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Equal Time.

Equal packets - that match.The coffee machine was whirring to life, and while the water heated, I poked through the little decorative bucket where the packets of Equal are stashed.

In the bucket, there were piles of blue packets, but there were different illustrations printed on each one.  "Do Your Drink Justice," "Power to the Packet," and "Ban the Bland."  There were a few different strawberry-themed logos, too. 

I've written before about my slight OCD tendencies.  The eight sips of juice.  My woofer-sniffing moments (oh how embarrassing, why am I bringing that up again?).  And I also need for my packets of sugar substitute to match.  The pictures have to match, both packets have to be right-side up, and facing the same way.  I cannot function any other way.  It's not certifiably OCD, but it's a borderline trait.  And until last week, no one had noticed.  Not even Chris.

So as my coffee was brewing, and not thinking I was being watched, I picked rabidly through the packets until I found two that matched (throwing back ones that didn't as though they were fish that were too small), lined them up, and ripped them open.

"What are you doing?"  Oh shit.  Co-worker saw me flitting through the bucket in search of matching packets.

"Oh, nothing."  The blush crept up my face without my permission.  "Okay, I was looking for matching packets."

"What?"  He laughed and put his mug on the countertop while I flustered.

"The packets.  Of Equal.  They have to match.  I have to use matching packet thingies." 

He raised an eyebrow.

"It's normal.  It's totally normal."  My coffee spluttered to a finish and I grabbed my mug, grateful for something to do with my hands.  

"It's very normal, Kerri.  Completely."  He was polite enough to keep the laughter in his eyes, but I could see the tug of a smirk.

I laughed, too.  I get the joke. 

But these OCD tendencies are just little snapshots of me trying to control things.  Sometimes my blood sugars aren't reigned in very well, and I compensate by making long lists of work-to-dos that calm my nerves.  I'll hit the gym every weeknight because I can control my attendance.  My checkbook is balanced to the very penny, to keep tight tabs on my controllable finances.  I'm constantly micro-managing other aspects of my life in efforts to compensate for what I can't control in total. 

(I'm also known to micro-manage my diabetes, hence my meeting with the Minimed rep this afternoon.  Real-time blood sugars in efforts to best control my body's natural inclination to fail me.  Control, control, control.)

Sometimes it feels like trying to spin the universe in a different direction. 

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Comments

Someday you'll be reinstated as a detective Adrian.

I know this probably not the response you are looking for but I too would not use the packets unless they were exactly the same and faced the same direction.

I am with you 100% on this one.

Kerri

Hmmm. Seems to me you might want to lay off the Equal!

Hey, how did the hookup with the Minimed go? Inquiring minds want to know. I'll bet the CGM gives you some surprising results.

D - Ah, Monk. Is Dad still obsessed with that show?

SuperG - I am looking for that response. I need my fellow OCD'ers!

Bernard - LOL! And I'm meeting with the Minimed guy after work. Full details tomorrow!

Oh God, I totally have OCD. I can handle flip-flopped packets, though, but they have to all be the same brand (Equal or bust, baby!). And I've been known to avoid establishments that don't serve Diet Coke.

I also notice I have a thing for sets of three...and lately I'm carrying wipes everywhere...Natalieeee?!

From one OCD'er to another. Do not be ashamed. I do the same thing. I also reorganize the little packets in restaurants so they are all in one direction. Just in case someone like me/you were to come along, why not help out? I also line up all of my money one way in my wallet. The list could go on and on. No worries, I find all of your "tendencies" comforting and "normal".

I think diabetes sometimes does this to us--a need to control and a desire to get things in line, in the big and smaller ways in our life.

It's normal, but then again, not. :)

Umm, so, doesn't everyone do that? I see no problem with it.

Then again, my husband sings the Monk theme song to me on a regular basis. :)

Kerri...you've seen Good Will Hunting, right? This story reminds me of that "Sean McGuire" quote about his wife...

"The little idiosyncrasies that only I know about her. That's what made her my wife; oh, and she had the goods on me too. She knew all my little peccadilloes. People call these things imperfections, but they're not; oh, that's the good stuff. Then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. You're not perfect sport, and let me save you the suspense; this girl you met, she isn't perfect either. But the question is, whether or not your perfect for each other." -Sean McGuire (Robin Williams)

Idiosyncrasies can be very endearing. Your story makes me smile. :)

Diabetes most certainly brings out the OCD in all of us.
When I'm on the treadmill, I have to stop at a number that ends in a Zero. Sometimes, I even go to the next 100. Example. Instead of getting off the treadmill at 550 calories burned, I stay on until I reach 650 calories. I have no ideal why, but numbers ending in zero do it for me.

Also, I take blood sugars constantly after a high carb/fat meal (not that I eat a lot of them,) I have to make sure my numbers are going down. I also prefer to wear my pump on the right side, even though I'm left handed. Go figure?
Don't worry, your completely normal!

See, I can't even watch Monk because the inaccuracies get to me. Yeah, I don't know anything about OCD...at all...

Above all else, I am here to validate your feelings. In this case...you're nuts.

I think the tendency to exert control (over perhaps over-exert it) over the things in your life you CAN control is a trait many people with chronic illness share.

I know for me it's a huge issue, and the less control I have over all the diseases I have that go haywire at once, the more determined I am to beat a deadline, cross the last item off a list, etc. I'm the girl who brings her laptop with her to the ICU, so clearly I take it too far :)

I definitely understand the OCD thing. I have so many little quirks… I do the sweetner packet thing (for me it's Splenda), I nearly always touch bolus so my pump's carb count will be divisible by five, and always try to rip toilet paper exactly on the perforation line. Among other things. You are most definitely not alone!

Enjoy your meeting with the rep! **looks at clock—oops** I hope you enjoyed your meeting with the rep! I always love learning all the new features… I can't wait to hear how it goes.

"...to best control my body's natural inclination to fail me." Damn, that is exactly how I feel. You are an excellent writer.

Thank you for letting us into your "weird little world". Particularly the woofer sniffing.

Kerri, Hope every thing went well for you yesterday. My change over is finally here (this afternoon) I get "Training" on my new Mini Med 722 (upgrade fron an old 508) No CGM (insurance you know) but maybe some day. The new thigh sites have been working great. Wish me luck.
Lee

I have to refold shirts in store displays that other people leave a mess after they look at them. It's not a choice... it's a must. Equal packets? At least that doesn't take very long. Refolding shirts during the holiday season can add an hour to my shopping! Yes, I know. I'm a weirdo.

I do stuff like that too. In class, if we make a stack of turned in assignments, I have to make sure they're all facing the same way and perfectly lined up. Same thing for my desk. Everything is likned up to the edge of my desk so it's all square. Unfortunately, I can't blame this on the "D", I've always been this way. LOL Crazy, that is.

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