Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays - One and All

Whether you feel like this:

Or like this:

Or like this:

I wish you all, out there in Blogland, USA and around the World, happy, healthy, magical Holidays!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Another post about hope...

I wonder what it was like to hope - and to actually get what you were hoping for, when you were wishing yourself from death by starvation to a semi-complicated existence... I wonder what it was like to be this boy - shown before insulin was used in humans and then after 3 months of treatment with this "miracle drug."

I wonder what it was like to be Banting and Best - realizing that they'd actually SAVED countless people from a torturous death. I can't imagine how thrilling and rewarding that must have been.

And I wonder if I am selfish or stupid to hope for a life less complicated when there are many people whose suffering is so much greater than my own. I wonder if these scientists will know that thrill that Banting and Best felt all those many years ago. I wonder if they'll someday realize that they have relieved the exhaustion, the frustration, the fear, and the physical toll that diabetes imparts on me and so many of my friends.

And I'm hoping - but only a little - and ever so cautiously. I'd like to say I'm trying not to think about it - but that would be a lie. I have clicked on that article link at least twenty five times in the past two days. I have googled the names of the scientists. I have searched for confirmation of their theory, for critiques of their work. I have searched for any information that might give me permission to hope - or permission to pass this off as just another false alarm.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dear 329

Dear 329,

When I told the doctor about you yesterday - he looked very concerned. His eyes cast down as he put the drops in to take a look at my eyes. I explained you'd been around a lot lately - along with some others of your kind.

Looking very surprised as he peered into my eyes with a very bright light - then took photos of the backs of my peepers, the doctor told me my eyes look excellent. Excellent - in spite of your presence in my life. He warned, though, that having you around - in partnership with a few 205s, some 29s, and a handful of 140s - is not good news for my overall health, let alone my diabetes health. He gave me this information as if it was something I'd never heard before - even though he and twenty other doctors have counseled me about the danger of having you here. They don't seem to understand that I'd like to banish you - but you're a stubborn sort - and you've got staying power. Staying power would be great if you were, say, a cute new hair color - but you're not.

Sometimes, I think you're not so bad. I know I'm in denial. I think I can change you - I think I can live with you - I think it's all my fault you're here. I guess that's true, on occasion, I've invited you over. But most of the time, you come sneaking in the back window and I don't even hear you. You scare the crap out of me - then, you make me angry and I throw insulin at you - lots and lots of insulin - often, way too much insulin. That's when your staying power kicks in. You stand up like a dragon, hissing fire while I toss unit after unit of bandaidy smelling water at you in what feels like a futile attempt to make you go away. Then - just when I get you kicked, you send in your old buddy 32 or 41 or 20 to remind me that you've still got some sort of sick power over me. And as I try to make your little friends leave, I know there's the promise of you rebounding back and biting me in the bum again.

I have to tell you, 329, I hate you. I wish you would just go away. But I know, in the end, you really can't, and you probably won't. So I'll live with you - and I'll live with having to deal with you. But I'm going to do my best to keep you a at a minimum - to exorcise you. I know you won't cooperate, but I thought it only fair to warn you.

Game on - f**cko.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Diabetes video ReMix

You go, Wilfred. Good god, this is funny.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's complicated.

I'm coming up on 25 years of having diabetes. I am still nearly free of "complications".

My eyes amaze the doctor I've seen for years, my kidney function is - in the words of at least two endocronolgists - better than normal, my feet and hands have full feeling and are free of burning and pain.

The only place diabetes has crept up and reared its ugly head in terms of complications is in my gums. Yup, you read that correctly, in my gums. I've battled periodontal disease since my early twenties - in spite of the fact that I've been flossing at least twice a day since my late teens. Numerous dentists and specialists have attributed the deterioration of my gum health to the diabetes. Yesterday, I got the news that in the coming year, I'll need over $3,000 (out of pocket, mind) in gum surgery. This news got me thinking.

Aren't we all, even those of us deemed "complication free" dealing with complications?

This disease is damned complicated.

It's complicated when my bloodsugar drops to twenty in the middle of the night and my boyfriend has to, as calmly as he can, deal with my ravings and fighting and get me to treat the reaction so he can avoid calling the ambulance.

It's complicated to explain the difference between type 1 and type 2 when someone says, "I can't believe you have diabetes, you're not really fat."

It's complicated to have to remember to check my bloodsugar as often as I'd like, and to have to deal with the guilt I feel when my humanity creeps in and I forget.

It's complicated to wonder how long I can hold off this disease's full-scale assault on my eyes, my limbs, my organs.

It's complicated to look everyday at the smaller assaults the disease issues on my body - my calloused fingers and the pump marks on my belly and hips and thighs - and sometimes wish that I could close my eyes and dream my whole life over again minus the diabetes.

It's complicated to realize that my cholestrol numbers need to be lower than the general public's numbers, that my weight needs to be kept in better check, that I've got to visit more doctors for EVERYTHING. It's complicated to know that some things are just more challenging for me because of my diabetes.

It's complicated to keep tabs on everything. To make sure I've got my pump on in the morning, to remember to replace that empty bottle of strips, to be sure, when I leave the house on a day trip, I've got plenty of extras, to eat when I should, to test before I get in my car and drive...

I've got complications related to diabetes.

Most of them aren't physical.

In the past several months, I've just been so down when it comes to my diabetes life. My numbers haven't been great - but they haven't been terrible either - they've just been so-so.

There is just too much to deal with sometimes - too many things to explain, too many arguments to have around my care and how it gets covered, too much to worry about. I don't really feel as up to the challenges as I have in the past. I know this will change, as it always seems to, but I'm angry at myself for letting it get to me.

Lately, my answer to many people's diabetes questions has simply been "It's complicated." Nothing more. I'm ashamed of that. Because I know it IS so much more than complicated. And I know that there are others out there who are dealing with it - AND spending time educating others and all I can manage is "it's complicated."

I hate feeling this challenged - this weak - in the face of something I've mostly dominated during my time with it. Where have I gone? Where am *I*? Because, surely, this whining, sniveling, simple wreck of a thing that inhabits my body isn't ME.