Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Box

Diabetes is a big part of my life. It isn't the most important part of my life, but it is implicit in the majority of actions I take. I don't generally use diabetes as a decision making criteria for the most important of life events, but on an everyday basis I will postpone lunch if my BG is 240, or eat a little earlier than planned if I'm at 75. Before I drive I will, almost subconsciously, check my BG. When I test and the number is above around 120 I'll enter it into the pump for a small (or large) correction dose.

With around 10 BG checks a day, many insulin doses and a pump and CGMS attached to my body (not to mention low and high blood sugar levels), diabetes is never far from my actions. But somehow, even when it is reflected so much in my actions, I manage to keep diabetes from overcoming my mind. I try to undertake my diabetes decisions with as little thought as possible, because thinking is much harder than doing. Thinking about diabetes can be okay, but sometimes it makes me feel sad - and I try to avoid that as much as possible.

However, sometimes it's hard to avoid thinking. Yesterday I packed to return to university (I went up today and unpacked all my stuff, and I go back properly on Tuesday). I packed a suitcase full of stuff, and one big cardboard box.

Those are pump supplies for 2 month, CGM supplies for 2 months, antihistamines for 1 month, antibiotics for 1 month, thyroxine for 1 month and test strips for under 1 month.

So, that's my Pandora's box. Usually I can keep the emotional aspect of diabetes reigned in pretty tightly, but seeing all that made me realise how much crap I have going on.

On top of my physical conditions, I have some mental health stuff (primarily long term depressive disorder - unrelated to diabetes). As of right now I'm unmedicated. At least, I'm not on any pills for it. I have certain mechanisms for coping with the feelings, though. Those things were next in the box.

I paint. Sometimes, I paint a lot. I love painting - it's one of the best and most therapeutic things I can do. Just moving the brush against the canvas again and again until you make something from nothing at all.

Around 3 months ago, I hit rock bottom, and my depression was as bad as it's ever been. My first semester at university was incredibly painful because of that, and I'm treating this term like one of my paintings.

The box is helping me to make something from nothing at all.

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