I looked at my blood sugars in the last few weeks and my worst response was my lack of response. In reviewing the numbers, my brain only shrugged in apathy.
A year or two ago, I would have looked at the dwindling number of finger sticks and the creeping trend of high numbers and been very, “Whoa. What is going on here, and how can I stop it?” The rational, tuned-in part of my mind would fire up like the boiler in my old house did, whirring to life in a flurry of noise and action and suddenly I’d be warm and en route to taking control.
Trouble is, I think my boiler blew out. I just don’t give a fuck at the moment. I slipped without meaning to.
I used to be able to detect this slippery slide into giving-less-of-a-fuck a bit better. There were warning signs that made me take notice and then take action. But this time, it’s not burnout that I’m feeling. I don’t think it’s burnout, anyway. And it’s not depression, or at least it doesn’t feel like it did a few years ago when I had trouble finding my footing. This feels a little different, more like exhaustion than anything else. I’m having trouble finding balance (ironic) in managing diabetes, work, motherhood, and marriage. The travel on both sides of the family businesses has been especially manic, leaving a lot of random, loose ends flapping in the breeze.
Blah, blah, blah, life, life, life, right?
But they aren’t random loose ends. For me, the frayed bits are my health management habits. And I’m not focusing on the right things. My laundry is washed, folded, and put away but my finger sticks have dwindled down to two or three per day. I’m bolusing off my CGM way too often, but the floors are swept. Birdy’s book bag is ready for school every morning, complete with a note in her lunchbox, but I’m not checking my fasting blood sugar until she’s already on the bus for school (two hours after waking up, mind you).
This is not cool. This is not good. And this feels both irresponsible and stupid.
Which, in turn, makes me feel irresponsible and stupid.
I have no idea what my A1C is. I haven’t had it checked in four months. I need to schedule an appointment to have my eyes looked at in efforts to keep tabs on the macular edema, but I haven’t made that phone call, either. The diabetes to do list is painting me into a bit of a corner, and I’m having trouble stepping onto the wet paint.
But this morning, when I sat down to work, I realized that this feeling of defeat was keeping me from wanting to do anything. I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to work on booking travel or on presentations I have to give. My mind kept jumping to the next distraction, the next thing that would keep me from acknowledging that my disease, this serious health condition, was being mismanaged by me at the moment.
Something has to change. And it doesn’t appear that my pancreas will be making insulin any time soon. So I need to be much better about paying attention to my diabetes care. The cyclical nature of my diabetes apathy is such that it comes and goes without much warning and is hard to prevent. But that doesn’t mean I can surrender to it fully. Because I like being alive and well, and I’d like to continue to be alive and well. So hang on … let me do some quick follow through for a minute …
… I’ve just called my endocrinologist to make an appointment, and in the meantime I’ve asked for lab orders to be sent to my local lab so I can have an A1C run closer to home. I need to know where I stand, and how I can move forward. I’ve also called and scheduled another eye dilation to have my eyeball status checked. And the last phone call was to my medical supply company to reorder some supplies.
Tomorrow, I won’t change everything. I’m still tired. Still tired of diabetes and ashamed that I’ve let other health focus points take my attention away to such a degree. But I need to change something. And the first thing I decided to change was the idea that I need to keep these feelings bottled up and hidden away. I’m struggling something fierce these days – have been for a while – and I needed to say it out loud in order to push me to actually do something about it.
So I’m doing something. I might end up tracking that wet paint all over the house, but at least I won’t have my back up against the wall anymore.