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Practice makes near perfect at bedtime

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October 26, 2016
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Frustration. Anger. Fury. Moving On

I get up every morning. I test my bloodsugar, give a morning dose of insulin. I decide where to place my pump in the outfits I'm considering. Some mornings, I wash away pump stickiness in the shower and insert a new canula. Some mornings, I treat a low bloodsugar, quaking and pale at the kitchen counter. All of this, while feeding the cat and getting ready for work. Drying my hair and putting on lip gloss. Trying to find the right shoes and grabbing a book to read at lunch. Diabetes comes with routines that often fit, tucked quietly, into the other routines my life holds.
But every now and again, I have a day that's different. On these days, diabetes is like a swollen finger in a sea of slim, smooth piano hands. It announces its presence and sits, stubborn, forcing me to notice it, forcing me to focus ALL of my attention and energy on it. Forcing itself atop all of the other routines of my life. These days are frustrating. On these days, I feel like there is no way I can win the battle with this disease. I forget the way that diabetes typically fits, neatly - small, in the background of my life. It becomes a separate, ominous presence.
In the face of this presence, I think - how can I get past this? How can I do this again tomorrow? How can I do this again - FOREVER? How can I face down the same challenges again and again - and how can I deal with the fact that the answers aren't always the same? The greatest challenge of this thing are the days like that. The days when diabetes refuses to sit back. When the obstacles seem bolder and more disheartening than ever.
The fact is, we never rest - even when we're sleeping - alarms are set and our bodies are on an entirely unnatural guard. But there are days when that restlessness - when this life - when all of these routines, as abnormal as they are - feel natural. For me, the most difficult times with diabetes are those times when I realize and acknowledge how downright screwed up and unfair it is to live like this; when diabetes refuses to tuck itself, barely noticed, into my life as it sometimes does.
So how to deal with that frustration? Sometimes, I write. Sometimes, I give in to racking, throat-aching sobs. Sometimes, I scream my damned lungs out. Sometimes, I head to the gym or outside and run until I'm too tired to go on. Sometimes, I read something that inspires me.
Mostly, though, I move on. I resign myself to being better - to getting the best control I can get, so that days like this are fewer and farther between. I give myself credit - recognize that I am patient enough, intelligent enough, and strong enough to get back on track - to regain and maintain control. If I must live with diabetes - (and, well, you know, we don't have a choice) - I am going to live WELL with diabetes. I move on from these days with purpose, with a plan, and the determination and grace to keep diabetes at bay. To tuck it back into the folds of my life - where it belongs.

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