Friday, February 25, 2011

Passed Out on the Bathroom Floor

I've made jokes about being passed out on the bathroom floor...I've been there a few times in the past. Mostly in the past when I could drink enough to get drunk. And it's a funny little anecdote or embarrassing story to tell when I've run out of stories about how I forget shit that I really should know, like fifty percent of the things my best friend tells me. I'm starting to think I should keep notes.

But I digress. (How unusual for me, right?)

Today I had the scariest fucking moment of my life. I thought it was last year when the midget was diagnosed, but I was totally fucking wrong. Today, when the midget passed out on the bathroom floor because of a nasty low blood sugar, that was pretty much it.

I've read about diabetic lows that result in black outs and seizures. I knew it would happen one day. It's impossible for a Type 1 diabetic with reasonable control of blood sugars to not experience a low blood sugar. Because no matter how precisely I count carbs and calculate insulin dosages, shit happens. Hormones play their fucked up little games, illness plays a part, exercise, rest, even temperature screws with insulin. I am not a machine, and I am not perfect. Unlike you and me, my daughter doesn't have a pancreas that does what it's supposed to do. I am her pancreas.

Let me repeat that for you: I am my daughter's pancreas.

Me...the woman who literally cannot remember ANYTHING! And I'm in charge of something as complex as regulating a hormone in my kid's body. Through math. This is a fucking joke, right? I have to keep my kid alive using math? Me? Seriously? This is someone's idea of a joke right?

I talked to her doctor...we went over what happened today, the carbs eaten and the insulin dispensed...and there's no clear mistake. There isn't something I can point to and say "Aha! Fucked up there, and I won't do it again." I spoke to some other Type 1 parents on an online group I'm a member of, and they each told me their story of how it happened to their kid, how bad they felt, and assured me that it wasn't my fault. The doctor assured me it wasn't my fault.

But I'm my kid's pancreas. My pancreas doesn't land me on the bathroom floor. Neither does yours.

I'm a shit pancreas.

It took hours tonight to convince the midget that she could sleep, that she would be safe, and that she shouldn't be afraid of the insulin shot I had to give her. She's finally sleeping now, and slept through the last blood sugar check...the blood sugar that told me I had to give more insulin, which means I won't sleep until we pass the three hour mark, the moment when the insulin peaks, and I can test her to make sure that the insulin didn't send her too low.

Fuck you, diabetes...fuck you...

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I think I mentioned that the my regular doc prescribed me some decent pain pills and referred me back to Stanford with some very real hopes of a definitive diagnosis, beyond the ones I already have, of course. So, for the last month or so I've been taking fairly high doses of narcotics, and yesterday I started getting panicked about addiction.

I've taken pain meds in the past and never had an issue, but what I'm taking now is higher dosages, and more frequent. Of course, my pain levels are significantly higher these days, as well...but that doesn't mean it's not a concern of mine, the possibility of narcotic abuse.

I spent some time on the phone today with my therapist, my doctor and a good deal of time on some internet forums I frequent for sufferers of chronic illness. My concern is becoming addicted...having an addiction, which of course, at this point I technically have. I have a physiological dependence on the narcotics at the moment. That became very clear to me today when I woke up in a pretty nasty state of withdrawal, because since I was panicking yesterday about addiction, I didn't take my pain meds. Which was a mistake. A big one.

I'm trying to readjust my thinking that being dependent on the narcotics right now is okay, that, yes my I have a physical addiction to them that would make it hard to stop cold turkey, but the same can be said of my antidepressants or mood stabilizers and I don't view that as a bad thing. In fact, the withdrawal from antidepressants is nearly as awful from narcotics. The difference, of course, is that you never hear about someone robbing banks or turning tricks to finance their antidepressant habit.

It's ironic, because I've labeled drug seeking in the past. I always laugh at that because there was a time when I did drugs...a very short time, long ago...but I did drugs. And my go to drug wasn't something that made me tired or loopy like narcotics was speed, aka meth. I loved speed. I loved the rush, the energy, the clarity...I loved everything about speed...until I didn't. Until one weekend when I pushed it too far and realized that there was an ugly side, and it would be easy as fuck to end up an addict, and that wouldn't be fun. That was the weekend that I could easily see myself becoming someone I just couldn't bear to inflict upon the people I love. So, I quit...just like that, no rehab, no detox...I just stopped. I did it again one other time after the midget was born, while she was at her dad's, and thought...yeah I don't really miss this...well, the kitchen got really, really clean and I kinda miss that, but coming down was hell, and a damn good reminder that I wasn't 19 anymore.

Even when I did drugs, even when I was younger and actually thought an evening of getting drunk was worth the hangover, it was always in the back of my mind that my DNA was heavily loaded towards addiction. Both bioparents are addicts, now recovered addicts, but addicts nonetheless...and they came by their tendency toward addiction honestly, via their shared Irish heritage. So, I was never an every day drinker or druggie. I was too scared. And once the midget came along...I won't say I never touched anything again, but it's been seven or eight years since I ingested an illegal substance and over four years since I drank enough to be drunk.

So, yeah. I love the pain meds. I love that it gives me some relief from the constant, unbearable pain. But, what I would love even more is a pain relief treatment that didn't mean a chemical dependence. I don't want to trade one set of problems for another. And there's a second side to having access to these pain meds that isn't very fun. When people know you have narcotics, they want them...not necessarily because they're in pain, but because they want to get high, so you constantly get people "jokingly" asking you for drugs...and I have a hard time telling anyone no, but I do it, and they still bug me. It's frustrating in the extreme. I get the drugs I get because I am in legitimate pain. And, yeah, I think this country's drug laws are stupid and that if people want to do drugs, the government doesn't really have the right to tell them no, but I get these drugs because I need them, and if I run out early, I don't get more, and being without pain meds when you need them is hell. So, giving them to someone who doesn't need them would be just plain stupid on my part...

And while I am prone to stupidity, I'm really trying to limit my stupidity to things that will eventually be amusing anecdotes...and sitting on the couch, crying in pain because I gave my drugs away...well...that just doesn't sound like it'll ever be that funny...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby, baby, baby...

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I don't like other people's children. I never have. I'm the girl who doesn't think your little darling throwing himself on the floor in the middle of the store to get that toy is cute. And I think you're a jerk for subjecting me to his screams and his dirty, snotty face.

So, I was always like that...I babysat a few times, and my BFF the Archaeogoddess had a little brother ten years younger that I saw from time to time, and I didn't have the desire to punch him. So, given that I didn't really like kids, I didn't really plan on having them. But, then...uh...whoops...and there was the midget. And she was awesome. But I knew a lot of that is that built in biology thing, that moms are sort of programmed to love their kids. Which is good, because she wasn't an easy baby, and I'm not a patient woman. But I learned. I learned when to walk away, undeniably the single most important lesson I learned as a new mom.

But falling in love with the midget didn't mean I fell in love with all kids. I was still one of those women who didn't really like other people's kids. And since I was youngish when the midget was born, it wasn't like my friends had kids or anything. So, I loved the midget...but that was it. I liked the midget and other people's kids were annoying and frequently smelly and rude.

Okay, so then...I had a niece, and then another one, and then another one, and then a pair of nephews. And I finally fell in love with kids, at least these kids. I love them because they're my babies as much as the midget is my baby. I comfort them when they skin their knees, put them on time out when they bop their cousins, and make sure they talk to their mommas with the respect a mom deserves. In return, I get sticky hugs, pre-chewed food in my hand and that beautiful feeling when I walk into a room and one of them shrieks delightedly, "Auntie Doda!"

I've got babies on the brain tonight, in part because my beloved Archaeogoddess is getting closer to her due date, and it's killing me more than ever to be so far away, because I'm already in love with that baby, and I want to be there to see her come into the world, but also because my youngest niece is coming to visit with the fam this weekend with her grandma. Because her momma, my baby cousin who has been in some pretty dark places, stopped taking the medication that makes her capable of functioning and she's back in the hospital, and I don't know for how long, but I'm so beyond thankful that she checked herself into the hospital and that she's getting the help she needs, because that baby needs a momma, and I'm not interested in losing one of my cousins.

I still don't know if I like kids, necessarily, but I do know that certain kids have the power to steal my heart. I know that I'm thankful that my youngest niece has the family she has to shield her and cocoon her now while her momma is going through the dark times again. I know that I love a baby who hasn't even been born yet, just as I love the midget and her cousins and I know that my life would be a sadder, darker place without the babies I love so much, and I know from my own struggles with the darkness, that there's no better incentive in the world to fight the depression than your children. So, while I'm thankful for my baby niece for her own precious little self, I'm beyond thankful that she is here to give her momma a damn good reason to fight and get through this, get the help and get better.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday...erm...Tuesday...

Let’s talk mania, my friends. The flipside of my bipolar coin. When I was healthy, before walking was a tortuous task, I’d use my mania somewhat productively…clean something while listening to my iPod, do something, anything. I’d do anything to keep my mind from torturing myself…shop, talk, eat, have sex…anything.

But, now, with this body of mine that betrays me, with my responsibilities toward Cass, know I can’t just take off and do something crazy, even if my body cooperated. So now, I lay in bed at three in the morning, my mind racing, replaying conversations from years ago, thinking of all the things I’ve said, or should have said, or wish I hadn’t said.

I lay here in my bed, my brain racing, my body tensing slowly, insidiously, until every muscle is locked, every joint Is tensed and I’m nearly crying from the pain. So, I breathe, try to clear my mind, and relax minutely, and then before I know it, I’m tensed again…teeth grinding, every muscle locked in agony.

I hate it, I hate this. I hate going over and over the end of the relationship with the exgirlfriend, I hate replaying conversations with the midget’s father over and over. I hate remembering every hateful word anyone has ever said to me, but I do it. I dwell on fights I’ve had, I dwell on the ways I’ve hurt people or people have hurt me. I hate remembering every dirty horrible moment of my childhood, I hate remembering being scared and dirty and sad. But my brain won’t shut up. I can’t even read when I’m like this. Forming complete thoughts is nearly impossible. It makes me crazy. I just want it to stop.

In the past I’ve hurt myself, taken drugs, eaten everything I could get my hands on, just to spend an hour in the bathroom purging it from my body. I can’t do those things anymore, but I wish I could find a way to make it stop. I know hurting myself isn’t an option, but it makes it stop, makes my brain slow down so I can breathe, I can think and feel like myself again. I know I shouldn’t hurt myself…I know I shouldn’t, but I want to. So, instead I grabbed my laptop and I’m writing this…trying to reach out, trying to be out and open and honest so that maybe someone somewhere will read this and know that they aren’t alone, that it doesn’t just happen to them, and that each wretched manic night has an end, and it’s a reminder to myself that I am loved and deserving of that love, that people who love me will read this and understand me a little more.