The support I’ve received from the online community (and from those I know in Real Life who stopped in to post their thoughts) has been so generous, and for that I thank everybody. I never wanted to be in this position, but if I have to be, I’m glad I have you guys.
Strange thing is, for those of you I’ve just met, my development of a sweet little cotton wool spot (I’m hoping if I feign some affection for it, it may tire of me and leave …) might not sound so out of the ordinary. I am, after all, pushing almost two decades at this diabetes bit, and I was “due” for something.
Wasn’t ready for it, though. Not in the least bit. I’ve always been the diabetic that people looked to for hope. “Hey, she’s had it forever but there’s not a thing wrong with her!” I liked being that. People know a heap of information on the complications yet very little on those who live with the disease. I was proud to be the girl they defined as something other than “sick.”
I remember when I went for my first pump consultation class at Joslin, and one of the kids in the room was 27 years old, diabetic for 13 years, and had essentially no sight remaining in his left eye. He scared the absolute shit out of me. I couldn’t help it – I wondered what he had Done. Did he test enough? Was he eating off the regimen? Was he exercising? What did he do? And how can I avoid it??
But I was an ignorant moron because he didn’t Do anything. The disease just took his eyesight. He could have been the most regimented diabetic this side of Halle Berry. Or he could have been snorting pixie sticks (ew) and mainlining maple syrup. Who knows. The point is that diabetes deals a dodgy hand and we, as the diabetics, have to do our best. I’ve done my best. I am pretty sure I can defeat the Evil Cotton Wool Spot and come out clean on the other side of September. But if they dilate me on September 23 and find that it is still there or worse, I will have to do my best to keep from blaming myself. I know this isn’t my fault.
That doesn’t mean I won’t try and fix it, though.
So the game plan is this: I will become The Most Diabetic Kerri (I may wear a cape) for the next four months. No deviating from a streamlined meal plan. Sticking to the exercise plan of five – six times a week of cardio. Testing as often as I have been, but being better about recording results. I need to be Game On. I don’t want to have vision problems at 26. For me, it doesn’t have to be that way. But the rest of my life will be Business as Usual. I won’t stop going to work. Or playing with my nephew. Or taunting my family members. I won’t stop laughing. Or falling for the boy. Or writing. Or playing really shoddy games of tennis.
I will try my best. And if it doesn’t work, I can’t lose hope. We can survive as diabetics. There is the possibility of a cure at any moment. I want to be as ready as possible.
There is always hope. Always always always. Remember that. And remind me if I happen to forget.