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Show Me Your Pump … Or Not.

During a presentation in Duluth, MN last week, I was talking about my family and I used a photo in the slide deck that I’ve used many times before.  It’s one of Birdy, Chris, and I and we’re at some park on a sunny fall day, enjoying the sunshine.

“This is my family.  And right there – RIGHT THERE – is my diabetes.  Can’t miss it.  It’s just THERE and it’s always there.  I love this photo because it shows off my wonderful husband and the daughter I went to the ends of the earth and back for, and I couldn’t be prouder and more in love with my family.  But then there’s that reminder again, the reminder of diabetes and the intrusion it makes into my life.  Like I said, I love this photo.  But I want to Photoshop the hell out of that one part.”

Diabetes has not been a smooth ride for the last few weeks.  Unusual moments like a skunked bottle of insulin and two Dexcom sensors that rolled off my skin way too early, a few low blood sugars that fucked with my happiness a little bit … all stuff that sometimes happens, but lately it feels like it’s always something.

A relentless itchy patch left behind by a Dexcom sensor from weeks ago on my right thigh that, in the middle of the night itches so badly that I scrape at it while I’m sleeping, only to wake up and find blood underneath my fingernails sums up how I’ve felt lately.  (And holy run-on sentence!)  It’s not the actual diabetes moments – the actual low blood sugar, the actual itchy sensor, the actual hour lost to reinforcing to my insurance company that yes, insulin is necessary and should be covered – but the cumulative experience that’s a little more than meh of late.  I’m grateful for access, but having access gives me a perspective that allows for being wildly grumpy at times.  I’m worn out on the self-care crap.  I don’t have any choice but to continue to make the best efforts I can to take care of myself.  Diabetes without self-care becomes chaotic quickly, for me.

There’s no “but,” to that, no caveat.  There’s just a desire to take a sponge and wipe away all the traces of diabetes for just a few hours.

… that, and our coffee pot cracked this morning, so that’s probably not helping my mood.


16 Comments Post a comment
  1. <3

    10/21/14; 11:45 am
  2. Hugs, and check your email.

    10/21/14; 12:36 pm
  3. The day to dayness is so hard when you focus on it and think about how it will go on tomorrow and next month and next year…But I’ve learned how important perspective is lately. Long, maybe ridiculous metaphor ahead (sorry.)

    A few months ago I suffered a retinal detachment, triggered by retinopathy. I’m now half blind in an eye that was 20/20 till this year, after multiple surgeries and thousands of dollars. And if I close my good eye all I can think about is how I’ve worked my butt off for decades to take care of myself and this has happened in spite of it, the anger at that and the sadness of what I’ve lost and how it’ll be gone for the rest of my life. But when I’m actually involved with life, I completely forget about it for hours at a time, even though the blindness is there. (And don’t ask me to try to catch a ball…) Because my good eye takes over, and that’s what I use to focus.

    Look at your beautiful life, the diabetes is there but it’s just this little niggling thing in the background. Really you’re one of the luckiest people (or at least you will be after you get a new coffee pot.) And so am I…Our lives are awesome, and that’s not “in spite of” d, it’s actual, genuine awesomeness. 🙂

    10/21/14; 12:45 pm
  4. Laddie #

    Kerri, as always a beautifully written post: a little bit of happiness, a little bit of sadness, and a little bit of humor. Love the photo of your family because of and despite the insulin pump. Get some caffeine and have a great day:-)

    10/21/14; 12:57 pm
  5. Well, if it’s any consolation, I could buy you a new coffee pot — AND I could PhotoShop (OK, Microsoft Paint) that reminder out of the photo. Sorry I can’t do more.

    10/21/14; 1:16 pm
  6. ria #

    and…………………………winter is coming
    ok, that is all

    10/21/14; 2:26 pm
  7. Sorry to go all glass half full on you, but maybe this means great things are on their way? Sucks that you have to go through all the crap first though. Hope it gets better.

    10/21/14; 4:09 pm
  8. John Olson #

    Kerri, you know that I am somewhat new to this in comparison to your time with doing it. And, I know the frustration that it can cause if you allow it to do so. But, you know something, if you had not pointed it out I would not have noticed it. To you it stands out, mainly because it is a source of your aggravation with diabetes, what I see is a very nice family picture on a sunny day.
    I envy you your trip to Duluth, I grew up on the outskirts of Duluth and have not been back for many years. They have a Bridgemans ice cream cafe there that serves one of the best made ice creams I have ever run across in all my travels. If you visit there again you should give it a try. Ask them about the Lollapalooza, its the grand daddy of all sundaes

    10/21/14; 8:13 pm
  9. Kerri, go get some caffeine and then buy a replacement coffee pot. That’s a problem you can fix. All the other crap is unfortunately, part of life with diabetes.

    …and that great photo of your wonderful family, cherish it. You’ll have a terrific time sharing it with your grandchildren.


    10/21/14; 10:52 pm
  10. Ditto to what John mentioned above: So often we see constant reminders of D in our lives, when those around us don’t. And it’s not until we point to it, talk about it that they even recognize it was there. It’s normal” until we make it otherwise. I’ve been reminded of this more and more lately. Echoing what John said, that’s a great family photo. And I , too, am very sorry to hear of the coffee pot.

    10/22/14; 12:27 am
  11. Larry K #

    You are a beautiful inside and out. You family is everything to you.
    What a great photo even though you have your pump showing. It defines you! Hang in there Kiddo!!
    Sorry to hear about your coffee pot. That is a bummer.
    Hey there is a new pot that has a pot and make Kurig too. All in one pot.
    Have a good day and thanks for sharing.

    10/22/14; 7:03 am
  12. Karen #

    Hi Kerri,
    May I borrow your sponge please?

    10/22/14; 8:23 am
  13. karend1 #

    For me what makes D unwavering is developing a complication after 48 years.

    10/23/14; 7:17 pm
  14. Emily Scott #

    I enjoy your blogs. After 60 yrs. of diabetes, TID, I have experienced a lot and a lot over and over. People feel so much compassion for many other diseases, but diabetes doesn’t rate so much because people can’t feel it until they become diabetic. And diabetics often try to act like it isn’t a big deal so they will fit in , get a job. When they do complain, others cannot understand the head and body conditions internally. At any moment, something can go wrong. We have to live two lives. One is being invincible and the other is collapsing under the enormous daily details that make it a full time job on top of other work, family, etc. It is not the worst affliction but it has plenty of contrary mental and physical burdens. I think we are too slow in the USA medical approach. I think we are held back by government and insurance and less than average textbook doctors.

    09/1/15; 8:23 pm
    • Hi Emily
      It would be interesting to chat with you. I have been diabetic for 51 years. You can email me @ if Kerri can put us in contact.

      09/10/15; 7:13 pm

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