Friday, September 17, 2010

An Invisible Me(me)

The Diabetes Online Community has been full of Diabetic MeMe posts in recent weeks and it seems Kerri kicked off the trend, so here's my jump onto that worthy bandwagon. Seemed like a good time in general, but also because I've been busy with a mix of work priorities, writer's block, and just a sense of burnout in doing so much lately. Plus, it's Invisible Illness Awareness Week and I wanted to catch the end of it before it was too late... So, enjoy this one all about Me!

  What Invisible Illness do I live with? Type 1 diabetes. Yes, that's not a pager or phone at my waist and I'm not carrying a little Iphone case with me everywhere I go - that's an insulin pump and blood meter case, two of the many tools you might otherwise not even notice when seeing me sprinting down the street like a madman (in search of sugar, not because I'm running late to a meeting.) 

When were you diagnosed: My D-Life Adventures began in Spring 1984. An exact date isn't known and the paperwork no longer exists. But we know it was right in this area, because my mom recalls it was just after my 5th birthday on Feb. 1 and after my grandfather had died. With my mom being a Type 1 since the age of 5, she was glad that he hadn't lived to see his first (and only) grandchild diagnosed with diabetes. 

What's your current blood sugar: 77 mg/dL (which means I can't yet go to bed and must eat something...) 

What kind of meter do you use: One Touch Ultra Link. Love it, because it automatically syncs with my Minimed 722 Paradigm pump and makes life so much more hassle-free. 

How many times a day do you test your blood sugar: Usually 7 or 8, but sometimes as many as 12 depending on Lows or whatever else might be happening. 

What's a "High" number for you: 250 or Higher is "High," though I'd prefer to stay under 200. 

What's do you consider "Low": Whenever the paramedics need to be summoned, or more simply when my vision blurs or I have trouble comprehending simple tasks such as spelling my name. A meter reading of 60 or below might signal this "Too Low" train of thought, too. 

What's your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater: Partial to glucose tablets. But I've been getting more used to Skittles. I enjoy tasting the rainbow. 

What was your last A1c? 7.7

What have your highest and lowest A1c been? Been all over the map, from High Teens during my teen "rebellion" years to lowest of 6.1 in late 2001 after initial six months of pumping.

What's your biggest diabetes achievement: 26 years of Living With Diabetes without any complications worth mentioning. Luck, might be a better word than achievement... 

What's your biggest diabetes-related fear: Not death. Everything short of that.

Aside from diabetes, how do you spend your days as a non-invisible? I'm a journalist at a legal newspaper in Indiana. So, my days are about talking to lawyers and judges all day.

What takes your mind off of Diabetes? TV. Now that Law & Order is 86'd, my vote would be for NCIS. Go Gibbs!

Who's on your support team: My wife, first and foremost. Family. Diabetes Online Community. My Endo. Primary care doctor. Coworkers. Everyone else who hasn't been named, but is supportive.

Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime: Even if there is, I don't expect I'll be touched by it. But, there's always hope.

What is a "cure" to you: Not the Artificial Pancreas. But short of being able to be off insulin 365/24/7 for the rest of my life, I'll take it. 

The most annoying thing people say to you about your diabetes is: "After so long, you should be better at this." (That's a direct quote, and no this person managed to escape a crowbar to the kneecap.) 

What is the most common misconception about diabetes: The misconception by so many that Type 1 is a lifestyle condition we bring on ourselves, and that it can be controlled by eating right and exercising enough. 

If you could say one thing to your pancreas, what would it be: That lazy bastard isn't even worth wasting the breath. But if I did, I'd say: "You're as worthless as a $2 welfare worker."

Why I am participating in Invisible Illness Week: Because it's important for people to know that just because you can’t see my illness and I don't look "sick", it doesn’t mean every aspect of my life isn't affected every day.

4 comments:

Meri said...

As the Who's down in Whoville declaared, "We are here! We are here! We are here!"

Great to learn more about you!

Reyna said...

Hey...I like the Invisible Illness nuance! Nice job and so cool to get to know more about you and your keen sense of humor.

Let's try to avoid the "paramedic visit lows"...enjoy more of ROY G. BIV (the rainbow baby)!

Jonah said...

Y'know, pancreases actually do a lot more than make insulin and if your entire pancreas didn't work you'd have to take pancreatic enzymes with every meal (just exactly the right dose) and you'd have one doozy of a stomach ache. The islet cell part of the pancreas is only 2%; in type 1 diabetes the other 98% is totally normal in half of cases, and only slightly impaired in the other half.

On an ultrasound, the pancreas of a type 1 diabetic looks normal, unless they have an additional disease affecting the pancreas.

Just curious, why would a cure not touch you?

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Ah, the rainbow...they are so easy at a carb a pop.

How did that person manage to escape the crowbar?