Saturday, March 04, 2006

What is Normal?

Sometimes I never really think much about what I'm doing, because I figure it's normal for me. But I forget that my normal is different from a lot of other people's normal.

In the past two days, three different people at work have asked if I had a nifty beeper as they saw me bolusing. And three times, I've explained, "no, I'm diabetic, and this is my insulin pump."

These three people (the top boss at work, my immediate boss, and an acquaintance) all seemed to think the pump was cool. "Do you write down all the math for when you're figuring out what to eat?" the big boss asked. "Nah, I do it all in my head," I said.

Another coworker, who has heard me explain the details of diabetes, said once that it was hard to fathom how someone she worked with, who is dealing with the same work issues as she is, is also dealing with a whole other set of concerns all the time.

"Diabetes is like the full-time job that never goes away," I said. "Weekends, 24-7. It's always there."

But while diabetes may be the job, I am clearly the boss. The key, I've found, is to streamline as much about the condition as I can, particularly in trying to maintain very tight control while trying to get pregnant. This is why I eat pretty healthily, and try to sneak exercise into my day when I can (I take a lot of stairs), and why I carry my meter with me always and test often.

(Heck, it's 9am on Saturday and I've already tested three times today and bolused twice. The blood sugars have been all in range so far. And I haven't even eaten breakfast yet.)

But not everything runs so smoothly all the time. Earlier this week, while talking to my therapist, I mentioned that when I get to the gym, I like to do 60 minutes of cardio, but that I've had to stop mid-workout because my blood sugar was--look at that!--37.

She seemed impressed that I could maintain an hour on the elliptical trainer, and of course was concerned about the low (She's diabetic herself). Sure, sure, I was low, and great, I'm glad 60 minutes impresses someone. I'm usually more annoyed that I have to stop the workout and eat some Lifesavers (that day, it was the Butter Rum flavor, which I despise, but it was the only pack I had brought to the gym with me). I'm also annoyed that I don't have the time to do the 60-minute elliptical drill every day. These extra 25 pounds would be history if I could.

I'm reminded of something I learned years ago, with a different therapist (God, I sound like a mess, don't I? But I think all this therapy has given me a lot of insight and self-acceptance): The definition of what one can handle changes all the time, and with insight, a person can learn to live with a lot of things that she might have originally thought impossible.

That concept gets me through a lot in life.

Even the nasty taste of Butter Rum Lifesavers while treating a 37.


Rachel said...

"The definition of what one can handle changes all the time, and with insight, a person can learn to live with a lot of things that she might have originally thought impossible."

A much-needed thought for me this Saturday morning - been struggling the past couple weeks and this helps.

Sandra Miller said...

This is a wonderful post...

Thank you.

Shannon said...

During the time before diagnosis, if someone told me that my son would have diabetes and described all that I would have to do to take care of him, I would've crumpled to the floor in a quivering heap.

But living the life is sooo much different than imagining the life. It's surprising what we can adapt to and incorportate into our lives somtimes seamlessly and sometimes not so seamlessly.


Copyright © 2005 - 2008. All Rights Reserved. Distribution of content is prohibited without author's prior consent.

Template Modified By Blogcrowds and Absolute Stock Photo