Sunday, May 21, 2006

Not me.

The numbers on the prescription form stared back at me: 250.x1. It was a code I looked up before, but not one I had to look up this time. I knew what it meant. The doctors weren't keeping any secrets from me. In fact, these numbers played an intricate part in my life. They represent the ICD-9 label for type 1 diabetes. Or in other terms- “diabetes, juvenile type.” The label was applied to me months ago. But it wasn't a label that I felt comfortable with.

For one thing, with a diagnosis age of 19, juvenile hardly described me. Type 1 diabetes I felt slightly more comfortable, but still, it wasn't me.

For another thing, I wasn't sick enough. With no hospitalizations caused by this diagnosis, no ketoacidosis, and only a few lows that I couldn't bring myself out of, this wasn't me. I wasn't afraid of ketones because I never had a problem with them. My lack of fear was evidenced by my blatant lack of ketone strips. I had only tested ketones 8 times in my life- the exact number of strips included in a Precision Xtra ketone pack. And all 8 times it was 0.0. So my lack of fear continued. This wasn't me. I wasn't sick. I wasn't dependent on a substance that didn't even exist 83 years ago.

In fact- I rarely thought about diabetes. But at the same time, it consumed my mind. I took a shot every time I ate. I tested 10 times a day. I could formulate a carb count for almost any food with a glance of my eyes. But it didn't bother me. And none of my friends knew about my secret world of shots and tests and carb counting.

And the forms were signed. And faxed off. And insurance approved. And my order was shipped. And training was scheduled.


It was small. Too small. And light. Too light. I held it next to my cell phone. It was the same size. My cell phone was cool. But my life relied on this. I knew that mentally, but couldn't grasp it emotionally. My life did not depend on insulin- I wasn't sick enough. The hormone was just something that was there to give me more energy. Like a vitamin supplement, in my opinion. No big deal if a cannula gets kinked or I miss a dose.

I read the manuals. I did the training. I got told I knew everything I needed to. I got hooked up, blessed, and sent on my way.

But it wasn't me. And it still isn't. It's just there.


BetterCell said...

Hi Megan....I have no cell phone, no insulin pump but lots of vitamins, an insulin pen, and a determination to embrace LIFE. Diabetes is not all-inclusive. I still however, would like to go back to the Pump(Medtronic). See posting on 5/18.

Sarah said...

Its amazing how the pump, something that is attached 24/7, something that we count on to survive, something so vital to our well-being, is also something we can use to push diabetes further into the background of who we are.

George said...

I am going to keep an eye on your blog since the pump is in the near future for me. I am sure it is going to take some time. Good luck, we are rooting for you!

Kerri. said...


Just like many others that you've written, this is a fantastic post. Touching on that moment that I've experienced so many times - This isn't me - doesn't exemplify a denial but instead an unwillingness to succumb.

You are a notable writer and your blog is one that I read and find my breath caught in my throat, appreciating how much of yourself you put out there.

Thank you for this post.

Megan said...

Thanks for such a nice compliment Kerri. I love your blog too.