That's how diabetes works sometimes.
For me, it feels as if there's dark clouds overhead and tornadoes and thunder moving in, and there's just no way to avoid the storms -- not even by hiding inside those storm shelters of in-range blood sugars and community inspiration.
I'm caught up in the suckage of suspense, waiting for an answer that might help tell me what the fuck's going on, but dreading that answer as much as I'm anticipating it. So right now, I just need to get this out of my system with a little keyboard-fingertip tapping...
An endo visit where all seemed OK, except for the expected "keep on pluggin" message that was obvious before I even walked into the clinic that morning.
Nothing else out of the ordinary, except an off-hand comment about potential complications and an unfamiliar medical term written on the lab-work order.
Curiosity leads to the evil Dr. Google. A stupid move, but the only way to feel like I'm actually "doing something" when there's nothing else to do at the moment but wait. And even before the blood's sucked out of the fussy vein on top of my hand, it's already clear in my head that something's amiss. Self-defeating behavior, at it's best... or worse.
Panic, fear, dread. Self-blame, regret. Sobbing by myself in my car, before even leaving the hospital lab parking lot.
Everything erupts, flooding my brain. Thirty years of pent up emotion bubbles to the surface, boiling over and spilling everywhere. An emotional earthquake, fueling itself off its own tremors.
More regret, about what could have been. There was never any guarantee that this would happen, or that everything would be OK. But even now as these prison walls close in, there's no guarantee of what's ahead. Yet, the prison walls keep closing in.
I've become institutionalized to these prison walls of diabetes, and this world I've known since age 5 is now becoming unfamiliar, more scary, a maximum-security prison with solitary confinement instead of the county jail holding tank it seemed to feel like lately.
And my only reflex is to blame myself, to fear for the future in the present moment like never before, and just sob until my mind goes numb. And the conversation plays out in my head, a version of what a talented script-writer and actor once communicated so brilliantly to the masses:
But instead of Red to the prison committee guy, it's me talking to my endo about how I wish I could fire-up my flux-capacitor and travel back to when I was a teenager.
"Michael William Hoskins, your files say you've served 30 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you're compliant now?"
Compliant? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
"Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin the ranks of controlled diabetes..."
I know what you think it means, Doc. To me, it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so endos like yourself can wear a white coat and tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
"Well, are you?"
There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm here with possible complications, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime (of diabetes apathy). Of not testing my blood sugar. Letting my A1Cs get into the teens. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone, and this old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that. Compliant?! It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, Doc, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit."Except I do give a shit, I am scared and it does matter. And it feels like there's nothing I can do about it, because I've been behind these glucose-saturated bars for 30 years and it's too late to take back those years.
Compliant? Hell, no. I haven't been, far too often during the past three decades. It's my fault, even if it isn't, and no matter what I do now it doesn't take back the past. Whether I'm "compliant" now or not, the possibility of scary complications makes it feel like these prison walls are closing in tight. And even with good behavior, there's no way out without taking a shiv to the gut.
This isn't Shawshank, and there is no redemption.
At least not now, until those lab results come in and the endo's office calls me back...