I went to Seattle because I was already going to be closer than I usually am. I went because I missed my friend’s wedding because flights were just too expensive at the time. I went to Seattle because it had been six years since I had seen my friend.
I expected joy and overwhelming happiness. I didn’t expect diabetes frustrations (from both of us). I didn’t expect to feel the need to talk about all the frustrations from the past month. While holding her most adorable infant. I was amazed at how meeting her husband was like meeting someone I had known my entire life.
I loved being able to talk about camp. I loved being able to talk about her diagnosis. I loved being able to rage bolus knowing I’d be safe because she was in the next room. I loved how diabetes was not the reason for my visit, but it empowered our time together. I love how our friendship can withstand miles apart, years without seeing each other, different experiences, different life changes, and still pick up right where we left off. What I’m dealing with now is the realization is that she does in fact live thousands of miles away and I can’t just call her and say, “let’s grab lunch!”
So you’ll have to excuse me while I guesstimate how much insulin I’m going to need for this ice cream, while pretending she’s sitting here next to me…
It’s easy to “forget” about diabetes when you’re surrounded by loving family.
Maybe the margarita wasn’t the best choice when you’re fighting a high, but laughing always is.
We all know Mexican food & drinks aren’t pretty on the BGs, but have I mentioned I was having too much fun to really care about that?
Sitting for a few hours wasn’t the way to combat the continuous highs…
…but the view was totally worth it.
The excitement for this loving couple may have raised the BGs too.
The fun I had with my cousins made it completely worth it.
I probably should’ve had water here, but I think we know the story by now.
Maybe I can blame the adorable baby animals for my blood sugar holding steady above my high line?
A trip to the zoo and walking all day should have lowered my BGs.
But the excitement of seeing my favorite animal in the world worked against all the walking.
All of a sudden family vacation was over, but I had one last night of not caring what my Dexcom line looked like.
It wasn’t until I made it to see my friend that I realized how long my BGs had been too high and became frustrated by them. Luckily, she totally understood my frustration.
Oh this one. This one is hard. There was a guy. We met. We fell in love. He ghosted. Most of this process took months. Except for the ghosting. One afternoon we were having a typical conversation and the next thing I knew I never heard from him again.
People kept asking, “what was different?” The answer is nothing. Because it’s true. Except maybe it’s not to him. IF THIS IS WHY HE GHOSTED, GOOD. GOODBYE BOYFRIEND.
It was a long week at work and I was trying to keep the little one as busy as possible. Meaning I was super active. As I turned our kayak around to go back to the dock, I internally yelled, “SHIT!” It was the same day of the week as tennis and I knew I’d go low. And the next day I’d be low too. I didn’t think it would last into a third day. But it did. I was scared how fast I would drop and how far without any excessive actions. AKA, no rage boluses. I took pictures of my new Dexcom to teach my new boyfriend what I meant. He was familiar with some diabetes terms before he met me, but not a glucose monitor. I was so excited by it, but he was a little freaked out & nervous by it. Lack of understanding can do that to a person and I was trying not to be overwhelming with my information.
So when people asked, “what was different?” I couldn’t answer the question. How could I say diabetes. Diabetes was different. How can I say it when he’s the one I thought of when the therapist asked if I was alone. I thought, “not for much longer.” How can I say diabetes when I wake up in the middle of the night shoving smarties in my face and the deepest sleeper I’ve ever known wakes up and says, “what do you need?” How can I say diabetes when one of my mother’s first questions was “does he know about diabetes? Does he care?” The answers were yes and no. How can I say diabetes when I explain how low blood sugars deplete my brain function and one day I might be a bitch and he tells me he’s not concerned about how I’ll act, but he’ll definitely be concerned about the depleted brain function. How can I say diabetes and still be broken – hearted. Diabetes is the only thing that week that changed. Besides my heart.
I later learned that diabetes was not the cause of his ghosting, and I debated on whether to still publish this post. But because I went through the emotional turmoil of believing diabetes may have been to blame, I decided publishing was okay. I’m probably not the first to feel this and I probably won’t be the last. Friends told me diabetes was a crazy reason, and I wanted to believe them, but a thinking mind doesn’t always listen.
I was waiting for my train and dreaming of pancakes.
I was eager to get to my destination and needing insulin for my coffee and muffin. I should’ve eaten before I left the house, but I didn’t have any breakfast food in the apartment. I needed my insulin, but didn’t know when my train would start loading and didn’t feel like figuring out where the bathroom was with all of my stuff. I looked to both sides and the man on my left was in clothes with a layer of dirt radiating from them. I looked to my right and there was a woman in a perfectly planned Wimbledon outfit with accessories to match. I needed to figure out who would react less to my taking my insulin. I chose the right side.
As I took out the Humalog pen, I noticed the side eye I was being given. I was ready to say I was taking medicine for type 1 diabetes. I just hadn’t decided if I would say I’ve had it for 26 or 27 years yet since my anniversary was still two days away. I figured out how much I was going to eat, and guesstimated how much Humalog I would need for it. I primed my needle and got ready to take my shot. Wimbledon lady was big eyed by this point and staring at me. I hiked my shorts up just a bit to find the best part of my leg. She jumped up and to the other side of her bags. She stood there staring at me for quite a while. As I was done she walked away, but never too far away. After all, she needed to keep tabs on the suspicious lady taking a shot in the train station!
I sent this picture to a bunch of people because I found it absolutely hysterical. Some laughed along with me, some were confused and some were upset. I loved all of these reactions because they all come from the mind set that taking a shot of insulin is just like taking a sip of water.
I think this may be my last “I need to write about every appointment” blog post. The appointments will still happen, but as there are less new doctors, the appointments become more privately medical, discussing things I may not want to share here. This is not to say I will never write about an appointment ever again. If you ever have any questions about my mental health & diabetes journey, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can follow my mental health journey here and here.
It was one of those days where everything had been prepared the night before, but when you wake up 5 minutes before you’re supposed to leave, it’s hard to feel like you have a grip on your day. But I was excited and intrigued for this new diabetes therapist, so we kept the changed schedule and off I went to Joslin.
- Due to the recommendation based on his work with the college transition group, I assumed he would be young. He’s not.
- He asked why I was there. I didn’t know.
- We briefly talked about when I had seen the previous therapist and updates on her notes. He mentioned her name with respect, so I left it at, “we were not a good fit.”
- We talked about how I’m feeling with the Dexcom again.
- He told me stats on how many times people with diabetes think about diabetes per day. No wonder we all get burned out from time to time.
- We talked about what my burnout symptoms are. And am I completely out? (No.)
- He asked what I think the biggest upcoming challenge will be with diabetes. This was a question that I have never been asked before, but hopefully will lessen the burnout if I am pre-aware.
- We talked about how I am in the most at-risk group of people with diabetes because I am on this journey alone. I do all the care, all the thinking and everything by myself. It doesn’t feel like that to me because I have wonderful friends & family both with and without diabetes who are supportive. But this is a journey I mostly take by myself. (This is when I almost needed the tissue box.) I had never looked at it this way before, and it’s intimidating.
- We discussed how no matter what, diabetes is a roller coaster. But we want it to look like a kiddie ride rather than a Six Flags one and he giggled at me. And nodded in agreement.
All of a sudden an hour had gone by and it was time for me to leave. In a few days I’ll be scheduling more appointments with him, but we need to check a few other appointments first. I feel so much better than the first time I saw a diabetes therapist, but I’m not out of the woods. I’m so glad people reached out to me to say, “That therapist doesn’t seem like the right fit for you. Have you thought about trying to find another?” I probably wouldn’t feel as good, helped and supported as I do today without you.
It was a wonderful vacation with a lot of lovely sites and views and even better people. The last day of vacation was a half day and I was picking the family up from the airport.
I quickly looked through my mail and noticed this envelope that didn’t look like any others I typically get from Joslin. “Blah blah blah it’s been great working with you; Dr.A is leaving the practice blah blah blah.” I went from vacation mode to teary, sit on my bed and sob mode. I may have only known her for 5 months, but she brought me out of my worst diabetes year. I’m so sad that I’m going through this again.
I remember how scared I was to meet her. I remember ALL the tears I’ve shed with her. I remember her desire to help. I remember her praise for baby steps. I remember her team approach. I remember how she almost literally held my hand to introduce me to other people within Joslin who would & could & have helped me.
This time it felt personal. At that first appointment she told me she wasn’t planning on leaving for years and years. I remember thinking there was no way she could guarantee that, but I still loved that I found someone I could stay with. We were in the process of fighting (for the third time) for Dexcom approval. The office in Joslin (Neighborhood Diabetes) had contacted me to keep me updated, but I was also supposed to get letters from my insurance. Those letters never came. I frantically emailed Dr. A. “Where do we stand on the Dexcom approval?” It seems as though they were using every excuse not to approve this technology, so a new doctor felt like the perfect reason to deny it one more time. Imagine my surprise when she gave me my approval number and that it was shipping out on her last day. I was so relieved and giddy.
In case you are reading this:
- Thank you for bringing me out of burnout.
- Thank you for listening.
- Thank you for fighting for me.
- Thank you for believing in me.
- Just. Thank you.
One of my favorite parts of past Diabetes Blog Weeks has been sharing posts from others that I found powerful, heart-felt, and full of so many more emotions. Even though it’s not a topic this year, I decided to still make a link list because these posts deserve to be read. (They all deserve to be read, and commented on.) But if you’re reading my blog, these are the ones that stick out to me for my personal life. Enjoy!
I’m sorry it is now June, but I’ve been trying to read as many posts as possible before publishing. I know I’ve missed some, but please forgive me!
Luckily Diabulimia is not a complication I have had to deal with, but a resource like this is a great one to have out there.
We all come to this space because of diabetes, and I’m so glad she’s such an honest writer.
Words matter and how we speak could be creating a divide in our community without even realizing it.
Apparently Georgie and I feel the same way about the word diabetic. And compliance.
Leave it to Kerri to be the first one to make me cry. On the train. Without tissues.
I am also glad that this community writes, and that there are more than just fear-filled messages for us online.
I was at the bar with a few friends and a bunch of acquaintances. We were talking about favorite bars throughout the city and the beers they offer. A few are members of specific mug clubs where drinking all the beers the bar has must be done in a certain period of time (these happened to be 6 months to one year). I piped into the conversation at this point with the thought of “I could never do that.” One person said something along the lines of it being because of diabetes. My friend’s eyes widened with an “oh shit; what is she going to say” look. I quickly responded with, “I can drink as much as I want and I’ve definitely been too drunk before (at which point the friend with the wide eyes started laughing-he’s seen those nights), I just don’t like beer enough.” I don’t think he believed me, but with each misconception I correct, maybe someday he will have a lot more correct information about what life with diabetes is really like.
I was on a date. He was smooth and knew all the right things to say. My hands were on the table & he noticed my Fitbit and asked about the bracelet on the other hand. I had not mentally prepared to bring diabetes up just yet. But I also don’t want to actively hide it. I told him it was a medic alert bracelet for type 1 diabetes. He asked how long I had it, if it limited me in any way, and if going out for drinks was appropriate. The way in which he asked all these questions was with curiosity and not judgement. I happily answered, and also happily never saw him again.
As part of climbing out of burnout, there are days when I don’t want to talk about diabetes and separate days when it is all I can focus on. Not only is my diabetes a roller coaster, but so is the amount of attention I give it. I still find it amazing how my diabetes friends, who do not know the ins and outs of the rest of my life, know me. Know the perfect thing to say.
It is just a part of you. It is a part of you like your smile, or like your laugh. Simple. It’s there and it isn’t going away and it is endearing.