The non-diabetic highs of life.
It is absolutely pathetic that I have been entirely MIA for now seemingly endless weeks. Here’s a quick rundown of life since last post:
-finish sophomore year at UM: check.
-have a decent GPA: check.
-get home and decide to take a few weeks off of CGM-ing [spurred by a broken monitor]: check. [skin is screaming “thank you!”]
-be able to run a 5k by the end of July for the Big 10 5K in Chicago: currently at 2.5 miles. getting closer.
-give a speech at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center benefit: check.
-get asked to speak again at the University of Chicago Discovery and Outreach event for donors: check.
-trudge through the first of two six week sessions of organic chemistry: unfortunately, check-in-progress. bleh.
-turn all patient experiences into becoming the optimal patient care intern at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago: check.
Life has become yet another whirlwind of driving up and down Lakeshore Drive, absorbing insane organic molecule structures which at some point, definitely give off an aura of make-believe, and beginning my summer internship at the RIC.
There’s a certain type for elation that only a chronic patient can have when working with other patients–a main reason I want to go into medicine down the line. Though I cannot disclose the particulars of my internship and work at RIC, working on the spinal cord injury floor has given me a new appreciation for life and all that I do have going for me. It’s important that, though as chronic illness patients we do definitely struggle, we recognize that we are, in the grand scheme of things, extraordinarily lucky and that life can change in an instant–as it has for many of the patients who I work with, many of whom I now can call friends of my own.
In the diabetic-celiac world, quick finger pricks between patient rooms, in the parking garage before a gluten free packed lunch on the road to class, in the middle of class before my little bag of pistachios as a snack, on the side of the workout room before my bootcamp workout class starts after organic chemistry ends and I battle traffic home, with all the injections in between are the norm right now. Though admittedly the Dexcom could alleviate some of the hassle, because my stress is much lower in the summer, I have decided to give my arms a much needed break–and an added bonus of losing awkward tan lines!
I was also recently diagnosed with a few serious, anaphylactic allergies, so reading ingredients labels has begun all over again as I have to check my once favorite foods for a new list of no-no’s including shellfish [which I never ate anyway] and oregano/marjoram [which I have determined as absolutely impossible as companies decide to label their ingredients as “spices” to protect their special, secret recipes forcing me to spend endless time on hold with dozens of companies–ugh.]
All in all, life is good. I don’t have to worry about groceries, dinner plans, or blood sugars on my own [my mom has absolutely made massive changes to my insulin regimen that have drastically overhauled my too-comfortable higher range mid-day blood sugars and I couldn’t be happier.] The biggest frustration I’ve had recently was attending a music festival at Northwestern University last weekend, heavy backpack on my shoulders all day long (but a new, cute backpack!) that decided to bleed black ink from the design all over my shoulders and new shirt. As if it weren’t already difficult enough. The company is replacing my backpack, the dry cleaner is working on my shirt, and my skin is no longer tinted black so things are on the mend. I did determine, however, that the BEST method for keeping insulin cold all day in the sun is to buy the cheap, one-use, crushable ice packs and to break a new one every 3-4 hours. My insulin was almost colder than the refrigerator in my friend’s dorm room all day long. #diabeteshacks
Take it easy, but take it. I’d love to hear from you guys about things you want to read about, questions, your lives–anything.
PS- My mom is famous for her cheesecake, for decades. I’ve taken it upon myself to work on perfecting the art of a cheesecake and made one recently for her birthday; it was absolutely delicious!