Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a web developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

Month: July 2014 (page 1 of 2)

today already blows, and it’s mostly your fault

Fail Diabetes, you suck. I contributed, but you’ve pushed it over the edge. First, I was texting with a friend last night, so I didn’t get to bed on time (Fail #1), then I forgot to take my night time Rx (Fail #2), I took night time insulin (Fail #3), I dropped all night (Fail #4), I slept terribly because I was all hot from dropping and being low (Fail #5), I woke up feeling tired, sick, and shaky (Fail #6), I wasn’t hungry, but I ate breakfast anyway because I’m supposed to, it made me feel even more nauseous (Fail #6), I got to my doctor’s appointment late (Fail #7), my doctor’s appointment is actually for tomorrow morning (Fail #8), now I’m exhausted, nauseous, sugar is on an aggressive rise, and now it’s time to start working… fml. Fuck Diabetes. I would like to quit diabetes. If anyone knows how I can submit my resignation please let me know, thank you.

It’s here.

It’s here… I don’t know how I feel about it. actually, that is exactly how I feel about it.Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 8.57.57 PM

 

Now I just need to answer the email from the omnipod rep… one step at a time. And open the box… so I didn’t send the email… but I did open the box…

image (2)Clockwise: the open box, the things in the box, the things out of the box, the things piled up on the corner of my dresser where they will probably stay for awhile…

I am not a stranger to denial — I have even specifically faced device denial before… this is going to make my life better. wooo sah. wooo saah. woo sahhhh.

 

Making Progress.

I feel like I am making progress at being “One Sophie” — I remember a time where I would proudly tell you that I had three Sophies — work, home, and family. While at the time I felt it was efficient, it left me feeling stretched thin, and accountable to no one. I was drifting. looking for something, but I didn’t even know what I was looking for.  I have done so much work in the past two years to meet myself where I was/am at and progress from there in the direction of being my best self. I am proud of the work I have done, I am proud of the direction I’m heading. I know this may not sound diabetes related from the start, but really it is… being my best self, as it is possible each day, helps me see clearly through the anger and denial to help me continue to do the tactical things that keep me well, even when I resent it with every fiber of my being. My best self helps me to always behave toward others as I wish to be treated, and to think beyond my quick fuse temper and tongue. I am so thankful for the progress that I have made, and I am even more thankful for the journey that has brought me here and my path yet to come. I never thought I would be able to say/type those words.

Walking on Fire

fire-walkI thought my feet were just dry… I should remember to put lotion on them. I did, it didn’t change. I found myself taking off my flip flops when sitting down and putting the bottoms of my feet on the cool floor, soon the patch of floor under each foot was warm too, so I would move them around… I had never done this before. I’m pretty sure I’m not imagining this. I’m pretty sure it’s diabetes related. I’m pretty sure there’s a name for this. I’m going to pretend it’s not real. that worked for a few days. I think I know what it is, but I’m not going to google it, because maybe it will still go away. It’s not going away. I think it’s neuropathy. What does this mean? Is this what my feet are going to feel like forever? What if they get worse? that happens, right? I thought I was years away from “complications” what the fuck is this?! I’m back in half denial about even having diabetes and it feels like my feet are going to burn off any second. Steady numbers, minimal insulin, and burning feet? WTF. I just don’t understand what I did to deserve this. Why did this happen? the burning feet, the diabetes, the bipolar, the alcoholism… how shitty was I in a former life that I get to deal with all of this? Why can’t I just be normal?!

Or how strong must I be to be able to overcome these things? That is a question one of my good friends would ask me. I would grimace at her and tell her that she’s full of shit. Here’s to hoping she’s right.

Oh shit. Did I choose the right one?!

sharkOmnipod v. t-Slim v. MiniMed … who the fuck knows. Wait, what’s that other one again… t-slim? Fuck all of this. I’m not even sure if I should be on a pump. First a friend of a friend, who I barely know and barely knows me, questions my choice to go with the omnipod over the minimed… and then tells me that I should really take care of my teeth. yeah. that happened. and while I was at brunch, it was a weird day. Then all of a sudden my numbers go flat, not flat-ish, but “Do I really have Diabetes?” flat. That is a dangerous question. All of a sudden I’m not sure if I really need a pump, I have visions of just two shots a day, meals without a real care, just checking in to make sure that I’m still good — which of course I always would be… it’s just a dream. Whether or not I want to accept it, I have diabetes. I thought I had gotten through the denial phase. Oh fuck. now I’m going backwards. again. at something else. I digress… the point is that my numbers are flat, the spooky flat way I imagine the the ocean would look before jaws jumps out to eat me (#SharkWeek is coming!). And I couldn’t figure it out… I mean in theory it’s good, but really it’s just  spooky. I’ve been staying at around 120, seemingly no matter what I do — I eat and nothing happens. I keep waiting for something to happen, but then it doesn’t, and I’m weirdly disappointed and confused — not because I want my blood sugar to drop, but because I want it to make sense. As I typed that sentence, I heard my mistake — I can’t ever let myself think that this disease will ever make sense.

So I was weirded out enough to call my doctor — adjusted my basal insulin so I am only taking it in the am — which means I am down to 5 units of levemir per day, barely dosing with novolog for meals…this makes no sense. How can I have diabetes if I don’t need insulin, or at least need so little?

So I might know why… I have a confession to make… I’m still not eating, I mean I’m not starving myself, I am eating sometimes, but not normally, or enough by nutrition standards. I have been going through some personal shit lately and although I know that I have taken the right steps and am on the right path, it has been hard. really hard. way harder than I thought it was going to be. I made the right choice, so why does this hurt. Most of the time I’m fine, I did make the right choice, but the one thing that doesn’t seem to follow my rationalizing is my appetite, I’m just not hungry. I’m trying, I’m making myself, but I am just not hungry. I don’t feel like eating waffles. I love waffles. So maybe that’s why my blood sugar is stable… I don’t really feel like eating, so I’m not going to think too hard about that one.

So…in summary (because I have been so all over the place): I’m not sure I made the right choice with omnipod, I’m not sure I made the right choice about a pump period, my blood sugar is weirdly stable, but I’m not eating, so maybe that’s why my blood sugar is stable

If I eat, I have to do math.

Image Taken from diabetesmine.com, as part of a really useful article on honeymooning

Image Taken from diabetesmine.com, as part of a really useful article on honeymooning

I’ve been pretty stressed lately, mostly due to some personal drama, but work doesn’t help. At any rate, sometimes my reaction to stress is complete loss of hunger — the other day, I made my breakfast, only to sit down at the table and just stare at it, I choked it down, but I was literally forcing myself to eat because of diabetes, if I didn’t have to worry about my blood sugar I would have skipped it altogether. It wasn’t just breakfast, it’s been a few days now, and I’m just not hungry. It seems when I do get hungry, and eat a normal portion, then I feel sick, and then I don’t want to eat again. I thought I would have bounced back by now. I’m not dropping too much weight, only a few pounds, but after dropping so much weight pre-diagnosis, I am weary of any weight loss.

My relationship with food has morphed into this awful science experiment of carbs, hunger, emotion, sickness, dehydration… sometimes I’m starving, but my blood sugar is stable or high, so I skip a meal. sometimes it’s low, but I don’t feel like eating, so I don’t — the low either goes away on it’s own, or I end up having to treat it with fast-acting sugar (usually a sprite or a juice box). It seems that whatever the problem, my answer is to just not to eat. If I don’t eat at least the situation won’t change — too much. If I eat, I have to do math. And that math may or may not be correct, and there’s no way for me to figure it out. it’s a formula with an unknown variable — and no way to solve for it. in short, I’m fucked. So my answer is “no input = minimal change” — while this is true, it’s not healthy. I know this. but I’m tired of doing math. I don’t want to deal with this. I don’t even want to consider the other implications — ketones, hospitals, exhaustion, mental fog… not to mention the longer term diabetic “complications.” I’m just tired. I’m done. Fuck this.

Celebrate Everything

So I just googled "Celebrate Everything" and apparently it's a thing... I had no idea, but I love it.

So I just googled “Celebrate Everything” and apparently it’s a thing… I had no idea, but I love it.

Recently, friend quoted me back to myself, she said that I told her to “celebrate everything,” that everything could be a victory if you wanted it to be… her words coming back to me were inspiring, even more so because she was able to help me with the same words with which I was able to help her. Amazing shit. Those words continue to help me. Fine, I snoozed my dexcom and didn’t have a juice box the first time I heard it, but I got up when it went off the second time — that is something to celebrate. I may not be scoring 100%, but I DON’T NEED TO BE PERFECT — I should really write that about 20, mmmmaybe 2000 times, then maybe it will sink into my head. I need to learn to accept my best as my best and not set the bar so high that I feel like a failure everyday, with anything and everything… not just diabetes. I am an imperfect person. Sometimes I feel like that statement is a surprise to me, or a statement of failure, like everyone else has their shit together and I’m the only one struggling — with everything. Let’s face it, pretty much everyday is a fucking struggle.

I have been using the my Sugr app (very cool) to track my sugars and insulin, I’ve not been perfect about entering my numbers, but the reason I’m telling you this is because at the bottom of the screen where you enter your BG, Carbs, Insulin, etc. there are different icons to indicate which meal it is, how you’re feeling, what you’re doing… this has forced me to think about how I’m feeling several times in a single day, rather than ignoring it for weeks… pretty much every entry I would select the “stressed” emoji, to the point where it made me question, “Am I really stressed out all the time?” — the honest answer is yes. I feel like there is something oscillating in my core at all times… it’s been that way for so long it’s my normal. I don’t think that’s good. I’m going to try to change that. If fear and faith cannot coexist, then I just need to have faith that I am going to be okay. This is advice that is easy for me to give, but very hard for me to live. So this time I’m going to take my own advice and celebrate everything. Look for it on Instagram @sophiethacher — I’m going to try to post a #CelebrateEverything everyday…

Diabetes, what’s left… planking?!

IMG_2603

Planking credit: Rae #outsidersplanking

Diabetes! seriously, you suck. What exercise can I do without totally fucking up my blood sugar? Planking?! *@!? Walking — good for me. Swimming — good for me. Neither of these things are particularly strenuous… but they make my blood sugar drop. like a rock. then I’m left trying to figure it out, I don’t feel it until it’s too late, I’m already low and still crashing hard, then I get to shake and worry and try to fix it (and panic, hopefully only on the inside, so no one else panics and/or figures it out). How am I supposed to get back to “normal” when I can’t even do “non-active” activities… it’s not like I’m asking to run a marathon… floating in the ocean is not an ironman, in fact, it’s little more than sitting in a chair… what’s next, blood sugar drops due to watching tv? better not sit in an office chair too long, that’ll make my blood sugar drop too, only safe exercise seems to be sleeping and even then #notsomuch Don’t get me wrong, planking can be hilarious in the right context

Dexcom doesn’t make alarm clocks…

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.15.34 AMSo… I woke up late this morning. Apparently I turned my alarm off, both of them… in additional to my conventional alarms, I also ignored my CGM… for 4 hours… that’s right… from roughly 3:30am to 7:30am I was “in the red” and I just kept “snoozing” my Dexcom. This is not the first time this has happened, and yes, I am precisely aware of how bad this is. I have written about how scared I am about going low and dying and no one knowing because I live alone. The CGM was supposed to help all of that by warning me when I’m low and helping me fix it before it was a problem… not condition me to ignore yet another alarm. I cannot believe that I am being so callous with my own health. I know better than this. Full disclosure, this is not the first time I have done this. Second disclosure, the only reason this morning made me really mad is because I realized I had polluted four hours of sleep when I could have just gotten up, had a juice box, and then not been woken up by the CGM alarm every twenty minutes for the rest of the morning. Also, oversleeping my other alarms, because I was exhausted from “snoozing” the CGM all morning, made me late for the dentist — an appointment I loathe anyway, and then add being late on top of that… #notafan. Worst of all, none of those things are the primary reason that I should be upset about this morning. I am playing with my health. If I do not take the CGM warnings seriously, or at least double check them, I will ignore it one too many times and end up in the hospital (if I’m lucky) or dead (if I’m not lucky). It scares me to write this right now, but I feel like I need to write it in order for me to really hear it from myself. I need to not do this anymore. This is not acceptable. This is not okay. I will do better.

So… I’m going to die and I most likely know how

bunnysuicides4

Sometimes diabetes feels like a slow suicide… suicide by lack of pancreas…

It recently occurred to me that I will probably die of complications with diabetes. I have considered before, that diabetes could cause death, through low blood sugar, seizures, dka, and other fun things — but I had considered death only in the acute… something bad happens and it immediately causes my death. What I had not considered, is that no matter what I do, I will most likely die because of diabetes, or some complication there of. Now there may be some of you out there who might think “No way!” or “It’s totally manageable, stop overreacting” or “You’re going to be fine… are you.. you know… on your cycle…” — but all jokes aside, the way I see it is that no matter what I’m going to get old, as I get old I will face the consequences of age and of long term semi-controlled blood sugar (even if we’re really good, we’re not a pancreas) — the affects of living without a pancreas will then compound with me being old and therefore contribute to and/or cause my death… bringing me back to my original point, that I will most likely die of complications related to diabetes. This fact is extremely depressing. I am 26. I am also considering how I am going to die, not in a depressive/suicidal* way, but in a seriously, when I’m old, assuming nothing random takes me out before then… this shit that I’m dealing with right now.. this diabetes bullshit… it’s going to kill me. quite literally. no jokes. fuck.

In some ways I start to feel this out of body “okay, if I’m going to die, then none of this matters…” — except in my case “this” is everything, and even if I’m going to live for the next ten minutes, something has to matter… I mean my dog is sleeping at my feet… she matters. Then something real, like what I just said about Casey being at my feet… it brings me back and then I’m left here, the same as when I started this post, just scared — a scared, 26-year-old type 1 diabetic, who will most likely die of complications related to diabetes, sitting at home, alone, writing to you from her computer…

And then I hear a friend, telling me to take it a day at a time — and then I want to punch that friend in the face and tell them that that is impossible. It feels impossible. Some part of me knows that I’ll be okay for the rest of tonight, and that I’ll probably wake up tomorrow, and that will probably be okay too. but when I get further ahead than tonight, I start to get scared again. this is where I hear my friend again, telling me to take it a day at a time. I still want to punch that friend in the face, but this time maybe I’ll settle for just ignoring them and continuing to be mad. and scared. and alone.

*Here’s my plug for mental health — if you or anyone you know is actually considering suicide, PLEASE seek help either through your own friends/family, or check out http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ — as a reminder, I am not a medical or health professional, please seek guidance from a professional as needed.

**Bunny Suicide Drawing by artist Andy Riley

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