Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Good, Bad and Ugly

This is the time of year everyone is busy reflecting on the past year and making plans for the new one. I look at it as a time of reflection. The new year is the line between reflecting on the years I have lived, and the years I am looking forward to, in particular the weeks ahead of me.

A lot has happened in the past year, and not all of it good, but perhaps more good than bad. I'm here. I'm lucky. And that's a fact. 

But it is the emotional toll that has had the biggest effect on me, and yes, at times this year I have felt angry, disillusioned, and depressed. But mostly angry, and it's been difficult to see the good that has come of this disease. But to move on beyond the anger, I must find the good.  

I've just read a post in which Scott Johnson shared a recent scary experience that got to the heart of why I'm angry. As I read it, I found myself in the back of the ambulance along with him, except for me it was last June. A combination of events, some which may have been very much like Scott's, where I had an unusually stubborn high, and in addition some pump anomalies may have caused my blood sugar to tank, and led to a bad low, while driving. I have come to accept I will never know what happened for sure. A perfect storm, coupled with hypo unawareness, landed me in the back of that ambulance.

Scene from the stretcher
Another view from the stretcher - much nicer view
(BG is approaching normal by this point - immediate crisis averted)

Today, I am still without a drivers license, and waiting for bureaucrats at the Ministry of Transportation in my province to review the report that my endo sent in a few weeks ago. Does this bureaucrat know anything about me? No, not a blessed thing other than those checkboxes and few lines that Dr. K had filled in the report. 

It's easy to get my head stuck in the bad: the worries that my husband, daughter and parents have had about me, the irritation of not being able to drive for 6+ months and living in a town with no public transit, multiple doctors appointments and many more emails with my CDE have taken up a tremendous amount of time, and the rising expenses of an already expensive disease. 

So where's the good that will help me see the light ahead? Well, luckily, the last few years, especially the last few months, have provided me with hindsight. Hindsight is the harsh teacher - the hard teacher that challenged many a student. In the end, the hindsight will shine the light on the months ahead of me. 

Hindsight has given me the gift of learning some lessons that will do me well in the coming years:

  • Insulin is to be respected. No matter what. There can be many factors that lead to high blood sugar readings, but be patient. 
  • If something doesn't feel right, test. If a test doesn't make sense, test again before you act on it. Don't assume. 
  • I will probably think twice before sharing the specifics of any bad lows with my endo. I have also learned that in this province, they can suspend your license, even if you have a low while doing other things, even sleeping in your bed, so yeah, I will think twice. Now before you share with me how that may not the best decision for my health, I do know this, but it's what I've learned, and I'm just putting all my dirty laundry out there for the world to see. 

The Good

  • Without question, family and friends (both in real life and the Diabetes Online Community)
  • Rosie (my new pump/CGM)

The Bad

Diabetes, specifically:

  • Low blood sugars
  • Stubborn high blood sugars
  • Complications

The Ugly

  • Governments meddling in my medical care are a pain in the butt (sorry, that's the best and only way to say it)
  • Insurance companies (you need 'em, you hate 'em)

See how easy it is to come up with a list of bad stuff? But you know what? It just doesn't matter how many things are slotted in these sections.  What I have learned is, if you work at it, the Good will always outweigh the Bad and the Ugly. 


  1. This is a really powerful post, Jamie. Hindsight is a harsh teacher, for sure.

    I can't even imagine how hard and frustrating it has been for you not being able to drive.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. I KNOW 2013 will be a better year for you.