Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mad Scientist

Who am I as a diabetic? is something I am struggling to figure out. Not as in, who am I now that I totes around several thousand dollars worth of medical devices strapped to my skin? But more as in, what type of diabetic am I? What approach am I taking, do I want to take, do I think I will take, towards this new...characteristic...of mine?

The answer, at least so far, is a bit bizarre...a bit uncharacteristic, to be honest. When I was a kid, I was NEVER the type to go nuts for the science toys. Kids experiment kits? Mehhhhh. Make your own goo? I'd do it once or twice, but then lost interest. I wasn't deconstructing and reconstructing radios and computers. The power button was good enough for long as it worked, I didn't really care how it worked. I had interests, of course, but I was not a process-based child.

Now that my body is my own experiment though? I. Am. Fascinated. I CANNOT get enough. I loooove reading through diaTribe, tudiabetes, #diyps and other blogs and how-to guides. Tips, tricks, suggestions, new technology and breakthroughs, I can't get enough. I got my first smartphone in 2014, and even that was begrudging. I was the 2nd person at my endocrinologist's office to get a prescription for Affreza. My iPad can often have up to 40 apps begging for my attention before I finally get around to tapping "Update All," and even then I have no clue what's happening nor do I really care. Yet I regularly update my DiaSend account every week, and spend at least an hour poring over the data and evaluating trends. When I went to my primary care provider, I had no idea when I last had immunization shots. Yet every time I go to the endo or educator, I go over my time limit yapping about my trends, analysis, and jerry-rigged fixes.

This window into my body's magical proceedings is just that interesting to me, and I have no clue why!!

Last night we listened to this podcast about a 19th century mad scientist and his obsessive experiments on a man with a fistulated stomach, and I couldn't help but feel an awkward tinge of recognition. This scientist, with his rare & unique opportunity to look directly into a human stomach, spent hours and hours, introducing basically every variety of food in the American diet at that time into the stomach and recording what happened to it in incredibly tiny time increments. I look at my 5-minute incremental measurements of my blood sugar and my eating logs and insulin pump data obsessively. And we are both so fascinated and obsessed! Which is why I guess, if this were a BuzzFeed quiz, I would have to say that my diabetes personality type is definitely "Mad Scientist." Granted, he was at the forefront of human biology discoveries and was literally looking at something that no one understood, whereas I'm simply re-treading ground that endocrinologists and other PWD understand all too well. But still. Can I help it that I'm fascinated with myself?

Come to think of it, after reading that last sentence...maybe my personality is more "Narcissist" than anything else...whoops!

P.S. What I'm reading now.

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