Diabetes Self-Management Blog

“You do know this was supposed to be a summer thing,” my grandson said with venom dripping from his voice.

He and his younger sister asked about three months ago to take cake-decorating classes, so I signed them up for July. That one didn’t make and they were at the beach with my parents in August. So here it is September, and I was driving them to their first class.

Kvetching. It’s what he’s always done best. I remember when he and his sister were something like barely 3 and 5 and had gone with us to West Virginia for my grandmother’s burial. They’d been eyeing the pool at the hotel and I told them they could go swimming after we got back.

We had car problems on the way back. Oh, joy. Grandson was going on (and on and on…) about “You told us we could go swimming and here we are in a hot car in the summer and why aren’t we moving faster and why isn’t the air conditioner on, yada, yada, yada.” At the same time, his little sister was banging her tiny fists on the car seat, chanting: “Wim-mie POO! Wim-mie POO! Wim-mie POO!”

Oh, they were fun children.

Actually, I think he may take after me a bit.

“Whaddaya mean, I have to check my sugar? I don’t wanna check my sugar. I’ve never checked my sugar; why do I have to start now?” Grump, grump, grump.

Of course, that’s all the doc told me. No recommendation on a meter. No being sent to an educator. No prescription so insurance would reimburse me. No being told when to check. Nothing. Just “get a meter and start checking your sugar.”

I did get a friend to go with me to choose a meter. She recommended a brand she always found to be accurate, so I got that one. It came with a videotape teaching you how to check your blood glucose. It took me a week to get up the courage to stick my finger for the first time.

“That wasn’t so bad!” I noted to myself.

However, it seemed as if my numbers were always in the 300s and I didn’t know what “normal” was, anyway. I didn’t know to check before I ate so it was kind of whenever I felt like it. I didn’t know to put my breakfast, lunch, and dinner numbers in rows so I could troubleshoot. Or how to troubleshoot anyway. I didn’t know I could use physical activity to lower my blood glucose. I took pills, but didn’t know what they did. Since I also didn’t know what that stupid diet was about other than to mess with my food, the pills didn’t do any good, either.

So I kind of gave up on checking my glucose, despite the fact that the actual checking wasn’t all that bad — especially after I developed some calluses on my fingertips.

Then there was insulin.

“Shots? I don’t want to take shots. I don’t have to and I’m not going to.”

That was before I gave myself one.

Being Type 2, I really didn’t have to. But have you ever felt so rotten you were willing to do anything just to feel better? I fell asleep so easily, I was afraid to drive anywhere. I was drinking the river dry. I just about lived in the bathroom. I had a yeast infection for three years.

Then came the day my boss told my assistant to take me to the emergency room. They checked my blood glucose and the nurse came in with a syringe. Deciding it was inevitable, I held out my hand and said, “Tell me what to do.”

“Hey! That didn’t hurt! In fact, I didn’t feel a thing!”

So I asked my doctor to put me on insulin. That was when I got sent to an educator, but all she did was teach me how to mix Regular and NPH in the same syringe. I still didn’t know about food, or about when to check my glucose or any of that other stuff, so things weren’t much better. But the injections didn’t hurt.

It wasn’t until I got to an endocrinologist, who sent me to a couple of CDEs, including a nurse educator and a dietitian, that I found out about all of that stuff. And I began to feel a whole lot better.

So much better, in fact, that I wanted to jump my husband’s bones again. A lot. Plus, the thirst went away and I learned how to balance food with insulin and I couldn’t wait to check my glucose to see what my number was. (Today, I wear a continuous glucose monitor and can see what my blood glucose is any time I want with just a press of a button.)

Now, why did I waste my time with all of that kvetching?

Oh! My grandson? He decorated cookies the first class. He came out of that one saying: “I can’t wait ’til next week! We get to decorate a cake!”

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Comments
  1. That reminded me of when my family went to the shore one summer. When we arrived at the beach house, my 4-year old brother burst into loud wails. When we finally got him calmed down so we could understand him, he said, “You said we were going to the zoo before we went to the shore.” My parents had forgotten about taking him to the zoo that summer, so he figured we were going on the way!

    Posted by Deb |

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