Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Up is Down, Someone to Watch Over Me, and Strange Love

Lately, up has been down so much of the time, it’s hard for me to figure out where I am. I’ve had several very scary low bloodsugars that I can’t seem to find a reasonable explanation for.

I’m not being melodramatic. Really.

“You don’t love me.”

“Yes, I do love you very much. Do you need to test your bloodsugar?”

“No, I know you don’t love me.”

“You’re being irrational. Now test your bloodsugar, please. Please.”

“Turn off the light. I want to go to sleep. You don’t love me.”

“OK, if you test your bloodsugar, I’ll shut the light off and we can go to sleep.”

“Fine. I’ll test. But I know you don’t love me.”

And up is definitely down.

The world is swirly and strange and my eyes can’t really focus on much of anything. But I feel like my mind is with me and for some reason I’m convinced the love of my life doesn’t love me at all.

Dr. House is on TV and the storyline is very sad, even if it doesn’t make sense. I realize that I’ve got tears streaming down my cheeks. And that I’m choking up little sobs as I wordlessly poke my finger and let the blood pull into the meter.

22. That can’t be right. 22? I test again. 21.

And now the quiet little sobs are great, noisy heaving sobs and I’m screaming,“God damn it. I don’t want to do this anymore. I just don’t. I hate this disease. I hate it. I hate it and it’s just not fair.”

Our cat is yowling too – loud, desperate cries as she circles around me, looking up at me, rubbing against me. And her desperation just makes me more upset.

There is a glass of juice in my hand now. And a gentle hand on my back, and the most soothing voice I’ve ever known, speaking softly, “Drink the juice. I know it’s not fair. Drink the juice.”

My tears are drenching my face, the collar of my pajamas, my throat aches as I sip down the juice. My fists are clenched like vice grips –tight and white. “I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate this. I hate it.”

“What can I do for you?”

“Nothing, there is nothing you can do. I just want a normal body. Can you help me with that?”

“Please finish the juice, babe.”

I suck down the last of it. Trying to bring down back down and push up back up.

Dr. House is trying to avoid humanity – the plot makes a little sense – and it’s still very sad. The world is coming back into focus. The cat is calmer now, sitting anxiously between us now, but not crying anymore.

The last hour of my life seems like a dream – something I’ve lived but not in real life. Something tentative and strange.

The whole thing makes me so sad, because I know that for my partner – without whom my life would be nothing – has lived it in real live color, in a world where up is up and down is down and the person he loves is broken and flawed and sometimes so angry and sad.

I cry myself to sleep.

The next day, we talk about it, Bob and me. He tells me he wishes he had caught it sooner. I tell him I’m so sorry for what I’d said. He assures me he knows that I didn’t mean it, couldn’t mean it. I tell him I hope he really believes that. Deep down, I trust that he does. I realize, again, how lucky I am to have someone so strong, so kind, so right.

Up is almost always up when I’m with Bob. And down is almost always down. And when things are upside down, his is one of the few voices that anchor me here – that keep me from slipping back and away – that snap me out of the sometimes vicious dream-like states that out of range bloodsugars visit upon me.

Often when I think of Bob I think of Ella Fitzgerald’s voice singing “Someone who’ll watch over me.” Because I know he will.

Ours is not a classic love story – it’s got some dings. Maybe even a dent or two. But that’s OK, because we’re not exactly classic love story kind of people, are we? Besides, strange love is so much more interesting.

Much strange, slightly dented love to you on this Valentine’s Day, my dear Bob.


Kerri. said...

What a gorgeous post, Nicole. Thi must be the low that you texted me about, right? This was an epic one for sure.

I can identify with so much of this, from the confusion and sadness to seeing the result on the meter and becoming sadder still. It's not fair and it sucks but you still roll on with such grace - I really admire you for that.

And what a lovely picture - beautiful Nicole and Bob (who I had no idea what he looked like but he has the best face EVER!!).

Nicole P said...

Indeed, Kerri. This was the one. It was vicious. Really threw me hard. Threw us hard.

And, yes, Bob has the BEST face. Something both strong and boyish about it that makes me so sickeningly happy.

Julia said...

Great post, Nicole. Bob sounds like a wonderful person. I love the picture. It's very cute.

Carey said...

Wow. Fantastic post.

Paige said...

Thanks for sharing your valentine with us.

Sandra Miller said...

Maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but I cried through much of this one.

This was really beautiful.

And I love the photo, too.

Kassie said...

great post, Nicole, and happy valentine's day to you both.

Penny said...


You had me crying with this one. This disease is so unfair.

But, you are one lucky girl to have Bob in your life.
And, one smart girl to realize that all on your own.

Happy Valentine's Day, Nicole! (and Bob)

Shannon said...

You and Bob are the cutest damned couple.

I wish I could put an arm around you so you could rest your head on my shoulder while I test your bg's for you...or when you're low...or when you're just plain frustrated.

My biggest wish is for me to take some of the burden off of you and the others in the OC. But, Bob is there for you and that makes me happy for you.

Happy Valentine's Day :)

Bernard said...

Happy Valentines

And sorry you had such a lousy low. I just hate those lows where you're sure that you're not low and you're actually really low. They seem the worst.

I'm glad that you have someone like Bob to help you through. That's a real blessing.

Lyrehca said...

Oy, sorry you had such a crappy low, but it's great that you have Bob as your Valentine. Great photo.

Rachel said...

I've been Bob before. Not too different an incident, not too different of words. Sigh.

That picture is great, however!

Nicole P said...

Julia, Carey, Paige, and Kassie - Thank you. Probably seems like a strange Valentine, I know.

Sandra - I am sorry to have made you cry, but I hope the beauty made the tears worth the reading.

Penny - I'm damned lucky. If there's one thing - beside a cure, of course - that I wish for the little ones of the OC it's to find strong, lovely, supportive friends and partners as they get older that will help them with the burden of this disease.

Shannon - You've been a shoulder for me more than once - through your blog. You, and the others here really do help me to feel about as surrounded with love and support as I think a person can feel. Thank you ;)

Bernard - I know, they are the worst. That feeling of being so confident that you're "fine" and than not being fine really freaking sucks.

L - I wish this had been the only one. I HAVE to figure this out. Hope you and Mr. L and little L are all well.

Rachel - I only hope I'd be as strong for him as he is for me.

And to all who like the photo - it is perfectly representative of our goofy and odd selves and our goofy and odd relationship... It is a new favorite of mine.

cassandra said...

thanks for this post. it was so touching, and i can really identify with much of what you said.

i love the picture. what a great valentine's day post.


Nicole P said...

Thank you, Cassandra.

And, I meant to say something else last night - Cassandra's comment reminded me. It's so nice to be able to write something like this honestly - and actually have people say they can relate or identify with it.

Vivian said...

Nicole - Thank you for this post. I pray all the time for my kids future partners but I say extra prayers for my baby boy. It will be an awesome blessing if he can find someone who will be there for him like your Bob is for you. You often give me hope, thank you.
Oh and you guys are an awesome couple, strange love is often the best.

Nicole P said...

Thank you, Vivian, for reminding me that I CAN bring hope. Sometimes, I forget.

And also for saying nice things about Bob - who really is a prince among men.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

You are really lucky to have Bob. It is SO hard with our emotions going haywire. Our personalities change so much! Who ARE we? This really disturbs me!

Nicole P said...

I know what you mean, Chrissie. Who the hell was that? That was all I could think when we were talking this through the next day. The burden that Bob takes on as he loves me through times like these is gigantic. I wish I could be better, be fixed, be anything other than screaming and angry and all screwed up. I know, though, that this is what I've got - so I have to deal with those moments of "lost self" knowing that they're part of what makes me so much "me" - self-assured, confident, a little wacky, opinionated - when I'm not dealing with them... Does that make sense?

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Nicole, MY biggest problem is that I feel when I am in a hypo, my guard is down and the REAL me is visible. I cannot see it as a confused me, but rather the real me, naked and exposed.

Nicole P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole P said...

Chrissie - Ugh. With me, I'm just totally irrational - I'll insist that the sky is red and there's a cow in the yard and the cat is biting me. Of course, none of that's happening. I also get paranoid. I had a hypo once just after a job interview and was CONVINCED that I had said some completely inappropriate things in the interview, and that I'd gotten the job anyway and missed an orientation... Again - totally didn't happen.

I have a theory that the way we have our lows, the things we experience, and the way we feel during them reflect the way our brains/imaginations/insecurities work...

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Nicole - great post. I'm late to the party, but better late then never right?

I identify too with the way our brains just don't work right when our sugars are low. It's just the craziest damn thing.

Great pictures - you two are awesome!