Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Running makes me....better?

I've never really had many mental heath issues. I mean, as a kid I struggled with big feet problems. My feet were bigger than all the other kids' feet and everybody knew it. But I was a kid. So really, that wasn't even a huge problem. Sure I got sad and dealt with my emotions the best way I knew how which always ended being okay. I was okay.

I've always been pretty fit. I ran track and cross country all throughout high school and I stayed active in college. I've never been lazy (at least that's what I tell myself) and my health has always been extremely important to me.

I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 18 years old. For the most part, I've done everything I can to keep my numbers under control. I went through a period of utter hatred for this disease and myself for having it and the world was lucky if I checked my blood once a day, but it was a short period. Maybe two months. 

For four years, I've been figuring out ways to keep my numbers in check as well as still being able to do what I love without diabetes interfering. But here's the thing. DIABETES IS AN INTERFERENCE. Yes, I can absolutely have a cupcake even though I have diabetes. No, I can not do so without bolusing for this little piece of shit every single time. See, I can do everything that people without diabetes can do, but I'm always thinking about diabetes in the process. 

When I was 20, I had a terrible time with dawn phenomenon. My basal rates for the hours of midnight until 8am were 3.65 units an hour. Believe me when I say it was TERRIBLE. But I discovered that running the night before made me wake up on the lower side of the 80 range. We slowly lowered my basal rates until it was all "normal" again. And for 2, almost 3, years I have been taking a 1 mile run every night. 

Not the worst thing in the world, right? Keep reading. Lately, no matter what I do or eat or think about, I can not get rid of these midnight highs. About three weeks ago was when I noticed that I needed help. I woke up at 6am and my blood sugar was 200 and something. For breakfast I had a bowl of air and water and bolused 5 units for it. Why? Because I was pissed off and sick of diabetes. I went for a run before work. At 8 am, 355. I told my boss I was sick. I left work. Went for another run and bolused 5 units for another bowl of air + correction for the 355, 9 units in total. I took a nap after my run and at noon I was three hundred and something stupid.  I went for another run because I knew that running brought my  blood sugars down and if I just kept running eventually they would just land safely. Wrong. 

I have been working closely with my therapist and my endo to try and get my numbers under better control. I've gone through a shit load of insulin in the past month or two and it is doing its fair share of damage to my mind, my pockets, and my parents pockets. But in the mean time, I'm struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I'm struggling to see that I'm even in a tunnel. Is this what I'm going to deal with for the rest of my life? Raggedy highs? I can't tell you how thankful I am after seeing a 50 on my meter. There have been a couple of days where all the numbers that I see are pleasing, and I'm grateful for that. And all the rest of the days?

Well, I'll just keep telling myself that no matter how many runs I take in a day...no matter how much I think I'll run away from diabetes...I'll still see a 200 or a 300 or a 400 and I need to bolus and move on. I've seen far too many nights where I've ran so many times in one day that I literally can't feel my feet and I'm so out of breath and exhausted that I just want to sleep on my kitchen floor. It's cold and comfy there, ya know?

Seriously, I'm learning to appreciate mental health. It's a serious deal. Diabetes is tough but diabetics are tougher.

And I'm movin' on.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Diaversary

Okay so June 1st was my diaversary and I completely forgot. May 31st was my brother's wedding so I was super busy with all kinds of, I don't know, wedding stuff. I probably checked my blood sugar twice that day. I'm a bad diabetic. Whatever, sue me. I got home around 1 am and I literally passed out within five minutes. But let's get to June 1st.

I woke up at 8 and had breakfast with my mom. We went to see a play that my god son was in at noon then parted ways. I took my god son bowling because he "just needs to go bowling right now." He's 5. Yes, 5.While we were at the bowling alley, I met another diabetic. She was 16 and had just been diagnosed with type 1 three weeks ago. She was there with her younger brother who was 6 so we let them bowl together but separately if that makes any sense. They had a competition to see who could get the most "numbers" at the end of the game. While they played, we talked. She expressed that she was scared and that she hated needles. She had been checking her blood sugar regularly like the doctor told her to and logging her numbers. Her a1c at diagnosis was 14 point something. So I explained to her that diabetes is hard and never gets easier but it gets better. You get used to it. I told her that I was still scared to go to the doctor and that the 5 second count down on the meter seems like an eternity. But I wanted her to know that she can do this! I told her to go to the You Can Do This Project and to think about becoming a part of the DOC. I gave her the web address to my blog. I reminded her that she is never alone. I gave her my phone number and email address and told her to feel free to contact me if she ever doubted herself or if she had any questions regarding anything diabetes. I don't normally give out my personal information to strangers but it felt right. She needed a friend, a diabetic friend. I felt like I should be that for her. So I did it. We hugged. I reminded her that everything would be okay and to stay strong. And with that, my god son and I left the bowling alley. He asked if he could sleep over and I couldn't resist bonding time with my favorite little kid. We went out to dinner and back to my house for a Spongebob marathon. It was the perfect day.

The next morning I drove him home before I went to work and I went on with my normal routine.

Fast forward to today. June 9th. I realized that I had missed my diaversary. I looked at my calendar and thought back on the things I did that day. And I smiled. I had no idea that I met another diabetic on the same day I was diagnosed but I was glad I did. I was able to help out a fellow diabetic that was in the exact same position I was in 4 years ago. That day was also a good day blood sugar wise. I stayed within my target range and I didn't battle with any nasty lows, although I woke up with a 69.

Seriously, how awesome is that?! Today I was reminded why I should never give up and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Diabetes does not always leave you alone and in the darkness. You find people that are just like you and you remember to smile. I know I'm smiling right now. I'm glad I met that young lady. I hope she finds her way and reaches out if she ever needs help.

Here's to four years of diabetes!