Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I am the snowstorm, diabetes is the unpassable road.

It's all over the news, the storm is coming.  Beware, be prepared.  I am a preparer.  I like to be prepared for anything.  That is why my purse is a backpack, literally.  I carry so much stuff all the time that I was getting a really bad knot in my neck because of the weight of carrying my purse on one shoulder.  It took me about a month to figure out, but once I switched to the backpack it's been smooth sailing.

With that said, a snowstorm stresses me out.  I love snow and I love snow days and I don't mind being snowed in except for it scares me.  The what-if game runs wild.  Of course there are the typical thoughts, do we have a shovel, some food for a few days, have we dvr'd enough Everybody Loves Raymond that if the satellite goes out we won't be bored stiff? 

Then there is the diabetes stuff (which I might be borderline freaky about).  How many vials of insulin do I have?  1 vial lasts me almost a month so I must have at least 2 vials in case we are snowed in for 2 months?  I don't know.  What about test strips?  How many boxes do I have?  I test 8-12 times a day, I go through about 1 box every few days.  I need like 6 boxes, right?  What if the snowstorm is sooo bad that even when I re-order the delivery trucks are backed up all over the mid-west and I run out?!  That will destroy my A1C.

I always have a massive amount of insets and such for my pump.  What I don't always have is a plethora of batteries.  I stock up when they are on sale and I have a coupon.  It really is a crime that insurance doesn't cover the batteries that my pump requires to work.  Batteries last about 2-3 months for me.  I have enough for the next 6 months.  Phew.

What if I have a bad low and pass out?  It will take the ambulance until spring to get to my house.  I have a glucagon emergency pen, is one enough?  Nevermind, I won't need it, the stress is raising my BG.  Do I still have enough insulin?

The storm arrives last night as predicted.  It's looking cold and blowy and nasty.  I crank the heat up.  I figure if the house is 95 degrees before the electricity goes out we will stay nice and warm for a few hours.

Every 10 mins my hubby is looking outside pointing out drifts of snow.  After it has been snowing for an hour he is straining to look at the yardstick that he put in the yard a few hours before.  He can't read it but is convinced that we've already gotten a lot of snow.  He loves snowstorms.  Maybe that's why he married me.  I am the human snowstorm.

The prediction for crazy was there before he married me.  We dated long enough, he knew.  What he didn't realize was that once he said "I do" and the storm arrived, he would be snowed in with all of the craziness.  I don't think he minds though.  I make really good cookies.

This morning I wake up at 5 AM (thanks toddler) and look outside.  There is a minivan just parked in front of my house.  Wait, no, he's not parked, he is moving at a rate of approximately 5 feet an hour.  He stopped moving and the tires spun, snow sprayed everywhere.  He was stuck.  Reverse 5 feet.  Then forward 5.1 feet.  Stuck.  It was a very delicate dance he was doing.  I think he could have done this dance forever.  And yet he was going no where...

Suddenly I am overcome with sadness.  I have a realization.  Everyday, I spin my tires.  I put it in forward, I put it in reverse, I dance this very delicate dance.  What I didn't realize previously is that no matter what I do, I will always be stuck.  Controlling my blood sugar won't cure me.  I will always be here, at this point, doing this dance.  I cry as I watch the poor guy in the minivan stuck in front of my house.

I read an article yesterday about the new leader of JDRF that a friend shared with me.  Some of it was very exciting to me.  There are so many new tools that they are working on to make diabetes more manageable.  Better tools will give me some endurance (and better moves- like the electric slide) to do this delicate dance.  At the same time, they are cutting down their funds towards the cure to put some funds to these new managing tools.  I always felt like "JDRF has GREAT faith we will have a cure SOON!  Look at all the money and resources going towards the cure.  It is close."  Some of that was taken away when I heard this news.  To me, it was like they were saying "Yeah, we got nothing.  Lets see if this will pacify you for awhile.  Hang in there."  It's like when I shop with my son.  I know he's crying because he wants to get out of the stroller, but I give him a sucker to keep him quiet because I have a lot more shopping to get done.   

Don't get me wrong.  I do not disagree with JDRF's decision.  I totally see where this decision came from, it's practical and smart.  It was just kinda a dream crusher.  Maybe I'm an optimist but I kept hoping we'd have a cure in 5 years.  At this point, no one would dump money into faster acting insulin and closed loop systems if the cure was 5 years out.

Whatever happens I will still be here dancing.

1 comment:

  1. I love it Rachel! I love your humor & also agree with you on the topic of cure vs. management focus. It's so unfortunate and we see that with other diseases too. Aaron and I have always said there will never be a cure for cancer. The treatments are way too profitable for the pharm. companies (who also fund most of the research). It's frustrating! I hear ya!