Thursday, September 8, 2011

Diabetic Meanderings

Bear with me - my mind is in a wandering mood...

Yesterday, at work, I was chatting with a co-worker.  During our conversation, another co-worker came in to give a message to the person I was talking to.  It was about giving someone their medication.  He said that the person needs to be given insulin.

"Insulin??" asked my co-worker in a horrified voice.

"Ooops" he replied with a laugh.  "Nope, not insulin.  I just looked at Céline and thought 'insulin' because she has diabetes".

Apparently looking at me in mid-sentence can cause random diabetes diagnoses.

His comment did get me thinking though.  Thinking about how happy I am that I am open about diabetes.  It's no secret that I have it because I never hide it.  When I was using needles, I would whip them out wherever I was when I needed to inject insulin.  Standing in line for ice cream, in fancy restaurants, in moving vehicles that I may or may not have been driving down the highway, during Christmas Eve mass when I was feeling high.  Just do it was and still is my motto.

I am who I am and diabetes is a part of who I am.  So there's no point in hiding it.

Speaking of hiding, I've read other people's blogs about trying to hide their insulin pumps.  Until I read them, it never occurred to me to hide mine.  I clipped it on my belt from the very first day and that's where you'll find it.  I've never tucked it in my bra, designed a dress with a hidden pocket or found some other secret place to stash it.  I have, however, used my holster (as I call it) the odd time that I've worn a skirt.  It's a wide band that goes around my thigh and I tuck the pump in there.  It does look like a holster and it's such a novelty that I'm constantly pulling up my skirt to show people.  My pump probably gets more attention on those days than it does when it's on my belt for the whole world to see.

I'm thinking a lot about diabetes lately, partly because my endo appointment is next week and I've been writing down every morsel of food I eat and every unit of insulin I take.  I'm also thinking a lot about it as I try to plan for race day.

As marathon day approaches, my diabetes game plan is beginning to take shape.  There are so many things to think about it that I need a few weeks head start to figure it all out.  Some things I've managed to practice during our weekly long runs.  Things like what foods work well during long runs, how much to reduce my basal rate before I run etc.  Other things are a bit of a crapshoot.  Pre-race eating will remain a mystery until race day because our training runs happen at 6 or 7am but the race doesn't start until 10:00am.  My typical routine of eating a bowl of cereal, banana and 1/2 of a grapefruit, putting on my running shoes and heading out the door will not work on race day.  Breakfast will be happening at 6am ish and then it's four hours until the race starts.  And what the hell are we going to do about lunch??

I think about it for a bit and then start feeling mild twinges of panic so I purposefully stop thinking about it.  It's the same mild feeling of panic I feel when I'm thirsty and don't have water. I don't do well when my eating routines change drastically or when food or drink is not within arm's reach.  Two neuroses that develop when your safety and ability to function are so closely linked to food and water.

Thankfully, one thing that I don't have to worry about is having to carry all of my diabetes supplies on race day.  Doug has offered to cycle the race route and carry all of my supplies for me.  What a difference that will make - not having to cart all of my food and emergency carbs on my belt.  Not having to worry about whether I can stuff everything I need into my belt.  And, since I've been doing all of my training runs carrying a heavy water belt, not having to carry it should help me shave, what, an hour or so off my time??

Dream on Céline...


  1. least an hour, I'm sure...
    Good luck and have fun!

  2. Ummmm, you might want to have Doug pack you a parachute just in case you're too fast. Or, perhaps a boat anchor?
    But seriously, how much lighter will you feel without your belt?

  3. such a good post.
    I figure I'm going to do the same things I do on long run days with D management.
    the time of the race is the only thing thats totally going to throw me off. go with the flow is all I can really think to do.
    If you're going to be an hour ahead of me because Doug is going to have all your paraphernalia I'll just draft you.