Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a web developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

Tag: BadDay (page 1 of 3)

vacation disobedience

FailI start everyday with the best of intentions… and then there are some biscuits, and a few crisps, and I just don’t feel like checking my blood sugar… and then that happens again, and again. I would say “oops” — but let’s be real, no one is making me eat these things, I make a choice each time I eat something, both about what I’m eating and about whether or not I check my bg and/or give insulin for it… in the back of my mind I know that if I give insulin for the amount I’m eating I’m going to rise and then crash, big time… probably over night… and who really wants to be woken up by their CGM, not me. 1) I’ll probably ignore it anyway, I know that’s dangerous, and I’d rather not die  — 2) I’d rather sleep in and not be bothered — 3) It’s annoying and I resent the whole thing

So there it is… all in all a very mature reaction /not. and to be honest I really have no inclination to change. I know I’ll have to/will get back on track when I’m home, but I’m also aware that each moment/hour/day I spend high it damaging my body — I know that that might seem extreme, but I treasure my health and I don’t want to deal with the potential long term consequences that are brought on with this type of behaviour.

Ugh. I know better, and I’m doing the opposite anyway. I woke up today feeling like shit, a mild headache and terrible nausea, it felt like a hangover, despite the fact that I haven’t had a drink in almost two years now. And how did I address this nausea… a giant cookie #fail / #win … even my reaction to that statement is telling of my current mindset. I love being here, I’ve been away almost two weeks now, visiting friends and family in the UK, but if I’m going to survive my trip — and be able to establish a behaviour standard for future trips away, I need to get this shit under control.

I know how to defeat this, I need to make the healthy choice the easy choice, drink enough water, get rid of the junk food, just don’t buy it in the first place — look at my CGM record, take in my reality and fast-forward to think about what will happen if I keep up this behaviour.

Dear god (or whatever is out there), please help. Thanks.

Love, Sophie

[Enter Sanity Here]

Yeah… this is the text chain between me and a very supportive friend…

Pizza and Cupcakes

 

Seriously, god bless her… I am making no sense. taking no advice. barely “hearing” anything. also my stomach still feels like shit.

Tick Tock

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So I tick now… great. Add that to the list of shit that sucks. like a pest. like a time bomb (that’s an obvious one). worse it’s a reminder. everytime I hear it I feel something different. sometimes it makes me feel like quitting. other times it reminds me that I am bionic. that I’m lucky. that I’m blessed. that I’m sick. I’m dependent. broken. baggage to be handled. forgotten. defective. thankful to be alive. angry. why me. fuck that thing again. I wonder where my numbers are. shit. I still have diabetes. fuck diabetes.

Anytime I feel like I’ve got my shit locked down, I’m at work, or with friends, anytime I’m not thinking about diabetes, blissfully ignorant for a short period of time… tick. and just like that I’m back to reality. the shitty reality of this shitty disease that fucks with every aspect of my life. if anything would convince me to go back to shots… at least they stayed silently in my kit… fuck diabetes.

What’s beeping? Oh wait, it’s me.

When I’m irritated by diabetes related beeping, it is usually my dexcom. make that was. My new least favorite beep is the OmniPod system, both the pod itself, and the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager…I’l gripe about that name later). Last night I changed out my pod on my own for the first time. It was terrible. In addition to all the expected terrible — hate, denial, resentment, incompetence, I also was extremely annoyed. I was delaying changing the pod because I wanted to know how long I could go with it, and probably under the surface I didn’t want to replace it because I resent the whole thing and was afraid of doing it wrong.

Anyway, I let the pod get to it’s 72 hour/3 day replacement time, and then I let it go through the additional 8 hour buffer period. Through the buffer time both the pod and the PDM beep at you. It took me awhile to realize that it was actually me that was beeping, and that I hadn’t left the dexcom or omnipod receivers behind me (that was a fun two hour game). At the end of the buffer time the PDM screeches until you rip it off, or end it the session with the PDM — if you’re angry and don’t care that it might hurt, you might just rip it off, and it might just be okay anyway. After that lovely musical performance from the omnipod, and a not so delicate removal, I embarked on “installing” the new pod. I’m not sure if “installing” is the word for it, but I’m not sure what else to call it.

OmniPod First Setup

the debris from my first “installation”

So, I look at the pod. I go get some alcohol wipes, skin tac, tac away… and maybe a bit of bravery. I go to YouTube and watch some mom do the “installation” with a 3 year-old… if she can do it, I should be able to handle this. I’m an engineer for god’s sake. a fat load of good that’s done me. I stumbled through the process like a t-Rex in the canned goods aisle of a grocery store. it ended with a bang. it hurt more than I expected, I don’t think I had quite enough fat there. and then I was alone. well still alone, nothing had changed. I’m still bitter about having this stupid pump. not having it so much as needing it. and then life went on.

 

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.

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.

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.

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

Dear Diabetes, this is really scary

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I’ve been delaying finishing this post — I think it’s because I’m in “Low-Denial,” or at least I’m in denial as to how bad my lows have been getting.

I made this graphic after I hit 24 in the middle of the day last week, it was bad, but also a little funny because I was so out of it I ate half a bag on mini doughnuts, which in hindsight is still funny, even despite the ridiculous high that followed… Then I hit 24 again the other night, right as I was getting ready for bed. Thank god I wasn’t asleep already. It was more than scary, it was terrifying. I could not eat fast enough and then my meter kept reading “LOW.” Twenty minutes later, it’s still reading “LOW” — then I really start freaking out… “do I call a friend? no, I’m not waking anyone up at 1am… do I call 911? No, this isn’t a real emergency…is it? No. but is it? probably not. Am I going to die? If not tonight, is this how I’m going to go? What will happen if I die here, by myself? I don’t want to die. Sophie, you’re not dying, drink some god damn sprite.”

I did not die, as I am writing to you now, but I did get the pants scared off of me. Not scared enough to convince me that I need a pump, but scared enough to begrudgingly agree when my doctor brought it up, yet again, during my most recent appointment… more on that later.

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