It had taken me forever to get there, and then I got lost, and I was nervous as hell and I was nervous about one of those sweaty lows coming in and taking over. (If you don’t know which sweaty lows I’m talking about, go get Balancing Diabetes – I’ve described it quite well over there.)
It was absolutely the best first date I’ve ever been on. The conversation was easy and there were no thoughts of “get me out of here.” I took out my pump to bolus for a beer and nothing was said. We started talking about running and how he had spur of the moment gone for a 10 mile run that week. I said something along the lines of “I couldn’t do that.” We do know that I can run 10 miles (and more!), but when I was only running a 5K at the time, I knew that an increase in 7 miles and a significant increase in running time would not bode well for me and my diabetes. I sat there trying to explain that I would need to work myself up to 10 miles. Even though I had bolused for a beer, he did not yet know that I had diabetes and the tightening in my chest of my face giving it away scared me for a minute. I did not want to disclose diabetes in the midst of an exercise conversation because would I immediately be looked at as being weak? I didn’t want to risk it. The other part of me filled with jealousy. I would LOVE to be able to just start running without a plan, and without a backpack full of sugar. The fear & the jealousy were a weird combination rustling through my body. Could I become a capable actress in that moment to hide what I was really feeling? Did I want to be that actress? WAS I DISGRACING WHAT I’M TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH HERE?
I survived the date, had a few more and then moved on. He did find out about diabetes, asked really pertinent questions, and didn’t care at all.
I never envisioned myself writing this post. But my “expertise” in dating with diabetes is published and then today Lindsay said she loved what I had to say because it’s an aspect of diabetes she never had to deal with. I certainly do not date enough to absolutely know what I’m talking about, but I can share my experiences. If not for Lindsey’s conversation today while reading the Exercise chapter, this post would not be published. Or written.
We ordered our food and I bolused. Prosciutto wrapped pork and potatoes. When my plate arrived, I had an “oh shit” moment. This was apparently even fancier than I realized, because the serving size was tiny. I ate it all, but I still didn’t think I had had enough carbs to cover my bolus. I ate some of my aunt’s risotto, and since I’ve never had risotto, I hoped it was carb packed.
We tried to go back to the condo, but realized we didn’t have the key, so we headed to a bar. Going to the grocery store to pick up the key from the moms would be way to logical. And a lot less fun. I sat there with my cousin drinking my margarita, and I started to feel off. A quick check of the Dex revealed that I was low, so I grabbed an airhead and started eating. My cousin started laughing, and asked if I had done this before. The answer is yes, however I did say that I try not to have blue or green ones in a bar, because clearly having a color changing tongue in a bar is crazy.
I awoke on Saturday morning with a beautiful view.
I grabbed my Dexcom before heading out onto the mountain and saw an hourglass. I thought it’s accuracy was declining, but I wanted to make it last through the weekend. Out on the mountain, I received a “sensor failed” notification. I restarted it (even though I didn’t have a meter with me), but within a half hour had gotten the message again. I was skiing blind.
My friend and I had decided we needed to get a full day’s worth of skiing in, hitting all of the trails we haven’t been able to do. We hit the steeps and the trees and met up with the rest of our family. I fueled up and bolused, even though I was nervous not knowing where I was sitting or what direction I was headed. I knew I’d find out at lunch.
We kept skiing and skiing and agreeing we were cold and were going to take a break. The fact that the only chairlift we could take to get back to the hotel was on windhold didn’t cross my mind. Lunch came and went without another BG number. I felt good though, so again I bolused blindly and kept on skiing. And skiing and skiing and skiing and skiing.
I started to feel low before picking up my cousin’s daughter at ski school, so I chomped down an Airhead. And then drinking at the bottom of the mountain. (No, I have not been back to the hotel for a BG check yet.)
After a drink, and getting a really sweet Bud Light promo shirt, we made it to the shuttle to get back to the hotel. I took out my meter and tested and I have no idea what it was. This is what I call a good moment. If the number had been memorable, I’m sure it would not have been in range. We relaxed, and napped, and showered and ate, and then downstairs.
My cousin wanted us to do shots that night, but I kept saying no. The bartender asked if we wanted to do the shotski and I couldn’t pass it up. Going to sleep after a night at the bar (not a crazy night, but still a night at the bar) makes me nervous without a Dex. When I woke up in the morning, I was in a great place to start the day.
We got out onto the mountain as quickly as possible on Sunday morning. We knew the wind had quit, the sun was shining and we had a shorter day. It was cold out, and I forgot my tummie tote, so I wrapped my pump in a fuzzy sock and put it in my jacket. I felt it buzzing in my pocket all of a sudden and checked to see what it was saying. The battery was dead. Funny, since I looked at it that morning and it was full.
I knew that it was going to be cold, and I knew that we would stop for a snacks at a lodge. I try not to indulge in snacks all the time, but planned it for Sunday. This means I had a smaller breakfast. Listening to my pump scream at me meant I couldn’t eat anything. I grabbed a coffee to get something in my body, but I was starving. I sat there surrounded by people eating everything I wanted. Tears were forming in the corners of my eyes. The thing that really pissed me off is that it kept buzzing and singing and wailing telling me it couldn’t deliver insulin because it was dead. WELL HOW COME YOU CAN SCREAM AT ME, BUT NOT DELIVER INSULIN?! This is a legitimate question and if anyone knows where I can find this information, please point me in that direction.
I did a few more of my favorite trails and then I went back to the hotel. I didn’t want to go any longer without insulin, and OMG FOOD! When I got back I put a new battery in, and I was good to go, and only 170. Diabetes technology only failed this weekend, and yet, I loved every minute of the weekend and wish it didn’t have to end as quickly as it did.
I’m a lucky one within the DOC. Why you ask? I got an advanced e-copy of Kerri’s book, Balancing Diabetes. I knew that it was coming, and I knew I’d love reading it, but I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I actually did. I have never once finished reading a book about/for/by (you get the idea) diabetes. I vowed to myself to finish it, but I didn’t expect that I would finish it within 24 hours. As I said on Goodreads: I LOVED reading it! Once I started, I just couldn’t put it down and finished it in one day. I was nodding my head in agreement to so many things that Kerri has experienced. I was crying on some pages and laughing on others. I felt as though I know every person she has included in this book. This is fabulous!
Ok. Honesty. I got the book because I’m in the book. But if you want to skip over all the parts I helped with, I would be glad. As I was talking to a friend about it and talking about how I feel about it and what I assisted with I sent her (a longer version of) this: I wish there was another perspective in there about dating. I have no idea what I’m doing. But I get drunk and nervous and text Kerri and she laughs so I’m in her book. I think what other people have to say about relationships is amazing. And you should read that.
The chapter on sibling relationships was the most eye opening for me. There never was another child in the house who had to adjust to the new me. There was never another child who’s life was completely impacted by diabetes. It was always just me. I have always been fascinated (& jealous) by sibling relationships, and this part of the book was a real eye opener for me.
The most important part of this book is not diabetes. It’s that Kerri has used her powerful voice, along with others, to show that life doesn’t stop. We might all be different. We might all have varying interests. No matter what, we all need to live. We all can.
*It took me forever to write this post because I couldn’t incorporate the text message without being embarrassed by it. I’m still embarrassed, but such is life.
This weekend I came to a realization. It’s a story I thought I should write, but fits better over at Stage of Life. I’ve somehow achieved a lifelong goal and I might need to stop describing myself as quiet. If you’re interested in reading more, you can check it out here.
I am lucky. My guess is that most of you reading this are lucky too. Living in Boston I am often focused on my current diabetes technology and what is coming next (Artificial Pancreas project anyone?). I usually forget about the majority of children living in the world with type 1 diabetes. When they are diagnosed with diabetes, it is often a death sentence because they don’t have access to insulin. Luckily, the Life for a Child organization is here, and doing something about it.
It’s the #SpareARose campaign. For the price of one rose ($5), you can provide insulin to one child for one month. A dozen roses gives a child life juice for a whole year. Any living rose you give in two weeks won’t last that long, so please consider giving life this season. The goal is to raise $10,000. With your help, we can do it.
If you have more questions, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) answers them here.
If you’re worried that the recipient of the would be roses would be upset with less roses, give them a Certificate of Awesome (no really). There are two different certificates to choose from.
I cannot comprehend what it must be like to live like this, not knowing if you’ll have insulin to survive. But let’s help. Donate. Share this post. Share the links. Hashtag the hell out of it and spread the word #SpareARose. Let’s get out and save some lives.
Other bloggers write way better than I do and here are some of their takes on this:
I KNOW there will be more, and if you find them before I do, please leave a comment with that post. Everyone has their own views and ways to inspire you to donate. Whichever one you think will get your peers to donate, please share!
Do you remember how I like to take Dexcom breaks? I think that when I don’t, I start to ignore alarms, especially high alarms. Not wicked high alarms, but anything between 200-230 easily gets ignored when I start becoming complacent. When I take a break, I test more and act more. It keeps me healthy and accountable. However, I do not like to ski without the data. I found recently that when I’d be high, I was high for hours, especially overnight.
The last time I was at Sunday River with my family, I woke in the morning with my Dexcom missing. My parents had moved it to the bathroom because it kept going off. I understand, however, how can it do it’s job if it’s not near me? This past weekend I told them to wake me up if it goes off and I don’t stop it. I was woken up a few times this weekend, and last night I set an alarm for the middle of the night. (How come my phone can wake me up, but not my Dexcom?!) I tested, bolused and woke up at a much more reasonable number than I have been.
I realized that my new goal needs to be to act immediately and try to shorten how long I am high. I know that acting upon a blood sugar does not always ensure this, but it definitely won’t happen if I don’t bolus. Tonight the Dexcom went off, I got up and tested, and bolused. Here is the result:
It may be a small victory, but it is still a victory. I hope that short highs become more common than the 10-12 hour highs that I was seeing even just yesterday.
The kids LOVE candy. I know all kids do, but GirlMagine takes it to a level I’ve never seen before. When a patient gave her dad a few boxes of chocolates, she was very excited. They finally had the chance to open the boxes (I told them Dad had to be the one to open them.) She was taking all the padding and the papers out of the box when she reached the paper with the nutrition facts. “Briley, do you want me to leave this in here so that you can give yourself the right amount of insulin if you decide to have a piece?” As my knees were melting, I told her that would be a wonderful idea, and thanked her for thinking of me. I still have not had any of the chocolate, but I smile every time the boxes come out.