this & that

It was time for my bi-monthly check-in with MMDA again and I put it off until the last day. Given what happened last time I called (see Maybe It Was Me post from April) I was not looking forward to it. I am happy to report though that the person I spoke to this time was very nice and very professional and offered no judgments about my diabetes care. Phew!

Now maybe I will actually answer the phone when they call in August instead of having to call them back before they discontinue my free supplies.

The exercising is going really well. We are going consistently and this morning I was given the last pieces of my Full Body Workout by the lovely trainer and now I will be spending close to 2.25 hours at the gym in the morning (warm-up, 45 minutes cardio, abs, strength (arms 3 days, legs 2 days), stretching then showering and getting ready for work - Whoo Hoo! Snark-asm aside, I feel good when I am actually working out and feel better about myself. It’s the only the beginning so I am not yet obsessed with seeing results, and I know that takes time. I am sleeping better (but that could be the Requip) but I am still very sleepy most of the day at work. Yesterday I actually fell asleep at my desk for about 10 minutes. Frustrating because I thought this whole exercise thing was supposed to make you less tired?!?

Now the diabetes care on the other hand is in maintenance mode. Not fabulous, not horrible. It feels like I can only concentrate on so many things at once and the whole exercise thing and 6 week summer class have taken up my allotment. The exercise should be a habit now & the summer class is over this Tuesday so after that it’s time to concentrate on those blood sugars.


Wedded Bliss

When people say to me “your husband…” or call me “Mrs. …” it is sometimes like “are they talking to me?” We’ve been married for 1 year today (yesterday 6/18/06) but it still makes me smile to hear my new name or to hear R referred to as my husband. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect. Truly. That was pre-pump so I didn’t even have that to worry about and my only wedding memory that has diabetes in it is when I was getting nervous before the ceremony and my mom suggested that I test; I did and it was around 250 but I didn’t want to drop low during the ceremony so I left it. I was especially worried about dropping low on the walk down the wooded path, and up the slight hill to the rock ledge that we would be standing on for the actual “I do’s.” We wrote our own vows so I definitely wanted to be able to read them; knowing that there was little chance I would actually remember the words I had so carefully chosen to say. There were so many other feelings that day that I was not even thinking about how I felt diabetes-wise.

To be honest, I am not sure that I even tested again that day. Thankfully I didn’t have any real problems that day. I am quite sure that my blood sugars were crazy. What with the nervousness, utter joy, excitement, awesome meal, dancing like a fool with my sisters, nieces and friends, and yes, of course the libations. I’m pretty sure that I remembered to take my Lantus at some point before going to sleep because I don’t remember feeling like crap the next day, but I really don’t remember. For that one day, I didn’t feel like a person with diabetes. I just felt like me. Melissa: girl about to become his wife and, it was wonderful.

I hope I can have other days like that; ones where diabetes just fades into the background, becoming practically invisible, but if not, at least I have the memory of that perfect day.

Happy Anniversary, R! You are my window….


She's Here!

Madelyn Madeline Grace Rivers
June 15, 2006
7 lbs 2 oz.
Welcome the the world, Baby Maddy! We are all so excited that you finally made your appearance. Just so you know, your mommy (my sister) and daddy are two of the most amazing people around and are going to be wonderful, wonderful parents to you. Your dad will probably be more of a pushover and your mom can be tough but she has the biggest heart so don't worry. The rest of you family is pretty fantastic too. Grandma and Grandpa L. will be there in the next couple of days to see you so I am sending tons of hugs & kisses with them. You are the first grandchild from their 3 daugthers so they are likely to be beside themselves with excitement.
I can't wait to meet you, Maddy!
Love your Aunt Melissa


What are you so afraid of?

Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.
Dr. David M. Burns

Fear (or the fear of failure.) Could that be a big part of why I am so resistant to really paying attention to diabetes? The concept that I am a bit of a perfectionist is foreign to me. If I were in fact a perfectionist than I would do better at so many of the things I am not that good at, is the reasoning in my jumbled head. To an objective person this may not make sense but in my mind it makes perfect sense. If I were such a perfectionist I would actually be trying to be perfect all the time, right? I wouldn’t let my diabetes management fall to the wayside. But then it clicks: if you don’t even try you can’t have failed. Ah HA!

But now that I have discovered a small to piece to the method of my madness, how do I figure out why I am so damn afraid of failing? I am no stranger to screwing things up royally, alienating my family, pissing people off, giving up, or failing in general, so why this? Why now?

Some of the images of ourselves or identities we labeled with from when we were children just seem to stick with us. I was the baby of the family, the spoiled one, generally agreeable, not much of an athlete, a dork at school, creative, polite and good at diabetes. I was eager to learn all I could to take care of myself, thought the shots were cool not gross, liked being different, loved all the diabetes camps & trips I got to go on and was a favorite among my health care team for being a fairly compliant patient despite my ‘brittle’ diabetes. I was on the front page of the newspaper and in a local commercial, all because of diabetes. There are many things I am not much good at but this; this was something I was good at.

Except that I wasn’t always and the older I got, the worse I was but ingrained in me was my identity as a good diabetic. And not it seems I am afraid of not being such a good diabetic after all. I am afraid of failing. Rightly so, I suppose, since the stakes are pretty high – retinopathy, neuropathy, kidney failure and many other big, scary words. I’ve got to deal with that fear.


The bottom line...pride?

Within the span of 15 minutes, I shamefully eat a candy bar (sans testing, sans bolusing), show the Professor ads on blood glucose machines for an assignment, (which leads to a mini-discussion on the advances in diabetes) and say “I wear an insulin pump.”

Notice that I did not say “I have diabetes” or “I am diabetic.” No ownership of this disease that, like or not, is mine. I will however talk about, educate about it or use it as my trump card when it is useful to me.

As soon as the conversation with the Professor ended I wondered whether or not anyone had seen what I ate and then heard what I had said. Paranoid, maybe?

It was this strange sort of awakening in how I deal with diabetes. The bottom line is that I don’t want it. Don’t want to share my body with it, don’t want the lows, the highs, the restrictions, the complication or the guilt it brings. I don’t want any of it…unless, of course, it will benefit me in some way. I have made no real commitment to this disease.

I look at myself and wonder how I can still have such a twisted, complicated relationship with diabetes after over20 years. Have I really learned so little along the way? Why can’t I "just put on my big girl panties and deal with it"? How do all you other PWD’s accept it? From my very limited viewpoint it seems like there are people who have done a much better job of the acceptance and commitment to taking the best care possible of themselves than me.

Yeah, sure, none of us asked for this. Not one of us honestly likes having diabetes, although some are much better at finding the silver lining than I. It seems to me though that in order to effectively manage diabetes and live with it you need to take some ownership of the disease. How do establish some sense of pride about something you loathe? I’m not thinking the kind of pride where you tell every single person you meet about the disease or have it painted on you forehead (although isn’t wearing a trusty medical id bracelet pretty close?) but more along the lines of enough pride that makes you (me) want to the best job possible in managing diabetes*.

I’m not sure where I got it from but I have a picture in my head of a grandpa type saying something along the lines of whatever you do, do it well and do it with pride. That is sentiment that for the most part I believe in. But how do I have pride in and do the best at something I simply don’t want?

*side note: as I was typing this, the spelling correction I was given for my spelling of managing that came up was: mismanaging – hmmm?


Catch Up

I feel like I haven’t written anything in a while. Diabetes sometimes just gets lost in the crazy web of life. Or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that when life gets busy I tend to ignore the ‘betes more. Life is happening, I am living it and I just don’t want to deal with diabetes. For more on that check out Scott’s post. Here’s what’s happening in my neck of the woods:

1. I have been busy with school. I am taking a 6 week summer class so it’s a ton of work but very interesting.
2. Yard work – not very exciting but the yard looks good thanks mostly to my husband.
3. Work has been busy which is uncharacteristic for my job. Lots of “not quite right” people stopping, calling and generally making shake my head in wonder.
4. My most recent obsession of making my blog’s appearance reflect who I am has taken up quite a bit of time. I like what you see here better than the green but I am not done.
5. Getting up at 5 a.m. four days this week to go the gym!!!! Yes, my sister (otherwise known as ‘Anonymous’ on this blog) and I have been getting up early, doing the elliptical, trying not to injure ourselves on the machines, then showering, dressing etc. and heading to work. We are quite pleased with ourselves and plan to continue our morning routine.

So, true to my crazy way of rationalizing things, I figured that since I was getting all this exercise so it was okay to not test that much and slack off even more than usual on the diabetes front. My blood sugar mid-morning today proved me wrong: 512! That is way high even for me. Surprisingly, I did not feel as awful as I would have that. That number is really not going to help to lower my A1c at all.

This weekend I am going to Toledo for the annual OWE Festival (historic house tours, art fair, junk food, neighborhood wide garage sales, people watching and porch sitting) so paying attention to diabetes will not be easy but I am going to give it the old college try!