Change can be good. Really good.
But it can also be really scary.
Type 1 Diabetes is also really scary at times. So, I would think it only natural to fall in to and stick with a system that appears to be working for you.
What we know makes us feel comfortable. Puts us at ease even if it is an intolerable situation.
After the great pump derailment of 2016, I stopped going to my clinic appointments. I cancelled and rescheduled, then cancelled and rescheduled. I felt I had things under control. I felt it was a “good as” situation and that justified my hitting the pause button on all of it.
For several months I operated under a self-management routine that appeared to be working for me.
Then we moved to a different city. And we were nearly 2-hours away from the Diabetes Clinic, where I was still a patient. And, even though I was an awful and absent patient, I was bothered by the fact that I no longer had help close by…
It was like that moment at the end of Labyrinth, “should you need us…”
Only, more like the beginning, when Sarah was alone.
I continued my self-management without any issue. For a while.
When we moved I changed jobs within the company I worked for, and found myself with a longer-than-desired commute. Eventually, all of those changes proved to be BAD.
My mental health started to suffer. I was having chronic and severe bouts of anxiety. Everything was gearing up for to slip and fall in to a deep depression. AND all of that began to have a negative effect on my diabetes.
Something had to give.
Unfortunately, Type 1 Diabetes is a grossly misunderstood beast. Because of that, many of the folks I have encountered don’t take the difficulties that come with it with any kind of seriousness. So, stress and T1D were not a good enough explanation for my absences. No family doctor, no mental health practitioner, and no Diabetes Clinic on my side made that situation intensely difficult to navigate properly.
So. I quit my job.
And slipped down that oh-so-familiar and slippery slope. Barely got out of bed. Slept (or pretended to) all the hours I could. Neglected my diabetes (to a point). I now had the opportunity of “free time” and I ignored it obscenely.
Worst of all, unforgivable almost, my kiddo saw it. There was no hiding IT this time. After months of working during school drop-off/pick-up, I continued to be absent. And allowed my husband to pick up pieces. I even fooled myself, believing my husband and son when they said it was okay.
Because it certainly FUCKING wasn’t.
Then I snapped out of it. Almost as quickly as I fell in; I called my old GP and requested a referral to the local clinic and scored an appointment with a new Endo. But that appointment was months away. And I needed to make a change NOW.
Part of that shift included the ignition of a spark somewhere deep inside of me – I suddenly had a strong desire to be more (pro)active in the Type 1 community. Whatever that meant. Suddenly I had a desire to meet others “like me,” and found myself signing up for Slipstream.
I also caught wind of a mass hiring at a company I had also wanted to work for. So I got my shit together and braved the world. And the job fair.
I was hired and things went really well. For a while.
The position turned out to be far more physically demanding than I had anticipated. And I was far too often left alone. And far too often that caused me to tinker with my insulin/eating schedules. And all of that proved to be too much. And it began to wreak havoc on my health. I suffered some pretty scary hypos. Some of which I wasn’t even aware of…
Hypoglycemia Unawareness. That is some scary fucking shit, man.
All of my above worries were confirmed when I visited my new Endo. So I implemented their suggested changes immediately.
And I quit my job.
And I changed.
I took a more vested interest in my T1D journey, I grabbed the reigns and I drove that caravan hard.
One by one, I ticked off all the boxes on the eight or nine-point plan designed by my new Endo. Soon my numbers started to reflect my hard work and there were some improvements in my mental health.
By mid-summer things were looking up. My husband returned to work full-time, back with the company he enjoyed working for and in a position better suited for him. The kiddo was getting a lot more out of both of us too. On paper my diabetes looked better, and, more importantly, I was physically feeling better.
I was preparing for camp in September. And I began (mental and other) preparations to begin pump therapy in the new year. I was finally going to take the leap!
I went to camp, returned to work and seemed to have a good grasp on my everything…
Then I got a call.
And everything was set to change.