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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Reset?

A couple of years ago I bought myself an old, beat up, full size pickup truck. A 1993 Ford F150, extended cab (have to be able to fit the kids in there somewhere...).

It has served me well over the last couple of years, but, like any old vehicle, it's really starting to show its age. I can damn near reach through the rust holes on the passenger side to unlock the door if I should ever lock my keys in there.

This is also the first time I've owned a rear wheel drive vehicle.

Rear wheel drive vehicles are interesting to drive in the winter. You step on the gas a little too hard or too fast, and the rear wheels just spin like crazy. The vehicle doesn't really go anywhere, you just sit there spinning your wheels! You might fishtail a little bit from side to side, but that's about it. There's just not enough weight back there for the tires to get any traction.

This is especially true for pickup trucks. Many people will put a few hundred pounds of sandbags in the bed of the truck, trying to get some extra weight back there to help a bit.

I do have the ability to switch into 4 wheel drive if I need to, but it's not like they are these days, where you press a button, or flip a switch, and are running 4x4. I have to actually get out of the truck and turn a lock lever on the two front tires.

I spend most of the winter in regular 2 wheel drive, switching into 4 wheel drive just after a big snowfall or if it is especially slick or icy out.

The first winter I spent with the truck was a huge learning experience. I survived, and in one piece too!

Every now and then though, I would goof around a little bit. You know, if I'm turning a slow corner on an empty street, I might punch the gas just a touch and do a sweet fishtail or sideways skid - you know, real mature stuff.

Well there was one time after leaving a friends apartment where I had to cross through this big empty parking lot. I simply could not let the opportunity escape without playing around with this massive V-8 engine and slippery back end.

Here I go - just a very slow approach, goose the gas a little and spin the wheel...

Holy shit.

Big heavy truck with a little bit of momentum.

I had set this massively heavy truck into an uncontrollable spin through an empty parking lot. The truck is so much heavier than any other vehicle I've driven, and it just kept going around and around and around.

It felt like forever. I was literally frozen at the wheel, watching my world rotate around me, bracing for some kind of impact (which was silly, the lot was empty) and waiting for the ride to stop.

Around and around and around.

And I felt so helpless. There was not a thing I could do to make this big truck stop spinning until it ran out of momentum and stopped on its own. Either that or smash into something.

The truck did come to a stop, and in reality it was probably only one and a half rotations - but it felt like I had been through the spin cycle on the Maytag.

That feeling - frozen, a death grip on the steering wheel, watching everything spin out of control, just waiting for it to come to rest or bracing for impact. When will it stop?! When will the "storm" be over?

That is how I feel about my diabetic control right now. It's been spinning out of control.

It has been a string of probably a month or so, where I've been running high all the time, or swinging violently from low to high and back again.

I need to step back and re-evaluate where things are not working. I feel like I want to tear it all down and start fresh, start from ground zero. But how the hell do you do that?! And it all seems like such a terribly big job - so big that I'm intimidated by it. I'm scared to death to bite off a piece and work through it. Why is that?

It has a lot to do with my "ohmygodIneedtofixitallrightnowanditmustbeperfectthefirsttime" tendencies. Rather than the healthier, small piece at a time, I feel so frustrated with things that I will not be satisfied unless I can do it all, and do it all right now. But that is impossible.

Having been thinking about all of this for a while now (but not doing a damn thing about it yet), I was particularly in touch with this post from a dear friend of ours. Yes, I hear you loud and clear. I'm grumpy too. "Out of control" learning curve mode, and starting back at square one. Yes and yes, check on both of those.

I feel like the facts are not the facts anymore. Formulas and ratios that have worked forever are not working anymore. 2 + 2 no longer equals 4. Up is down and down is up. Inside is outside and left is right. It's all crazy, doesn't make sense.

Where's the "reset" button on this damn thing...

8 Comments:

Anonymous Zazzy said...

That's a beautifully written analogy Scott. I can relate to the out of control feeling. Funny, I was just reading Richard Rubin's article about positive reframing today. I'm not always good at it, myself :-), but sometimes changing your perspective a little is what it takes to find the right path again.

When you were out of control, spinning around on the ice - you felt like it wasn't going to stop, that you were going to smash into something at any moment. But that was just the fear talking. In reality, you were safe. There was nothing to smash. You were only briefly out of control and you would be back in control again in moments.

Maybe this period with your diabetes is like that. You have really done a good job managing your diabetes despite the problems you have had over the years, haven't you? And you will figure out what's going on now and be back in control again.

I needed to hear this today too. I'm hoping for you Scott. I often feel like I understand myself better when I read your posts. Of course...I don't want to project my feelings onto what you've said so just trash can anything that doesn't fit.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Is it something in the air?
I am in the same place as you and have been ever since my last A1C, six weeks ago, when I was going to reward myself for the "good results" with a couple of "free days".
Poor control and good control take on their own forward momentum once they've been established for several days, and I'm in a tailspin of chaos.
Yes, it's been stressful at work . Yes, I've been switching my brainmeds from cymbalta to celexa. Yes, I don't like moving into winter with the cold, snow and ice. But, are these reasons, or excuses? I have not been making good choices, at all. And, probably 70% of my high readings are due to overeating. I'm already considering moving my next dr's appt out another month so that he won't know I was not doing well. Oh the hell of it all!
Brother, I have no solution.
I'm really looking foward to the other comments. Z's insights above are already helpful.
In the meantme, enjoy the beautiful Saturday we've got ahead here. And, I'm glad you were not injured in the car mishap.
Kathy

8:55 AM  
Blogger cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

When I loose control as I often do. I just start again when I wake up with a good number. I eat well all day and if it goes good then I have a good spell for ages. I just have to keep trying and trying until everything else is not important and I become a moody obsessed with diabetes freak. Then I get mad at me because all i think of is diabetes. ahhh, there is no reset button.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this story. I too feel this way and that is when I know it should be getting time for an endo appointment so they can help me clear the slate and start fresh. Sometimes I think we just get so emotionally tied into the bad numbers that we forget to take a step back and look at it with logic. This time I lucked out and Daniel got better numbers knowing he is out of school for two weeks. lol Now if we can keep it there, that is the question.
Please don't ever stop blogging, you are so appreciated.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott,
I've read your post a few times, trying to think of the best way to respond. I'm the type of person who likes to give advice, but I think in general people need and want an ear more than an earful. I've personally felt this way with my own diabetes at times, well close, perhaps, but by the time I felt completely out of control, I just didn't really care anymore.

One great thing I have learned in the course of my life is this: If you are doing things a certain way and getting certain results, then we can in all sanity expect to continue to get those same results unless we change something. It is insanity to expect different results if you haven't CHANGED anything.

Perhaps that is something about diabetes that is so frustrating. I don't need to CHANGE anything for my basals to suddenly not work. I have no real reason to explain why my morning bolus works for weeks at 10g/u and then suddenly last week I had to move it down to 8g/u (which I did after a week of post-breakfast highs).

As diabetics I think we have to be the "MASTERS OF CHANGE" and even more so the "MASTERS OF RESPONSE". But change is HARD. Change is STRESSFUL. When we don't know when or why it is coming, change is even harder to swallow.

I hope you can embrace the changes your body is going through which is causing all of these changes in your blood sugars. Within that acceptance will be peace, and beyond that peace will be more change. Have fun!

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analogy. It does feel like spinning out of control a lot of the time for me.

We have talked before about how we both want to fix things the very first time perfectly and expect this change to continue forever.

With all this new gray hair I am finding (and the thining of hair that I would rather not discuss) I am also learning that taking things on a slower pace (like my quitting of smoking) works better.

You know it will be a struggle, you know we are all here to help and encourage you, you know you will get back into control. Just give it time.

<3

1:29 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I don't know what to say to make things better :)

Some things are simply out of our control and it's difficult to accept that things won't always go the way we want it to.

You're doing a great job by simply checking and monitoring your blood sugars several times a day every single day.

Just imagine what your life would be like if you weren't as steadfast.

Perhaps you're doing much better than you think you need to be.... :)

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, sometimes it isn't you. We spent three weeks fighting high bs with my son. (over 250 most days all day for three weeks!) We were desperate! It was the heat of summer so we thought that might ve causing it. We changed insulin, sites, infusion sets, tubing, diet - and nothing worked. I was on the phone with the Cosmo people constantly and they were great, but nothing worked at all - until late one night my darling little 11 year old monster mentions that his pump reservoir thingee was cracked and broken. Yup. His insulin reservoir was spinning around instead of having the pin push the insulin into the pump. It had been broken for three weeks. We hadn't noticed because we usually looked at the screen, or the tubing and my son was hiding the broken parts (probably in fear, not knowing that Smith would send another pump for free!). Smiths Medical sent a new pump overnight and presto-bingo problem solved.

I'm not suggesting that your highs are caused by a broken cap/thingee (what is it called?) but sometimes it isn't you that is the problem. It really was a good lesson for us. Those three weeks threw his A1C up a notch or two though, and raised his cholesterol levels to an unacceptable level. We live and learn.

12:46 PM  

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