I live in mortal fear that I’ll screw up one night and take a large dose of Novolog instead of the required long-acting Lantus. (Which would of course mean hypoglycemic coma.) Or one sleepy morning I’ll take my dose of Lantus again, by accident, and overdose that way. It would be SO EASY to do. Most nights (and mornings) I’m half asleep when I inject anyway. I WILL make a mistake one day soon, and it’s not going to be pretty.
But there are other fears. Darker ones, that lurk at the back of my consciousness, behind the wall of good cheer I have erected: I will not be able to maintain sufficient control of my diabetes, and will in a decade or so, lose my legs, my nerves, my gums and teeth… Or worse, I will be diligent, and maintain good control of my blood sugars over many long laborious years, and STILL suffer diabetic complications.
The latter seems to be the case with dear Kerri of SixUntilMe, a twentysomething Type 1 who was diagnosed at age six. As her doctors recently found “a swelling of the surface layer of the retina -– when a part of the eye isn’t provided with enough oxygen due to a damaged blood vessel,” she is living my worst fear right now. And very bravely. And with a very supportive partner, it seems.
But here’s what her doctors told her: “Keep your sugars down as much as possible. And cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week. We’ll re-dilate in September.” September!! That’s a lot of months to float aimlessly in the Sea of Unknown Fear. And they apparently also specifically ordered her not to go Web surfing for information on her condition, e.g. “that will just make you worry too much.” Are they out of their minds?? How could she not, when she’s got till September to stew?!
Now me, I’ve been in that suspended animation state of half-sick for several weeks now. Runny nose, sore throat, painful ear… not totally out of commission, but thinking I ought not overdo it, in order to protect myself from getting really sick. So I’m off my workout routine, and cranky about it. Will I ever get on it again? I HATE not exercising. And Kerri’s predicament reminds me of why I hold it so sacred. I’m going to the gym tomorrow, damn it! Sore throat or no! I wish to God I could do something to help Kerri. But I can’t. The best I can do is something to help me. And to get my mind off my worst fears…