I know most of my readers are D-peeps so here’s a little D for ya:
You know that saying that bad things happen in threes? I think it really applies when you have diabetes.
The first bad thing: Towards the middle of May, my insulin pump died. It made a few weird sounds, a last goodbye song, and the screen went black. Of course this happened when my mom (who handles all the insurance/health things) was out of town caring for my grandparents and right in the middle of a terrible low. So what did I do? Made my sister call Animas to pretend to be me and order the new pump. And double of course, the back up long acting insulin I had was expired and it was a Saturday. So a phone call to the emergency number for my doctor was also required.
The second: Hershey Park, last week of May…not the dream location for any person with diabetes. The roller coasters and pumps don’t mix, so I was on Levemir with my pump for bolusing. It was raining. My Dexcom was in a double plastic baggie inside of my waterproof bag. I didn’t even ride a roller coaster. I was the driver for my group. My blood sugar stayed relatively sane for the occasion. But this event leads to number three.
Three: A few weeks ago. My Dexcom died. I suspect that day in the rain may have been the final straw. I’d definitely dropped in on several occasions before that, but who knows if a little rain snuck it’s way in. After a few emails back and forth I was back on my Dex in a few days time.
Diabetes management requires so much…management.
Other summer diabetes bits:
I’m having issues keeping my Dexcom stuck. I’ll admit I’ve been able to keep a single sensor in for 14 days in the past. But with swimming and sweating…I’m peeling by day three and the only thing that works really well (Skin Tac and medical tape) makes me itchy and red… If I switch out with IV Prep it’s better but it doesn’t last and I end up ripping the site out as I try to replace the wilting tape.
Creepy fingers are back. This isn’t even the worst they have looked this summer.
Beautiful Soul – Jesse McCartney
So of course as soon as I posted that last one, my mom was able to get in contact her friend. We will see where it leads. I’m more on the “get a good experience and learn something” side of things than the “sell my soul for 7.25 an hour “one, so if it works out I’ll be pretty happy. Thanks to Scholarship University, my finances will be just fine when school starts, although I still want to look for an on campus job. Right now, it’s just making sure I can make it through the summer in a productive and happy manner.
Something I forgot to mention in the last post is what is really eating away at me with the whole “get a job” situation. I feel like my parents in particular, don’t recognize what I’ve been going through over the past few years. Not to toot my own horn, but I seriously turned my life around. Typically, I’m the last person to say I’m doing amazing, but I am. I’m always thinking of the people I know and those I don’t, who do more. I can find a million ways to show how my situation is a cake walk compared to others. But I’ve worked my ass off managing my diabetes, getting back into traditional school, finding ways to make my brain foot the bill for college, coming to terms with my mental health, and setting goals for my future, and that’s no small thing on a personal level. I didn’t have most of those things two years ago, I barely had a direction. Now I’m doing well, and I just wish they would recognize it. Laugh all you want, but my love language is words of affirmation. I honestly, need people to tell me that I’m doing well to help me believe it. Without that it feels like I’m wasting my time. Sad, but true.
Stitch By Stitch – Javier Colon
I’m in a strange place.
You see, it’s almost July. I’ve spent the time since I graduated doing “nothing”. And by that I mean, hanging out with friends and applying for jobs half heartedly. The majority of my friends are working, but some are not. I had big plans for this summer and then they fell through. I wanted to take a class to get ahead of schedule at Scholarship University, but then my grandmother got sick and my mom wasn’t home to pay for my class and I couldn’t do it online because I wasn’t technically a student anymore at my CC. The deadline passed before we could work it all out.
My mom has a friend with a graphic design business and it seemed like there was an opportunity to “intern” with her. I figured I could spend my time between class and the internship, with flexibility to enjoy the summer with friends. None of that worked out.
Now everyday is a series of “when are you getting a job” interrogations from my parents, my sister, and sometimes my friends. I get it. I should be working. But so should a lot of people, and jobs are not easy to come by. Especially when you have NO experience and admittedly are uncomfortable with most entry level/typical summer jobs. I hate the idea of working with money, too much room for error. Just the thought of what customers and coworkers bring to the table makes me nervous. There’s also the whole “will it look good on the resume” thing, internships are better but they are usually unpaid. Let’s also not forget that at this point I’d be working for 6-8 weeks before leaving the job, if I found one today. I’ve applied a few places, but I feel like giving up. I’m trying my best to find all the on campus opportunities available for the fall. At least if I can line something up for then, I’ll feel less useless. For now. I’ll keep surfing craigslist and various other sources.
I feel like I want to enjoy my summer, but my financial status is looming overhead. I’d rather spend time this summer improving myself and preparing for this upcoming year, than counting change. But only time will tell…
Firework – Katy Perry
I thought I was back in the swing of things. I was on a bit of a blogging streak. Honestly I have all the time in the world to sit and write. I don’t have a job to get up for every day or school. Honestly, not that jobs are just raining from the sky but I don’t see how finding a job at this point in the summer will even work out because I’ll quit it in the middle of August for school. I don’t think I can work while I’m in school full time, unless it’s one on campus. I know myself too well for that. I don’t want to take on too much in a time of transition.
Speaking of transition. I went to my orientation for the 4-year school yesterday. Registered for my classes. Learned the victory song. Got some campus swag and my photo ID. This school doesn’t feel like home. Just when I started to feel comfortable and make friends at community college, it all ended. I’m sure that with time, Scholarship University will be home too. It’s a big difference going from 10 people in a class to lecture halls of 100s. It’s also not nearly as diverse, which is something I’m just going to have to get used to.
I started this post thinking I would write about how I don’t want to write any more. How I miss the connection of the community that I feel has been lost for me, but also strengthened among some of the more prominent bloggers. How our community has become something it just wasn’t when I started. It’s a job for many of you. How nice for your life to be your job, but also how awful. I had an opportunity a few summers back to jump into the paid blogging world, and I turned it down. I often wonder if that was the right choice. The DOC in particular has moved in such an interesting direction, and while I still feel like it will always be my home base I can’t identify with the social media and sponsorship etc that has come to be common place. I don’t know what I’m saying really, it’s just an observation. I miss the old days. That seems to be a theme in my life lately.
But as much as I miss the old, I’m cautiously excited for the new. I just wish a few things would fall into place or work themselves out.
Sooner or Later – Michael Tolcher
So. Remember that guy? The one who drove my car. I kind of/maybe/who knows… went out on a date with him this past weekend. Actually, it wasn’t a date, just the most awkward night of my entire life. But it got me thinking about relationships and my diabetes.
Until now, diabetes and boys have never really mixed in my life. Actually, let’s face it; generally boys and I have never mixed. Somehow I made it all the way to nineteen (almost 20) without a single boy as a serious part of my life. What can I say, I’m a girl who only has girls for friends and I’ve never really been super interested in dating etc. So these are seriously uncharted waters. I’ve got some ideas about diabetes and dating, but seeing as they are untested I’m sure I’m leaving a lot out.
Number one: It’s a generally a policy to be open about my diabetes. What I mean is that while I don’t wear a sign on my forehead with “Diabetes” written on it, I don’t hide my pump or really shy away from testing in public. It’s usually a good conversation starter and teaching moment. This situation was unique because the guy already knew. He drove my car because of high blood sugar. So that base was covered. Next time…who knows.
Number two: How much to share/how involved? I’m not sure. We’ll see where it goes each time a guy comes up to bat. My sister asked me a question about management. If I had a boyfriend/husband/whatever how much would they be involved? My first instinct is that it would be very basic. I would expect an understanding of what Type I Diabetes is and a general idea of how I manage it, but I wouldn’t want them to be directly involved. On the other hand, I think if things were serious, I would want someone who was comfortable with all the elements of management. Can you program a bolus? Do you know how to insert an infusion site etc? But that stuff would just come in time. It’s MY diabetes, not anyone else’s. I would mostly just expect support.
Number three: Sex…it happens. Yeah. I don’t know. Not really on my radar. I guess I’ll go read that old post of Kerri’s, you know the one I’m talking about.
Back to mending my poor little heart after the worst “just friends” phone call ever. They don’t call it a crush for nothing.
Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble
Speaking of my grandmother.
Each time that we make the trip to the tiny coal-mining town my mother used to call home, I get this feeling. One day I won’t travel these two lane roads through the mountains. No one I love will be left in this town. Perhaps the amusement park where I rode my first rollercoaster will still be open when I have children of my own, and we’ll take a trip back in time. But otherwise, one day that place won’t be my second home, the place where I’ve always felt safe. The home my grandfather was born in won’t be ours; someone else will make memories in the attic and hide under the basement stairs. I’ll always have my own memories of trips to the pool, Christmas dinners, sitting on the porch on hot summer nights, and all the neighbors knowing our names, but it won’t be our town anymore. It’s weird and all circle of lifey. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, and that’s life really: an unknown journey. Growing up is the strangest thing. They should really write a handbook or something.
In My Life – Johnny Cash cover (The Beatles)
Well my grandmother is back home for now…
The year my very first cousin was born, I remember my mom pulling me out of school on Fridays, driving the 3 hours to the tiny town where she grew up and spending weekends in the hospital. Back then, I went more because my mom was the only person who could care for me and my diabetes. I loved my grandma, but I don’t think I always understood the seriousness of her health condition. I loved going out to dinner with my grandpa and sampling every restaurant surrounding the hospital, doing art projects to decorate her hospital room, and riding in rental cars. I’ve continued to be the most willing person to accompany my mom on the long trips to and from Pennsylvania as the years have gone by.
Death was rarely on my mind back then, but as I’ve gotten older and the hospital stays have gotten more frequent there is a little part of me that wonders if this is the last one. My grandmother knows it’s coming. I probably shouldn’t type those words. But they are true. It will happen. I’m scared. I’ve cried about it. I faced it with a friend. But I know I still won’t be ready when it happens. I tell myself, she’s had eighty plus great years. She was the premature baby sleeping in a shoe box next to the oven to keep warm who became the greatest Nana a girl, her sister, and three cousins could ever ask for.
If you ask my cousin, MJ, who Nana’s favorite is he would say himself. The truth is, it’s me. I’m not just saying this, I know because she’s told me. My grandmother has always been one of my biggest supporters. She gets me on a level that very few do. She allows me the room I need to express myself, even when she disagrees, and is always at the top of the list for biggest fan in all that I do. She’s strong. She’s creative. She’s warm and caring. She’s everything I hope to be and more. I love her so much I can’t even figure out how to explain it.
We have this book that saved my life when I was suffering from depression in early high school. It’s a journal for mothers to give to their daughters, or daughters to give to their mothers for them to return. My mom gave it to my grandmother more than few (maybe 10) years ago to fill in and she returned it a few years after that. There are pages and pages of questions and the answers are the stories of my grandmother’s life. I’m just glad that she’s passed down so much to my mom and in turn to me because one day she won’t be here, but I know it will be okay because she’s already given me so much more than she could even imagine.
Motherland – Justin Nozuka