Her concern went off like a firework. We all got burned. We were all blinded to anything other than it. I looked extremely unwell. We both knew I was losing, we both knew I was back in the medical emergency that put me in the ICU last week. And suddenly she was at breaking point. When she first got home from work she was fine, but then out it all came and she said so many triggering things; she made me feel awful about my health and responsible for it, and she did not understand the mental health issues which arose due to my physical health (that she at that point majorly exacerbated, and then shouted that she didn’t care). She did not understand the effect of her words and she wouldn’t. She just shouted. She said I was pure evil at one point. The words ran like water from a duck’s back, only briefly dampening whatever is left of the glowing ember that once was the fire of myself. I am used to her saying hurtful things in the heat of the moment that my calm and compassionate mother doesn’t mean once she has taken the place of the broken one before me. She has her own struggles, and she thinks we are unaware of them, but they are evident in her behaviour.
I very briefly lost it all. When, after screaming at me for dying in front of her and saying I won’t make it to the end of the month at this rate, my midwife mother walked into the kitchen and started screaming at me for not unloading the dishwasher, it was my turn to go off like a firework… Not at her, but inside of myself – the only place in the presence of my family where I dare be honest about how I am feeling.
So I did something to appease her. She didn’t understand what she was talking about – she hadn’t talked through everything with my consultants like I had. She didn’t understand what was going on. She just thought there was something I could do to change everything and she was furious that I didn’t seem to be doing anything. So I did something. Too overwhelmed (by anger? frustration? hurt?) to talk to her, I silently went and found my insulin pump, Bob Jr. (I was attached to various IV pumps for a couple of years when I was a teenager. I named them Bob – who had googly eyes and a furry moustache stuck on him by the nurses and was my old faithful – Norbert, Ethelbert, Ralph… When I got my insulin pump, I was still in the middle of a long hospital admission and for a few days managed to last with no IV pumps attached to me, during which Bob Jr. and I went to London – with PICC line in tow – and I was told not to expect to feel well at all. There was no longer any Bob in my life, so, as a mini medical pump, my insulin pump was named Bob Jr. He met Bob the IV pump many times because my body is a poop).
Bob Jr. had not been used for so long that when I reinserted his battery and woke him up, he thought it was still 2011. Surprisingly, I still remembered how to use him, and figured out how much insulin I needed to run per hour (I will still be doing injections of a long acting insulin whilst on the pump, which is unusual but necessary in my case). I primed the giving sets and stuck the needle in my abdomen and suddenly I was super excited about the fact that I have to do about 8-1o less injections per day because Bob Jr. just continuously infuses it into me. I should probably have booked an appointment with my diabetes nurse before doing this, as the whole thing is complicated by major issues with highly variable insulin absorption by my soft tissues… But it will make it easier to manage my diabetes and should use up my injection sites less quickly (and also hopefully overcome the absorption issues). This in turn should appease other health hiccups. I am hoping. Also, thanks to the events of the Norfolk hospital admission over the past few days, I am too terrified to contact any of my healthcare teams about anything.
The act of resurrecting Bob Jr. made me have several flashbacks to sitting with a consultant that I still have nightmares about… But I then became super excited to have my old pal back. Bob Jr. and I went through a lot together. I think he was even there during some of the events I now have terrifying flashbacks to, and yet his presence doesn’t trigger them like I thought it would. It’s kind of almost comforting. It’s kind of almost a nostalgia. I will now be less obviously diabetic, which means the whole Type 1 Diabetes health hiccup will be significantly easier to hide. There is, in total, 65cm of wire between me and Bob Jr, which feeds into a teeny tiny needle in my abdomen, held in place by a material sticker about the same size as those they use for an ECG. That is it. So much more discrete. (Some of) my friends will no longer cringe and freak out and make a huge deal when I forget they are present (and squeamish) and go to inject myself in front of them.
Down to only a few injections a day. It will be so nice, because I am genuinely running out of places to do my injections where my body will still actually absorb their contents (which causes HUGE issues, especially when, a few days later, the little lump of medication decides to absorb and I essentially end up unintentionally and inevitably overdosing on stuff that can kill me quickly if I do a bit too much). In taking over for these injections by giving them continuously and much more slowly through a pump, the other injections I do should hopefully be absorbed a lot better because my injection sites won’t be so wrecked (if that makes sense). Also, because it delivers the dosages so slowly, my insulin should hopefully be absorbed so much better. This is the theory. My diabetes team told me I couldn’t go onto a pump because they have no idea what to do with it or how to do it given the other hiccups that complicate my diabetes management (and also this pump is outdated and I should be upgraded to the fancy newer model)… But hey, I have sort of given up on every single health team looking after every single hiccup (which especially isn’t fair on my awesome cardiologist but… Oh well).
I am powerless in the face of other health hiccups; I am very very nearly powerless over my diabetes due to the fact that the absorption issues mean my insulin frequently doesn’t get into my system for a day or few (attracting the attention of the grim reaper and involving close scrapes with his boss death).
Anyway, whatever this was you’ll be pleased to learn this is the end of the post now.
No way but through.