Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Bicycle, part 1: The Facts

Hannah: Team Type 1?  More like Team Failbike.
Once you learn how to do it, you never forget.  Isn't that what everyone says about riding a bike?  Five-year-olds ride bicycles.  70-year-olds ride bicycles.  I went to Rehoboth Beach for a long weekend last week, and it seemed like every other person I saw was on a bicycle.  Big ones, small ones, some with baskets, some with bells, some towing those little carts which hold children and/or pets.  These people were happy, lively, pedaling off to their respective destinations.

I cannot ride a bicycle.

I just never learned.  I had my dream bike when I was a little girl--a pink Schwinn with coaster brakes and a big white basket on the front.  There were silver and black training wheels to keep me from falling over.  I loved riding it, though of course I was a careful young thing and didn't like speeding like a maniac with the boys in the neighborhood who were my friends.  Yet, when it came time that I needed to start thinking about raising my training wheels and learning how to properly ride it, I was terrified.  I had a low tolerance for pain as a kid, and I was scared of falling.  Well-meaning family members were always telling me how easy it was going to be, or how I might fall a couple of times but everything would be fine after that.  I still didn't want to.  I would have kept those training wheels on my bike forever.  In fact, they did stay there until the day my parents sold my bike.  I was too big for it at that point, and it was like-new.  I hope it made some other little girl very happy.

Fast forward about 20 years to last weekend.  Matt, my mom, my aunt and my uncle can all ride bikes.  My aunt and uncle brought theirs from home.  There was a whole shed of loaners at the beach house where we were staying.  "I really think you could do it, Hannah," my mom encouraged me.  So Monday morning, Matt and I raided the shed out back for a suitable steed.  It didn't seem so bad at first.  It was a cute, 3-speed Huffy beach cruiser with a silver bell.  I wanted to hop on and just have it feel like second nature.  If a five-year-old can make this look easy, why couldn't I?

It wasn't easy.  I was begging Matt not to let go.  I couldn't feel a connection between my brain, my feet, and my hands.  If I was leaning left while trying to pedal, my next thought was not instinctually "Hey, turn the bars left!"  Many of my frightened thoughts were simply, "OH F**K I DO NOT WANT TO BREAK ANY BONES OR BLEED ON ANYTHING!!"

The outcome?  I did not learn how to ride a bike, but I feel like I made a little progress.  Maybe with time and more attempts, it'll be an accomplishment, because I feel stubbornly compelled to make this happen.  How cool would it be to learn how to ride a bike 20 years after I was diagnosed with diabetes so I can then maybe participate in a Tour de Cure?  

In the meantime, I will not be joining Team Type 1 anytime soon.

This has been the factual story of how I cannot ride a bike.  Coming Monday: more metaphorical thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming Soon to Dorkabetic...

Hey gang,

I hope you're all having a blast doing whatever it is that you typically do on a Tuesday.  Me?  I just got back from an extended-weekend vacation with Matt, my mom, and some other family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  My word to you?  It's a pretty, family-oriented, AND gay-friendly vacation town.  It always does my heart good to see your average nuclear family strolling the boardwalk next to same-sex couples and non-traditional family arrangements.  I want to go back.  In fact, it was tough coming back here.  Feeling a bit wiped now, definitely not looking forward to returning to my regular grind tomorrow morning. 

8:30am is coming too soon for me. 

Anyway, just wanted to check in with the best readers in the universe (you guys!), and let you know a couple things I have planned for future posts here at Dorkabetic

The PR Gods/Goddesses have been kind to me in some of the offerings they have provided recently, so thanks to some friendly, helpful, and downright useful folks, over the next month you will be seeing reviews of:

--Bayer Diabetes' Contour USB and Didget glucose meters.  I have been dying to try both since they've come out on the US market, as they seem to be reaching into territory that other glucose meter competitors haven't even touched yet. 

--The Diabetic Pastry Chef cookbook, because I love dessert, and it was refreshing to see a diabetic cookbook that seems to have a presentation different than the usual diabetic cookbook.  The only thing I will tell you about this so far is that from a brief skim of the book, it doesn't talk down to you, the person with diabetes reading the book.  I loved that, so I'm going to give it a whirl.

You guys can definitely look forward to that.  Also, on the internets I've discovered some amusing tidbits that I can't wait to share.  Just...not today.  I'm yawning.  I'm feeling snacky, and yes, I am in my pajamas.  It's vacation recovery night, so I think I'm going to get myself a Coke Zero and go watch a movie.  I can hear tomorrow's workday trying to sneak up on me already.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And how is YOUR night going?

Just trying to do a site change tonight before dinner.  That was my plan.  My reservoir was nearly empty.  My battery needed changing.  Simple enough.  I go through the motions, reconnect my pump, note that my BG is high, so I program in a corrected.

Bzzt.  Bzzt.  Bzzt.  Blockage detected!!

I try a new set of tubing, since I had re-used the old one out of laziness.  This does not clear up the problem.  My tongue feels glued to the roof of my mouth.  I had really been looking forward to a salad and a glass of wine.  No eating until I'm done.  I think that maybe I need to pull the new set, especially thinking of Kerri's problems from a couple weeks back.  So I do.  And what has my brand new Cleo brought me?  Frustration.  Just look.

A dreadful tragedy if you ask me.

I decide my poor Cozmo probably won't last too much longer, what with this flurry of activity, buzzing and being unhappy, so I walk across the room to take a AAA battery out of the desk.  As I stand there, unscrewing my battery cap with a penny, I feel something lukewarm plop onto my toe.

That would be blood. My blood, frustratingly dripping from the very spot on my abdomen that I had just removed my awful bent cannula.  Looking down I realize I should do something so that I don't splatter more blood all over my nice hardwood floors.  Hey, I'm just a renter here.  Eventually, I'm going to want that security deposit back, and I'm sure it helps if my duplex doesn't look like a crime scene.  I decide I'm going to try and stop the bleeding using the nightgown I'm wearing.  So now...

I also get blood all over my cute new plaid summer nightie.  It'll come out in the wash, but sheesh.  I did eventually get things situated, and I dined on salad and cheap red wine.  Now you have photographic proof that diabetes is damned annoying.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shiny Things! (or, Issues I Have with Attention)

I am considering making a doctor's appointment for myself at the end of the week.  I am hoping that my favorite Physician's Assistant at my family doctors' practice is a patient, sensitive listener, as I've always perceived her to be.  I am beginning to think this forgetfulness and lack of focus and organization is more clinical than merely something I need to learn to do better.

I mean, I always want to do the right things.  I want to get that boring paperwork at work finished and out of the way for good.  I want to check my blood glucose five times a day every day, at least.  I want to blog more.  I want to look for freelance writing opportunities when I get home in the evenings.  But it's just not there.  My drive feels like it's missing.  I collapse into indifference or panic when boring things or less-than-pleasant things come up.  In my mind, I am just soldiering on through them.  I am holding up just fine.

But I've missed important appointments.  I've lost papers at work.  I keep all kinds of lists, but then after some time, I grow to ignore those, too.  For someone who has been told all her life that she is bright, intelligent, has so much to offer, I feel like I am always falling short.  I have talked to some of my friends who have been diagnosed with Adult ADD, and now I think I may go talk to my doctor about the same.  And maybe it's not even that.  Maybe I need to find myself a good therapist.

There are many areas of my life that matter to me that I don't necessarily see myself falling behind on until it really counts.  I miss an endocrinologist's appointment in June--after already missing previous appointments.  I know that you should bolus for whatever carbs you eat.  I even preach it.  Then I don't do it for myself.

I am tired of feeling like I'm screwing myself over unintentionally all the time.  I think I need to look for help.

Anybody out there struggling?  Does my story sound familiar at all?