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Seem Less.

It may be the gray clouds today.  That could be it.  Maybe that's why I'm moody.

My blood sugars have been excellent today.  106 mg/dl.  89 mg/dl.  78 mg/dl.  141 mg/dl.  132 mg/dl.  112 mg/dl.  99 mg/dl.  113 mg/dl.  Nothing too out of the ordinary. 

My insulin pump is safely stowed in the pocket of my black capri pants.  You can't really see it at all and it's barely noticeable as I sit here.  Even the tubing is behaving itself, remaining coiled and concealed in the waistband of my pants.

My meter is stashed in my purse.  No rogue test strips litter my desk.  The diabetic white noise is at a minimum today.  My desk looks just like everyone elses.

Work has been so busy lately that I haven't had time to over-think anything.  Emails keep cropping up in my inbox, assignments keep crossing my desk, and the constant din of work noise rolls in and out like midnight ocean waves. 

Life is crashing forward at an incredible pace.  My wedding date comes closer every time I blink.  I've been at dLife for over a year now.  I'll be marking my twenty-first year with diabetes in three weeks.

Lately, maybe compared to all the chaos, diabetes seems less.  Less in my face.  Less cumbersome.  Less intrusive. 

This morning, as a low blood sugar whispered in my ear and woke me up at 5 in the morning, as I looked in the medicine cabinet and saw my Quick-Serter next to my bottle of Lovespell, as I clipped my pump to my bra while I dressed, it still seemed less. 

I'm reminded of the video I watched on Julia's site.  This is our "normal."  Normal means tough little pads of scar tissue on my fingertips.  Normal means quashing down that bit of guilt if I decide to have a Hershey Kiss at the office.  Normal means reaching down to my thigh and quietly disconnecting the pump while he kisses me.  Normal means juice by the bed.  Normal means tired rings of red skin left behind by sensor patches. 

I can't imagine what it's like to be diagnosed as an adult.  I can't imagine what it's like to be the parent of a diabetic child.  I can't imagine what type 2 feels like, or gestational, or what it's like to take care of someone with diabetes. 

This is the only normal I know.  I actually feel surprised sometimes when I notice that people's mp3 players aren't, in fact, insulin pumps.  Doesn't everyone have an insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio?  Am I the only one at the gym who is testing blood glucose levels in the locker room? 

It's become such a part of what I do that it's seamless.  I don't even notice anymore.

And for some reason, that's making me strangely sad today.

Gray Day = Crumbs Morrone.

Comments

I've had that same feeling of sadness on a day last year when Brendon was in school, and I started weighing out peanut butter and jelly for Jess and Jake's lunch. When I realized I didn't have to do it, instead of relief, I felt sadness.

Diabetes is so invasive and so demanding that when it behaves and needs little attention, we feel fooled into thinking we aren't needed anymore.

And everyone feels the need to be needed and useful. It makes us feel like we matter.

I don't know. Maybe I haven't really hit the nail on the head with my comment.

What is Lovespell, btw?

That's sort of it, I think. I just felt sad because I realized that this is normal. It's always been normal. And I can't imagine not existing in this "normal."

I said "normal" too many times. ;)

Lovespell is a perfume from Victoria's Secret. It's a favorite of mine. Click here to check it out. Too bad computers aren't scratch-and-sniff.

I guess it's "normal" to feel that way ;)

Normal is starting to look and sound weird, LOL.

I'll have to take a trip to the mall to sniff Lovespell.

Great writing Kerri. Thanks.

Hmm, your anniversary is in a few weeks. Mel at orsa aetas had hers today. Mine is also in early September.

What's with the cluster of diabetes diagnoses in the fall?

Oh, Kerri, you've hit the nail right on the head again. It's so disheartening sometimes to realize that blood drops, and infusion sets, and bandaid smelling insulin are our normal...

But, some of the coolest people in the world have also become a part of my normal - because of this thing... And that makes me grin a bit...

As I commented to Julia, I have no idea what it's like to be with a man without type 1. It is our normal.

(And as a response to Bernard's comment, what about all the 1986/1987 diagnoses around the OC - what's up with that? You, Kassie, at least a couple others, Greg.)

Ugh! Today, especially, I know what you mean. I've finally sat back and thought about today.

Bernard, my theory is that the weather's changing and the viruses are more prevalent. At work we see a lot of kids getting diagnosed in the winter/spring as well. Spring more probably than winter.

Watching that video you linked to made me sad ...

I went on vacation recently and stayed with family and friends I hadn't seen in years. It's strange being around so many people and being the only one who has to think about blood sugar levels and disconnecting from a pump before diving in the ocean, or pause while everyone else is starting to eat to add up carbs and test and bolus. I don't usually realize unless I'm out with others how careful I have to be about everything. I just don't think about it (well, not unless there's a problem).

(In case your wondering who I am, I'm de-lurking myself here. :) I've been reading your blog for about a year and enjoy it greatly. Thanks for writing! Reading others' blogs has inspired me to finally try starting my own.)

Hi Kerri

Long time lurker, first time commentor.

This post really struck a chord with me. I have chronic lung disease (as well as steroid induced DM and myopathy, but that's another story).

Sometimes I catch myself, whilst I'm watching television or out and about, looking at other 'normal' people, my eyes following them as they run up steps or cycle to work. And a part of me is genuinely thinking 'how are they doing that?'. It still takes me by surprise now and again that their world is not my world; that the things that are difficult or impossible for me are second nature to them.

I guess we all redefine our own 'normal' in order to live in the world. It's necessary, I suppose, but you're right, it makes me a little sad.

Thank you for your writing. We all need to know we are not alone.

Emily H
UK

I can't imagine the day when I will consider it the norm. I was so set in my old routine, that it feels like a constant intrusion. If it wasn't for all the new paraphenalia littering my life, I think I would, and could, easily forget to be testing or shooting up. I have on more than one occasion woken up, truly believing it to be a bad dream....and then I see my meter and juice by the bed.

Nice post.
And while I imagine that everyone does indeed have an insulin-to-carb ratio, it's just that only a lucky few are acutely aware of what it is/they are. We're in tune. Enjoy the harmony.

Sorry Kerri,

For what it's worth, I began to feel even more alive after my daughters dxd. The lows are a bit lower, but the highs are much higher (and I'm not talking BG, although it does apply). Do something fun today. The next beautiful sunset is for you and Chris.

My frustration/sadness comes because I do remember what "normal" feels like. Having been diagnosed at age 23 I'm still close enough to remember life before my little pump, before carb counting and mathematical feats before every meal. And the scary thing is what normal is becoming.

I've had that feeling all week, from the parent perspective. Meghan was dx'd 2 years ago yesterday. Tuesday night we were at a JDRF event and she was talking with another girl around her age. Hope was amazed that M could remember what it was like to not have diabetes, since she was diagnosed at 2. Meghan was reminiscing about eating whatever she wanted and not going low or high, no shots, no pokes. I heard it all from inside the bathroom stall, and it was all I could do to not lose it before I came out. This new normal is bites. But, it's the best we've got....doesn't mean I like it.

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