It’s the core of my daily maintenance routine. The stuff is crucial and I’m completely hooked. (I would have said “pumped” but the pun would have been too obvious. Tune in later for more subtle puns.)
So when I was first diagnosed, insulin was the crux of my regimen. Whether it was NPH, Lente, UltraLente, Lantus, Regular or Humalog, insulin was all that my body required to keep it running tight.
Then hormones hit.
Puberty brought on the “Jane becomes a woman” pubery filmstrip from middle school moment, as she twirls around once and sparkles emit from her long, brown hair. Apparently, just twirling around and radiating glitter takes care of the whole puberty mess. No direct mention of menstruation, acne, growth spurts and womanly curves. No subdirectory of an adolescent girl with diabetes, trying to reign in her bloodsugars, keep insulin levels steady, and make sure the monthly cycle was cycling correctly.
At the tail end of the puberty adventure, the birth control pill was introduced into my routine. I mean, when you’re 16 years old and experiencing your monthly period one or twice a season (at best), a little regimentation is needed. I didn’t feel too strangely about the birth control, though, because I was planning on utilizing birth control once I decided to become sexually active (yes yes, Mother, in addition to other methods and no, Mother, it was like 40 years later that I decided to …), so I just had a hormonal headstart.
Insulin and birth control. Normal.
Now that I am in my 20’s, however, I’m noticing that my medicine cabinet isn’t just toothpaste and eye makeup remover anymore. In addition to insulin and birth control, I am taking a blood pressure medication called Altace to keep both my pressure and my kidneys in check. The decision to make this part of my regimen came after realizing that the cotton wool spot from last year was directly caused by the slight elevation of my blood pressure. Thankfully, Altace and my dedication to the gym made that cotton wool spot history.
Insulin. Birth control. Now Altace.
The list of prescription medications is joined by an arsenal of supplements, on any given day. There’s the pre-natal vitamin (to keep my natals … pre-ed), cranberry extract pills to ward off urinary tract infections, the mystical and magical L-Glutamine, Garlique to keep cholesterol in check, and a bottle of cinnamon pills and flax seed oil that I’ve yet to crack open.
Insulin. Birth control. Altace. A cornucopia of supplemental goodies.
My body feels like a cauldron sometimes, swirling with attempts to stay healthy.
I read today that type one diabetes takes an hour per day to maintain. One hour. And I thought about my medicine cabinet, the efforts Chris and I take to keep our kitchen stocked with healthy foods, and the daily excursions to the gym … an hour?? Hardly. Managing diabetes is a moment-to-moment endeavor.
And I thought about my own life. And the life of the girl planning her wedding. The guys going on vacation. The woman starting fresh. The woman expecting her child. The style of a busy life. The quiet conversations.
And I thought of each of you, doing what you do every day, and achieving such success with such grace. While we may not be acheiving this with the same glittery ease that good ol’ Jane twirled through puberty, we do a damn fine job indeed.