Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rollercoasters Bring More than Fear

This is a post I've been working on for a while...and despite that, I ask for your patience with the ungraceful writing. I just want to get this out. Shout. Shout. Shout it all out. Right?

I'm terrified of heights. Everyone wonders how I rock climb and enjoy the big metal rides of steel. Once I test my climbing anchors with a full lap, understand the safety mechanisms, and watch someone do it, the fear melts away like butter. Monkey see, Monkey do. (Goes very well with "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." but I digress...)

When the rollercoaster changes in unexpected ways and my safety mechanisms don't work, I get very upset. When I was younger, I'd be able to tell a low was coming when I got to 75 mg/dl just by a little nudging feeling inside me with some light shaking and perspiring. In the last two years, I've become very dependent on my robotic paraphenalia aka my Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor aka Eggy.

This week I had a monster low. Eggy was unhelpful, because it was reading confuzzled with the ??? staring back at me. I didn't feel it. I didn't see it. I didn't hear it, taste it, or smell it. I didn't realize it at all until I stabbed my finger before leaving my apt to drive into school (PSA for the day: Always test before you drive). It. This crazed monster of the low bloodsugar variety. Hypoglycemia. The thing that makes every cell in my body silently scream without hope for a solution.

The signs change. The feelings. The nudges.

It started with some lethargy. A bout of nasty nasty depression question whether or not grad school was the wrong choice for me. Ensuing panic. Freezing cold.

All I knew was that I felt wrong. I felt unlike myself but I couldn't do anything about it. I felt this way (at varying levels) for at least 4 hours. I put my to-do-list on hold and seriously questioned one of the largest undertakings I've committed myself to accomplish. Graduate school is not something to undertake lightly kids. No tears. No screaming. No sweat. Just a quiet but persistent inquisition. I honestly believed I should just give up on everything I spent more than a third of my life on for a solid few hours.

I've come to expect lethargy and anger with a high. Not with a low. Lows are supposed to be urgent. Unseasonably warm. Loud. Metallic tasting. Making the energy inside me feel like I'm going to explode. like every little blood cell is bouncing off my capillaries vibrating and hunting for the last molecule of glucose.

Dear diabetes, it's not cool when you change the rules. It's not cool when you make me wonder if I'm me first or you first. It's not cool when I begin to question my sanity. It's not cool when I have to scrutinize my emotions and decisions for the lingering presence of sugar effects. Sometimes, I want my body to belong wholly to me and not to the monsters created by the absence of a single hormone: Insulin. Hear me RAWR. I won't let you take over my life like this.


  1. Oh Maria! I have had a nasty "not cool" theme going on too (although not the driving part). I am so dependent on my Dexcom eggy, it scares me yet is a relief that I have access to this technology. Hang in there. xo

  2. Hmmm. Great post, Maria. Changing rules are so hard.

  3. Our son was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last November and reading your post gave me some hope that we can do it. We're all still trying to get a grip of it. I agree with the change which we found necessary for him to keep going. God bless!

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