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Friday, February 7, 2014

what might have been...what might (still) be...

Being human (and diabetic), I tend to often question "what might have been". Sometimes I question what I would have become if I didn't get type 1 diabetes at the age of 18. What would have been if I got it as a child? What would have been if I didn't start treating it when I did? Would my blood sugar have hit 300 and stayed there for hours this morning if I wasn't drinking beers last night, then overcompensating for a BG of 74 with juice and caramel-chocolate candies before bed?

These days, instead of asking those questions, I tend to ask myself  "what will become of me if I..." Of course, most of these questions/fears concern my future as a PWD. I am only 25. I have had this disease for about 7 (almost 8) years, of which the first year I refused to treat. Did I fuck up my life by doing that? Or is it more like: I have only had this disease for 7 years, and although my A1C isn't great, I am working hard, and I know that I can improve it. But what about NOW? Will I be saying this in 10 years "My A1C isn't great but I'm working on it." Is it/will it be enough? Enough to shelter me from complications, or at least from the fear of utterly hating myself if I get complications from diabetes.

These things are always in the back of my mind, but when I'm talking to others (like my mother, husband, or friends), I'm all positive, like: "The treatment options are so great today, my CGM is so helpful, I am lucky to be able to have the items I need to live (AND LIVE WELL) with this condition..." Inside, it's a constant psychological balance of "what if, what then?" and an even more presise physiological balance of "how much and when?". And more importantly, when will it "all work out", while you slowly come to realize that the answer to that is "NEVER", although there are those fleeting moments of beautiful numbers (and the feelings that accompany them) that seemingly were achieved with no hard work at all and with grace at that. And then, there are moments when I don't question anything, I take my insulin, I eat my lunch, and I don't wonder at all, because I don't really care. Because whether my BG is 250 or 85 I will have to go to work, write my dissertation, take care of my pets, my students, dinner, and my sanity. Sometimes, there are more important things that blood sugar values and IOB calculations. Sometimes, I'm going to hike/drink alcohol/dance/have sex/whatever no matter what my BG is because I WANT TO FEEL HUMAN... (unless it's under 60 and then I realize that I live with what appears to be an angry demon and not a friendly dragon at all).

This may seem to be a non-sequitor, but I have a little "PWD in the wild" side-story to tell. Sort of. A few months back at my endo's appointment, as I was sitting in the waiting room, a young woman walked in (probably my age, no older than 30). She smiled briefly, and I smiled back, as we politely and quietly aknowledged each other's presence. I could tell that I knew her from somewhere and just couldn't place her - living in a small ass town tends to have that effect - you constantly meet people you know or sort of know in random places. It finally came to me that she was a full-time employee at the grocery store I frequent. And then I noticed that she was about 5 months pregnant. Assuming she had T1D, my mind wandered to whether or not her employer was accomodating about her checking her blood sugar, etc. as I have seen her so many times, standing behind the register (presumably for hours at a time). Ironically, I saw her again several times in the last two months, and I noticed that she was no longer working the registers, but instead seemed to be doing other stuff in the back, and I wondered if that was a direct result of her pregnancy with T1D. I thought a few times about approaching her, saying something like: "I know this is going to sound strange, but I saw you at the endo's office, and I guess we have something in common, so I wanted to say hi." Probably that would be OK, but you never know how people will react to stuff like that so I didn't make the gesture. Not yet anyway. I saw her again at the store the other day, this time looking a lot huger and puffier, and I said somewhat of a silent prayer (which isn't something I normally do) on behalf of this stranger and her unborn child, who doesn't seem like a stranger at all to me for some reason. And then I said another one, for myself, for my future, for the possibility of children, for my family, and for the ability to not just find calmness in the serenity prayer, but to apply it to my life.

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