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Take a hike, Murphy!
That’s the way the cookie crumbles literally some days. Life with type 1 diabetes is for tough cookies I have learned along the way full of appearances by Murphy. Maybe life is just plain full of Murphy whether we have diabetes or not. Diabetes though on top of Murphy turns us into Seuss like characters, while we balance absurd responsibilities, tasks and more.
The Murphy I am referring to is that character that sneaks up on all of us all too often. It is Murphy’s Law. As a small aside the crumbled cookie I am referencing today is from the box of gluten free cookies that I just opened up because I am playing yet another round of beat the clock watching my blood sugars fall & the one cookie should be the counter attack move needed to balance out my after breakfast blood sugars before they crash. It took me a while & several cardboard like tasting gluten free cookie samplings to find a tasty g.f. chocolate chip cookie. I have served this brand name many times to unsuspecting guests & everyone agrees that they taste like any other cookie. That is a mini success in my mind. The thing is that these cookies are challenging to find around my little corner of the world. When I do find them I usually buy about 3 boxes at a time so that I have a stash of them on hand for a good long while. I did my obsessive compulsive 2 hour after breakfast glucose test as always this morning. From experience I have learned that if my blood sugar results are below 8 at this point that I will definitely have a low blood sugar within the next couple of hours unless I eat about 10 grams of sugar. The chocolate chip cookies therefore do the trick perfectly since they are exactly 10grams of carbs worth of sugar in one cookie. I ripped open the new box thinking I would simply pull out a cookie & viola; I would chomp 1 cookie down & balance out my blood sugars in time. How about though if you open up the box of cookies to discover that contained within this last box of difficult to find morsels is a pile of large crumbs. How many crumbs do you eat to equal 10 grams of sugar? Being a bit of a rascal I refuse to waste this box of crumb chocolate chip cookies so I tried to put a group of crumbs together like pieces of a puzzle to resemble the size of a normal cookie in its whole form. That is just a small almost inconsequential Murphy’s Law situation. The thing is that if a person without type 1 diabetes had this happen it would be annoying but it is beyond that when you do have type 1 & you need a specific amount of carbs to treat an imminent low. We will see how my puzzle cookie making has gone when I test again in a couple of hours. A crumbled cookie can be the difference between nailing the blood sugar balance or the epic fail.
On the Friday at noon prior to March Break my van aka the “dogmobile” decided to not start. I was in underground parking at the time. Several hours later CAA towed the dogmobile to our trusty mechanic aka “Tony the Tiger” in the next town over from us. Murphy’s Law I thought to myself as I started to juggle plans with the boys around in my mind that we had already made for the following week in anticipation of not having a vehicle for several days. On a bright note, if you know that you are going to have to wait to have your vehicle towed it is a bonus when you are close to a coffee shop that makes a killer espresso. I enjoyed a double espresso while I waited for a ride. Thankfully, our mechanic is a total gem & he looked at the van right away that afternoon & discovered that I just had a used up battery so he replaced it & I got my van back by that same evening. Murphy tried to get me going yet thankfully during the whole afternoon I had an unusual supply of patience & did not get bent out of shape. Things worked out better than I had imagined so I thought that Murphy would be taking a hike for March Break. Whew, what a relief.
Murphy made way too many appearances during March Break a couple of weeks ago & this Murphy character in fact continues to be a most unwelcome visitor. On the Monday on a super positive note, our sons & I had an all in optimistic day despite Murphy attempting to rain on our parade. We got up in the morning to a dull dreary yet seasonably warm albeit muddy day out. Our 3 sons have each gotten the flu followed by colds for the past month. I had been patting myself on the back during that timeframe to be taking care of them yet not succumbing to the bugs myself for the first time ever. Normally I catch everything within a miles radius during the winter months. I thought since I had not caught any of the cold & flu bugs for a full month that I was out of the woods. Boom, the Monday of March Break I began to feel that unmistakable yucky feeling of a bad cold coming on. Denial is a beautiful thing sometimes when you are a stubborn rascal like me. Of course my blood sugars going whackadoodle told me the truth as they suddenly skyrocketed out of nowhere. We continued on to the Maple Syrup Festival & got muddy & my attitude was & is that I could care less about a little or a lot of mud. We have a washing machine after all so the mud factor was well worth the fun that we had. We enjoyed a wagon ride, the review of how Maple Syrup is made & once again we were reminded that we are fortunate to live in this wee corner of the world where maple sugar bushes still exist. The line up for the pancakes & syrup was the longest we have ever experienced & many people in the line were grumpy. Our sons & I though found that the time went by quickly by turning the line into an adventure & we played many games & I made a new friend with the lady who was in line ahead of us. She cheered up & several people around us caught the good natured patience that was needed for a lengthy line. Many people in the line were at the festival for the first time so we took the opportunity to tell several people how much fun they were going to have & that once they reached the inside doors of the pancake house they would find that it was all worth the wait. We described our previous experiences & encouraged many people to take in the whole festival. It was fun kind of like welcoming visitors to your home. One lady in line kept insisting that she knew me & she listed off areas that we may have met. I have had this happen countless times. I laughed & said the same thing that I always say in these situations, “I know I have a twin & I sure hope that they are doing great things out there.” Once the boys & I had our pancakes & syrup, we took our tray outside to a picnic table & enjoyed our treat surrounded by nature. This year I did not partake in the pancakes but instead just had the sausages were absolutely delicious as I have celiac. Watching our sons devour their pancakes brought a smile to my face & we just breathed in the fresh air. We willed it to be a great day & despite Murphy trying to interfere with the day we had a fabulous day. Tuesday morning I woke up with ugly blood sugar numbers yet still determined that somehow I could squash what looked like illness in progress. The pace was slower that day however we enjoyed the day that we had planned out. The day was full of blood sugar corrections & I was determined to not get sick. By Wednesday morning I felt like something that the cat dragged in however I decided that it was just going to be a little cold & that would not stop us. We had plans to go to Lego day. Our youngest son is a Lego-a holic. The boys had a great time but by the late afternoon I finally had to admit to myself & to my family that I was feeling really sick & would need a turnaround quiet day at home on Thursday. I had convinced myself that if I just rested up for the day & did all the right things that I would recover at top speed. Oh Murphy, you dirty dog! Murphy had something else in store for me. I got the worst cold followed by the flu followed by another cold with an accompanying headache that must be from the migraine family. A proper night’s sleep eluded me night after night for over a week. Then last night the migraine got beyond excruitiating last night to the point of nausea & indescribable front head pain. There have been numerous rounds of Murphy’s Law over the past couple of weeks yet the rascal within me just keeps saying, “Take a hike Murphy.”
Murphy decided to make an unwelcome appearance recently when I went to pick up my test strip order. If you have type 1 you will likely relate to this. I get a test strip order once every 3 months. By the 2 and a half month mark I am literally in countdown mode of test strips trying to see if my supplies will hold out or if I will have to purchase out of pocket yet another box of robbery priced test strips. I pretty much always have to purchase 1 box of test strips every 3 months out of pocket & I always hope that it will not be more than 1 box since that represents $100.00 Please don’t get me wrong as I am grateful that I live where I do & have access to a medical system that overall is pretty good. There are countries in the world where people do not have access to affordable insulin let alone test strips & insulin pumps & pump supplies and other diabetes related supplies. Like other people living with type 1 it is a hassle to have to repeatedly deal with insurance companies that insist on us proving over & over again that we still have type 1 diabetes while they audit our diabetes supplies for the upteenish time. Then the number of test strips in particular that the insurance company lands on never quite makes it even close to actual numbers needed & prescribed by the endocrinologist. Dealing with the insurance aspect can be infuriating however I am trying to not let it get to me as much. The last time I was audited for diabetes supplies was 18 months ago & I did not have access to covered type 1 supplies for 6 weeks so those 6 weeks were out of pocket which was yet another drag. Most of us have been in those shoes it seems. I would have much rather have put that 6 weeks worth of funds towards something more fun however it is as simple as this…we have to sustain life so it is what it is. When I went to pick up my recent test strip order my pharmacist told me that unfortunately she could not release my order to me as my insurance company had decided to audit my test strips yet again. A picture of 6 weeks again without coverage came quickly to the forefront of my mind. It quickly subsided though since at the same time I was fighting a full onslaught of the flu so I decided that I would concentrate on fighting the flu & then resume dealing with the insurance company & what I have come to refer to as the test strip reaper once I was well. In the meantime, I just went ahead & ordered another box of test strips out of pocket & reminded myself that even with the hassles of the insurance companies that coverage in Canada is still pretty freaking good. While I was getting over the flu & moving into this current horrible cold with migranes, the insurance Murphy’s Law lifted. The audit this time only lasted 1 week & they did not even require me to prove yet again that I have not been cured of type 1. It was a small mercy moment I felt. Gleefully, I picked up my test strip supplies with a Christmas morning kind of feeling. I don’t have to think about test strips now for another 3 months & so Murphy in that regard has been sent on a hike.
It has been almost 2 hours now since I ate my small pile of cookie crumb puzzle pieces. I just did a follow up glucose test & can see that the pile of crumbs was pretty close to 10 grams of carbs by my results. Take that Murphy. Take a hike Murphy & while you are at it, take the migranes with you. These will not last forever & when they do finally subside & I get a proper night’s rest, I am going to take myself on a much anticipated long hike with my furry gal. That’s the kind of hike I really look forward to.
My heart’s hope for you is that Murphy does not make too many appearances in your life. When Murphy does, let’s hope that he takes a hike as quickly as possible.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a Murphy-free week & next Monday's story is in the ether.