Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Funny Little Side Note...

*Just to clear up any confusion: this is a blog about my adventure with diabetes and my new insulin pump. Thus the title, "Every Day I'm Pumping."

When I first started this blog, I ended up Googling the title to see how it might come up in the results (and to also see if there already were other diabetes-related blogs with this title). The good news is (I guess it's good news), there aren't many personal diabetes/insulin pump blogs out there. In fact, I have found absolutely no blogs written by teen diabetics, which is kind of sad. I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE, YOU LOVELY TEEN DIABETICS. So start blogging. We need to unite in the blogosphere (for the record, I've never used that word in actual conversation before, and probably never will).

Anyway, so there's a shortage of personal diabetes-related blogs. But that's not the point of this post.

The "bad news," on the other hand, is that there is an OCEAN FULL of blogs out there about motherhood, and more specifically, breastfeeding. So you can guess what came up when I Googled the title of this blog.

"My Pumping Story: How I Handled Breastfeeding"
"How to Pump Enough Milk Every Day"
"Pumping: The Dos and Don'ts"
"Why You Should Love Pumping"
"Confessions of an Extreme Pumper"
"The Low-Down on Pumping: How To Feed Your Baby With The Nectar of Your Bosom"


Needless to say, I *almost* changed the title, but I liked it so much that I kept it. On the bright side, while my blog might get mistaken for a site about pumping breast milk, I now have a hilarious story to tell.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Free At Last" (Part 6)

It’s a gorgeous day. I wobble out to the car with Mom and the nurse-in-training who took my vitals this morning. I was tentative to let her “experiment” on me, but I trusted that she had had enough training to know what she was doing. I hadn’t keeled over yet, so I guess she did. We take the elevator down to the first floor, leaving behind all the hospital beds and IVs and entering into the playful-looking main lobby of Levine Children’s Hospital. It has color everywhere and toys scattered among the chairs. I remember when I was first wheeled in here, and people in the lobby stared at me. I had wondered if I looked that bad. We break out of the hospital and into the sunshine. It feels so warm and beautiful it feels foreign. If two days in the hospital do this to a person, I can’t imagine how people feel that stay in there for weeks. 

I sit with the nurse and make awkward idle chat while Mom gets the car. I’m loaded in and wave good-bye to the nurse, who waves back, the promptly returns to the hospital to go “experiment” on some other poor soul. The windows down, we roll through uptown Charlotte with the sun pouring into the window, onto my pale skin and on my face. It feels like it’s healing me just by its touch. It’s better medicine than anything the doctors and nurses could have given me. I see people walking, going about their business on this Sunday afternoon. I’m going home. I’m really going home. I start planning what I’m going to do when I get there. I’m going to go up to my room. I’m going to take a shower- the first I’ve had in days. I’m going to have a few Ritz crackers and water and sit on the porch to read some in Jane Eyre. I let the sunshine kiss my face. Oh Lord, you are so good to me. So, so good to me…

"Sleepless Night" (Part 5)

I wish I was home. I wish I was home. Where there aren’t nurses coming in and out, testing my blood sugar every four hours. Where it’s quiet. Where there isn’t any loud beeping from machines if I accidentally kink my IV. Where the bed is soft. Where the sheets are warm. Where I can wear my comfy pajamas and not these clothes I’ve been wearing since this morning. Where I can snuggle down into the mass of blankets and sleep. And forget all these things that have happened today. That I’ve found out about my body. Like a major organ not doing its job. Where I can push away all the worries that I have. The confusion. The questions like, “What am I going to do? What am I supposed to do?? Am I really going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life???” 

I’m still not used to the needles and constant pain in my fingers from the continual pricks, so I’m laying here in this hard hospital bed, watching the clock, waiting till a night nurse comes in and pricks me again. I try to keep my arm straight so that the IV won’t kink up, but the needle is in my right arm and the stand is on the left side of the bed, so I’m juggling this cord over my stomach. That makes it hard to lie in any position except on my back, which I’ve been doing ALL DAY. Or at least for five hours at the doctor’s office this morning. Whenever I roll over, though, the cord kinks and the machine it’s attached to beeps loudly till a nurse comes in to calm it down. Daddy is staying with me tonight and he keeps snoring, so there’s no peace in this god-forbidden place. A shadow just moved behind the door. Yes, here she comes again. That brown-hair nurse to prick my finger. Lord, help me get through this never ending night.

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Hospital" (Part 4)

We finally make it there. It feels funny being the one admitted into the hospital. We park along the curb instead of in one of the parking decks. I’m desiring sleep more than ever now. A man slowly gets me a wheel chair. I want him to hurry. We go through the lobby of the big children’s hospital. It’s just like I remembered it from last time. Colorful and playful, like the children’s theatre a couple blocks away. But the last time I was here, visiting a friend, I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that the next time I came here would be for me. Because I would be sick. I never thought I would have to stay here. But here I am. 

The receptionists and a few people in the lobby stare at me as we hurry past. Do I really look that bad? What DO I look like? I know I probably look horrible- I hadn’t showered in days, I had my rattiest sweat pants on, and I don’t even remember brushing my hair that morning. We ride up in the elevator- I’m glad no one else is on with us. We finally get to a room. But it lacks what I want most- a bed. It takes them awhile to find one, so I wait wearily on the little couch in the room. I just want to sleep. I finally get in bed. Daddy comes. He holds my hand as they stick me again and again- first with an insulin drip, then taking blood. After that a rather loud, curly-haired, funny looking man comes in. He’s the doctor. He talks for what seems like a long time, but it’s only about 10 minutes. I don’t even remember what he says. I just know he keeps saying something like, “It’s going to be a big adjustment” or “It’s not going to be fun” or something negative like that. I wonder why he keeps saying that- I thought doctors were supposed to comfort. The lights in the room are too bright. I just want to sleep. In my own bed. At home. In my dark, familiar room. Not here. Not here where it’s busy and bright and machines keep beeping. Not here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Drive" (Part 3)

The kind nurse that gave me apple juice wheels me out to the car. They mentioned an ambulance, but I think mom was scared enough as it was, so she offered to drive. They help me in, IV and all. I lean the seat back, almost wishing for that hard, uncomfortable examining table again, so I could at least stretch my legs out. Now I don’t want any more apple juice- just sleep. Oh precious sleep. But I keep myself awake looking out the window at streets I’ve been down numerous times. I know if I fall asleep, I’ll have to be woken up when we arrive at the hospital. 

Mom talks to me a little. I don’t remember what she says. But we head toward town, and I see the tall buildings I’ve always admired, and dreamed of living amongst. And I see the sunset. Red and pink, the round sun glows as it makes its final descend of the day. It’s like it’s making its mark so that we’ll remember it later. I wonder what my friends are doing this lovely Friday evening. Partying? Having sleepovers? Going to the movies? I wonder if they know. If they know about me yet. I wonder if they feel sad. Are they worried? I don’t want them to be- I’m not. Are they praying? I hope so, oh, I hope so. I need that more than this IV. More than insulin. I want it more than food. More than a soft, long bed to stretch my weary joints out on. I need their prayers. But I have what’s most important- God’s love. His peace flows through me. And I’ve never needed it more than now.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

"Diagnosis" (Part 2)

I’m not scared. And that fact really surprises me. Normally, I hate this place. I hate the needles. I hate the antiseptic smell. But my whole body feels like it’s shutting down. Like it can’t do its job of keeping me alive any longer. My head feels fuzzy and heavy, my nose keeps dripping, and my throat feels clogged with something thick. My arms arch from lying in the same position for many hours. I don’t want to move-I’m too tired. And the IV sticking into my arm keeps me from rolling over. I stare at the white ceiling, a dim light coming through the blinds on the window. It’s early afternoon, but I haven’t eaten since last night. The applesauce and toast are long gone. And I haven’t drank hardly anything today. Hence the IV. 

But I’m not hungry and I’m afraid to drink. Every time I do, I taste the mucus in my throat and it’s all I can do to keep the liquid down. The apple juice they gave me earlier tasted marvelous…sweet and refreshing. But I hate to keep asking for more. Mom is called out into the hall by the nurse. Then I hear voices. I know they think I can’t hear, but I can. They’re talking about me. I catch strands of conversation. Then the doctor comes in. He leans down and asks me how I’m doing. I wonder if he expects me to lie and say I’m fine, because it’s obvious I’m not. Then he says it. If I had known this moment would come, I would have imagined that I would be blown away. Shocked. And scared. But I’m not. I don’t feel anything at all. It was like I knew it was coming. I’m numb.

Friday, August 8, 2014

"The Before" (Part 1)

Several months after being diagnosed with T1D, I wrote a series of descriptive narratives based on the events surrounding my diagnosis. It was like nothing that had ever happened to me before, and so it resulted in these creative... whatever-you-want-to-call-thems. You could say I puked up my emotions onto a page, but I like to think these "stories" evolved a little more beautifully than that. Either way, it felt good to get it out, and this was how it came out, and now I'm deciding to share it on the Internet, so yeah. Enjoy. 

P.S.- If you're a new diabetic, I encourage you to do this sort of thing, too. Not the sharing on the Internet thing, necessarily. But getting your emotions out (about ANY transition in your life, health-related or not) is simply the best thing to do sometimes. So I encourage you to find a way to do that, and then do it. 

I sit here. Numb. Cold. Sleepy. The music usually sounds lovely, but today choir practice is grating on my nerves. I just want to go home. I slump lower in my chair. Mom forced me to go. Well, not forced. But she didn’t want me to miss anything, so it’s all for my good. Besides, she doesn’t know how bad I feel. It’s probably just a little cold. Everyone has gotten sick this winter, so now it’s finally my turn. But I’ve never had a cold this bad before. I just want to sleep. Everything seems hazy and foggy. Charlotte sits beside me, singing beautifully, probably wondering my in the world I’m not. I can’t. My throat hurts and even though I’ve drank what seems like gallons of water today, I can’t seem to clear it. It feels thick and heavy. No, there is no way I’m singing today. Ouch. A headache’s starting. All this music, probably. I just want to get out of here. I could go to the bathroom and sit in a stall. No, this seat is more comfortable. I thought about calling Mom and asking her to come get me, but we only have another half hour of practice left. I can do it. I can make it through. Then it’s home and relaxation. Pizza and a movie with the family. Presents. Did I forget to mention, it’s my 16th birthday?