Fun Moments Take the Sting out of Dealing with Diabetes

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I can’t say that the Colts were very amusing Sunday night — especially as the game advanced and the Colts retreated — but Frank took the sting off the loss.

Frank, one of our four cats, found a stray sheet of tissue paper amid some miscellany on the ottoman and wrestled it to the floor. He then took a run, flopped onto the paper, and slid as far as the carpet would let him. Then he did it again…and again…until the paper was torn to shreds. I guess it isn’t just humans who like to have a good time.

As an aside, all you Saints fans who are saying “Who dat? Who dat dissin’ our team?” should know that I’m a very competitive person. I don’t like to lose. I don’t like to lose so much that I don’t even play games. Trust me: It’s best for everyone. However, if anybody had to beat the Colts, I’m glad it was the Saints. Heaven knows New Orleans has been through a lot since Katrina and could use a whole lot of uplifting. And it’s about time we thought of the Louisiana Superdome as the site of a winning team instead of that of a devastating storm.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

It’s especially important to have some fun when you’re dealing with a chronic condition, especially one as annoying as diabetes. There’s no way you can wrestle the Diabeastie into continuous submission, no matter how hard you try, so you may as well laugh about your attempts to rein it in. I mean, if it’s appropriate. Some things are just plain not funny.

Not all of my fun involves diabetes, but some does. I once had a certified diabetes educator (CDE) accuse me of enjoying hypoglycemia because I would always laugh about it. Well, what else are you going to do? It happens, you do some stupid things and, while it’s not funny at the time, it can be later on. Such as the time I couldn’t figure out how to count my carbohydrates, so I ate dinner with a cocktail fork. It made sense at the time.

Hypoglycemia can bring out your creative juices, too. My husband and I came up with the name Camp Lobegon after I went low in a restaurant and burst into tears in front of the mayor and everybody when I couldn’t figure out how to eat my sandwich.

Back when insulin pumps were relatively rare, I had someone comment on my cute, blue “pager,” then gasp and say, “it’s attached to you!” when he noticed the tubing.

“How else would I contact the mother ship?” I replied.

But a friend of mine had an even better answer when somebody noticed the tubing coming out of her “pager” and disappearing into her waistband. “It runs on water,” she explained.

Having fun can take my mind off unpleasant thoughts. Monday, I went to Indianapolis for the latest in my seemingly never-ending visits to see the doctor about my not-quite-yet-healed foot and leg. I have an infection I can’t seem to shake. In addition to worrying about having a constant infection, I don’t like what it’s doing to my blood glucose. I just keep taking more and more insulin in an effort to keep my glucose in some kind of a decent range.

I’d also spent a night trying in vain to lower my blood glucose, only to find out Monday morning that my infusion set had come out. My blood glucose was getting higher because I wasn’t getting any insulin. Duh.

Then I saw it as I was driving around the beltway on my way home: my distraction. It came in the form of a huge “Do you like the Colts?” sign atop a billboard plugging (no pun intended) a pistol exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. (The exhibit runs through April 18.)

For several miles after that, I entertained myself by trying to figure out what the Colts plug really meant — especially in connection with a pistol exhibit. Were we supposed to shoot the Colts because they lost the Super Bowl? Were we supposed to wreak havoc on the Saints because they won? Or did it have something to do with “The Gun That Won the West,” AKA the Colt revolver? Did the fact that the sign over the billboard was in Colts blue and white and written in the font used in the football team’s logo give a clue to the meaning? Or was the museum just playing with us?

I never did figure it out, but I was no longer thinking about diabetes and infections. Or even how one of my new antibiotics tends to turn bodily fluids orange. (You know, like tears, etc.) Or even that I may yet end up on IV antibiotics. Again.

But now I’m thinking about diabetes and infections again. Hmmmm…

Frank? Oh, Fraaaankie! Mama has a nice sheet of tissue paper for you…

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