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Friday, April 19, 2013

A Brief Reflection on the Last 5 Years

On April 18, 2008, I was hospitalized with (pretty intense) ketoacidosis, and an A1C of "over 18". That day I had my first insulin injection. I remember my mom telling me that she could literally see the color returning to my face a few hours after that...

On April 19, 2008, I stabbed myself in the leg with a 26-Gauge (hospital) syringe and I remember that it hurt like a motherfucker. Finding "an inch to pinch" on my 95-lb frame was a stretch and the log-like syringes did not help. But, nevertheless, I continued to administer my shots and didn't make any faces about it. My feelings towards insulin therapy changed dramatically and forever when I realized it would take away the horrible symptoms and make me feel like a normal person once again...

Later that afternoon I found out that I still wouldn't be released from the hospital, and I found myself in tears and bawling for help, as my cell phone was dead (no charger), and I couldn't get out of bed to make a phone call because of all the tubes attached to me. The feeling on extreme loneliness and abandonment (and perhaps a little grief) took over completely. A nice nurse let me use her cell-phone (a simple and kind gesture that saved the day). I talked to my mom and she came back and spent the evening (a brought a phone charger - thank God). I was so ready to get out of there...

On April 20th, 2008, I was released (not before a bunch of blood tests and EKGs and multiple promises on my part of following through with treatment). I filled my scripts, I bought a frozen dinner at Whole Foods, along with licorice and almonds, and got on the train to go home.

It being 4/20 and all, I got high (not letting Diabetes get in the way on anything, especially smoking pot ;).
Then it was time for dinner, and a butchered injection that left a weird lump on my belly for a few hours (bubbles, anyone?)

Fast-forwarding to today, I will just list some things that happened in the last 5 years of my life, living with type 1 diabetes:


1. 2008 - I achieve A1Cs of 6.2-6.9 for the whole year :) (Lows included and complimentary)
2. 2009 - I graduate from college with a B.S. in Biochemistry and get married 2 months later.
3. 2009 - A few weeks after getting married, we get on an airplane, and spend a year living in Spain.
4. 2010 - I get into and start grad school in the U.S. (Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program). [note: my A1C hits a high of 8.3 since start of treatment).
5. 2011 - I publish my first paper.
6. 2012 - I adopt 2 puppies and start thinking about crazy concepts, like smoking less pot, exercising more and having children (thanks puppies).
7. I start being more open about Diabetes, by finding the DOC, starting this blog, and coming out about my condition to numerous friends and acquaintances IRL.
8. 2013 - I finally bring down my A1C to 7.1 after 2 years between 7.7-8.3 (with few lows and not too many huge swings).
9. 2013 - I defend my research proposal, and complete comprehensive exams for my Ph.D.
10. 2013 -  I realize that having diabetes is a huge part of who I am, and I can only do my best to be as positive, diligent, and not self-reprimanding with failure. I also infer that I can apply diabetes-related strategies (especially all those mental tricks like a killer sense of humor [sometimes blacker than my coffee]) to the rest of my life and (hopefully) be better off.

Con mucho amor <3 Como siempre

~MM


4 comments:

  1. I think I'd call that a pretty nice success story!

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    1. Thanks Scott - hope youre doing well! I guess all of our lives are filled with some sucesses and some failures :)

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  2. I always get the weird lumps in my belly! and those lumps usually turn into really nasty bruises. I always assumed it was because of needles that were days old but sometimes it happens with a fresh one.

    i have an ugly looking belly but it beats an ugly attached pump.

    p.s. I'm trying to find your email!

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    Replies
    1. thanks! it's walkingthedragon88@gmail.com

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