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What's Best.

Last night, Chris and I wrapped up on the couch and watched Signs.  As we watched the movie, I felt Chris absently start rubbing my shoulder.  His hand started at the top of my shoulder and went down towards my elbow.  I felt his fingers skip up against the CGM transmitter.  It made my eyes fill up, and I’m not exactly sure why.

I have been receiving some good data from the MiniLink so far.  It has confirmed that my overnight basals are pretty much spot-on, with a small bit of tweaking to be done for the weekends, when I sleep past 7:15 am.  It has shown me that my run at the gym makes my blood sugar plummet after about 15 minutes.  I like being alerted when my blood sugar is over 180 mg/dl because I want to spend as much time away from that high end as possible.  I feel somehow safer wearing this device; a watchdog while I am otherwise indisposed.

All of this information can help me better manage my diabetes.  Tight control can help me reach my goals of good overall health.  I’m being proactive.  I am testing and bolusing and making use of the latest diabetes technology in efforts to live a long and healthy life

That is what’s best.

It’s just hard to be so focused at all times.  I've been emotional lately.  I lost my edge.

Today, the alarm sounded on the CGM all morning long.  “Bad sensor.”  “Cal error.”  “Bad sensor.”  “BG Now.”  This rotation went on for three hours.  I had resolved to leave the sensor in and go home at lunch to change it out, but after a series of seven errors in a row, I stormed into the bathroom at work and ripped out the sensor early.

I went home at lunch and inserted another sensor into my arm, with Chris’s help.  It was the first sensor we had done on our own, so I had some trouble figuring out how to pull the needle out.  I tried.  Chris tried.  Unfortunately, we were tugging at the wrong angle and my arm became a bit mangled in the process.  The long needle remained stuck in my arm as I tried to wiggle it back, with Chris holding onto the side of the sensors.  Feeling under the weather both physically and emotionally, with the bruise already visible on my arm and a sharp pain edging down towards my elbow, I burst into tears. 

“I can’t get this out.  It hurts a lot right now.”  Tears, without asking my permission, fell into my mouth.  “I can’t do this.”

“We’ll figure this out.  It’s okay.”  Chris grabbed the CGM manual and started flipping through the pages, looking as quickly as he could for the page about removing the needle.  Frustration mounted, along with the soreness from the lodged needle, and I pulled the set from my skin.  Blood poured from the site.  Tears streamed from my eyes.  I felt defeated and frustrated and foolish.

It took several minutes to calm down.  It wasn’t about the sensor mishap.  It wasn’t about the infusion set two nights ago that stung all the way down to my toes.  It wasn’t about the low that had me sweating as I slumbered last week.  It wasn’t about the counted carbohydrates or the glucose tabs in my car or the press releases that I read every day, outlining diabetic complications.  It was simply an overwhelming sense of everything.

What’s best for me?  Is it all this concentration on diabetes?  Is it taking advantage of the technology that this decade, this job, and this blog have given me access to?  My physical health is of the utmost importance, but I value my emotional health just as much - maybe more - than I value my A1c.  Lately, my emotions have been capped up to keep me focused on my numbers.  Today, the bottle uncorked and they flooded me, leaving me bleeding and vulnerable and crying.

I dried my tears.  Chris gave me a hug.  I asked him what I should do.

“Do what you think is best.  I support whatever you decide, baby.”

Sometimes it just takes a good cry and knowing that you’re loved to make it easier to realign your heart and your head with "what’s best."

He helped me insert another sensor into my arm.  We were calm and focused.  It didn’t hurt at all.  It only bled a little, and he grabbed a tissue and blotted the blood with careful hands. 

“See?  Much better that time.”

“I was afraid if I didn’t do it again, right away, I would have given up for a while.”

He nodded.  I rubbed the sensor on my arm, telling myself that it was worth trying, that my moodiness would pass.  The pump was hard to adjust to at first, too.  Everything has an adjustment period, even what’s best.

I opened my mouth to tell him I loved him, but the sounds of the cats fighting over a cardboard box in the living room distracted us both.  Siah was leaping in and out of the box like a little gray gazelle.  It made us laugh.  And the laughter felt right.  I felt lighter.

Siah Sausage looks like she doesn't have a thought in her damn head.

Laughter, for me, is what's best.  It helps make sense of the rest of it.

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Comments

I'm really happy that Chris is with you and is a great support and has a level head. It makes life nicer even during the most stressful times.

I agree, laughter is what is best when I can find it. I guess that is why I try to stay there as long as I can.

Thank you for the post and the tears. I need to feel something today and that did it.

Have a good weekend Kerri.

I'm de-lurking today. I've been following your blog for about a month now and I look forward every day to what witty, funny, insightful thing you'll have to say. I don't know anything about diabetes, so you're teaching me a lot. But I do know about frustrations and emotions and I have to say my eyes filled up reading this post, then I smiled at the part about Siah.

Thank god for cats.

I've sent several friends links to your blog.

Hi Kerri,

I hope that the new sensor isn't such a pain. Working in the diabetes field, I understand where you're coming from and hope that you're able to find some middle ground where it's not all about diabetes. Glad you have someone like Chris there to support you.

:o)Allison

I'm glad you guys are each others' rocks. I'm glad you're finding the balance for you.

Diabetes can be so emotional, can't it? Sometimes you just don't want to do anything but cry tears of frustration and fear. I hate it for you that today was one of thoes days. But, let tommorrow be better. And let's keep on believing for that cure!

Aw, Kerri. :( I think you are brave to work in a diabetes related field and face it head on every day. I admire your tenacity and your drive to put your health first, always.

I know I am not ready for the CGMS yet, but also know I'll get there someday.

Kerri

I'm sorry to hear the challenges that the CGM is presenting. I just hate sticking a sensor (or an infusion set) into me, hitting a nerve and then having to yank it out. When it bleeds, it's like a double insult.

All this work so we can get better control over our blood sugars. It doesn't feel right.

I'm glad that Siah gave you a lift. And I'll bet you see even more positives about the CGM the more you use it. I hope it's a lot easier going forward.

Wow - often those of us without diabetes don't realize how HARD the disease is to handle. I am so impressed by you, and by this blog.

wow, i so know what you're feeling. it's what has been going on with me lately. it just felt like i was being run over by the diabetes truck! give chris a hug from all of us. you're a very lucky gal to have someone so patient and kind and loving.

Hey Kerry,

Great post. It's funny, because for years I didn't feel angry at all the hoops I had to jump through, all the potential complications and worries, etc, etc. It was only when I started getting involved in the diabetes community, listening to other people's stories, that I started thinking, Yeah, this really, really does suck! (And no fair, why me, etc., etc.)

It was only last month, trying to get through airport security, that I actually lost it. There was a TSA agent giving me a hard time with my pump, like he thought the OmniPod was a potential explosive device. I told her to please not wand over the pod, because that would deactivate it (and I really, really didn't want to have to change my site in a public airport bathroom.) Well, it seems she took that as a challenge, insisted on wanding the pod, and of course it died (wasting 60 units of insulin on top of everything else.) They ended up taking me into a private room to search all my things, and I promptly burst into tears.

A couple years ago, I would've been so proud to have gotten through all that sh*#*# and stayed strong. But last month, I just had that why me, no fair feeling.

I was trying to think if there was a moral to that but no, there probably isn't. Just hang tough, we're all stronger than the hell that gets thrown at us (although I'm not, apparently, stronger than certain TSA officials.) And if it helps, wrap your pump/CGMS in bubble wrap (not while it's attached to you) and throw it against the wall. Then pick it up, and put it back in, and be thankful for all the good things it's going to give you in the future.

Kerri?.?.?. Your blog made me fill up. Call me when you have these problems. That's what I am here for... Doing this isn't easy at first and I am here to help you through it... Thanks for allowing me the insight into your days, it will make me better at helping others get started...

With the pump, I was very focused on it as I knew if it failed my backup was shots or DKA, if the pump fails you cannot let your guard down. I find the thing helping me be pretty relaxed about the CGM is the fact that if it craps out, I have my meter as backup and also that I can take a break from the CGM and still survive. My plan is to maybe do the CGM Friday, Sat, Sun, until it craps out and then take a break, on Wed and Thurs, as I need the CGM when my schedule is not sitting in a cube all day. I need it the most on the weekends and when I am running around, not on a schedule like at work and sitting most of the day and know my bgs are pretty stable.

Remember if the CGM stops, you are still in control with your meter.

Kerri,

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with this. You are strong though, and I'm glad you got back up and tried again. I hope you can find a way to make the laughter out weight the horrible sides of this disease. Hope this is a start to a better weekend!

I want to come up there and give you a hug! (((HUG)))

Hope you have a great weekend!

I agree whole heartedly. Life sucks sometimes. The best way to get through life is to laugh at it. There's no other way I'd rather live. Keep LOLing, Kerri.

"Sometimes it just takes a good cry and knowing that you’re loved to make it easier to realign your heart and your head with "what’s best."

I got nothin' else to say but AMEN!

I'd say that Chris is the best, but I guess he's the best for you. Matt's my best. :)

Thanks for blogging about your CGM "adventure". I'm concerned about my son starting when he's at college in the middle of the challenges of studying, classes, exams, and part-time work - being away from home. Apart from reading your blog, the start can be so challenging. Of course we still wait on word from insurance anyway... Thanks again for sharing your experience. Laughter - always the best medicine!!! :)

Life would be boring and the suck without cats. (I really fear developing allergy-induced asthma like my brother did at 35...having to give away his four cats.)

Having support is so important. I just saw my diabetes educator for the last time on friday. She was the best I have ever had. Now I feel so lost. Love and support are everything and how we take those for granted.

You're doing a great job on your blog and it's great to hear other diabetics accounts of what's going on with their diabetes. I'm glad to see you're still blogging. I don't know if you remember my Diabetes Burnout blog, but I haven't been doing much with it lately. (Too busy, that's my excuse!)

I also stopped by to tell you YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! You have to list 7 things about yourself and tag 7 new people.

Please see my blog for details...

http://www.emmasanders.blogspot.com

K -

I know it doesn't help much in the moment to know that we understand. That I understand. But - I think it helps all of us (in all the other moments outside of THOSE moments) to know that we aren't the only ones. Thank you for sharing this - and for showing us the bad days - right along with the good. I'm looking forward to seeing you at the end of the month.

Much love to you!

xo, N

Wow - that speaks volumes to how I felt last week with my 72 hour CGMS. Technology is great but having "big brother" watching 24/7 somehow makes this disease feel like one rather than something we can manage. Glad you have someone incredible like Chris to help you throught it!

Trite as it sounds, some days we really just do the best that we can...in the meantime, hang in there and know we're all out here with you in these moments of pain and frustration. I hope you had a good weekend and are doing better today.

Kerri, thanks for this post. i had a betes burn out the other day and got so annoyed with the whole thing. blood sugars soaring then plummeting, the whole works.

im back on track now but it is so nice to hear someone else out goes through the same.

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