Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A brief assessment.

Things I Know:

1) How to do a fairly accurate insulin dose via the SWAG method, especially at lunchtime.

2) That I can't eat if my blood sugar is above 225-250 mg/dl, without suffering the consequences. Therefore I strive to keep my levels within range at all times, in case the munchies strike.

3) How to sneak a shot or a test in just about any environment, whether at my desk or in my car, or in a Cessna. (Where have you done it?)

4) That I need to be proactive with any health issue, no matter how minor, especially in cold/flu season. And that my blood sugars will always be wacky so I need to be patient with myself. Rest, fluids, test, rinse, repeat.

5) How to manage a low and not break a sweat.

6) How to feel empathy and compassion for the broken, who are often so much worse off than me.

7) How to organize and multi-task like a pro, like all PWDs :)

8) How to "just say no" when it came to peer pressure to drink or smoke. With diabetes as my excuse, who could argue? Besides, beer is nasty...

9) How to be always be prepared, with the exception of an "oh sh**" moment or two.

10) How to be self-sufficient, tough and strong, and how to be my own best diabetes expert.

Things You Would Think I'd Know By Now:

1) That my friends, family and darling husband, try as they might, cannot always tell when I'm high/low. If I don't communicate my state of crapiness, they won't understand the mood swings that may ensue.

2) How to avoid the post-workout crash 4-5 hours after the gym without inhaling massive carbs before/during exercise, thus negating the effects of my effort.

3) How to stop insulin from leaking out after a shot sometimes, even after holding the needle in place for 10 seconds, pinching up an adequate amount of skin, or all the other little tricks. Ugh.

4) How to avoid the one spot on my left middle finger that hurts like h*** when I lance it. After 25 years you'd think I'd remember exactly where that spot is.

5) That sometimes, you can't have your cake and eat it too (literally). (See #2 above)

6) That most people, sadly, have no idea that type 1 diabetes is any different from type 2. Like others I've heard my fair share of Fantasy Diabetes League comments and gotten some inadvertent brain farts from well-meaning relatives.

7) That high-heeled shoes will always make my feet hurt, and that I will always have to spend the next few days checking them more carefully than usual for problems.

8) That for me, weight gain, like it or not, seems to go hand-in-hand with good control.

9) How to handle unexpected medical issues without so much anxiety. You'd think being so familiar with this stuff would keep the panicky "what-ifs" from taking over...

10) That sometimes, like it or not, I just can't run as fast in this hard-charging world as people who don't have diabetes.

Things I Learn All Over Again Each Day:

1) How amazingly cool and wonderful the diabetes OC really is. Where were you guys all this time...?!?!!

2) What a beautiful gift each day is.

3) How to calculate the insulin I'll need for whatever I'm going to eat/drink and how my blood sugar will react, even if I eat the same thing two days in a row. It's all in the balance of exercise, illness and/or hormones, and sometimes it's just a mystery.

4) That the human body is a reslient thing, and yet so fragile it's heartbreaking.

5) How I'll react when faced with adversity or challenging circumstances.

6) How to fit my diabetes needs in with those of my boss, my husband, my family and the other parts of my life.

7) That sometimes diabetes is front row, and everything else needs to take a back seat until I'm well again.

8) That highs and lows mutate through time. My low feelings will change in six months or a year from shakes to sleepiness to chest pain to hunger pangs. Meanwhile, the highs I never felt as a younger person make me absolutely miserable now.

9) That, if you've ever banged your eyeball and gotten a corneal abrasion, rubbing it will only make the pain come back to haunt you. And you'll wish you never did that (ugh). Right now I'm learning that every day, because I was fool enough to ignore my own advice...

10) That no matter what happens, I'm grateful for the chance to keep hanging in there.

In closing, here's a funny link in anticipation of the coming holiday.


meanderings said...

Great thoughts! Thanks.

George said...

all of those are perfect. Seriously.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Great post. I'm so in touch with all of them.

Well, all of them except the one about banging your eyeball. Boy, that does NOT sound fun.