Monday, June 11, 2012
Last night I kept feeling dizzy, not being able to focus on learning for my finals, so I kept testing (~160, invariably) and correcting, but nothing changed. Before sleep, when another number of 158 greeted me, I was too afraid to correct some more and go to sleep so I just surrendered. I diagnosed my diabetes with a bad case of resilience and my body with a bad case of insulin-resistance and I just went to sleep.
This morning, after only 4 hours of sleep, I was at 79.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
"Ugh, I feel so sick.
-You should make a test!
I guess it's a little too late for that"
Here I was talking about the fact that I'm over the 1-hour-after-meal or 2-hours-after-meal range and the numbers would be inconclusive.
''Ugh, I feel so sick.
-You should make a test!
I can't, my hands are dirty!"
I should've shouted that my conscience isn't clean.
To be continued.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
-What are you doing? Why are you in my bathroom?!
He just shrugs like he always does when he doesn't want to answer a question and I leave it to that.
I turn to the mirror, look at my hair and decide to cut it in half. Look, there are some scissors right there. Why don't you take them and cut your hair? I find myself staring at the tail in my hand. Tiny voice in my head:
-Alexandra, what are you doing? What is wrong with you?
This isn't right. This isn't real. Tiny voice again:
-You must be in hypo. Test yourself.
I must be dreaming?
Wake up. Wake up.
Ok, I'm awake now. It's really dark, but I go straight to the bag with my supplies, take it and carry myself to the bathroom, as quietly as possible considering the fact that my legs feel cemented in a certain position (I have two roommates and I try not to let my diabetes affect them at night too.)
I test myself: 52.
Hmmm. This feels too bad for it to only be 52. Nevertheless, I redo the process of putting one foot in front of the other for what seems like infinity until I get to the fridge. Can't remember what I actually ate, but must've been good because I woke up with a bs of 112 and the full length of my hair.
Friday, May 4, 2012
They ask me about pain, when they see all the needles. I'm fine with that. It usually doesn't hurt.
But. From time to time, i kick a nerve or a blood vessel. Or there's a blunt needle involved. The sudden pain is astounding.
They ask me:"Are you sick? Are you in pain?"
No, i'm usually not in pain, not the physical kind. But psychologically...
My eyes get watery. The whole area hurts and stings and gets numbed. I blink fast, i find another area to inject and just not think about it anymore.
But there are moments when i do choose to think about the pain. From time to time, i feel some bumps under my skin in the places where i usually inject. From time to time, when i run after the bus or simply wash the dishes, i feel some phantom pains like the needles would protrude on the outside, this time. From time to time, i inject myself in the arm in front of the mirror (is the only way i succeed) and I can't, for the life of me, recognise the girl in the mirror. Who are you and what are you doing to your body? How did you learn that so fast? What have you done to me?
I was diagnosed as an (mostly) adult.
It's a trauma. I know I have to deal with it, and I'm working on it through this blog.
I try to feel everything there is to feel now, at it's time. I search for information, I want to give information, I just take care.
But from time to time, usually in the dark, in my bed, I choose to think about Before. I choose to look at the pictures from Before and wonder if Diabetes was born with me or it chose to accompany me somewhere on the road. I choose to visualise a future without this diagnosis but I don't fool myslef. I try to accept it but I'm also not ready to give up the life I imagined for me.
I think it has to do with my identity. I was in a full process of cristalizing my persona when D. came to reconfigurate everything.
But that's some blabber for another post.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I've had a horrible time with my diabetes since i got home. My numbers are all over the place. Been crying a lot.
I've been testing my aunt who is obviously a type 2 and i've surprised myself with kind, optimistic messages towards her. Like, "It's not that hard"; "It's gonna be ok" or, my favourite "All you'll need is some pills and a diet". She doesn't want to go to the doctor, though. It seems pointless.
When i first got my diagnosis, actually even before, when i only had a hunch, i was searching the internet trying to find out everything i could about this disease. And it surprised me, how everybody would talk about the disease sort of...gloved. Bear with me, english is only my second language. What i mean is that diabetes was like an eggshell and people were extra-delicate not to break it while they were talking about it. The newly-diagnosed were treated with kindness and optimism. It's not that hard, you'll manage it because you'll have to; you'll be able to give up sweets because your health will be more important to you; if you treat your diabetes right it will treat you fine as well yadda-yadda-yadda.
Try diabetes, tehy said. It will be kind, and easy, like a feather's caress, they said.
Well i've tried it and it's bloody hard, i'll tell you that. So i thought all these kind words were taught, psychologically recommended because, you know, we already have so much to deal with that we wouldn't want to add depression to it (it adds itself though, as i've observed). But no, this kindness and optimism actually come naturally, it's like a second skin. They should say it, when you get diabetes, you get a glucometer, insulin&a pen, the ocasional t-shirt aaaand compassion to your fellow travelers, be them type 1's or type 2's or even type awesome's.
Traveling to darker sands, it wasn't all marshmallows and unicorns.
Everyday i was faced with people's lack of knowledge about this disease. I was out and about with a friend and i noticed a machine that served coffee with sweetener. I was flabergasted because i love spending money on useless liquid while i'm out, just because i can sip something and feel normal again. Like i was, 3 months before, when i wasn't yet diagnosed. Boy, that's such a tiny amount of time. Moving on. I was telling the clerk to make sure she gets me the kind with the sweetener, not the one with sugar and i have this friend telling me:
"Relax!It's just a tiny bit of sugar, why are you acting like a freak?" following with a "But you're allowed to drink coffee?"
Yes, yes i am.
"Are you sure?"
.........(gunshot to the head, such a pity, she was so young and promising)
Anyways, trying to inform people about diabetes is very hard, mostly because they are running from information like from a plague. They really don't want to know. Not even my so-called friends. Not even the smart people. Not even my mother. Not even my diabetic aunt. They don't want to know, they don't care.
Friday, April 6, 2012
More measures and some technology (not diabetes-related technology; wait. did i just discover something that's NOT related to diabetes? yaaaaaaay))
So i got home today, as in my parent's house. That's never fun.
The first sign was that all my technology broke down: phone, laptop, i'm sure that even my camera is out of batteries. Actually, the first thing that warned me was the 174 on my meter. That just made me cry.
I'm following a trend (it's not the fun kind). I keep getting high numbers before dinner, actually anywhere between lunch and dinner and i can't understand why.
I eat the same things like at breakfast or dinner but it's always the lunch that messes with my numbers. Every time that i see that number i feel the complications forming. I'm just sad and tired and this happens right before my quarterly appointment with the doctor. I feel guilty and stupid.
I dreaded this appointment because i didn't know what to expect. I was scared i'll be evaluated in such short notice. I've been diagnosed with this only 3 months ago. I haven't learned much yet...
Well, the appointment itself went pretty good. It seems that i don't look like at Auschwitz anymore. I actually got praised for the decisions made in this three months.
The actual test is the HbA1c, and i'll get the results tomorrow.
Phew, i'm already taking deep breaths.
First appointment, first Hba1c (after diabetes management), first Easter with this disease, i've barely had my first Christmas with it. Lots of firsts in a very short period of time.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I begin my day measuring myself.
First, the blood sugar.
Then, the pounds.
After that, i measure everything that gets on my plate on a scale, to see how many carbs will make my breakfast.
The next logical step is to transform those carbs through a ratio in insulin units.
I wish it'd be enough. But that's just the beginning of the day. Just the beginning of a long trip because starting with the hour of my breakfast, i start measuring minutes. 60 minutes for the first postprandial number of the day. 180 minutes for a snack. Gotta pass at least 2 hours until i eat again. And so on and so forth.
My everyday is made out of numbers and sometimes that's all i see in the back of my eyes. I check the carbs on every wrap just for fun. Like, if a friend eats a bar i just check to see the carbs in it, just out of curiosity or maybe just for the database that i'm starting in my head.
I know i'm gonna get tired one of these days. But what scares me is the evaluation that comes with these measurings.
I test myself a lot of times every day. Not just for the bs, but everything is a test. And i'm currently feeling guilty for everything, the pounds that my scale is showing, the amount of carbs i eat, the numbers that don't always cooperate. It's the guilt that i'm tired of, and i just wonder why exactly do i feel like that? Nobody's judging me yet. I'm being so harsh on myself, i learned this behavior so quickly that it's frightening. I've read a lot of posts from the DOC, i know how the guilt is intertwined with diabetes. But i'm only three months fresh in this.
Why did i learn it so fast?
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Well, i'm gonna get my first grade in a short while. Ofcourse, i actually already got a first A1c that i know will blow my mind in time (that pesky 14.7 that came with my diagnosis), but i decided it doesn't count :)
I realised i'm scared of this because i postponed my quarterly meeting with the endocrinologist. I got cold feet. I was curious, anxious to find out how good my control was for these first months, but when the time came i graciously rationalised that i must wait for another week, it's no rush, the doctor will be there next week too blah blah blah. Ugh. I'm so new to this but i already developped old bad habits.
Ofcourse, the fact that i've lived in a cocoon of unconciousness won't help with my A1c. Like, i was under the impression that my bg is just planking all day long. If i'm 87 and cover the carbs i'm eating with insulin, it just won't go over that number. It won't change. That's what the doctor said: if you take the appropriate amount of insulin you'll have bs like a normal person. Well, let me just tell you that when i first took a 1h-after-meal test and it showed 199, i was ready to go to the hospital to admit myself for DKA prevention.
Ahaha, ahahahaha, ahahahahahahaha.
I've seen quite some over-200 numbers since then and handled them more graciously, until i got the hang of it. I'm slowly (and i really couldn't stress more on the word slowly) learning about this condition but i do feel like a badass when i get it right. Too bad i can't brag about it, because it would mean a lot of explanation.
I wanted to start this blog as a way of analizing my feelings with this diagnosis, but i can't write about emotion-related things cause things would get too emotional. I am in such a dark place that i would even feel responsible for the innocent souls that my black words would touch.
I wonder if this...depressive state is common at diagnosis and if so, does it get better? I don't see a time when i'll feel better. I know i need to talk about this with someone, someone that understands, but there isn't anybody that i could force this informations upon. I don't want to burden my friends. There are the ones that just wouldn't understand and think that i'm a whiner, and there are the ones that would hurt so much for my pain but still wouldn't be able to help me in any way. So, i prefer to tourment only myself. And this blog.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
I was diagnosed on december 28. I guess my Holidays will never be the same, unless they change the date of Christmas. Or New Year's Eve. Cause i was released from the hospital on New Year's Eve, to be able to have all that fun. I've got pictures from that night: it ain't pretty, and it ain't fun.
But that's not what i wanted to talk about. I wanted to write about control.
I was given so little of it, throughout my life. Up until I was about seventeen, THEY took all the decisions for me. I had to raise their children, watch their boyfriends come and go, reassure their confidence and weep their sorrow destiny. All of these while i was planning my own escape: going to college. Yes, going to college was gonna be my way of running away from home, my way of facing the future on my own.
And after two years of this, i must say i'm pretty good at being on my own. So there i was, on a good period of my life. Everything was being taken care of, i was trying to get every part of my life (college, boyfriend, my weight) at a perfect pace, and then it hit me: type 1 diabetes. Insulinodependend. Incurable.
I don't know how many of you do this (and you really should) but i used to wake up and linger a moment in my bed, wondering: what bad could this day bring? What can go wrong today?
And let me tell you that never, absolutely never has type 1 diabetes been amongst these "wrongs". So I didn't jinx it on myself. And trust me, i've tried all kinds of wrongs like being hit by a car, getting cancer, having my cat die. But not diabetes, no way.
So when i got the diagnosis i felt a little unnerved, i mean i give you all these diseases that i played with in my mind (and i'm talking to you, God) and you give me plain-old, garden-variety, diabetes?
This won't even get me pitied for. I mean, let's take a look at how my close friends and relatives reacted:
Sister: "Omg if it's genetic i have to make some tests too".
Mother: "I'm sorry you ruined your life and you won't even live to your forties like me.
You know, i've been feeling the need to drink a lot of water lately, maybe you should test me one of these days too."
Friend :"So. I'm thinking of getting a tattoo done".
Roommate1 :"So, is your boyfriend still gonna marry you now?"
Roommate 2 :"Omg i told you, i cant believe i knew, i told you that you must have diabetes, i can't believe i got it right, i must be some kind of House!"
Belovedhighschoolteacher: "It doesn't surprise me. I always thought you had to pay for your genius with something. I'm glad it's not something worse".
Mybrother'sfather:"I can't believe this happened to you. And i used to hope you'll take care of your brother when he'll be bigger. It's like they say in the Bible, you have to pay for your mother's sins".
See? No pity there.
But! This helped me realise who are my true friends (the ones that aren't on that list, obviously). And it got me thinking about all the bad shit that life has served me on a silver plate (hey, i had to cry myself to sleep every night in that hospital and after a while the diabetes thing just didn't make me cry hard enough so i had to switch on tougher shit).
And we get to our earlier point, the control.
I thought my existence was a joke. Right when i was starting to gain some control to my life, i have to be artificially maintained to it. I have to sting myself twice before eating anything (and by anything i mean the diabetes-friendly food, not the huge doughnuts filled with nuttella that i dream of). There are a lot of bad sides that come with it, and i'm too tired to think about them now. Cause i realised that almost everything in life can be controlled. And be aware, this is not NPL! It's the simple truth. Every choice, every decision that we make means we get one alternative and pass on another. Well, if you want a better life, get the alternatives that will get you there. Assume the riscs. Don't choose the comfortably now, you'll have to pay for it someday. Make the uncomfortable comfortable. I don't like to exercise, i don't like to give up all my junk food. But i have to, if i want the better side of life.
I'm not judging anyone, i'm just promoting the responsability of choice that everybody forgets. If i choose to rely on comfort food, to stay in bed instead of exercising, to contemplate the ceiling instead of learning, then i have no right to complain about my weight gain, my crazy insulin rates, my poor grades and lack of proffessional future. You are what you make out of yourself, after a certain point in life. I'm 21. I can't keep waiting for Them to take care of me, to pay my tests, my food, support my education. If i want all of that, i have to work, learn, earn everything on my own, reconquer the world by myself.
And this works on the finer aspects of life, too. If i want the perfect boyfriend, i have to be the perfect girlfriend first. If i'm going to brag about how great my life's gonna be, then maybe i should make a plan to back me up and stick with it. I am strong, i am the definition of strength. I never believed in word mantras, but this one, i need it. We all need it. It's time to reclaim our strength back from the society that tought us to lean back and wait for all the rewards of capitalism. Well, i've waited, that doesn't work. So i'm gonna go with the "acting" for a while.