I built myself up for a cry today.
I’ve been in a bit of a funk for a couple of days. I was all systems go throughout the exam season – and I actually managed to look after myself more so than the last – both physically and mentally. But the final two days were a bit much and after my final one on Friday I crashed monumentally.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), I get my insulin pump. I’ve been nothing but excited about it.. until today. Last night I tore off my Dexcom sensor. It’s like my body has been retaliating all weekend. I’ve never woken up several times a night to correct highs before. Lows, yes. But not highs. I was angry, and I was angry at my sensor for hurting me. For not letting me sit back without irritation, for not letting me sleep on one side because of the pain, and for showing numbers and arrows I didn’t want to see. So I tore it off.
Today is the last day I won’t have at least one device attached to me at all times. Most of the time, that figure will be two. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been grateful to have the diabetes technology available to me, and for the freedom it gives me in living my life. But today, I didn’t want anything to do with any of it. I wanted to bathe without being careful not to catch my arm. I wanted to run without having anything on me. I wanted to pull off my damn sports bra without fearing I might pull my sensor off with it (the biggest culprit of fallen Dexcom sensors in women, I’m sure!).
So that’s what I did. I thought the tears might come on the run.. but they didn’t. And although I wanted to run ‘free’, I couldn’t bring myself to leave my pack behind. Not when it contains my testing kit, glucose tabs and hydration pack. Not today. At one point I slowed to a walk, pricked my finger and the blood poured out onto two other fingers and for a second I was back in New Zealand, at the danger point of my second marathon. When I couldn’t keep my blood sugar up. When I ate packets after packets of jelly beans and still I was low. When every finger was covered in blood. When I bumped into my ex-Manager at the penultimate water station and she asked if I was okay. And I said yes. But I wasn’t. I came back to the Marshlands. The blood was warm and sticky.I didn’t lick it off. I realised that that was my last marathon, and that I have yet to attempt one without fear or hesitation. But that’s the plan for September.
I poured myself a bath post-run, and I thought the tears might come then… as I rubbed one arm after the other, without catching my hand on a sensor… but they didn’t.
Now it’s the evening and I don’t think they’re coming.
I’m grateful for the technology, I really am. And I know that it was my choice to go on the pump. And I know that I pay a lot of money for the privilege of wearing a Dexcom sensor. But I think my reliance on those things just hit me. I know I can live without Dexcom if I wanted to…and I could chose to stay on pens, if I so wished. But insulin is never a choice. It’s insulin or die. And I think that’s what hurts the most.