Carte blanche.

When I hear folks refer to life as a roller coaster ride, I can’t agree more.

Don’t get me wrong, I love roller coasters. FREAKING LOVE roller coasters. (I actually haven’t been on one in quite a while, but I’m fairly certain that I still like them A LOT.)

The only roller coaster I’m not crazy about lately is the one that my blood sugars sometimes ride. I had one day last week where I would be high, and we’re talking like 250+ high, here, then 2-3 hours later would have a low somewhere between 65-75. This happened no less than three times. Just another reminder that no matter how much I may think I have “control” of this disease and my body, I am clearly not the one making the choices.

On the other side of what “low” means in my life, a dear friend of mine has been going through some really tough times. She’s about my age, and just found out that she has Type 1 diabetes. It’s very surreal to watch this from the other side, because I think this must be how my family felt when I was diagnosed. Helpless. She keeps reaching out to me for support, and I am incredibly happy to give it, but it just feels so strange to be the one doing most of the giving in the support department. A part of me is pretty sure that this may be one of the reasons why my body decided to do whatever it did that caused my diabetes: I’m supposed to help others.

I can’t help, however, feeling a little sad for her sake because I know what’s coming. I know the frustration that goes along with “making it work.” I know what it’s like to have people that you care deeply about walk out of your life because they “can’t date you and the diabetes.” (That one really hurt.) I know what it’s like to have to tell your whole life story to your employer/coworkers because you’re paranoid that no one will know what’s going on if you have an extreme high or low, and I definitely know what it’s like to field ridiculous questions and have others give you tips about how to manage a disease they don’t have themselves.

But I do know something else, as well, and I hope I can impart it in some way: I know the incredible joy that comes with just living. It’s so easy to take everything for granted, and I know I did once upon a time, so much so that you can lose that sense of joy or forget to appreciate the things you have. I have so many “giving up would be so much easier” moments, but I have twice as many “boy, am I glad it’s today” moments as well.

Sometimes, the promise of a new day is just what you need. A new beginning. A chance to make it better. To be a better you.

Carte blanche.

Nice work if you can get it.

I am so done with night shift.

I’ve been on full-time night shift for over a year and half at this point, and I’m just tired. I know, I know, I should be tired, I work at night. But it’s more than that; my body is just tired. I’ve been having these weird inexplicable high BGs lately, like those but-I-didn’t-eat-anything-so-why-am-I-high kind of BGs. I think it might also be in response to the flu shot I received on Saturday night, but I don’t usually have this much trouble. I honestly think that my body is trying to tell me something by giving my work schedule a big EFF YOU, GTFO. My disease’s attitude is seriously getting out of control — maybe it needs a time out. (Wouldn’t that be nice, though?! Just for one day…)

So, long story short, I’ve applied for an internal transfer to become a per diem version of my current position, which would allow me to pick my own schedule (excellent), work while going to school (also excellent), and finally go back to day work (MOST EXCELLENT). I hope the that this works out, because I’m just ready. My main worry is adjusting my basal rates again — Dr. Z has me on a flipped schedule, so my highest basal is during the wee hours of the morning when I eat my mid-shift meal, and the lowest basal is during mid-afternoon when I sleep. I’m not one of those pump users that just adjusts her own basal rates (yet), so I’m nervous about going through the readjustment period again.

I’m also very nervous about giving up my health insurance. Unfortunately, per diem staff do not get the option to elect for health insurance (I’m not too too upset about it because my work’s plan is really expensive for someone on my salary). Fortunately, I fall into that group of young people who are now covered on my parents’ insurance until age 26 regardless of circumstance. I’ll be covered until August of next year, and by then I will know which nursing school I’ll be attending and can decide what the game plan will be.

I’ll definitely miss that flex spending plan, too. Oh well.

But I need to do this. Just another one of these life situations where my mindset is don’t care, this is what I want, it’s going to work no matter what. I’m so past accepting no for an answer.

I have accepted, though, after duking it out with the insurance company for the first time last month (that’s another blog post entirely), that if I don’t grow a pair and speak up for what I need from work, insurance companies, life in general… I’m not going to get it. Case in point: my manager is so happy that I’ve found something that may work better than the current situation. I wish every PWD was as lucky as I am.

Oh nice work if you can get it.
And you can get it — if you try.

Be well. 🙂

On complications and being cured.

I just rolled in from a really great cast party with my friends from Carmen, the opera I wrapped tonight. (Little known fact about me: I sing opera for fun.) I can’t even tell you how much wine I had, just that it kept flowing as long as we were laughing and telling stories, and that was basically from about 11PM until 4:30AM-ish. I was in a huge rush to get out of the house earlier, having taken a nap and put myself very much behind schedule, and I forgot the little pink bag that holds my D-supplies. Duhhh, stupid. I was slightly on edge all night wondering what my sugar could be, as I should have been. Thank goodness I wear a pump, otherwise I don’t know what I would do. That little thing keeps me so consistent; I love it so so very much.

Long story short, I just tested my BG a few moments ago, and it was 135. Wow, I thought. That’s not bad at all. I didn’t feel the need to bolus all night. Am I cured? I had a relatively good endo visit the other day; found out my A1c is 6.3, and my kidneys, liver, and thyroid are all in really good shape. Dr. Z couldn’t stop saying how happy he was with my progress, and it made me feel good as well. I mean, we try so hard to live normal lives and, yeah, your A1c/BG readings are just numbers, but just hearing that everything else is working fine made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I know I’m doing a good job (although, granted, some days are better than others), but it sure is nice to hear someone else say it as well. I may have a bum pancreas, but it seems like everything else is in good working order, and hearing that is music to my ears.

I don’t look forward to having complications in the future, but I embrace the fact that they may become an eventuality. I’ve already had one scare this year with a spot on my retina, which turned out to be nothing anyhow (whew), and that was enough for me. But I see the issues that my mother is having, and I see the issues that her cousin is having, and I wonder, what will be my experience? Dr. Z has assured me that if I keep managing myself as well as I am right now, I will have few, if any, complications. But there is always that what if — what if something does go wrong? What if I develop thyroid disease? What if my kidneys fail? What if, what if, what if.

This brings to mind another possibility — what if a cure becomes available in the near future? Will that be something that I will be interested in? Will I be so used to this lifestyle that I won’t want to go back to “the way things were?” Will I even remember what that was like?

I don’t like to think of my life before D because it was a really difficult/challenging time for me. I was kind of lost, in every sense of the word. I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do with my life. At all. D came at just the right time, a time when I needed something to really live for. In a way, D saved me. It showed me how fragile life is, how easy it is to lose the things that you take for granted. But it also has taught me many things — how to be flexible, how to be understanding and, most of all, how to take care of myself. Because, let’s be honest, I’m the only “me” that I have. But the most important thing was that it showed me that the budding passion I had for nursing care wasn’t just a passing fancy. I finally understood that being a nurse what was what I was destined to do — because I needed to share my experience with others. My diagnosis was the push I needed to lead me down the road to my life’s work, and I honestly don’t know where I would be without D.

It’s so easy to think of a diabetes diagnosis as the end of the world — it certainly feels that way when you’re sitting in the ER and the nurse looks at you with sad eyes and you just know. I was the third one in my immediate family to go through that experience, and I never thought it could happen to me. But it did, and I’m grateful. So grateful. I do have days where I’d like to return to sender but, on the other hand, I also have days when I feel like Superwoman because I know that I’m strong, and that I can do this and, most importantly, that I am certainly not alone. I would be loathe to be cured of the one thing that has truly helped me find myself.

As I celebrate my 25th birthday and soon my 2nd diaversary, I find that I don’t really want to think about who I would be had things turned out differently. I just don’t. Maybe I’m in the minority when I say that I like my D life, but I don’t care. I wouldn’t have wanted things to turn out any other way. 🙂