Let me be honest with you. I am the queen of over prepared. When I read posts about being out for the day and realizing you have no insulin or you’ve run out of test strips, I don’t get it. I think to myself this never happens to me. I’ve always got extra everything. Mostly because it’s not like you can just ask someone for a bottle of insulin or a glucose meter. Plus, I hate hate hate asking for help. I’m pretty sure that’s got something to do with the way I grew up with my diabetes. My mom and I have always had a saying since I was little and it modified since I began to drive but it’s something like, “If you have your kit, your phone, and your wallet, you’re good to go.” And usually I have all that and more. But…
There are moments, moments when even the most over prepared person misses a step. When that low battery alarm turns into a dead battery and you have to run to the campus bookstore to begrudgingly buy $5 alkaline batteries. And you keep thinking that for just a few dollars more you could get the good lithium ones at a real store, so this will never happen again.
Or the moment when one of those desk/chair combos and your backpack conspire to rip your pump site out, but you aren’t worried. You always have an extra site. Except this time you have one that’s been opened to demonstrate how it works. But you use it anyway, because you’ve got to be back in class in 3 minutes, cool calm and collected, like you didn’t just experience a medical emergency.
Then there are the moments that catch you so off guard you just can’t handle them. That diabetes warrior girl turns into a puddle of tears. This time it was a perfect storm; a lost pump cartridge cap, a site change, with a side of rapidly falling blood sugar. I did everything the same, because that’s how I am. Site change in the bathroom, pump in the bedroom rewinding, all the pieces and parts in their place. But somehow I lost the cap. Falling blood sugar = focused panic. So first I retrace my sets while chewing on some Swedish fish. I move my bed, dig through my diabetes trash box. My heart is beating fast, I’m hot. I can’t find it. How did this happen? This never happens? Okay. Let me stop and wait till my blood sugar comes up. But the waiting just brings tears because, “Why can’t I do this right? Why do I have to have a low blood sugar at this moment? What am I going to do if I can’t find it?” So I barely pull myself together and walk downstairs to ask my mom for help, because I’m not capable in this moment. And I hate that.
That weakness that diabetes brings. You are fine. Totally fine, and then you just aren’t. And it’s scary. Your reality becomes so focused on what’s broken about you. Most days I can see why diabetes makes me strong, if not a bit neurotic. Over prepared never hurt anyone, but the pressure does. I can’t get it right everyday, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t strive to do that. I want no hitters, I’m afraid of complications, and I don’t want to let anyone help me because this disease is so personal. But sometimes it just breaks me down when I’m least expecting it. I can’t always be Jillian Warrior Princess (of diabetes). I just can’t. That realization makes me feel strong and weak all at the same time.
Let The Rain – Sara Bareilles