As many of you know, if you follow my blog with any remote consistency, I have some issues with my own consistency. It seems that my sickness has helped in that area. While I am not writing daily, yet, I am writing more often. Sadly, I’m not sure I’ve gotten any more “on topic.” Actually, I’m not sure it’s sad. I have come to appreciate my randomness and inability to stay on track as I write. My brain lacks the ability to regularly stay on track, so it only makes sense my writing would struggle with the same. The reason I can’t quite decide if this is a positive or negative is that I feel it keeps my writing honest and real. When I read I like to read as though I can connect with the characters, writing and events. In my personal opinion, I very much appreciate writing that makes me feel like I’m there, in the conversation, in the event. So why not write as though I’m having a conversation with you, the reader?
Now, moving on, since I don’t need to beat that idea to a pulp, I feel like I have neglected diabetes lately. Not in life, my pump is almost always connected and I still count carbs, set temp basals, check sugars and pay attention to almost every slight change in my body I feel. My doctors have, on more than one occasion, called my diabetes management compulsive. One thought it may be a problem and another thought it was a good thing. I like to go with the idea that it’s a healthy obsession. As a result, I tend not to refer to my habits of care as an obsession OR compulsive. But, I am willing to accept these accusations; they aren’t too far from the truth.
It’s funny, we, as a diabetic community focus greatly on the idea that we’re not sick, we just have a confused pancreas. And all I’ve seemed to focus on recently is how sick I am and feel. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve neglected to mention how diabetes is going and where it’s playing a part currently. The other day I posted about the TV show and diabetes. I suppose you could call that talking about diabetes. But it’s not really talking about MY diabetes.
So, what’s going on with diabetes lately? Well, I got my blood work done for my upcoming endocrinology appointment. It’s a new endo, since I’m in a new state. My appointment in California was a day after I left the state, so I cancelled the appointment. The earliest I could get an appointment here in Idaho was never. I have to go to Montana to see an endo, who wasn’t available until the end of July. My appointment is on Tuesday. There have been a few blessings from all this sickness I’ve experienced (I promise to touch on those later), one of which is that I was able to see my blood results early. They gave me a copy when I was in the ER this past weekend. I wish I could share better news about the results. And, I almost wish I didn’t get a copy. I like to know things, and I love having copies of the tests, but I also know how “obsessive” and “compulsive” I can be about my medical records/conditions. This is no different, actually more concerning than usual. My thyroid numbers are off, as are my cholesterol levels (I already take a medication for that religiously, I NEVER skip a dose), my sodium, my creatinine in my urine and my A1C is higher than it’s been in a year. It’s 7.4, last time is was 6.1 (in January). In January my CA endo wanted me to decrease basal rates and change my sugar ranges, since I was having so many lows and not recognizing them. Well, my A1C went up as desired, but much higher than I desire. I guess it’s understandable as I’ve moved states and been sick for the majority of the time since April. Last week I was thinking about it, I was sick over St. Patrick’s Day, got partially better, sick the first part of April and then chose not to see the doctor before Idaho because I felt it wasn’t necessary and I was just being obsessive, compulsive and maybe a bit of a hypochondriac. I spent a day and a half in Idaho and ended up in the hospital. Still not better a week and a half later I re-started my antibiotic dosage. Then still wasn’t feeling well the first part of June. Made it to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, also in Montana, by mid-June; a week later I was tonsil-less. Now I’m fighting an infection. So, all in all it seems a higher A1C makes a bit of sense. I’m not terribly disappointed. I mean, I am, I just pretty much understand the reasoning behind the less than desirable, but not quite terrible, results. What I am concerned about is my thyroid. It’s something my endo checks on a regular basis and they’ve always speculated a problem, but nothing has ever shown up in the blood tests. So, here it is, a thyroid test being off. I don’t suppose it’s unusual for T1s and probably should not be too concerned. I AM seeing my doctor and will be asking questions and I don’t doubt their ability to treat whatever is the “problem.”
My problem is really all these problems. I feel like I can’t get a break. And I feel like I spend a fortune not only on diabetes, but the complications of diabetes. Maybe they’re not even diabetes complications, they’re just other issues my body can’t seem to handle. I would like to choose to not feel defeated, honestly, I really want to feel like I’m better than this and am more than capable than overcoming anything my dumbass body throws my direction.
But, I’m not sure I can realistically. I am known as the “sick one” of my housemates/coworkers. They’re on their 5th hitch of the season and I’ve been on one and half of them. One and a half! Let me break that down for you, that’s three weeks of work to their almost 10!
The pharmacy in town now knows who I am, what medications I take and are certain I visit all too often. We discussed it the last two times I’ve come in, last Friday and this past Tuesday. They are the sweetest pharmacy I’ve ever dealt with and so helpful. I mailed them a thank you note on Monday. I don’t know what I would have done without them. When I first moved here I tried to do CVS’s mail order pharmacy and they constantly messed things up, were never helpful, the phone system was a bear and I could never get my meds on time. It was such a blessing to have this pharmacy, the only one in town and close to two hours from my house. Initially I would say they saw me as an outsider, because I was, the town has about 3,000 people and as the only pharmacy in town they know everyone on meds. Now that they know me, they’re wonderful. Wow-I sound like I’m in love with them! But, okay, for all of you diabetics (which are pretty much my only readers) how tough is it to deal with pharmacies?!?! How many problems do you face on a regular basis??? It’s totally justified to gush over a pharmacy that actually manages to be helpful and friendly.
Now that I’ve confessed my love of my pharmacy…I wish they didn’t know me quite so well and I didn’t give them such a majority of my paycheck. So, the other discussion coming up during my endo appointment will be cutting back on medications. I know Metformin isn’t an option to cut and my cholesterol numbers being what they are, that seems pretty unwise as well. I’m hoping I can get away from Ambien and maybe Cymbalta too. I take Cymbalta for my neuropathy problems. But the reading I’ve managed to do on thyroid issues seem to mention some nerve challenges, maybe if I have to take a medication for that my nerve pain issues will lessen or even go away. If I could get those two medications out I think I would be more willing to accept a thyroid medication. And one day, hopefully soon, I will be off steroids, antibiotics, anti-nausea and pain meds. That would only put me on prescriptions for: Metformin, Simvastatin, Novolog, OneTouch strips, pump crap, birth control and thyroid stuff. How great would that be? I don’t think I ever expected to be excited over the potential of SEVEN prescriptions (!!!!!), but I am. Very excited.
Perhaps my neglect of MY diabetes related posts is because I’m feeling so “sick.” Not resilient, not a rockstar, not AWEsome. I feel diseased, a loser…and a failed horse (see last post). But, it’s my honesty that I can usually respect about myself-my ability to be honest with myself, my friends, my coworkers, my superiors and even strangers. And I’ve so neglected that attribute. Yes, I’ve been honest about my humbug attitude. (Probably more than I really should) But I’ve not shared about my honest struggles with myself and my diabetes. I feel like I’ve complained, not necessarily been honest.
So, here’s my honesty. I’m tired of my diabetes. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of Cortisone sending my bloodsugars between 300 and 400. I’m tired of setting basals. I’m tired of my boss and her bosses feeling bad for me. I’m tired of my family feeling helpless. I’m tired of me feeling helpless. I’m tired of feeling defeated.
I don’t know if I quite blame diabetes for my health problems. They wouldn’t have pulled my tonsils out if I didn’t have diabetes and I probably wouldn’t have gotten an infection if diabetes wasn’t a part of my life. But, I wouldn’t have diabetes if my body wasn’t stupid. Can I just get a body transplant? Maybe it isn’t an inability to be honest, it’s that diabetes isn’t a main focus right now. I mean, it’s ALWAYS a focus and a huge part of my everyday life. But right now there are so many other things going on, diabetes is just not on my main platter. As a diabetic blogger and part of the DOC, I feel it’s a responsibility to be honest about diabetes and discuss its presence in my life. While it may not be the biggest challenge going on right now, it’s still there. Isn’t that the point though, for all of us, diabetes isn’t all of us, it’s only a part of all of us? Maybe that’s what this all is teaching me? Though, I don’t think I ever thought it was all of me. Maybe there’s not a point. I can be okay without a point, so long as it has an ending. I can respect a challenge. And I may be able to accept my body’s total hatred of me. But, sometimes I need a break, some relief, a leave of absence. I don’t need a break from life, just total and complete chaos…and this harsh beatdown.
To give an example of my sugars on Cortisone, yesterday’s sugars: 127, 70, 262, 341 and at the time of authorship….314. Between the 70 and the 262 my 20% increase on my basal ran out and I forgot. I’ve corrected the high and reset the basal increase, when I saw the 341 it made me nuts…and I went on a sugar raid. I ate candy and had a Splenda ice cream sandwich. I’m angry that I just can’t win. I don’t even like candy, I just wanted to take revenge on my sugars who don’t seem to care what I do to try to get them to behave. Today is another day though, right?
Isn’t it funny that I try to take revenge on my sugars, when it’s really only making things worse for myself? Everyone knows highs are unpleasant and candy will do nothing to help them go back to normal. I can understand why I overcorrect lows, despite how much I know that I’m not supposed to eat until I feel better, that makes at least a little bit of psychological sense. I do not understand why I choose to punish myself. Especially when the abundance of medications I’m currently taking makes pretty much every food I intake make me feel like crap. What the hell am I thinking? I’m thinking that if they won’t get better I may as well make the high justified. It’s a stupid thought, but that’s what goes through my pretty (debatable) little (also debatable) blonde head.
I’ve had about all the honesty I think I can handle for now. Plus, it’s turning into not only my body revolting, but my brain participating in this beatdown and that’s really just not needed. If I can’t treat myself nicely, I may as well think nicely of myself.
Also, I’m still thinking about heading home early. Not because I’m giving up. But I’m not feeling like I am contributing. I love living here, I would love to live in Montana, Utah or Idaho. But, I am not working, I am being sick. I did not come here to be sick, I came to work and take an adventure. My adventures thus far seem to include hospitals, doctor visits and begging people to come into town with me so I can take my narcotics and not have to worry about driving on a dirt road that last time I drove both ways I nearly fell asleep and drove off the long windy dirt road that follows a river. My thoughts have very much been on the idea of my purpose here. I mean, even with the TV show, I am certainly not depicting life with T1 in a way I’d like or even believe to be honest. T1’s aren’t always sick, I just seem to be right now. By this point in the summer I am supposed to have a month and a half of experience working with a piece of equipment and technology that could almost guarantee me a secure job. In reality, I’ve spent one day on the project. Not even one full day, a half day. I try not to be disgusted with this reality. I am trying to be patient with my recovery. But when I can’t even manage to be awake for more hours than I’m asleep in a day I fail to see an ending point to this recovery. Why not just be home, donate my time for this nonprofit that I work for on a pretty PT basis because of my body’s inability to cooperate, see my dog and see my friends? At first I thought of this as giving up. However, I no longer think of going home as a failure, it’s starting to just make sense. I’d love to be convinced that I’m wrong. So, if you see sense in me staying, I’d love your input.
On another note, I like to be positive. See the silver lining in the clouds, appreciate the beauty amidst the storm. I apologize for my negativity and downer attitude lately. I feel like I’m needy and un-fun, neither of which I like to identify myself. So, please accept my apology and gracious thanks for your help, encouragement and listening. I don’t know what I’d do without any and all of you.