A few of my favourite things.

A few of my favourite things are made from glass and are full of liquid. Here’s a photo.

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You thought I was going to show you my wine collection, didn’t you?
I love Little L’s diabetes equipment. I love her glass vials full of insulin. The magical juice that keeps her alive. I love her pump. Her blood glucose meter. Her pump inserter with its long sharp needle that makes her cry. Her canula that delivers the insulin to her body 24 hours per day. Her jellybeans.

I love these items that are solid and constant. We can wrap them like a bandage around this disease that shifts like sand beneath our feet, ever changing and keeping us wired and alert. We live in type 1 diabetes-land, where blood glucose numbers, emotions, insulin-dose requirements and health all change daily, or even hourly, or be interspersed by months of relative stability. Amidst the uncertainty, these items of ‘kit’ are my rock. They don’t change. When we have no idea what’s going on and she’s inexplicably climbing higher and higher, we replace everything, with fresh insulin, new canula, fresh line, different insertion site, check her blood sugar levels, and gain a tide-mark to measure how high the flood has risen. My favourite things bring us back our control.

Optimized-fingerprick

In the night, her equipment is my sleep salve. The ever-present threat of not waking up, for every person with type 1 diabetes, is the alarm that propels me out of bed at 3am to check her borderline low numbers. She’s not unique. She doesn’t have a ‘bad’ type of diabetes. Every person with the condition lives with this threat, and those you know with diabetes that don’t appear to treat themselves, or carb count, or inject or bolus, are either very discreet or not taking care of themselves.  I put on my miner’s head torth, and there is her fingerpricker and that drop of blood, delivering me real numbers in the dark, and with reassurance, I sleep soundly.

Being a small girl living with type 1 diabetes is an emotional ride. After the novelty of being ‘special’ at diagnosis 18 months ago has worn off, it’s just a hassle she can do without. Having very high or low blood sugar levels can make a person emotional. Being a 6-year old girl with feelings she can’t quite articulate, of frustration, confusion, difference, and being ‘over-it’ can make a kid Carrie-style emotional. She maybe can’t put it into words, but she does know how to release the pressure cooker vent through anger, just as we do when we’re tired and stressed after we’ve hit our limit. After a trying day looking after the kids at home, or a day at work being needed by too many different factions, we come home and snap at our loved ones. For a 6-year old? This will look like an impressive tantrum, while in fact there’s a sea of confusion and upset seething beneath the surface.

pump entry

When we’re at sea and I don’t know whether to punish the behaviour, or she’s reacting to a blood sugar level, or upset and expressing it through anger, we swim for the rocks. The equipment is our rock, and our stability. We check her blood sugar number, she calms, and we climb out of the sea to dry off.

Little L’s equipment, our rock, makes her feel safe. It keeps her alive. She can’t survive without insulin. And for this, though I hate it with all my heart, I love her equipment. These bits of kit are my favourite things.

Now. Would you like to see my wine collection? It’s quite extensive. Yoga can only go so far.

xx

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18 thoughts on “A few of my favourite things.

  1. Thanks so much Lara. The support from people like you in the computer as well as in real life is as much a part of what keeps me going as all that wine. xx

    • I can’t imagine going through every pregnancy with diabetes! We done you for going back in after a first run. Pregnancy SUX in my very humble opinion ;)

  2. For one confusing moment I thought that long pen like object was a pregnancy test, I was wavering between being pleased for you and feeling sorry for you ;)

    Lovely post, lovely way to look at it.

    • Oh Alison, there would have been no wavering there. It would have been straight out tissues. This womb is CLOSED for business. Another 4 months in bed to keep a baby in, contracting all the while? Hell NO!! :) I love that you’re still there, lurking, reading, supporting. You’re missed. Xx

    • Thank you Robo, it had to get out! Word vomit… Or some such thing :) There’s a wine glass on my table with your (real secret ;) name on it. Just say when! X

    • Thanks Tegan, that means a lot. I’m hoping desperately for the same thing, and they are making some progress in clinical trials with inhaled insulin and artificial pancreas and the like.. I’m hopeful. Gotta be really. x

  3. Lovely post. My cousin has type 1 diabetes and the constant awareness and treatment is exhausting. She hides it well.

    Enjoy that wine. Clearly deserved.

    (Oh, and if you’ll forgive the plug, you HAVE to check out my article at The Shake tomorrow featuring David Astle. You will love it. x)
    Emily recently posted…Living, dining, future recliningMy Profile

    • Thanks Emily. It’s so true- the constancy of if is what’s exhausting. Every 3hours, forever. I’m impressed by your cousin. I love to hear about inspiring adults living with the condition. And THANKS for the heads up – can’t wait to have a read!! X

  4. I honestly believe that medical science will have this thing licked within our lifetimes. I know this doesn’t help with your day to day life. The stuff which is going to happen over the next 20 years will be mind blowing but dont ya just wish they’d hurry up a bit?
    Loves and wine to you – a splendidly crisp SSB with an aftertaste of passion fruit and icing sugar.
    mumabulous recently posted…Small TalkMy Profile

    • I honestly want to believe you Brenda. And it does help, because ‘sometime eventually’ sounds a whole lot better than ‘every single day for the rest of your life’. I am drinking that SSB in my mind right now x

    • The blood sugar did ok, but the blood alcohol level may have gone a little haywire over the past weekend in Melbourne. Mamma escaped! All back under control now. I’s got responsibles.

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