Diabetes Blog Week 2013: Day three
i forgot to check my blood sugar for a while, back in 2010.
maybe it was burnout, maybe it was laziness. frustration. acting out. rebellion. maybe it was one of those twisted unconscious attempts to avoid the feeling of failure by semi-purposefully not putting forth effort.
regardless of the why behind the what, it happened. it happened for a few months. maybe more. i was checking my sugar maybe once a day. that period of time is foggy. drone-like. it was like bathing in self-hatred, in this vicious cycle of guilt and anger.
i was eating, feeling bad about eating the crap food i was eating while i was eating it, but also mad about not not being able to eat what i wanted to eat without feeling guilty, forgetting to take insulin, not wanting to check because i forgot to take insulin. then taking insulin when i could FEEL the high symptoms. still not checking because why should i have to, i didn’t ask for diabetes. then feeling guilty for taking insulin without checking and guilty for not checking. when i finally would check, i would feel guilty and angry at my life circumstances, and cope by eating more.
it was a mode. making decisions to deviate from the already in motion pattern wasn’t just daunting, but i can’t even remember it crossing my mind as a possibility. it was like being 160lbs and imagining your body at 115. the in-between is almost unfathomable. i could see both sides, ideal and very NOT ideal. but the path, the time of change that can be described as doing not terrible, but not super fantastic amazing 5.9a1c, didn’t exist in my mind. and i don’t mean it was invisible, because it literally didn’t exist. i couldn’t envision that process. only the extremes.
but here i am, in the middle. not super amazing fantastic, but certainly not anywhere near terrible. i am in the process of changing habits and i remember the day i began to understand that middle is good.
that was my best diabetes day, yet. this is the story:
it was my first semester at Cal, finals were approaching. i was nearing my usual “why did i wait until now to start this” kind of melt down, when a new project exploded in my mind.
what if i focused on my diabetes for the next two days, like i do on studying? that is 8 hours. straight.
diabetes for 8 hours? how would i fill the time? long mental stream of consciousness later, i decided that the best way to deal with the stress of finals was to focus on something else.
this choice didn’t come from a place of wanting my body to be healthy or in shape, or anything diabetes related. i picked it because it was something i had control over that i had already read the instruction manual to. i already knew the rules of the game. i didn’t have to take half of my first day learning how to do the project i needed to do to keep myself distracted.
i hadn’t seen diabetes as a positive distraction until this day. but, boy did i ever see it on this day.
so, i followed the diabetes rules. i drank a carrot juice for breakfast after i checked my sugar. i took insulin for the juice ten minutes before i drank it. i checked forty minutes after finishing the juice. i just took care of my body and nothing else for two days. i even took a short run. my sugars didn’t rise above 200.
after the second day of self-care i was back to thinking about my studies. only this time, the plan of attack was much more clear. i had a vision of how to approach an essay with a new, more elaborate and convincing argument. i wrote and wrote and what’s more… i felt like i understood what i was writing. it wasn’t just bs. it was real intelligence, i was drawing connections i had never seen before. i was saying something new and interesting. and i didn’t feel a need to pause to check facebook or read a few diabetes blogs. my attention span was like a glorious and continuous yellow beam of light. i had such capacity. such depth.
it was like magic. like that movie with bradley cooper about the pill that connects neurons to neuors so that the brain can live up to its potential. limitless. the movie was called limitless. and the day following my self-care binge, i felt that. limitless.
it was the best day with diabetes i have had so far.
i live in a happy middle, acknowledging that there is always room for improvement, but that steady improvement lets me experience levels i never thought possible. the in-between. it is an exploration that is letting me dig and dig and dig, hunting for crystals in the dense rock formations that make up my person and tendencies.
move onward, my friend, onward.
this post was in response to this prompt:
Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)