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