Just Me and My Diabetes

It’s been a week and a day since I had my heart cath, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m back to my (somewhat) normal self again. The little red jab marks from the IV have faded, the iodine stains on my thigh have finally worn off, and I’m more concerned with my blood sugar and what we’re eating for dinner tonight than what my chest feels like.

It sounds weird, but it feels so good: just me and my type 1 diabetes. No Coronary Artery Disease, no heart failure, no migraine headache or hypertension.

I’d gotten so accustomed to my periodic, uneventful trips to Mayo Clinic. I was used to breezing into the lab area and the waiting rooms, surrounded by people in wheelchairs or with oxygen tanks in tow. “These people are really sick,” I’d unconsciously reassure myself. “I’m just here for my diabetes.” But last week, I was on the other side. I was being wheeled around on gurneys and in wheelchairs, stabbed with all kinds of sharp things, hooked up to monitors and tended to like someone who had Health Problems.

The day before the heart cath, immediately following my stress test, I sat in an exam room with a procedure nurse as she organized my schedule. She called Cathy, my CDE, and as they discussed my basal rate on the phone, I could just barely hear Cathy’s familiar, grandmotherly voice explaining that I should disconnect my pump for the procedure. Immediately, I ached for the normalcy of my plain old diabetic life. I wanted so badly to be in Cathy’s office, laughing about work schedules and husbands and trading information about bolus rates and A1c levels. Although the diabetic life can be unthinkably taxing, it’s also relatively comfortable.

Type 1 diabetes is mine, it’s a routine that I know, and right now, it’s one that I’m happy to live with.