situations, I’m not sure anyone even knew I was diabetic. I don’t try to keep it a secret, but I also don’t really put it out there. I also don’t have any visible indications, like a pump or even a medical ID bracelet. (I know, I know. I’ve been meaning to design my own for like 3 years…..)

In general, I’m not much of a planner. I’m the girl walking home from class getting drenched in the rain amidst a sea of umbrellas and rainboots because, despite the 100% chance of rain and looming cumulonimbus clouds, I decide I don’t want to carry something I might not need, and if it starts raining I’ll just ‘figure it out.’ I’m very independent, I don’t like people telling me what to do, I don’t like asking for help, and I hate explaining things. (I know all of my friends reading this are rolling their eyes and agreeing. Love you guys!!!!!!!)

I hate to put the weight of my disease on anyone around me, but I’ve just recently begun to accept that it isn’t safe to continue acting like everything is and will always be fine to ease any potential worries of friends and family (and of course, myself.)

One day I might need help, and I should need to be prepared for that. Which means (and I wish it didn’t) the people around me do, too.

Well… At Least I Tried

Okay, so I didn’t exactly EXCEL at Diabetes Blog Week.

I managed to do 3 out of 7 days. 3/7. (Kerri, the fraction is specifically for you.) Also known as 43%. Also known as an F. But… I’m gonna go ahead and say it was a success anyways, because I’m no longer in college SO F THE GRADING SCALE. And I was introduced to some very cool people/blogs and when I have time I’m definitely going to back and look at other participant posts!

Thanks for all the kind comments and special thanks to the supportive shout-outs from others- I’m so new to this, but it’s already been so fun and so encouraging to hear positive interest from other d bloggers!

I’d be lying if I said I would be posting more this week. I actually won’t be posting at all, because I’ll be road-tripping up north for a music festival with my friends! I should actually be packing for that now. Okay, fine, I should have been packing for that this whole past weekend. But I was busy toiling away at my part-time retail job. ANYWAYS, when I return, I’m excited to start posting more regularly and talking about weird things I rarely talk about like why omelets are my best friend and how to navigate a walk-in clinic in France (it is WEIRD). Ok, those two examples probably didn’t get you super pumped to read my blog. Hmm, maybe from now I’ll just write strictly in sestinas.

Or maybe I’ll just post screencaps like this from The Office and call it a day:

im going

 

 

DBlog Week Day 4: Mantras and More (But Actually a Quote)

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”

-Brian Andreas

 

The diabetes guilt game is like no other, but (diabetic or not) it’s important to remember to be kind to ourselves.

We’re all doing the best we can.

peonies

DBlog Week Day 3: What Brings Me Down Wakes Me Up

Screen shot 2014-05-14 at 11.24.26 PM

To be honest, I was planning on skipping this topic of Diabetes Blog Week.

Not because I don’t think it’s important, it most definitely is… but because it is really fucking vulnerable. And I spend so much mental energy trying to focus on what doesn’t bring me down, I spend so much time trying not to put into words the emotional exhaustion of type 1 diabetes, instead trying to focus on all the things I can still do, all of my beautifully functioning organs, that I have to coax the following words out of my mind and into these sentences. They’re not comfortable. They are not easy.

What brings me down is the ever-dwindling countdown in my head that will mark my first whole decade with type 1 diabetes. As much as I try not to hear it, the words of my first endo echo in my mind every so often “You’ll start seeing complications around the 10 year mark.” In the past, this ’10 year mark’ made me feel safe. As a teenager (having diabetes for only several years) when I had a high a1c, I would reassure myself in the only way I knew how: promise myself to start “doing better” and reassure myself that “I still had time.” I was still 5, 6, 7 years away from that dreaded 10 year mark.

10 years seems so far away, doesn’t it? So safe. 4380 days hold so much potential. Of course, I thought, I would have it all figured out by then. Just as soon as I started “doing better.” Starting, you know, tomorrow. 

Well, it’s been almost 9 years now. No complications, but with the highest a1c I’ve ever had. I must say, that brings me down. I no longer feel the safety net that my younger self felt (which of course was an illusion anyways, there is no ‘free pass’ on any year with diabetes, they all count). I feel more vulnerable to the disease every day. I am more aware now than I ever have been of its effects on my whole being. I feel more responsibility, more guilt, and more uncertainty every day. That weighs me down.

Of course, complications and the 10 year mark aren’t that black and white; I’m sure I won’t wake up on August 21, 2015 and feel a sudden, aching toll that the past decade of a dead pancreas has taken on my 24-year-old body. And hopefully, I won’t have complications for many, many years to follow. (I mean, ideally, I would never have any. But the older I become, the more doubtful I become. Also, that brings me down.) But the realization that this taunting 10 year mark- that once seemed infinitely far off in the distance- is now little over a year away… brings me down. It also wakes me up.

I think what’s next for me will be harder than anything I’ve ever experienced with this disease. That is, removing an unhealthy veil from my eyes and bravely acknowledging that there are no practice runs, no free days. I can’t keep telling myself that I will get everything under control when ‘things calm down’ in other parts of my life. 1) Things will never calm down and 2) Having other things ‘under control’ doesn’t amount to much if I’m not well enough to enjoy them.

In this endeavor, I will need support more than I ever have before. I feel a growing need to connect, to understand, to relate to the DOC, because as I feel my illusional safety net disintegrate, I feel the need to build a new one. A stronger one, a real one. A healthy one.

Admittedly, becoming more aware, more accountable and responsible and knowledgable on complications of diabetes and how to prevent them, really wilts my spirit sometimes. I can’t always be as carefree as my youthful heart desires. I kind of hated writing/admitting a lot of this post, but at the end of it, I’m not sad or angry or even frustrated. I’m hopeful, and I’m thankful, and I’m determined to choose health.

And, as with joy, I’m determined to keep choosing it.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: