My insulin pump administered ten units of Humalog in my sleep! I must have rolled onto it the wrong way, and the buttons got pushed! HELP!!!
I splurged. I drank the entire island-themed mixed drink with all of the sugary syrup, and I forgot to bolus. Where is the insulin vial that’s normally bouncing around in my purse?
My meter says “HI” but it’s not the same friendly “Hey what’s up hello” a la everyone’s favorite rapper, Fetty Wap. I could drink an entire gallon of water.
“Your GFR results were funky. We’re going to do this Fancy-Sounding-Medical-Test to further evaluate things. The nurse will be in soon with a mile-long needle to stick in your back.”
“Can’t we wait a minute for Dr. Z to arrive? I don’t want to do this before talking to her.”
“This is healthcare, honey. Time is money. We can’t wait for another doctor.”
“What are you doing?!! Why would you pull your car over in such a dangerous location? There is a blind spot around this curve in the road! Another car could hit you! So, so stupid!”
“I’m low.” Even if I’m not low, maybe that reasoning will be enough to make him stop this time.
Must. have. food. Hamburger. Fries. Soft serve vanilla ice cream. Anything. The words aren’t coming out when the cashier rings me up…
I’m so tired of needles. It’s not even the momentary pain. It’s the voluntary submitting of myself to another human being whose societal title raises him or her “above” me. Doctor. Patient. Needle. I’m not signing up for this again. One month off from appointments won’t make or break my health.
But then the baby kangaroo hopped over to me. Overcome by its cuteness, I hugged it tightly. Baby Joey reacted by biting my hand, slicing into my thumb. Mom tried to catch him so we could test for rabies, but he bounced away into the woods.
Rabies shots? No, please no more needles. Can we just wait a little bit? My doctors will be back from vacation soon and then we can move forward with the shots. This is supposed to be one month off! Please! I promise I’ll be good.
I always assumed other diabetics dreamed about diabetes as often as I did, until an impromptu and unscientific Twitter inquiry informed me otherwise. Some #doc members replied that they had only dreamed of diabetes once or twice; others shared a few humorous tales inspired by overnight hypoglycemia.
[After-Publication-Note: The above-mentioned were just dreams. All is well.]
I am in the Twitter minority that dreams of diabetes on a weekly basis. The snippets illustrated above come back to one resounding theme: There is an emergency, the odds are against me, but I somehow am responsible for getting myself out of trouble. Life with diabetes in a nutshell, if you ask me. We just look pretty damn brave while we live it every day, so others do not always notice our superhero capes.
Along with some valuable assistants, I have moved mountains to quell my anxiety in recent years. Anxiety will always be there, but it does not have to be the loudest voice in my head at all times. What saddens me with these regular, scary dreams is that my body is subconsciously in survival mode even when at rest. Diabetes never sleeps, and neither do we.
The good news is that these dreams have value. The incessant cravings in the McDonald’s line? Yup, my body is signaling that my blood sugar is low. Eventually a light switch goes off and I jerk awake, covered in sweat, just in time to hear the CGM alert going off and to gulp down the juice on my nightstand.
The kangaroo? Well, I have to be honest with myself: Although I appreciate the wonderful healthcare I receive in Boston, everyone needs a break at some point. I recently booked a few non-essential appointments closer to my Rhode Island residence in an effort to cut some traffic corners where I can. For now, I’ll reserve Boston for the vitally important appointments only.
But as much as I want to pretend that I can handle all of this on my own right now- during the self-prescribed “month off”- the reality is that I still need the support of my healthcare team.
Can’t we just wait for my doctors and nurses before the rabies shots? Can’t they just take it all away- diabetes and injections and highs and lows and fear- just for a few minutes? Please.
I don’t say it enough, but I’m braver with their help.