22 March 2011

Just One of Those Days

            I thought I would come back from a trip like this one with so much to say. Some new revelation about living with diabetes, maybe come back having conquered the disease. But really, I came back to the same old shit I always deal with. There is no conquering this disease. There is no point where you have become good enough at taking care of yourself that it just goes away. There is no remission. It is always going to be with me and always going to suck up my time and energy just to feel as good as what other people feel like without even trying.
         Diabetes is still the same old crappy disease it always was. I still have blood sugars I can't seem to get on top of.  I still have to fight with my insurance to cover technology they already agreed to cover but have recently denied because my A1C's are too low because I have been using the very technology they are denying. I still have to find a new doctor because the only endocrinologist that I have ever liked had to move. It took ten years to find a good doctor who understands that most diabetics really know more about their disease than the doctors. He would run my tests and offer advice where he could, but gave me full credit for taking care of myself and never talked down to me for being one of those "crazy" diabetics who don't think a moderate walk for 20 minutes is enough to satisfy their need for fun or who think that it is a great idea to go sailing off alone for 4 days. I still wonder if tonight is going to be the night when my blood sugars get low enough that I just might not wake up while my insurance sits back and denies me the safety alarm that would prevent my untimely demise.  And I still have to deal with the everyday stresses that every adult has to content with, but I have to do it without allowing those stressors to pull my attention away from managing this life-long, chronic, crappy disease.
       Maybe I should have come back from a great trip with a better outlook on Diabetes. But really I came back with a better understanding of what it takes from me and how it complicates my life in so many ways. While sailing I only had two things to take care of: keep the boat pointed in the right direction and keep my blood sugars in the right zone. There was nothing else. There was no one else to take care of, no job responsibilities, no juggling of any kind. Just me, my boat, and my Diabetes. Kind of what it was like when I first got the disease in college and had very few responsibilities. I did so much of a better job with it back then. If my blood sugars got out of whack, I would simply go take care of them, leave class for a bike ride, go for a late night run. I can't exactly leave a class of 32 sixth graders to fend for themselves because I have to go for a run to bring down my blood sugars and I definitely can't tell my kids to fix themselves some dinner and put themselves to bed because I need to go lower my sugars. My kids are terribly responsible and capable, but they are five and seven after all.
    I guess I have just been reminded of what a disease I do have. Its not a simple malady. Its not just athlete's foot or a weak knee. Its a shitty, life-threatening at times, life-altering disease that can be very good at bringing on a case of the blues or shaping one's outlook.  I know all the good things that I am supposed to write here, about how I have met great people, and how it has let me go sailing, and about how it has made me more humble and empathetic towards others, but I think I will leave that for tomorrow. Tonight I just want to bitch a little. I think after 14 years of putting up with this crap I am entitled to at least one night of self-pity. Tomorrow I will be my usual optimistic, laid-back self.


  1. Erin, Thanks for the honesty. We all need this to be reminded that we are not alone and that we have busy lives and we have diabetes.

  2. You didn't single hand your boat to Catalina and back did you? Man, high risk venture. I've been sailing my boat (37 ft sloop) for 25 years (Type 1 since 1965 when I was also in college) and find that being in the boat overnight alone at anchor is just too risky. I struggled a lot waking up to EMT's pumping glucose in my veins.

    I love to single hand or be on the boat during the day by myself, but for me overnight alone at anchor or on a mooring is a no-no.

    You're welcome to check out some pics:


  3. Been looking through your site. We nearly crossed paths in Florida. First week of Feb, my three brothers and I cruised around the Keys over a long SuperBowl weekend on my brother's Albin 36. Great trip. Your welcome to check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jduq0dQ4xxA


  4. Glad you are back. It's just the way it is we have to accept that we have Diabetes and live life !! Thank you for the valuable information. As I am diabetic I use Natvia Natvia
    as a regular sweetener. Please keep posting.