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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Invisible in the wild

It was a hot cruising day and the pool-loungers were out in full swing. The smell of tanning oils, sunblock, chlorine, and sea water was thick in the humid air. We navigated the deck, passing by the slew of semi-naked people, most of them sunbathing, eyes closed with headphones on, or perhaps reading, or chatting enthusiastically. And then I saw it. A woman, probably in her 30s, with what can only be described as the elusive “perfect” body – tan but not too tan, six-pack intact, classy bikini, great haircut, laying on her back, eyes closed, enjoying. The cannula on her stomach, with a tiny hot pink thing (sorry, I don’t pump, so I don’t know if different cannulas from different companies have different colors and what exactly the hot pink thing on the site was, but it stood out to me) connected to the tubing which was tethered out of sight on the side of her. I am pretty sure no-one else noticed. Perhaps (probably) some of them did, but I doubt they thought much of it. What went through my mind was – shit – it’s hot – I hope her insulin is OK. I wonder if her pump is in a special case or has an icepack nearby. I wonder how this vacation is going for her diabetes. And also – I am not alone! On this cruise-ship – here’s another from my tribe.

I wish I could’ve talked to her. Well, I know I could have but I didn’t even know if she spoke English. And also I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable in any way. I saw her again in the restaurant a couple of days later. Husband and two energetic kiddos. Eating a bowl of yogurt. “How the hell did she carb count that one?” I thought to myself (the pink, I assume strawberry, yogurt was just served in a giant bowl so go figure how much sugar is in that one). And then the realization that now that she was fully clothed I would never had known about her diabetes. And no one around does either. It is (mostly) invisible. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Random list J

1.       I am back from Europe and it was pretty eventful. And full of freshly baked bread and hidden carbs and stubbornly high blood sugars. And alcohol. And hiking. And family time. And some stress nonetheless. On the way home our flight was delayed by 8 hours, causing us to miss a connection, and as a result spending 36 hours in various airports without even sleeping or brushing our teeth. The good news is we are getting financial compensation (happy dance!)

2.       The day before we left I noticed I had two very itchy bites – one on each of my legs – at least I assumed they were bites. Anyway, they itched very badly and I scratched them, and then within a day or two I had a secondary infection on my skin - a horrible itchy rash spreading with a vengeance - which is nothing that has happened to me ever before. At first I thought it might be poison ivy or something, but then quickly realized it was something else. So there I was – in Europe, high blood sugar, and a (really f’ing itchy) skin infection… In Greece I consulted with a pharmacist and we both agreed it was bacterial – so got a steroid/antibiotic cream. Which helped a bit (but I didn’t consider the double-whammy of rubbing that shit on my legs and then going out into the sun.) Can you say sunburn/ peeling/ super-irritated skin! And then the 36 hour airport adventure and all the Googling on skin conditions I did had me convinced that I might have anything from dermatitis to psoriasis to scabies. Yep, I am a hypochondriac.

3.       After coming home with my skin not looking any better, my BG in the 300s, and no sleep for almost two days, I may have had a slight mental breakdown. In fact, I cried about diabetes (something I have NEVER done before, but I guess needed to happen). I admitted (in a sobbing mess) to my husband that I was doing a shitty job controlling my diabetes, that my skin was probably still infected because I couldn’t get my BG down low enough for my immune system to help out, and that pretty much everything sucked and that I was a horrible person because of my shitty blood sugars. Yep. He responded so well. Hugs, and a “what can I do to help?” (side-note: I love him). Once I calmed down a bit, I asked for him to help hold me accountable. To help with carb counts. To ask me what my blood sugar is sometimes (not to like keep checks on me but just allowing him to be more involved, but not in a pedantic way if that makes any sense at all).

4.       After getting about 11 hours of sleep, re-hydrating, and getting the BG to come down a bit, I felt pretty silly about being a crying mess the day before. But something changed that day. I think when you come out and say to someone (besides yourself or the internet): “I am struggling and I need help”, you give yourself permission not to be perfect, and permission to love yourself when you are far from it. And even motivation to try harder. Anyway.

5.       The skin- about three days after getting back I went to one of those Minute Clinics and had my skin checked out. Of course by then, it was almost back to normal (the NP must’ve thought I was crazy). She said it wasn’t infected anymore and that I could switch from the Ab/Strd cream to OTC HCT 1%/. The rash is completely gone by now – apparently it was just some random infection that can happen whenever there is any break in the skin – cellulitis – and it was not serious and it happens to lots of people all the time. Of course, me being me, I spent a lot of time blaming my poor BG control for it. But maybe it was just a random rash and I shouldn’t have been so concerned.

6.       I went to the dentist last week! There is an exclamation point because: 1. I haven’t been in about 6 or 7 years :O and 2. This was the first appointment I scheduled for myself (my mom would schedule all of mine, even in my early 20s..)  And I was so happy that there were really no issues and that I got complimented on my oral hygiene. Also, I lied about my A1C, giving them the 6.8 (which it was about a year ago), instead of the last 8.6. I just didn’t want the f’ing lecture (dum dum dum complications gum disease uncontrolled blah blah blah) – can you blame me?

7.       I rescheduled my endo appointment to the end of October because I can’t face him right now nor can I face my A1C.

8.       I may have said this before but I feel very determined to get my A1C under 7 (like now). I know I can do it. It’s so weird – how time flies. B and I have started looking for jobs. There have been HR departments we are keeping in contact with and it seems like there are lots of exciting opportunities. Shit’s going down this year (or next), depending on when B finishes his Ph.D. and when/where we move. And then... Well – I mean – we are pushing 30 and probably going to want to start a family (what?) Re-reading some posts of Kerri and other ladies who have had pregnancies with T1D has been very motivational. Re-reading some of my old posts has brought laughter and a little bittersweet sadness. I’m not 17 anymore. Much closer to 30 now (how DID that happen!?)

Not much of a point to this post besides the update – we are working hard on careers as well as continuing with the training our dogs received while we were away. Celebrated 6 years of marriage last Sunday. And lots to do, lots to do, and hopefully a little fun to be had before the summer ends <3