Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Thanksgiving was wonderful! I love the holiday season and all the time with family it brings. I spent Thanksgiving as I have as long as I can remember: at my grandparents' house. And I loved it. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family. And everyone survived all the togetherness!
There's another element to the holiday season that is my Achilles heel: food. Lots of food. Sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, pumpkin pie, apple pie--you get the idea. All this food, in the same house with me. And my diabetes and disordered eating.
If I'm being perfectly honest, things actually went ok. Yes, I ate WAY TOO MANY chocolate chip cookies. Seriously, way too many. It could have gone better. But it could have been worse too. It has been worse. I didn't overindulge much in the other sweets, as I have on previous occasions. My binge eating was limited to the chocolate chip cookies. Though my blood sugars still suffered, despite my attempts to bolus accordingly.
So though things could have been worse, it's the could have gone better part I'm stuck on. My old friend guilt is back with a vengeance. Oh hi there. I didn't miss you. It's been a week since Thanksgiving, and I'm still feeling guilty about my disordered eating patterns rearing their ugly heads. And I hate it.
I hate that I spend time thinking about the food I shouldn't have eaten rather then the amazing time spent with family. I hate that the guilt starts as soon as I finish eating. That part of me dreads the holiday season because of all the food.
Now Christmas is coming, and I'm still feeling guilty over Thanksgiving. More food. More stress. More guilt. And did I mention I see my endo Friday? I feel so overwhelmed I want to scream!
That helps a little. Talking about it helps too. That's why I share all of this here. Spilling my guts on this blog helps with the guilt and shame. It takes the power away.
I'm also overdue for a visit with my therapist. Talking with her will help too. Especially with the upcoming stress and food of Christmas. I mean, it's Christmas, for goodness sake! I want to be able to focus on all the joy of the season, not spend my time obsessing over food. I don't want the disordered eating and anxiety to be in charge. Or diabetes, for that matter.
I want to be in charge. Me, Jess. Those other things will still be present, but not the focus. It's Christmas, and I want to focus on joy.
I'm calling my therapist tomorrow. I can do this. One day at a time.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Diabetes never takes a break. Not even during a holiday like Thanksgiving. There are still blood sugars to check, carbs to bolus for, pump sets to change, and insulin reservoirs to refill (maybe a few extra reservoirs over Thanksgiving--pie and cookies, anyone?). These routine diabetes moments don't change much. It's just another day with diabetes.
But sometimes, there are extraordinary moments in that ordinary routine. I spent a lovely Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house. One of those routine moments popped up. I needed to put some Opsite Flexifix tape on my Dexcom sensor. The adhesive starts to peel after a couple days. I needed some scissors to cut said tape. So I rummaged around in my grandparents' kitchen till I found some. And I cut the tape.
Then I noticed something that made me pause.
The name on the scissors: Zola. That's my great grandma's name. Which means these were her scissors. She died several years before I was diagnosed with diabetes. I remember her, but not very well. Grammy never saw me live with diabetes.
And yet her presence is still here, making this ordinary moment of life with diabetes rather extraordinary.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Ever feel like you're in exactly the right place at exactly the right time? Like you were supposed to be there at that precise moment?
I had one of those moments today. In the checkout line, I hear a little voice behind me: "He can't have one because he has diabetes, right? Because of his blood sugar?"
I turn around, and there is a little girl standing beside a display of lollipops. "Yes," her dad answers, "because of his blood sugar."
This family is standing right behind me. Dad, mom, the girl who had spoken, and her little sister and brother. I look at the little boy. I can see the medical ID on his wrist, as he squirms around his dad's legs. He must be the one with diabetes.
I've paid for my purchases. It's now or never. I take a deep breath.
"Sorry, I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. He has Type 1 Diabetes?" I ask, pointing to the boy.
"Yes," mom replies.
"Me too! I've had it for 20 years."
"Oh wow!" she says. "That's so encouraging! We just found out a month ago."
"Whoa! So you guys are new at this."
She nods. "How old were you when you found out?"
"I was 10," I answer.
Mom looks at her little boy, and then back at me. "He's two," she states. And my heart breaks. And I want to give them all a giant hug, but I'm afraid that would be too creepy.
"She has diabetes like you!" dad is saying to the little guy. "Say hi!" But the little man buries his head in dad's leg. I smile, and he peeks out a bit.
Mom nods at her husband, "His job is traveling. So we're on the road all the time. We're learning how to do this on the road."
"Wow! That sounds challenging."
"Yeah, but we're starting to get the hang of it."
I look at this mom. Her face is strong and confident. But her eyes are weary and scared. I know that look. I've seen it on my mom's face. On the faces of friends. On my own face.
"I know it's hard, but you guys can do this. And there's no reason he can't grow up and be whatever he wants."
Mom smiles, "That's what the doctor tells us. But it's nice to meet someone who's had it for a long time."
I walk out of the store with the family. The little guy still won't say anything, but now he looks at me. I give him a big smile, and he smiles back. I tell the parents about the Diabetes Online Community, and give them my email address.
As we reach our cars, mom says, "It was so nice to meet you."
"It was nice to meet you too," I say. "And good luck."
They get in their car and go. And I know that I was supposed to be in that store at that moment to meet that family. Exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
This month is Diabetes Awareness Month. There's a lot going on. The Big Blue Test. The World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange. Blue Fridays. And a photo challenge I will actually complete (hopefully).
Kerri created a Diabetes Month Photo-a-day challenge, and so far I've managed to keep up. See all the prompts here.
|Day 1: Past. The past 24 hours.|
|Day 2: Check. Checking my insulin on board before taking a correction bolus.|
|Day 3: Snack. No snack for me. Except maybe veggies or cheese.|
|Day 4: Proud. Keep this stack of A1cs on my fridge. Two years worth. It's not the |
numbers, but the progress they show.
|Day 5: Advocate. Wearing my You Can Do This Project bracelet every day provides |
opportunities to advocate. People ask about it.
|Day 6: Relationship. My husband is my rock. His support makes every day better.|
|Day 7: Blue. My favorite Blue Fridays accessory: my blue circle necklace from CCARIA. |
Ready for Friday!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
My Dexcom receiver rattles in the glass coaster on my nightstand (it's home at night to help amplify the alarm sounds). I fumble in the dark and find the button. Yup, high alarm. It's midnight. I check my blood sugar. Dexcom is right, I'm high. Time to take a correction bolus and go back to bed.
4am: Holy crap, I have to pee. Since I'm awake, I check my Dex. Still high. Check bg again, correct again, go back to sleep.
7am: My alarm goes off. My first thought: "I'd better not still be high." Drumroll please…
Crap. STILL high. At this point, I probably should change my set. But this set has only been in for two days, and it's been working perfectly. It can't be the set. Another correction bolus, and it's time to get ready for work.
10am: Dex is showing still north of 200. Finger stick confirms this. On the plus side, my blood sugar hasn't gone up since breakfast. But it hasn't gone down either. Maybe it is the set.
12pm: A myriad of corrections has had no real affect. Time to change my set, for sure. In the work bathroom. Praying it doesn't hurt and cause involuntary cursing since there's someone else in another stall. Diabetes makes for some glamorous moments.
3pm: Hallelujah! A down arrow! Dare I check on my meter? I dare. And survey says…198! Under 200! Barely, but I'll take it. Should've just changed that set in the first place.
Some days, I've got this all under control. Other days, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
YOU DID IT!!!
YOU GUYS! I can't believe it! Less than a week, people! Five days, to be exact. My heart is exploding with gratitude.
It's been a long time since I've done any major fundraising for diabetes research. Like, since I was a kid long time. I was worried about meeting my goal. But you guys came through in a big way. A BIG way. I am so proud and thankful.
And of course, there's still plenty of time before the walk to raise my goal...hee hee...