Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Mathematics of my Disease

Today's blog comes from a little place in myself that often is lonely and slightly depressed.  I like to talk about these feelings, especially on here, because it makes me feel less lonely and much less depressed. 
My sister, who reads my blog, will often remark on how "down" my blog is or how I am always complaining about something in my posts. 
To her, I say, stop reading now. 
I write in my blog to get my feelings out- which are at times so mangled and tangled in my head that it gets hard to settle down and put those feelings into words... which is why I started to blog in the first place. 
There are times when I think that maybe I should try to stay more positive in my thoughts and actions, and then there are those times when I think, "To hell with that.  There's not a single person on this earth that feels exactly like I do." 
So, I blog.
And while my sister doesn't like this type of blogging, maybe now is a good time to remind her that she doesn't live on a day to day basis managing a complicated and - at times - confusing disease.  She doesn't stick her fingers with a needle up to ten times a day and then stick herself with a syringe full of insulin to stay alive.  (nowadays, however, I'm pushing buttons on my pump to manage my diabetes, but for over a thirteen year period I gave myself shot after shot.)
So, since she doesn't live with such a life changing disease, she will never come close to understanding the hardships of living this way. 
Perhaps she should be a bit more compassionate and more Christian like in her attitude (but that is left for an entirely different blog post)

I found myself thinking today that I've checked my blood sugar so many times, that it's hard to keep track. 
So, I got out the trusty calculator and did some rough math. 
I'm going to go with the numbers of checking my blood sugar 4 times  a day for 13 years.  Currently, I check myself 10 times a day and will calculate that number in later.  And there were days that I did it more and there were days I checked less.  Four is an average number. 
Are you ready for that number???  Keep in mind, this is just checking my blood sugar.  This number doesn't reflect the number of insulin injections given.
WOW!  What a big number! 
Now, to add in this past year, after finally getting health insurance.  And this involves checking my blood sugars (an average) of 10 times a day.
Let's add those two numbers and see what we get...
22,320 - is how many times I've checked my blood sugar since my diagnosis. 
Now, to add up the insulin injections.  When I was first diagnosed, I was giving myself insulin about six times a day.  Two with breakfast (fast acting and long lasting), one at lunch (fast acting), and one at dinner (fast acting) and one at snack (fast acting) and one final shot before bed (long lasting)...
Throughout the years, I've managed to keep that schedule on a roughly daily basis.  Again, there were days I took more and days I took less.
So, six times a day is a good average. 
Now to add in the times this past year minus two months of insulin pump therapy.
This past year, before the pump, I was giving myself injections up to 8 times a day.  Some days were less, and some days were more.  But, on an average, it was 8 times a day.
Go ahead and add those two numbers together...
22,480 - is the number of insulin injections I've taken since my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

So, when you see my Facebook posts or blogs and I seem a little down, that is the reason I am down. 
It's a painful disease.  And it's not just my fingers that are sore either... My feet and legs hurt so bad from the neuropathy and that is a direct result from having type 1 diabetes with absolutely zero health insurance.  Do you know how expensive it is to manage this disease without health insurance?

So, when I found out I was finally going to be put on Medicaid, I was overcome with emotion and joy.  Now, don't get me wrong... I was a little pissed that it took them so long to finally cover me.  Sure, I'm thankful, but the damage has already been done.  The neuropathy is already there.  I like to think that with proper doctor's care, I could've at least kept the neuropathy at bay.  Now, it's an irreversible and painful condition that I must live with day in and  day out.  And I just found out recently, that my eyes are being affected.  I have mild retinopathy in my left eye.  And while this pump I'm on will certainly help keep my sugars a bit more stable, once retinopathy gets so bad, there's not much they can do. 
I'm thankful that we know early.  This is something that can be treated if caught early on enough.
So, then I got to thinking about the superstars and celebrities out there who also live with this disease. 

There's a wonderful author named Anne Rice that has type 1 diabetes.  And let's not forget the sexy rock star from Poison - Bret Michaels.  Of course, Nick Jonas also has type 1 diabetes.  So, while their disease hasn't stopped them from living their dreams, mine certainly has.

Anne Rice

Bret Michaels (my goodness, he's sexy)

Nick Jonas

I never pictured going on disability at the age of 33 when I was growing up.  I dreamed of being a journalist or writer.  I even had plans on being a world famous cheerleader.  (don't mock... the cheerleading dream was when I was 6 or 7 years old) 
Let's not forget that I spent a good portion of being a type 1 diabetic with NO HEALTH INSURANCE.So, I said my goodbyes to my dreams the day I found out that I had won my disability case.
Sure, I'm working on a novel.  But, there are days when it seems like it'll never happen.  I live with chronic pain and that chronic pain leaves me feeling .... well.... pained. 
But all I can do is keep writing.  Write till I can't write anymore.  And that is what I do some days. 


Anyway,  I guess that's it for now...
Off to continue to write my novel...
Good night dear, few readers...

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