Our Cars Have Diabetes
You could have sworn that my wife's little blue Chevy Cavalier and my fire-engine red Ford Escape SUV were Living With Diabetes, complete with unexplained Lows and Battles with High Blood Sugars.
All thanks to the snow-enduced driving adventures in Central Indiana.
For the record: the snow wasn't bad in Indy. Not like D.C. or the East Coast where it trapped people inside (Hi LADAdeeda!) and effectively shut down the federal government. Plus, we're from Michigan so we know firsthand what kinda punch snowstorms can pack with lake effect and aggresively unsafe drivers tossed into the mix. What we had here was fierce wind, creating massive snowdrifts overnight that created the whole plot to this story.
See, Suzi drives the Cavalier. It's a good car, but low to the ground. As a result, the massive snowdrift combined with the middle-of-the-night snowplowing resulted in a pile of snow that was TOO HIGH for her car to manage. It got stuck. No matter how much the tires spun and engine revved, there was no moving. Much like we People With Diabetes feel when our sugars get Sky High - like we're stuck in the mud, er snow.
Enter Me. Confronting the icy-cold wind. Digging her car out. Manuevering it into the two-car garage. To get us both to work, we turned to the more weather-handy Escape on my half of the garage and easily ventured out over the drift and onto the hardly-plowed roads. (Note: she works at A, I work at C, and we live at B. So the normal 20-mile roundtrip commute for each of us was transformed into 60 miles.)
Smooth ride, for the most part. Just slower, overly cautious, and two hands on the wheel to navigate the hazardous interstate with several slideoffs and at least one overturned SUV. Slowly, the frustrations of that High melted away (unlike the snow) and eased into optimism that all would be right in the world again.
This was about 8 a.m. Of course, this meant I needed to be the one to later swing by and pick her up. No problem...
4:45 p.m. I leave downtown Indianapolis, en route to Franklin - a 20 minute drive or so. Hardly any more snow had fallen since last night, but the wind remains brutal and is blowing it around everywhere. As I journey southbound on Interstate 65, I begin to feel what can only be described as an uncomfortable feeling.
Shuddering. Shaking. Inability to follow a straight line. Sweating. Hazy Vision. Hunger, a result of an UnFull Fuel Tank. Fear that someone could get injured or damaged because of this current State of Health.
This was the Escape. Not me. (I tested earlier and I was 186 mg/dL after a later lunch.)
As I tried to pinpoint the problem of my vehicle, and reassured myself that I wasn't Low, my mind mulled the possible causes: Low Air in Tire? Unstable wind? Remnants of the High Snowdrift In Our Driveway. Hungry for fuel? Too much exercise thanks to the speed?
Hmmm. Sounds familiar...
Pulled over to inspect. Just like I do when having a Low, I turned to the appropriate tools a status check. Still plenty of fuel - half a tank. Not yet time for oil change. Tires were fine. No snow left over. Popped the hood, and saw air filter was fine. Got out the maintenance logbook to check whether it was time for anything specific, but saw all appeared to be in order. As far as I could tell, there was no clear cause for the shaking steering wheel, shuddering vehicle body, non-working windshield defroster that resulted in "sweating" and unclear driving vision.
Again, so familiar...
Arriving home after scooping up Suzi from work, we observed that the Continuously Taunting Wind had once again stolen all of the shoveling work I'd done earlier in the day and created an even Higher Snowdrift. Mother Nature is mocking me. The SUV made it through the drift, up the iced-over driveway, and into the garage. We then journeyed outside to battle the High Snow once again, with the thought of increasing the basal rate (er, rocksalt content) for the next day to get everything back to normal.
Recapping: there was a High. We tried to conquer it, but in doing so created a Low that led to a Bottoming Out. Need for an Emergency Ride To Safety Lifeline. An afternoon of Blowing Wind, which led to another Low with Shaking, Shuddering, Weaving, and Blurry Vision. Ultimately, Tested and Found No Explanation. Despite the day's efforts already, encountered and fought a New High with the plan to put a Temp Basal into effect. Logged it all, in order to share with the appropriate licensed professional to help fix whatever is causing the problem.
Of course, this all happens as the Rest of Life Goes On.
Reflecting and pondering, I can only conclude that Our Cars Have Diabetes. It's so logical. Makes perfect sense. Really.
Sometimes, just like us People With Diabetics, our CWD get stuck in the snow and unable to move because of a High. We go Low. Often feel as though we're going to swerve off the road because of the Fluctuating Winds of Diabetes or Snowstorm of Sugar Swings. But, we use our tools to test the health, keep up the maintenance, have that handy insurance should we need it, and work every day to making our drives as Smooth As Possible.
Brian and I have a similar configuration between work and home, which makes one-car commuting a huge challenge.
And thanks for the shout out!