Posted in #Future, Diabetes, Education, Life, Uncategorized

Diabetic Ramblings from a Friday

So it’s Friday, and it has been a weird, busy, and highly productive week.  Some days with diabetes are harder than others; some weeks are better than others.  This week has been a little rough.

One thing currently happening; I’m still fighting to get a new insulin pump.  The process has been frustrating and I’ve been denied four times already.  That said, my CDE, doctor and I have worked together to come up with a plan for how to get more documentation and show my insurance company that I really do need this!

The artificial pancreas technology looks AMAZING.  It looks like a new life; like one that makes me a little less inconvenient.  It looks like I might get a better chance at a normal mid-life; something I was hesitant to even day dream about before now. But here we are, and here is this great opportunity…and here is this insurance company trying to take away the awesome.  Sigh.  What is with this people?!

That said, I feel it is so important to remember that these individuals that are tasked with telling me no are not really telling me.  I let myself get out of control with my emotions a couple of weeks ago about it; I sat in my car and sobbed and screamed and interrupted my parents’ date day with a crazed phone call where I told them I was going to be done with insurance companies and just pay for the damn thing myself.

In that moment, my dad (who is notoriously hyper-focused and driven; much like I was in that moment),  shared an important note.  “This is not the first fight.  It’s not the last fight.  They just don’t see it yet.  You’re going to need to do a lot more fighting and make some clear decisions you can live with forever here. ”

He didn’t realize it completely, but I needed him to be my voice of reason.  I needed him to say it was okay to step back.  I needed him and my mom to share that they understood I was doing everything possible and that it was okay for me to refocus, try again, and take the weekend off from the craziness.

They gave me an important gift with that phone call and the ones following.  They reminded me that my ability to stay strong, upright, and kind, even in the most frustrating of situations, is one of my best qualities.

Thursday I was sitting in a meeting with a supervisor of mine, who shared that he could “See the leader in me”.  I like to think that the leader in me is someone who has bad days, but knows when to step back, take a deep breath, and re-assess the attack.

Today, I had to recognize that I was losing. I had to reassess my attack.  I was losing the week. I needed help; managing and trying and problem solving on my own wasn’t as productive, focused, or intelligent as I needed it to be.  I pride myself on getting things under control and on keeping myself focused and here I was, all week, fighting blood sugars that could have sent someone to the hospital. They really could’ve sent me to the hospital.  Thank goodness for a support system, technology, medication, and some solid math skills that kept that from happening!

But I called the hospital today, requested an appointment, explained that it was really important, and managed to get in with my CDE at the end of the day. Together we problem solved and she helped me figure out what tiny steps I could take to regaining control after having no control for about a week.  Tiny steps, but BIG steps in feeling like myself (which I haven’t, in at least week).

One of those steps was admitting that I’m not feeling well and that it’s not my diabetes. Even “normal” people get colds and the flu sometimes; it’s apparently a human thing.  I have been trying to power through.  I have not allowed myself the space, time, or mental relief of admitting that my body has been getting in the way of me doing and being my best self. I’m always just powering through. I’m forever living the “fake it til you make it” lifestyle that comes from a chronic illness others can’t see.  Sometimes I struggle to tell when I “genuinely” am sick and when it’s “just” a diabetes problem.  Today, and this week, it turns out it’s a little of both.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I suspect there are a lot of us who don’t feel amazing every day. I suspect most of us carry on and don’t say anything. I assume some of us feel guilty about complaining because there are so many moments we should be thankful for. I hear you folks! I’m with you!

So here’s to a weekend of relaxing, getting some much needed rest, and trying my best to recuperate and regain control of my blood sugars.  Happy weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Posted in Diabetes, Life, Uncategorized

Diabetes makes me inconvenient…

Diabetes makes me inconvenient.  I know this; it is a fact.  I don’t say that to blame anyone or feed into some idea that this is an injustice of a chronic illness.  It’s simply a fact.

See, diabetes doesn’t care.  It is demanding in a way that makes Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada seem warm and maternal.  Diabetes doesn’t care that I’m out with friends; that I’m standing in my best friend’s bridal party, that I’m the adult in charge of thirty minors in my care.  It doesn’t care that my parents are trying to care for my elderly grandparents and therefore cannot be expected to care for me too.  It doesn’t care that it’s Christmas day and I’m surrounded by friends and family who all just want to celebrate a beautiful, religious, holy day.  It doesn’t care that I met the love of my life and had a terrible low blood sugar on our fourth date and needed assistance (where we were celebrating his thirtieth birthday).  It just doesn’t care.

Because it doesn’t care; because it has a list of demands and needs that must be met immediately, and because it is a huge part of who I am, I am inconvenient.  It’s not just my disease; it is me.  I have to follow the eating and exercising schedule; I have to take the medication; I have to stop and check my blood sugar.  If I don’t do these things, I have to deal with a shorter life span and feeling incredibly ill while I’m living my everyday life. When I travel, I have to take double the amount of supplies for the actual amount of time we’re there, which means I either have to pack an extra bag or give up some of the creature comforts I’d prefer to have when traveling. Diabetes is an “I have to” disease.

It is not lost on me that I have a good attitude about a lot of it.  But again, even this is an “I have to”.  Not because that is expected; everyone I know would probably applaud if I allowed myself to break down and scream into the wind after all of these years.  Instead, my attitude reflects the understanding of what an inconvenient life means for me.

An inconvenient life means that

I’ve spent a lot of my life not talking about there are some things you can’t control, so instead you choose to be flexible and find the light in every situation.  It means identifying that feeling sick and miserable is worse than just feeling sick.  An inconvenient life means having to be confident that the rest of your person is good enough to be worth knowing.  An inconvenient life means remaining positive because if you were angry and spiteful and applied the effect of “why me?”, you might lose the people in your corner.  They might leave you, because who wants to be in someone’s life that is not only miserable, but also inconvenient? this part of chronic illness, but as year twenty-six of this life approaches, it seems important to get really honest about how I got here. As my body ages faster than the time I’m on Earth, it’s more important than ever to share with others the experiences I’m having; to not only crack jokes at my faulty organs’ expense, but then to share the genuine reasoning behind it.

I’m fortunate to be in really good health, considering the twenty-six years of progressive damage caused by type one diabetes. If I’m honest, I attribute some of this health to my attitude towards it; towards my understanding of “have to” and flexibility. I stopped praying for a cure for diabetes a long time ago. I’m able to recognize that some day that will come, and in the meantime I’ll keep being flexible and choosing to be happy despite the inconvenience of it all.

People ask me all the time why I’m so happy; why I’m chipper about having this disease.  It’s because it’s inconvenient.  I’ve lived almost my entire life being an inconvenient person to befriend; to be related to; to love.  The inconvenience has showed me the importance of perspective; of the real meaning behind “life and death” situation. I get up every day and keep going because I choose too, regardless of how bleak it looks.

Inconvenient doesn’t mean bad if we don’t let it ruin things. It’s just a different type of structure.  This life has shown me the importance of choice; the importance of knowing yourself and what you need. We can be upset that it’s raining,  or we can be thankful for the drink. We can be bothered that it is windy, or we can decide to build a sail boat and move on.  This perspective comes from a lot of effort and years and heartache. It has been a battle hard won, but I’d do it again.  I wouldn’t change my perspective for all of the convenience in the world. Fortunately, I can confidently say the people in my life wouldn’t trade me either; no matter how inconvenient it is to have me around.