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  • Writer's pictureErin Spineto

The Beginnings...

I remember a time before Diabetes when I ate because I was hungry and the only crashing I did was from playing too hard and having too much fun. I had nineteen great years of ignorance of the complicated life and incredible intelligence of my hard-working pancreas. And then it was over...


I now eat because "it is time." The insulin that I gave myself at 8a.m. has peaked and I must match its somewhat unpredictable peak with the appropriate balance of carbs and protein or my numbers will be off and I have gotten back another F on my most recent "pop quiz."

I was never one who wanted a schedule. I don't want to know by 6 a.m. what I'll be doing at 3 that afternoon. You know, a "never know where life's going to take you" kind of person. Be able to leave on a moments notice to go do anything- not even pack a bag.

When I was fourteen, I tried to wear contact lenses because I hated glasses. I just couldn't get used to it because you have to bring a case and solution with you everywhere in case something gets in your contact lens. There was no way I was going to have to bring something with me everywhere I went.

Fast forward five years- Pump, kit (i.e. wallet with built in meter, strips, lancing device, Sympen, extra needles, 2 extra batteries for the meter, 1 for the pump), and diabetes I.D. to explain to whoever finds me passed out why I'm lying face down on aisle 2 of Vons in front of the Gatorade not able to get sugar because I can't, in my 32 induced stupor, figure out which flavor to rip off the shelf and down in 2 seconds.

And that's just the daily stuff I carry with me, not the stashes I have everywhere -- 2 kits at work (1 in the emergency ditch bag, 1 in the desk) in both cars, almost every backpack I own, and a virtual pharmacy at my parents house for when we visit. Oh and my back-stock of pump/meter supplies that takes up more space in my closet than my paltry wardrobe. So much for the simple, carefree, spontaneous life of my PreD youth.

The worst was sitting down to a prescribed meal at a prescribed "meal time", not being hungry, and having to force down a whole meal so I wouldn't get low. Or after a bunch of highs, trying to force down food between tears because I knew the very thing that was saving my life when I was low was also the thing that was slowly and methodically killing me, or at least working hard at building up some gangrene to steal my left leg and right pinkie finger and throwing in some blindness for fun.

Or having to choose between choking down bite after bite of poison or waiting until I got low and then having to drink my poisonous lifesaver. And me, being the lunatic I am, couldn't wrap my brain around this concept, so I waded in it up to my chest and splashed around, all the while, making slow progress to finish my 3-day leftover lasagna that had been shoved in the freezer 2 weeks earlier (hey, I was a poor, culinarily challenged college student trying to stretch a buck, what can I say.)

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