So much to keep track of: blood sugar results, boluses, basal rates, low bloodsugar reaction treaters, medical alert bracelet, A1c levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight management, food intake, hiding the pump in my daily ensemble, carbohydrate counting, insulin to carb ratios, medical insurance deductibles, appointments at Joslin, extra battery for pump, back up infusion sets, insulin pen, meter log book …
Oh, and have I fed the cats? Or changed the oil in my car? Or put on my pants?
It’s difficult sometimes to keep track of everything in life that needs attention. With diabetes, it’s as though there are two lives to keep track of: One Life that is filled with the same things that all lives are filled with and The Other Life that exists for my diabetes. Often, the lines are blurred between the two and I find myself out to a fabulous dinner with my boyfriend, blending the arrival of the food and a mental calculation of carbs, testing my blood, and then the subsequent bolus without noticing the seams. Or I climb into the car to drive home after work and test my blood sugar just as instinctively as I put on my seatbelt. One Life and The Other Life are often just My Life.
And then sometimes I feel so crummy about the whole thing that it lays so heavy on my chest that I can’t breathe right.
It’s strange how something as simple as a little blog can bring such focus for me.
Writing about this disease makes it easier for me to deal with. Putting my thoughts on paper (and then on the internet for the whole world to see … what am I thinking?) gets them out of my head and takes some of the pressure off my heart. Hearing that there are people who are experiencing similar frustrations, encountering similar roadblocks, feeling what I feel, means so much to me. I feel like I lived alone with this disease for so long. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have the support of my wonderful family or my loyal friends or my romantic relationships, but they can only understand so much. Now I have a vast network of other people with diabetes that makes the lines between One Life and The Other Life blur.
It struck me last night, as I added two more new diabetes blogs to my blogroll and marveled at how long I had to scroll down to view all the voices. How many people out there know how I feel. I feel comforted. And inspired. I read a post last night about a woman who wondered how she would fold her pump into her wedding gown and I thought, “That’s exactly it! This is how we take the best care of ourselves as diabetics and have tremendous lives.” And I thought about it again this morning, as I sat down at my job where I write for a living, and I thought about how un-lonely I felt. How grateful I was for just the presence of other people living, every single day, with this same disease. How the spin cycle of my life rinses out neatly when I don’t feel as though I’m the only one.
The world is whittled down to a more manageable size when I don’t feel alone.