Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Pancreas Confession Session.

Forgive me, Father Diabetes, for I have sinned.

(When was my last confession?  Um...  did you not catch the bra pic in my last post?  I think that level of over-sharing qualifies...)

I tend to pay a lot more attention to you on workdays, than on weekends.  When I'm sitting at my desk, it's really easy to remember to test every hour - because Ping is sitting right there, staring at me.  Weekends are another story; I sleep late, I never eat at the same time, nor do I eat the same foods.

I have gone weeks - maybe months? - without changing the lancet.  Ew.

I do a lot of S.W.A.G. bolusing.  Not as much as I used to, though, but I still do plenty of it.  I used to even SWAG when it wasn't needed - like, the nutritional information was right there and all I had to do was a little math - I guess because I felt tired of it.  But, I'm getting better; a lot better.  I'm sticking to some of the same foods, so that helps me remember the carbs in them, and I try to look up a restaurant's website first to check for nutrition info before I go out.  And, I try to remember that, Duh!, I have that food list in the Ping remote, just waiting for me to use it.

I've used you as an excuse.  I'm not proud of that, but it's the truth.  That middle school gym class where we were supposed to run a mile, and I said I was low, so I could sit it out and drink some juice?  Yeah, I wasn't.  But I did. 

I do all kinds of things you aren't "supposed" to do...  like sometimes I fill a pump cartridge with the remaining Humalog in a back-up pen, then use an almost-gone Humalog bottle for the remainder, and to get the air bubbles out.  (You aren't "supposed" to mix bottles like that.)  Hey - insulin is expensive, and I use a lot of it.  If there's a little bit left, I'm not wasting it.

I have often done a finger stick without washing my hands, using an alcohol swab, or anything even remotely close. 

I can remember times when I was younger that I would "fudge" my numbers.  You know - you test at 250, but you don't want to cause your parents upset (or have to admit that you snuck some candy/cookies/other yummy thing earlier), so you put down that it was 150.  I sometimes would take the proper correction for the 250, but write down that I took it for 150.  (Sorry, Mom.)  I didn't do it often, that I recall, but I know I did it.

I was never good about remembering to take my Lantus shots exactly 24 hours apart.  Sometimes it was 23, sometimes it was 28...

I don't remember ever telling any of my college professors that I was diabetic.  In hindsight, this was a bad choice - I could have had so many allowances if I had pointed out my medical condition.  I could have had food in class without getting called out in front of everyone for it (because then they would have known ahead of time why I was eating), I could have rescheduled tests if my numbers were wacky, and maybe I would have done better overall, my first time around.  But, I didn't want to be singled out.  I didn't want special treatment.  I just wanted to be like everyone else, if only in that respect.

During that same time period, I was very forgetful about replacing food to treat lows in my backpack.  I'd often walk around with absolutely nothing on me to treat a low, nor would I wear a medical ID bracelet.

I still don't wear a medical ID bracelet.

I've willingly sat through a low so bad that I could barely walk to get something to treat myself.  It happened during one of my college classes (Are you sensing a theme here, with this time period?  I call them my Dark Ages), where the classroom was very small.  Maybe 15 - 20 people.  I remember finding the instructor pretty intimidating, and they were of the persuasion that absolutely no one should leave during class for any reason, because it was only an hour-long class.  I can remember feeling that panic, breaking out into a sweat, and I'm sure my face went completely white.  How did he not notice this?  (Oh yeah, the Dark Ages were also my Goth Period.  Heh.  Oh, Kim.)  Maybe I was already so pale to begin with that he didn't notice?  I sat there, going back and forth with myself: "Okay, only 20 minutes to go.  But seriously, I feel like I'm dying.  I can't even hold my pen to write because I'm shaking so hard.  But I don't want to get in trouble... but I don't want to pass out, either.  But I don't want to get called out...  that would be totally embarrassing...  Okay, now the room just got fuzzy...  Am I even talking in English anymore?  Can people hear what I'm thinking out loud?"  I don't know how, but I somehow stumbled out to the vending machine and got what I needed.  (Another scary thought:  what if I ended up not having any change on me?)

I've traveled to the other side of the world with absolutely no back-up insulin plan.  (Stupid!)  This was back when I was on the Deltec Cozmo, my first insulin pump, and under the care of Dr. B.  Having my fair share of naivety, it never occurred to me that I could have a pump malfunction while away.  Thankfully, nothing happened and the trip was great, but geez... what if?  So many things could have gone wrong there.  I had no long-lasting insulin with me.  Heck, I didn't even bring any SYRINGES.  (Again, stupid!) 

And lastly - there are some moments, small moments, where I'm actually a little bit glad you're in my life.  Though you bring a lot of the "bad" with you, you've also raised me to be a strong, resilient, and compassionate person.  You require patience and hard work, and those types of things translate to every part of my life.  Because of you, I've had some great experiences and met people I may never have otherwise had a reason to interact with.  But most of all, you've given me some purpose.  Lending support to the other people you torment, and working to get you eradicated are two of the things in life that I'm most passionate about, and so I am thankful for that direction. 

As penance, I will continue to stab myself in the finger repeatedly every day, wear my robot parts happily, and live a long, otherwise healthy life. 



  1. thumbs up. me likey. that is all. ~C

  2. Oh my gosh, I have done most of these at one time or another. College . . . oh college . . . I don't even want to THINK about the things I did (or didn't do - like testing my blood sugars, ever!!). And if we are really confessing here, I have to admit that I still hardly ever wash my hands before testing - unless they are dirty. However, I do change my lancet every single morning. So at least there is that!

    Thanks for sharing your sins. It was nice to know I'm not the only one!

  3. fantastic and humorous post Kim! I have to admit I never went through a D-dark age because I was diagnosed right after college. but "as penance I will continue to stab my finger repeatedly every day and proudly wear my robot parts..." CLASSIC!

  4. Y'all, I don't think I checked my blood sugar more often than once a month in college. I can't believe I survived.

    I remember going to a T1 support group meeting, and someone said something about pulling their test kit out of their purse, and my first thought was:

    "People carry their glucose testers with them?"

    For shame.

  5. I just started reading this blog and this post was both funny and very true! I'm in college right now, and test at least twice a day, which I now feel a little less guilty about!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Yeah, I've done a bunch of that stuff too. You know what, I bet we all have.

    Back when we had to drop the blood on the strip, wait, wipe it off, insert strip into the machine - after wiping the blood off, I'd scratch away at the color on the strip a little to make it lighter so the machine would read a lower number. All because the docs knew I was lying in my logbook and started downloading my meter. Take THAT technology!


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