Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Always Something There to Remind Me

Since the attack of low blood sugars things have been going pretty smoothly as far as diabetes goes. It has its ups and downs like always but for the most part it’s been somewhere in the middle.

I am more at peace with this disease than I have been in several months. Since school started in August it has been a never-ending roller coaster ride of highs and lows (mainly highs). Then, he had the never-ending lows. Now, he has a few highs, he has a few lows, and several numbers in between.

I try not to let the numbers affect my mood, but I find it to be nearly impossible. There are days when I do OK even if he’s had several highs or several lows. But, for the most parts the “good” days are the days where his sugars behave somewhat.

Even on those days diabetes is still always on my mind. I sometimes wonder what thoughts would fill my head if diabetes had never entered my life. It seems that almost everything is connected to diabetes in some way.

When I see a new food item in the grocery store I don’t just look at the price, I immediately flip it over and read the carb count. Even if I don’t plan on purchasing it I still look and make a mental note of the carbs. I do this because if we come across this particular item in the future I’m hoping I’ll have some knowledge as to how many carbs for which to bolus.

When I try to find anything in my pocketbook, which is a chore unto itself, I have to wade through juice boxes and bagged snacks. I push aside ketone strips, used test strips, and a carb counting book just to find a pen. While I don’t consciously think about diabetes at that time, it’s still a faint reminder that the disease is very much a part of my life.

When Riley mentions that a classmate has a birthday the next day, I don’t automatically ask him how old the child will be. First, I start wondering if there will be a party and how many carbs he might have and if they’ll have cookies or cake. Then, I pray that his sugar will cooperate so when he partakes of the tasty treats his sugar won’t go from high to sky high. Then, I get around to asking how old his friend will be.

A few nights ago I was looking for a baby picture of Holden for his annual. While sorting through the pictures I came across one of Riley sitting in Michael’s lap. Riley was almost a year old. I looked at those chubby cheeks and, other than thinking how cute he was, I thought about how he didn’t have diabetes when that picture was taken. It’s strange that I’d even think of that, but I did.

Last week I had a meeting with some other school nurses. My cell phone would not pick up in the building where the meeting was held. This made me nervous. What if his teacher needed me? I kept excusing myself and would walk outside to where I had a signal and would check to see if I’d missed any calls or is I had any voice mails. Even while in a meeting at work it’s on my mind.

The thing that has struck me as most odd lately was when I began reading my latest book. It started out with a prologue and then it went into the main story. The first page of the main story had a date at the top, “February 2005”. I kid you not, my first thought was “Riley did not have diabetes in February 2005”. Why? I have no idea. Then, I quickly calculated that 8 months later, he did.

I don’t know why my mind always goes to diabetes. I wish I could change it, but I don’t know how. I guess the best advice is to say “just stop thinking about it”. But, I can’t. It’s kind of like if I say to you “do not picture the front door of your house”. Of course, the first thing you do is picture the front door of your house.

I hope to one day find out what I'll think about when there isn't diabetes to think about anymore.


Kelly said...

As always, you are not alone on this one Penny. I always thought I think about Diabetes sooooo much because I carry my own around too, now I realize from your post that it really isn't my Diabetes that ever concerns me. It is always Maddison's.

Being just over 26 months into her diagnosis I still think about her and her Diabetes several times every hour, all the same things you mentioned. I keep hoping that "next year" will be the year that I can STOP this maddness of Diabetes thoughts. I always wonder if there is something "wrong" with me becuase I can't stop thinking of Diabetes either. Thanks for this post and for always being honest. You always have a way of truely letting me know I am not alone, and I am not crazy or "wrong" in my thinking. ((HUGS))

Penny Ratzlaff said...

Every single New Years since Riley's diagnosis the first thing I do after the ball drops is think "maybe this is the year...."

And, if we're "wrong" in our thinking, we'll be wrong together.

:) Tracie said...

I thought I seriously was the only one with these exact thoughts!

Though I don't work, it creeps into my thoughts while I'm volunteering at her school and it even controls my shopping time and daily schedule. I always make sure I have enough time to get to school for her doses and I still watch the clock even though she's a pumper.

I get sad when I look at pictures of her under 19 months old and we are even coming up on her 7 year diagnosis. I don't like that it is another date I remember or rather won't forget.

Not only that, but I find test strips everywhere! They're in the car under the floor mats, in the rooms of the house randomly laying around, each trash can, the bottom of my bottomless pit purse, even in the couch!

I guess it's a part of all of us and not just the person living with it in their body! It's actually a blessing, because she's still here and only dealing with this disease.

Amy said...

Haha! I so have these thoughts as well! I'm planning on going away for the weekend in a few weeks by myself and I seriously have doubts that I'll be able to relax- even though Jada will be in good hands with Jeff! :) And test strips- I'm finding them everywhere! Even today, we walked to our neighborhood park and on the way home- two doors away from us- Jada looked down and got all excited because there was one of her test strips laying in the street!!! I had to laugh!

Lynnea said...

You know, I've been thinking a lot about this lately....I really don't think it will ever be completely out of my life. I'll always think about it....even if a cure is just around the corner I'll think..."oh, that's when it was this way or that way.". Diabetes is the lightning strike that changed everything....for us anyway. relate to your post....I always look at pictures and think "Before diabetes." or "After diabetes." And yesterday I was going to go to the gym, but our cell service was cutting out....and I immediately thought I shouldn't go since I might not be able to be reached...etc. Blasted cell coverage...when will that be "cured"!!!:-)