#DBlogWeek Day 4. (2 for me…)

Today’s topic: Mantras and More
What is your mantra? What lifts you up when you’re feeling depressed and alone and fed up of spotted finger tips?

This may sound weird, but I think the first thing I ever said about my diabetes is that “it is what it is”. While sitting in the hospital with my mother at my side, those were the words I chose to describe how I felt. That was my first opinion, and has been my attitude ever since. While maybe not an inspirational mantra for day to day management, those words are my view on life in general.
Getting worked up results in nothing but stress. So when things are crazy, sometimes you just gotta take a step back and remember: you can’t control everything. I have diabetes, and there’s nothing I can do that will make it go away. Not that I’m apathetic; I’m actually very obsessed with my diabetes control. However, I know that there’s only so many calculations and planning that are able to be done. The rest is left to Gd. I may look at my meter and see an unexpected monster of a number, but “it is what it is”. Every blood sugar reading is just one small part of the average. Every low will ultimately pass, and every high will as well.
Some days go over better than others, but when I know that I’m doing my best at the moment, then there’s no reason to get annoyed. Some things, like diabetes, don’t change. It is what it is.

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#DBlogWeek Day 3 (Well Day 1 for me…)

I was scouting around the DOC yesterday when I chanced upon the following hashtag: #DBlogWeek. This is the 5th annual diabetes blog week, and I decided to follow the link to sign up. This is an amazing initiative, and I encourage everyone to join. Share your thoughts, and expand and unite the diabetes community. We’re all living with this every single day; we may as well live it together. 🙂
Every day has a set topic, but being that I am a few days behind anyway, I think I will just start from yesterday’s: Diabetes Poetry. I had one drafted from a while ago, and another tucked into a notebook that I was using for SAT prep. Although I wanted to create something new for today, I didn’t get a chance. I have 13 minutes until it’s officially Thursday, so I think I’ll go with notebook-poem. It’s a bit of a spoken word, so it sounds better when read out loud. I wrote it during a competition with Cousin, (more about that in previous posts,) and I was trying really hard to beat him. Sometimes, trying means trying too hard.

Trying Too Hard

If the bird flying above my head flapped his wings too hard,
they may just fall off.
Actually, that’s probably a lie, but who knows? I doubt he ever thought to try.

If the bubbles in my seltzer tried too hard to leave the bottle,
The glas might just explode.
Who knows?

Blades of grass don’t hope to become pine trees and tadpoles don’t try to become toads.
The blades of grass between my toes just want to stay green.
They just work to keep dancing to the rhythm of the wind that breezes through them.
They know (or maybe don’t) that if they tried to become pine trees,
It would be futile; they’d be trying for nothing and trying too hard.

Tadpoles, however, aspire to be toads.
They swim in the lake watching the grownups they wish to become.
But TRYING won’t help-they’ll grow up when they’re meant to.

Trying to please is trying too much.
Those who understand all the guesswork don’t need your excuses
And those who don’t understand never will.

Those who question the juicebox and test strips and blood streaks
won’t understand when you tell them you’re shaking and fine.

All the words in your mouth won’t do justice to explain what exists above the limitations of letters.
All that trying will accomplish nothing but defeat
And the knowledge that perfection doesn’t exist in this world.

Trying to win this means trying too hard.
I’m expecting perfection, yet receiving 200s.
I’m expecting perfection, yet forgetting it’s fake.

120 may be ideal, but means nightmares at bedtime.
Every minute is made up of 60 chances to change.
To change, to guess, to fix, to learn.

There’s a difference between doing my best and trying.
My best is all I can do to win;
Trying means hoping, but not really working.
So it’s time to just work and quit trying to win.

***
After all, we’re all working way too hard to put ourselves down for what looks less than perfect.

Me, the diabetic

This post has been pushed off numerous times for one very simple reason: time. In order to write a proper post expressing my feelings at this point in my life, I needed a night with little homework, (no need to discuss the book I just remembered that I should be reading) some energy, and working internet.
This blog is entirely about my dysfunctional pancreas. I used to think of that as some weird-shaped organ somewhere around my stomach that had no connection to anything else as long as I injected my leg with a hormone called insulin. I had classes while in the hospital, I read plenty of articles, and I had good control. Not once did I cry or grieve over the change in my life’s path. But that is before I had an epiphany one day while pricking. This disease is forever. I believe there’s a cure out there somewhere, but I don’t believe it will be available in the near future. And from my experiences until today, I haven’t felt the need for it to be found. I don’t pray for the day the disease will disappear; I pray for the day it will all be under control. Even when the cure will come out, I’ll be worried that it’s a mistake. The evil that you know is better than the evil that you don’t. So I just pray for control. For stability. For assurance that 6 units will bring me down from a 400 to a 100. Every. Single. Time.
I was totally wrong when I thought that my pancreas was a loner amongst the body. And I thought that hypos were pathetic excuses for mistakes. Until I realized. Just as hormones are responsible for puberty, voice changes, mood swings, acne, so can hormones be responsible for blurry vision and the feeling of getmeallthesugarinthehousebeforeicounttoeight.

I think about diabetes for at least 15 hours a day. If 7 hours are spent sleeping, that gives me approximately 2 hours of free, uninterrupted thoughts. The history on my phone consists of about 11 diabetes blog. When we went around the dinner table this afternoon and everyone said their highs and lows of the day, I almost shouted 267 and 46.
My parents used to ask me how much time my diabetes takes up; I would respond “about 10 minutes total.” I guess that’s true if you’re referring to the time it takes to inject 5 syringes. But that’s way not true if you’re referring to the actual disease. This is my life. This is my life. This. Is. My. Life. So I need to learn to embrace it. Like a friend. I accepted it from the beginning, but I didn’t embrace it . I didn’t treat diabetes as my right hand, as something that as far into the future as my human eye can see, will consume every detail of my day. Ignoring, as I’ve seen and read, doesn’t help. It may cause temporary relief, but in truth just causes complications. I’m better off not even going there. The only option is to be brutally honest with myself. To say it’s not a big deal is a lie. Its probably the biggest deal of my life at the moment. The sooner I realize that, the sooner I can learn to really live the diabetic life. Its not easy, because there are so many variable in every situation. But its not me+diabetes. Its me, the diabetic. If it means I need to say those words 50 times till they put me to sleep, so be it. Me, the diabetic. The diabetic, the diabetic. The diabtic. The…

two truths and a lie

A) I was traveling back to NY today and once seated on the 4 hour bus ride, noticed that my meter was no where to be found.
B) As I was unpacking I realized that both vials of insulin were chilling (no pun intended) in the fridges in my house. Just to mention: There were 6 units left in my pump.
C) I opened the dorm fridge to find a silver foil-encased vial full of insulin.
This post is titled 2 truths and a lie, so one of the above is false. It would have been a miracle to find that vial, but that would’ve been too good to be true. At 11:00 I didn’t know what to do. Thank Gd my bedtime number was 85, so I disconnected and turned my pump off for the night.
I woke up at 135 and reconnected with a lowered basel of .550 .I figured tht would last me at least until lunch time. My pump only buzzed at zero once I got home, so I called in a refill and went to pick it up.
Thank Gd I had a spare meter, so been using that. It’s a bit of a shame though; my numbers from yesterday would’ve helped my averages…
Oh weell. You win some, you lose some.

With a reefilled pump and spare meter, all is good…for now.

Pumped for the Pizza Man

Yup, Kerri Sparling, I stole that from you. That along with a bunch of other stuff that I’ve read on your blog. I’m a pretty religious follower, just by the way 🙂 

Well anyway, was reading your post last night and smiling. I love stories like that. They make the [blue] circle of diabetes oh so much smaller. (Just mentioning that I only recently discovered what the universal symbol for diabetes is…) It’s this unexplainable connection that happens automatically when you discover someone else with a busted pancreas.

Thank you for sharing, Kerri. 

 

Pleasantly surprised

It’s currently halfway through pesach [passover], which is a diabetic nightmare. The amounts of matzah and wine and grape juice and lack of varied rapid sugars and weird eating hours all contribute to this headache of a holiday. Now it happens to be that I personally love peasch;  the amount of healthy, raw, unprocessed fruits and veggies consumed is incredible. (And that’s in addition to my average of 2+ apples that I eat year-round.) So there have been contradicting feelings in my head during the weeks leading up to pesach, sort of detailing my love-hate relationship. I was imagining crazy highs and then plummeting lows. A week that was way beyond my control. There wasn’t really much that I could do to prepare. I looked up carb amounts for matzah, which wine had the least carbs, made sure there was plenty of grape juice available, and then prayed. Thank Gd my prayers were answered. 🙂

The first night’s seder was around 100, bar a 44 and then a 235. Nothing terrible. I realized why I went low: I was trying to be too smart and organized and ahead of the game. Matzah, as opposed to bread, is a bit lower gi, so while I still need to cover completely, I don’t need to do it in advance to ensure a good reading. (I’ve recently started trying to bolus around 15 minutes before eating. It encourages me to plan my meals instead of just eating whatever I see, and it prevents a lot of spikes. ) Combine the early bolus with a cup of wine and a good starting bg, and you get trouble. I took some grape juice and all went well. 

The second night’s seder went much better. Having learned from experience, I only bolused right before eating. I was 89, 99, 109. 130…I think my highest was 200. (YAY! 🙂 ) 

I did have a few surprises over the week, but for the most part it’s been pretty stable. My highest was 306, and I’ve had a couple of lows. My average is creeping up a little bit, so I guess even subconsciously the challenges were helpful 🙂 (Maybe we should restart…)

SIdenote on the challenges: Update: Cousin should be getting his vibe in about a week. Did you just hear that? VIBE!!! Like as in the new animas pump with integrated cgm!!! So yeh, while I’m super excited, that means these challenges will become nearly impossible to win….just saying 🙂 

Overall it’s been an amazing pesach- my most controlled yet. I hope the rest continues as such, and I’m excited for my next a1c test. It should be good 🙂