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Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Not Sinuses, It's Diabetes

Yesterday, my friend April posted an entry about her latest endo visit.  Since she and I live in the same region, we go to the same endo.  And I always like comparing who waited the longest!  The office is so overloaded with patients that it's not uncommon to wait 2 hours after your scheduled appointment time. 

Anyways, I made a comment on her post about how sometimes I feel that the endo visit is just a 3-month A1c check where I have to go to an offical doctor's office.  Diabetes is such a personal, daily disease that we can come to not trust our doctors' opinions because we wonder, "How can someone who I only see once a quarter know what's best for me and my diabetes that I deal with everyday?"  I've certainly felt that way in the last few months because I feel like I'm taking my diabetes into my own hands, trying to understand it more, and (for brief periods) making it do what I say. 

And daily life with diabetes can seem so monotonous, boring, just same-ole same-ole.  It's like dealing with sinuses, especially in Alabama, because no matter what time of the year you're here you are going to have an allergic reaction to something.  In the fall it's peanuts, in the spring it's pollen.  We never get a true winter here, and summer and spring are usually the same--HAWT!!!  So, everyday here is another day dealing with sinuses of some kind. 

And for me, everyday is another day dealing with diabetes. 
  • I get up every morning and the first thing I do is check my blood sugar, and it's the last thing I do before I go to bed.  
  • Taking insulin is something I can do without looking, and apparently try to do in my sleep!  
  • I keep stashes of juice boxes in my desk, making this 25-year-old feel much more like a 5-year-old.  
  • I have two rolls of glucose tabs in my Myabetic wallet, along with 3 syringes, 2 batteries, and an extra lancet (I could parody a Christmas song from that one line). 
  • As I'm preparing my lunch for the day, I'm keeping tabs in my head of how many carbs I just packed, so I know what to bolus later.  
  • I keep apple juice in the fridge because it's easiest to chug for those paralyzing lows
  • I have an extra meter and a jar of glucose tabs on my bedside table because I'm too lazy to get up and walk to the kitchen in the middle of the night.  
  • An entire shelf is dedicated to pump and CGM supplies in my bathroom linen closet.  
  • My stomach is riddled with previous pump site markings and sticky residue, along with my current site and CGM sensor.  
  • And my calloused fingertips show countless blood sugar tests. 
All of these evidenes of diabetes in my life seems to fade in the background after awhile.  It's like hearing a really loud noise for a long period of time.  Eventually, you learn to tune it out and, if you listen long enough, you don't hear it anymore.

But then we have these 3-month check-ups that show how well we're tuning out diabetes.  Every 3 months is like a wake-up call that this is a real disease that people get complications from, and die from.  People spend millions of dollars in research trying to find a cure, I doubt they're doing the same for sinuses.  It affects our health--physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Our everyday lives become an everyday treatment.  It's so serious and monotonous, it's seriously monotonous! 

We have a good friend who is expecting her first child in August (yay!) and she has gestational diabetes (boo!).  She recently sent a message to Trey telling him how much she admired me for dealing with this disease everyday and how tiresome it is to think about all these things like blood sugar, food, and exercise all the time.  It's weird to hear someone say they admire me for simply being me, and doing what I do everyday. 

But then again, I think the same about people like my nephew who has cerebral palsey.  I admire that kid so much!  He has such a zest for life and a pure heart.  You can't lie to him because he has this sixth sense about reading people's emotions.  And when you ask him what he has, he joyfully says, "I have cerebral palsey!" like it's his badge of honor that makes him special. 

I don't know if having diabetes is a badge of honor or a sign of being special.  I just know that God thinks I'm strong enough to handle it, and that's kind of cool to think about sometimes.  That He knew I could handle a disease that required constant attention.  It's a daily occurrence, like sinuses. 

4 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. A few months ago I started to wonder why on earth we even had to see an endo anyway. They don't KNOW us like WE know us. "Just gimmie the A1c and lemmie go home" used to be my thoughts on the matter. But when I went this past time, Dr. C caught something I hadn't, and lo and behold, it was true. I needed to make a couple of changes that I hadn't seen... and they WORKED! So, yes, it may seem irritating and out-of-the-way sometimes to go see the endo, but sometimes, it may be a suprisingly helpful visit.

    BTW, the Christmas parody thing made me laugh. I did my own last year for Christmas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4NOPGtLVBc

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  2. I have had those exact same thoughts. I told a friend the other day that if I had to have a chronic medical condition I was grateful that (1) the one I had was suited towards my analytic, numbers-obsessed personality, (2) it's generally not physically painful, and (3) it didn't impair my breathing. The one thing I remember vividly from DKA was feeling like I couldn't breath. That was horrible.

    I had my "report card day" last week. My endo and her Physician's Assistant switch off who sees me and I have to say, I find the PA MUCH more in tune with practical day to day management issues than the doctor. I don't know why either!

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  3. Great post Holly, you are so good at writing exactly how I feel sometimes! I'm so glad I have another D-sista so close!

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  4. Wow Holly, your last paragraph made me tear up. On those days when diabetes seems to be kicking my tush, it's hard to remember that God only gives us what we can handle.

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.