Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I really hate it when the diabetes police show up...

So I'm out somewhere and someone who knows I have type 1 takes it upon themselves to be the diabetes police.
love it.
Today at work, this gal brought some treat bars for the presentation we were giving. I work with refugees part of my week, so it really was a treat for them.
So she opens the container up and basically waves it in my face saying, "I made these for the folks today and they're just so decadent, I know you can't have them."
Not like I asked for one.
So I just look at her and say, "I have type 1. I can technically eat anything but I choose to eat as healthy as I can, as most people should."
"But wouldn't this just like, make your sugar go crazy?"
"Yes, treats should be eaten in moderation---as it should be for everyone. I don't make insulin. If I ate salad for the rest of my life I'd still die if I didn't get insulin."
"Well, I don't know if there'll be enough...."
[Me, thinking: what.the.eff.]
Silence

I'm learning not to become uncomfortable with people's silences in general after they do something like that to me. And not just with diabetes. With how some people treat people in general: as a know-it-all. The more you explain yourself, the more you fight back, the worse they get.
And I've learned not to usually engage in such "diabetes-policing" conversations. You just have to let it go. If they're like that to you, they're probably like that about everything with everybody. You are just an easy-target because what you deal with everyday is so....mundane: food. It's like they're thinking, "what a great opportunity for me to illustrate my deep understanding of this grave matter."
Ya, right.
The best part though, I must say (and I don't usually celebrate people's downfalls) was when she handed them out to the refugees. These people come from all over the world, mind you. What they consider a "good dessert" is often very different from what Americans do. Our palates are trained to crave way-too-sweet things. I'm honestly at the point now that I don't even like things too sweet because I've re-trained my palate to a healthier state in that regard.
So she hands them out and everybody said,
"Ugh. Too sweet!"

I actually felt bad because I could tell she was really excited, and it really is awesome and kind of her to make food for these very poor people. But I had to laugh nonetheless...


Sunday, April 11, 2010

blessed by good health~

I was thinking today how blessed I am by good health.
You read that right.
No really, I know I've not had this beast for more than 2 years now so I'm sure I have an "easier" time while my residual beta cells party on for me, but my health so far has been a blessing. My diagnosis, while traumatic (like everyone's) was not like others': ending up in the ICU after puking all the food they ever ate out. Ok, you coulda done without that mental picture, I know. But some people really do end up so sick they have to stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks, some even go into a temporary coma, their brains so high on glucose. literally.
But me, well, I got terribly sick, but I also got to go home the next day. I view being 27 at the time as also being a blessing, that I could absorb and process what was being told to me not about me. I also have a health background, so there were very few times I was like, "layman's terms, please!!" Which is really not a good thing. All doctors should have enough respect for their patients to know to speak gently and with dignity at their patient's level of understanding.
I'm not exactly sure what this post is about. I sure hope I don't sound like I'm bragging. I guess I'm just trying to count my blessings. I didn't die. I adjusted to the diagnosis well; who knows why. I think I've just had my share of enough personal losses (that wasn't cynical, I promise) and am very good at adapting. But I also think it's a pride thing: this thing is not gonna kill me. Not today. Sure, when I get old, maybe some things'll happen. Maybe diabetes will be the thing that eventually catches up to me. But it can do that when I'm 80 or 90.
Right now I'm excited at how healthy I am. No, I really mean that. Sure, I've learned way more about food than I think is humanly necessary or normal, but it's also what saved me. Every day. We think about food way too much. But we are also these amazing encylopedias on fat, fiber, sugar, stress, socializing, exercise...you name it, a type 1's got the answer (or an idea of one, at least, haha!) We are certainly an opinionated group of folks. With reason!
I'm happy to be where I am today. I sometimes can't believe I'm saying that. But this disease has taught me so much about myself. It has taught me so much about life. About empathy. About listening. It has blessed me with a second chance at seeing life from a completely new angle---one we'd have lost the day the symptoms set in prior to 1921. I'm truly blessed by good health.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

oh, what a vacation can do~

So I didn't post about how my trip actually went. I won't go into the gory details (haha) but let's just say it rocked.
The entire time we were there, I struggled very little to keep my BG in check. AMAZING. There I was, all worried about the slight time change, and then suddenly it hit me that I just need a permanent vacation, haha.
*Ok, wait. There was one night where I stupidly crawled into the tent without juice but after having a snack because I was at about 80 with some insulin still left on board....DUMB. Let me tell you. Woke up in a cold sweat, shaking. But then, I went outside to get that damn juice box I forgot and guess what? Stars. I got a personal viewing of the night sky in a way I hadn't seen in years from living in the city. Maybe my low was meant to be. Or maybe I'm just delirious. :)
No really, it's amazing what a little camping does. I knew it would do that, deep down. It's like a mini D-cure whenever I camp. I did have to keep up with the snacking on some of the hikes (then it hit me that I hadn't been turning my basals down by 50% like I always do for intense exercise....duh.) Chalked it up to not paying attention and having such a blast hiking with my old buddy Martin (rock awesome human being!) and the in-laws, and of course, meeting Matthew's supersweet Grandma. I love grandmothers. But I like people at any age, especially the ages most people hate: toddlers, teenageers, and the elderly.
Matthew's been gently (ok, kicking my ass) lately about reducing my stress levels. He knows I'm freaking out about getting this whole pump-crazy-on-the-female-cycle-let's-not-even-mention-food-and-pregnancy- thing. I've also been dealing with some personal family stress the last year that's not been pleasant. But he's right. All a person can do is calm down and work on what you can and hope for the best in the journey. I'm giving it my all. I'm doing good work in my life: assisting military folks, refugees, and of course, providing massage therapy (i love helping folks, can you tell?) Sometimes, it really is just about letting go of all that bad stuff: the worry, the doubt, the what-ifs, the momentary failures...and just begin again.
So today I offered myself that. After doing my daily yoga routine (really great for your back and hips, I tell you) I went about my normal work of helping the refugees out and some health-intakes for military members in distress. Sometimes, I think part of my elevated BGs are a result of the work I do: helping so many people with very serious, immediate problems. I internalize too much. This is why I think I'd be a horrible social worker. Sigh. Anyway, my point is: in my mind, I was still mulling over all of this carefully-planning-a-family-stuff. I was still harboring worry. But I just tried to breathe and relax and enjoy this little life of mine....and realize that sometimes it's time to shut the hell up! You know? I just went about my normal routine and really worked at letting myself move through it all. That doesn't mean I detached myself, I just really let myself move through my day like light passes through a window.
And my blood sugar was awesome! Of course, it helps when I stay with my healthy-eating patterns, but it's very nice either way, right? To be reminded that yes, each day is a new day; no, I'm not dying of diabetic complications, and most importantly: this is my life and dammit, I'm living it to the fullest I can no matter what.