Identity Crisis

It’s a little bit strange, but I think it’s really happening. I’m not sure I ever really thought I’d have an identity crisis. And especially not one about a disease! Not that I know what you’d usually struggle with when you’re having an identity crisis.

Even so, as a diabetic what do we always say:
– I HAVE diabetes, I’m not diabetes.
– Diabetes doesn’t control me.
– I’m more than just diabetes.
– Or any number of “diabetes isn’t all of me” sayings

Taking that to mind I’m a little disappointed in myself.

Am I a T1 Diabetic with Crohn’s Disease? Am I Crohn’s Disease-d with T1 Diabetes? Or am I Ashley with a seriously screwed up and confused immune system and thus have Crohn’s Disease and Type 1 Diabetes?

While the third option is a little bit longer, I think I prefer it.

But here’s the question, what’s to come of this blog?

So much of it is about me, as a diabetic. Granted I’m not always diabetes focused here. But it has always been, since dx 6 years ago (aka all my life as an ‘adult’), a huge part of who I am. My choices throughout the day are based on diabetes. Do I have my strips? Do I have enough insulin in my pump? Where are my sugars headed? Is this cookie a good idea right now? How many carbs is in this banana? How many carbs should I really have each meal? Do I have glucose tabs or a juice box with me just in case I drop?

While I may not say diabetes in my posts, I frequently discuss the goings on of my body. My issues are usually attributed to diabetes/screwy pancreas/overexcited immune system. (For the record, I can still blame all/most of my issues on my overexcited immune system)

Now, I have a whole new list of unconscious questions to learn and body parts to blame.

Where is the nearest bathroom? While this may be good for my sugars, what’s it going to do to my intestines? How much fiber is too much fiber? If I eat this it won’t mess up my stomach, but it’ll mess up my sugars which in turn messes up my stomach…so what should I eat? Can I take a nap? When and where can I take my much needed nap? Are the benefits of this medication going to outweigh their confliction with my diabetes issues? Did I remember to take my mid-morning dose of Pentasa? Did I take the Pentasa, Prednisone, Metformin, Welbutrin, Entocort, the right amount of Novolog, Symlin and Flagyl with breakfast? Did I take the right amount of Novolog, Symlin, Flagyl and Pentasa with lunch? Did I take my Novolog, Symlin and Flagyl with dinner? Have I taken my Nortriptyline, Pentasa and Metformin and are my sugars okay to go to sleep yet? I really want to go for a walk, but do I feel okay enough to go? When are my joints going to stop hurting so bad I feel 90? What can I wear that’s both comfortable for my irritable intestines and decent enough to be seen in public? And honestly, I’m sure I don’t really even know half the questions I’ll start to ask myself throughout any given day.

I was talking to Ashley over at Tales of SWAGing about identity crises in general. And even in between diabetics. If someone tried to tell me I was T2 NOT T1 it would personally offend me. When one of my former endos DID test to see if I was T1 I nearly had a cow. “How dare she try to tell me I’m not T1?!?!” In this case I’m not no longer a T1, but now I’m a Crohnie too.

The two are very different. T1 is constantly bugging at me. Crohn’s can vary in severity. Over the last few months my diabetes has gotten the cold shoulder and figuring out what in the world my intestines are doing has been the focus. I can’t really say it’s been neglected, but it certainly hasn’t been receiving the same attention it’s been accustomed. (Got my A1c back today, 7.5…not terrible, but would be nice to get better) Maybe one day Crohn’s will get the lesser attention and diabetes will steal the show again? I can’t really say. From what I can tell and from what my doctors have told me, it’s not very common to have both T1 AND Crohn’s. They are both autoimmune, but they just don’t occur together. In some ways I feel they conflict. The current low fiber, simple food diet is not much appreciated by diabetes. But the high fiber, sugar-pleasing diet is completely rejected by my intestines and is likely to cause a death-like feeling. With diabetes, I like to stay active (which is just really the way I am…not just because of diabetes) but Crohn’s has had me completely knocked out by 2pm every day and hardly moving from the couch. My joints are hurting so bad, they constantly crack and I have a limp in my gait because my hip hurts so badly. I can’t take any Advil or Aleve (because I guess you’re not supposed to with Crohn’s) but I can’t take any Tylenol products either because that’ll mess with my Dexcom. I could just stop using my Dexcom for a bit, but it’s been SO incredibly helpful since I’ve had it, especially with every thing going on as of late, I’m very reluctant to go without. So my only option is to go on in pain…joint pain, stomach pain, head pain and tooth pain. (Did I mention I am in dire need of a root canal and lack the $1200 to get one?) All in all, I suppose they don’t really conflict, but they’re certainly not friends. Perhaps in the near future my clingy co-hosts will no longer maintain their bickering relationship and all three of us will live in semi-harmony.

I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t entitle this blog something diabetes related, I’d have to create a whole new name and look! BUT, I guess a few changes need to be made around here anyway. The color is new! (Not 100% sure about it yet) and I added Crohn’s to a couple places on my “self-description” and “disclosure”.

When this all settled, and I figure out what to call myself, I know I’ll be the same me…only with a few extra titles added on.


About smashleeca

I am a lot of things...a Californian, a T1 diabetic, a Crohn's pt, a daughter, friend, former athlete, forever student, blogger, worker, and most of all life-embracer. That sounds corny...but I'll leave it. I'm just your average 24 y/o girl with a story to tell. View all posts by smashleeca

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