Waking up in the morning has my hand lazily grazing the black zipper case of my kit instinctively, making sure the second thing I do is test, only after upsetting the cat from sleeping on my head. Disconnect the pump and scrounge up a loose pump cap in efforts to stumble, bleary-eyed, towards the shower. Clothes for work are chosen, discarded, re-chosen, and the pump is integrated into my ensemble so that its slim outline and snaky tubing won’t be seen.
First cup of coffee at work is greeted by the beeping of my pump as I bolus a unit for the much needed caffeine. Insurance papers spill from every file on my desk as I review policies, popping the 5 mg of l-Glutamin. Work for another hour, reach for that black zipper case. Feeling achy in the eyes. High? Or staring at the computer too long? Will I ever be able to distinguish without checking?
Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes it shows. Sometimes I remember that I’m now twenty-seven years old and I have not yet made my mark.
Sometimes I’m scared.
Tonight I read a blog online about a man whose wife underwent a pancreas transplant a year ago. She’s been cured of diabetes for almost a year. But in a cruel twist of irony, her kidney transplant has started to fail her, urging her towards dialysis and potentially another kidney transplant.
And I’m human. I felt swallowed by sadness when I read that. That woman, cured of her diabetes after such a long struggle, only to still be faced with the consequences of complications. I wanted to read that she was okay. That they went out dancing for Valentine’s Day, instead of quietly acknowledging her failing body. My sleeve is damp from wiping my eyes and I don’t even know these people. My ache is purely selfish. And I feel guilty for that.
I want to write something eloquent and inspiring but I’m not feeling that tonight. I’m mildly mired with misery. Most days, I don’t think too much about diabetes. Or at least I don’t notice that I’m thinking about it. The testing and bolusing and all the other maintenance becomes so seamlessly integrated that I don’t realize I’m doing it.
But then there are days when the pump swells to the size of a grapefruit and the zipper on the black case seems to always stick. The counted carbs like dust in my mouth. The beeps of my machines echo off my heart.
If I were feeling more articulate, I would tell the story of the low that caught me in its net last night. How I tangibly felt my mind ebbing away from me. How nothing but his words kept me docked in this consciousness.
I would tell you about how his palm gently brushes my forehead at night to see if my forehead is clammy from a low, even when he thinks I’ve been fast asleep for hours. How he didn’t think I knew and I wish I’d kept his secret. How he still does it, and I smile in my sleepiness.
Tonight is a night of feeling tangled in my words.
Tomorrow will make more sense to me.