Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self

Letter writing day - Tuesday 5/10: In February the Wego Blog Carnival asked participants to write letters to their condition. You can write a letter to diabetes if you’d like, but we can also take it one step further. How about writing a letter to a fictional (or not so fictional) endocrinologist telling the doctor what you love (or not) about them. How about a letter to a pretend (or again, not so pretend) meter or pump company telling them of the device of your dreams? Maybe you’d like to write a letter to your child with diabetes. Or a letter from your adult self to the d-child you were. Whomever you choose as a recipient, today is the day to tell them what you are feeling.

Dear Self,

I'll cut right to the chase,you feel like your life has just come to a complete and irreversible end.Your eyesight is tanked,your chosen career path is now "off limits", and your new medical regimen feels like the cruelest,strictest imposition ever imposed. (you are a freak,who the heck has "snack time" at the age of 17?)Not to mention,you're still scared out of your mind whenever a "236" flashes across the screen of your monster Accucheck Advantage,envisioning all the complications it will bring.(those feelings will pass,you are not doomed to a certain death with bgs like that...sometimes,such numbers are unavoidable)

Those feelings will get better with time...& you will choose another career path,filled with the shoes of some of the finest individuals to walk this Earth.

Trust your gut,self. Doctors and CDE's will disappoint...they don't know it all.You're going to find out that while the management responsibility is largely yours alone, the burden needs to be shared.Strike that-MUST BE SHARED. Are you listening? Go out & scour the Internet,do what you have to do to get that support.(if nothing local) Because without it,you shall feel like the Worst PWD on Earth.(and very likely will have this confirmed by medical providers) You aren't that,self, no one is.You need to feel that you are not alone. You'll meet incredible role models(and 1 or two ax murderers/esses with diabetes, and you'll feel that you aren't so much the quirk of the town. Millions of PWD live with these challanges,all over the world.

You'll learn that "Diet" is not necessarily a four letter word and you'll learn to hate OJ and Kendall alcohol swabs,forever.

You'll stumble to find how diabetes can possibly fit in a romantic relationship and you'll learn that in the one that was meant to be,it was never an issue anyway.

You'll become an aunt(x 9) ,& you'll say goodbye to the only grandparent you ever knew.

You'll hear many,many lectures and you'll learn to tune them out(the ones inside your head/heart are not that easy to get rid of)

You'll have a few 600+ blood sugars,and you'll stare stupidly at the meter(having forgotten how to drive,you'll mainline 5 units to the gut & wait till you come down to 598 before magically,you can semi-remember enough to get home through the hyperglycemic haze)

You'll pass out,vomit on strangers,& ride in ambulances as both a patient and an EMT.

You'll total two cars and drive an $100,000 fire engine(murdering orange cones left AND right).

You'll participate on Jeopardy & jump off great heights on Fear Factor.(simulating skydiving).

You'll go to Europe and Hawaii & get more of a global perspective.

You'll vote in three Presidential elections & become forever a political junkie.

You'll finally enter nursing school...and feel a bit overdue when the youngest member of the class is ten years your junior.

You'll have other health issues...whether from crappy genetics or Murphy's Law,who knows.(they will put the diabetes in perspective)

You'll learn about the workings of the Health Care System...on both ends.

You'll learn that thinking about mortality,is not an issue to be put on the back burner for the later years.(as you come face to face with it on more then one occasion)

You'll throw your meter at the wall,gorge yourself on carbohydrates,leave your infusion set in for 15 days,& rebel against the powers that be...on more then one occasion. And at the end of the day,you will realize that the problems you perceive that diabetes has caused you are minuscule to the problems of trying to survive,in a 3rd World Country,without the means to treat it. Public mortification does not last forever.(& also,the Universe has it's own problems...& is not revolving around you) And while your at it,self,do something good for someone else every once in awhile.(it will also help lessen the crappyness of said disease) Plus,it's the Golden Rule.

To thine own self be true Self...always and forever.It's a good life,self,now go out & live it.

Older You
(who still wants a cure,like,yesterday)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Vivian said...

Bravo! Wonderful post.

Cara said...

Amazing post from an amazing person with an amazing life. :)

Anonymous said...

great post...wow!

Minnesota Nice said...

-Fabulous post Heidi.

meanderings said...

Nice letter, Heidi.
I love that you're doing most of what you want to do.
I'm impressed!

Mike said...

Wow! Just wow! Such a beautiful, powerful post. Bravo!

Simon said...

A little late to the party but this is a sensational post.
Thanks for sharing it and your journey through nursing school. It's been a real honor to get to know you....OK cyberstalk you!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Love it!

And dude, you DROVE a fire engine. Holy crap!!!!