this morning I looked in the mirror and… #hawmc day 12

April 12, 2012

This morning I looked in the mirror…

And saw 39 years of me.

6:41am #bgthen 72

A tired mama who should go to bed earlier.

A professional researcher and writer who’s looking for her next big project.

Brown eyes. Tousled dark blonde hair that gets darker by the year, yet I still like it in its natural state. Summer sunshine will provide some fun highlights.

Hair that needs a haircut. (Check calendar for next appt.)

Wrinkles? Really? When did those happen? I still think I (and everyone else my age) looks young–like 30, if not 25.

Leftover continuous glucose monitor sensor stickiness in the shape of an oval, in the last 2 places where Dex was on my arm and midsection. Hate that it leaves behind its remnants. Glad that it sticks for so long. (7 days, medtech corps and FDA? C’mon, we can do better than that.)

Day 18 for this CGM sensor. Excellent. (Order more sensors.)

Nice teeth. Need to remember to use the waterpik thing the dentist is so crazy about…

Diabetes and gum disease. Have to stay ahead of it. Not one of the complications they yammered on about for the first 30 years of my type 1 D. No, they were more concerned with my “noncompliant” behavior causing my feet to have to be cut off. No one mentioned gums until recently.

But: no cavities ever! Sparkling smile! Fluoride, braces and headgear did their job too! Woot!

Even though I eat cupcakes. And Easter candy. And whatever the hell I want, and it works okay as long as I do the carb counting insulin dosing math right and remember to bolus.

And test, always test.

7:30am #bgthen 101

(No, I haven’t been standing here looking in the mirror the whole time. There are things to do and I’m doing them. Just thought it would be interesting to throw that BG in there.)

Love my brown eyes. They provide fun contrast to the blonde hair. I didn’t think that when I was pre-teen/teen/college. Blue eyes were the thing. I got teased a lot about the brown eyes when I was little. But I like them now.

Every time I think about my eyes: RETINOPATHY BLOOD VESSELS BREAKING BLINDNESS SCARY SCARY ALWAYS SCARY

Stop.

When is that next opthamologist appt? Check calendar. Need new glasses too, and while we’re there a new Rx for contacts. That’s a separate appt. Good grief, with dilating it could take a whole day. No idea when I can fit that in.

Hello, Ping (insulin infusion pump) site. When was the last time I changed you? How are you looking this morning? Red and inflamed? Painful, or do I have a few more days? Scar tissue? Probably.

I’m running out of site “real estate” and I use nearly every location I can find: stomach, hips, bum, back, arm, thigh…I haven’t tried calf or boob yet, and don’t think I will. But I know others who have. Whatever works–just like real real estate, it’s all about location. The more choices, the better.

I wish I could just look in the mirror and see what’s there. I wish all of these parts of my body didn’t have extra, not-so-subliminal thoughts that come along with them.

Tired mama. Tired woman. Tired woman with type 1.

Almost 32 years with type 1 would make many people tired, I guess.

8:01am #bgthen 111

Day 12 prompt for wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge: Stream of Consciousness Day. Start with the sentence “This morning I looked in the mirror…” just write, don’t stop, don’t edit. Post!

Check out many more posts from all kinds of amazing health activist writers at wego health’s Facebook page.


stronger (what doesn’t kill me…) #HAWMC day 2

April 2, 2012

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I don’t know who originally said this quote, but Kelly Clarkson is bringing it on nearly every radio station all day long lately. I love her rendition of it, and I’ve been hanging on to the song and the quote quite tightly lately. Belting it out at the top of my lungs right along with Ms. Kelly feels really good.

You see, living with type 1 diabetes is dancing on the edge with a killer, 24/7. That sounds really melodramatic and cheesy, and I don’t mean it to sound that way. That’s just how it is. From the moment I was diagnosed with type 1 in ketoacidosis at age 7, right before I fell into a coma for 4 days, both me and my family were inundated with information about the potential ways diabetes could (would?) kill me. As if the coma weren’t enough of a slap in the face, no, there was plenty more to heap upon us about how dangerous my new existence was.

There were the warnings/discussions/guilt trips about “diabetic complications.” The longer we live with type 1, the more likely we are to experience problems with our eyeballs, our kidneys, our blood vessels, our joints, our gums…. Those warnings were (are?) often used as pressure to fix or change my behaviors doctors determined were “bad.” It didn’t work, in my case. I spent many, many years out of anything close to control of my BGs. Denial? Maybe. Normal teenage rebellion plus pissedoffedness at a broken pancreas? For sure.

It’s another delicate balance between keeping blood sugars in the so-called “normal” range of 70-130 mg/dl and bottoming out to 30-40 mg/dl, becoming unconscious, having a seizure, getting hurt, not waking up. I’ve only had one experience where I was unconscious and had a seizure; I’ve had several where I needed someone else to help me. Many more than several. A sad consequence of me getting my BG into “good” (really tight) control is that I’ve lost any sensations of low blood sugar that would warn me at 70 or 60 mg/dl and prompt me to get some sugar by myself. Awesome. The risk of dying from low blood sugar is always there.

Oh, blah. My point with loving this quote is that enduring all that type 1 diabetes is trying to do to kill me, for the last 31+ years, has made me strong–much stronger than I would be without type 1. I’ve learned to manage the dancing on the edge, even when the edge moves and the killer plays dirty. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m thankful to diabetes, but I’m smarter than it is (even when I don’t feel like it), and stronger because of it. I’m dancing, all the time.

It’s been almost 32 years, t1d. Bring it. I’m still dancing. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

This post is in response to the wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Day 2 prompt. Quotation Inspiration: Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.


d-eyeballs

May 25, 2011

There’s really nothing like the fear leading up to an impending opthamologist appointment. About a week before the date, I start having random moments of freakishness where I may start thinking that my eyeballs have stopped working. I wig out when my BG hits anything more than 140, and I convince myself that some Really. Bad. News. is inevitable. I try to remember to breathe, not always successfully.

So last week when I went to my first appointment with new Dr. D-Eyeballs, I was a bit of a mess. Perfectly normal. I asked for a referral from my relatively new Dr. WonderfulEndo, whom I love, so I had hope that Dr. D-Eyeballs would also be wonderful. I was also prepared for massive disappointment and eyeball crisis. It’s just easier to be ready.

In the last 31 years I’ve had opthamologist Dr. Crappy-s who have asked me if I’ve “been good” to my eyes. Ones that berated me for whatever my last HbA1c was. Ones who tried to scare me with horror stories of retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other complications in people with type 1 diabetes. And then there were the ones who didn’t even ask about my type 1. Admittedly, I have a narrow range of acceptable and appropriate statements that opthamologists could say to me without sending me over the edge. But I’ve heard the entire gamut of possibilities, most of them terrible.

Not my new Dr. D-Eyeballs! She’s totally ah-may-zing. She’s the clinical research director for the practice, brilliant, and informed/respectful/totally competent re: type 1 eyes. I’m so thankful when I get the opportunity to see a good medical provider, and she is one.

Cut to the great news from last week’s appointment: No retinopathy, no other d-eye problems. After more than 3 decades with D.

It’s hard for me to believe. I wanted to ask the doctor if she was absolutely sure. Really? Not one little blip? Even under the extra magnification? Are you SURE?! I kept waiting for the “BUT…”

Not this time.


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