Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cooked but hopefully not burnt...

It’s 3 am and I’m sitting on the couch with my head tilted forward. I had slept for about 2 hours when I woke up with a splitting headache. Lying horizontally creates just way too much pressure in my completely stuffed sinus cavities. Every single part of my body aches and I dread taking another drink from that glass of water beside me since swallowing is just so damn painful. And the swollen glands on each side of my neck are huge and sooo tender. The doctor diagnosed it as viral so I guess the only thing to do is let it run it’s course.

My body is talking to me. Actually, it's more like a violent scream. And I can’t not listen. I also can’t stop thinking about ‘Diabetes Burnout’. In our 9th year of playing this game, what if I just can’t do this anymore. That isn’t really an option, but when the body stops cooperating with the mind there is no other choice. That scares me.

A few days later, a phone call from the doctor’s office confirms a Strep throat and so ended my nearly 8 year streak without antibiotics. Slowly I begin to feel better and come back to life. I need to put much emphasis on the ‘slowly’. I can’t remember a flu / infection that took so much out of me. Again, is it age or the fact that I'm quite cooked?

So now, a few weeks later, I’m still seeing slow but sure progress. I’m back to work, skiing, playing hockey, going to the gym and riding my bike on the indoor trainer. And I’m also trying to figure out the message that my body has given me. I'm trying to figure out how I can continue to be Adele’s pancreas and not destroy myself in the process. I’ve started with trying to get more sleep. This is not always possible while playing the Type 1 game, but when blood sugar numbers are fairly stable with not much insulin onboard, I’ve been accepting these gifts from the Type 1 gods and hitting the sack early.

Even if my intentions are good, I realize that I’m still resisting this Type 1 life that we’ve been imposed. I know I need to let it go, to accept it for what it is, but I’m really having a hard time doing that… even if it has been over 8 years since Adele’s diagnosis. How long is this going to take? Will it ever happen? Is it even possible?

So now it’s time to get back to basics, to try to start living in the NOW more and more. I know this, but still cannot seem to put it into practice enough. As much as my mind is a useful tool for Type 1 gaming, I must not forget that it is just that, a tool. Like any other tool, I must learn to use it and then put it away, just turn it off. Too often, I am a slave of my thoughts, controlled by the what ifs and waiting for certain things to happen to make me ‘happy’. But the future does not exist. It’s just a bunch of stories that we make up, scenarios, often worse case, that we imagine. The only thing that is real is this precise moment. And that’s the only place where we can be ‘happy’. If I can even conserve even a fraction of the energy that I have been wasting while not being present, I will have made progress. That is the goal.

I really think that my body has been telling me that it needs a break. Type 1 gaming itself is 24/7 with no breaks whatsoever. Add raising awareness, fundraising...etc.. and it's no wonder that it can just become too much. So I guess that it's time for me to go to the back of the pack and sit in the draft for a bit to recover and get ready for the next pull...

3 comments:

connie said...

I feel your pain, Mike. About 2 months ago I got sicker then I have ever been in my entire life! Bronchitis, fever, aches, cough, cold...you name it, I was feeling it and it took me WEEKS to get over it :(

My family and doctors told me I need to rest more and take better care of my needs, that's hard to do when your a d-mama/d-dad. I have always put the needs of my kiddos before mine, it's natural I think to want to do that. Especially as a D-rent.

I hope that you are getting the much needed rest that you surely deserve. You are an amazing d-dad and you have rocked it in the awareness/fundraising catagory...it's ok to take a little breather once in awhile :)

Hope you are feeling MUCH better.

Sarah said...

Mike-I'm sorry you're going through this along with everything else. You're an amazing psuedo pancreas for your daughter. I can't imagine your daughter being more thankful than for you being so involved in her care. Have you asked her how things are going for her? Have you asked if she's doing okay? Maybe all your stress over d is clear to her, too...maybe you two need some special time together where d isn't stressed. I know it's always there, but maybe if there is a promise to not discuss it than you can remember how much else is going so well.
I don't mean to keep giving advice I just know that having married a man with t1d I know that it does get more smooth. I know that he can glance at a plate of food and within a few grams of carbs know exactly how much is there to cover with insulin. He is so aware of his body that when he checks his BG he can tell me within about 15 pts where he's at...I believe our kids will get here. I believe with our vigilant work they will be ever aware of their bodies and all will turn out okay. I believe technology will improve and a cure will come.
Until then, I hope you have a great day, I hope you feel the sunshine and know that it is a good day to enjoy everything around you. :)

Reyna said...

I am glad you are feeling better! This life-style (funny...by wording it that way it sounds like we chose it) takes enough of a toll on us physically when we are healthy. Once our bodies are invaded by viruses and bacteria, we are oh so screwed.

Living in the moment...LOVE IT...and you are so right.