Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doing what we have to . . .

As I made my way around the D-OC today to see what people were blogging about, I came across Amy's WayBack Wednesday post and I thought it was funny.  Not Funny Ha-Ha, but Funny-Odd.  Why?  Well, because last night I was in the exact situation she wrote about.

Pete and I had our weekly ballroom lesson.  As we floated around the dance floor (okay, more like stumbled) I heard the shrill beeps of my pump alarm mixing with the music.  The alarm always rattles the ballroom instructors a little, because they know a low is "bad".  After all, I've had to put many a lesson on hold while I slurped down some juice or chomped on some Smarties so I can continue to cha-cha / swing / samba.

This time the message on my pump simply said "Sensor Error".  I told Peter (the instructor) and Pete (the husband) that I would just turn the sensor off.  Peter was concerned, so I began explaining the two parts - the pump and the CGM.  I told him the pump gives me my medicine and was working fine.  The CGM just keeps track of my blood sugar, so turning it off was okay.  I'd still be getting the medicine I needed.

I was pleased that he was interested and even began to ask some more questions about the CGM and finger-sticks and such.  And then, just as in Amy's post, he got That Look on his face and said "I hate needles, I could never do what you do."  I assured him that he could.  No, the needles are not always easy.  But after almost 30 years, I'm used to it and it isn't that big of a deal.  (Although I still dread the CGM needle!!)  When given two choices - inject your insulin or die - the choice is pretty easy. He still didn't look convinced.

The more I think about it today, the more I see both sides.  Yes, the choice is easy.  Inject or die?  Injections are going to win every time.  So in a sense we are not being brave, we are just doing what we need to do to live.  But when I think about it a little more, maybe we are braver than we give ourselves credit for.  Not only do we stick and jab and poke.  But we face and fight this disease every day.  We navigate the frustrations and triumphs.  We try to let the ignorance and rudeness roll off our backs.  We have the threats of complications nagging in the corners of our minds.  But we keep on going.  And tomorrow, we'll get up and do it all again.  Yes, I'd say we are pretty brave after all.


  1. I hate it when people say that, too - but. I truly believe they're trying to be nice, they're trying to be sympathetic and they're trying to be caring.
    So my response these days is, "yup, it's not easy but we all do what we have to do."

  2. The choice is easy, needles. I want to live and I want to be healthy. That's not the hard part, the hard part is figuring out the carbs of a new food and watching how your body is going to react to it. Then dealing with the low/high that comes with it. I also hate not knowing why I go high at certain times of the day with out eating. But we can do all do it!

  3. Personally, I would do fifty shots a day if they would work like they are supposed to. Never "getting it right" is much worse than a needle...

  4. Great thoughts, Karen. Thanks for keeping up the convo!

    :) AmyT

  5. Great post Karen. Well said.
    There are still times people say to me how they don't think they could do it...I always say, "You would surprised what you Can do if you Have to. I just do what needs to be done is all."
    Brave? I don't know. Maybe when I was a kid I was. Now? I am unsure how I truly feel about this word as it relates to me.

    wv: waver
    Sometimes we waver but no matter what we do what needs to be done for our overall health.


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