I like to wonder about the things that I struggle to understand. I find it relaxing to think about something that I can not fully absorb and then push myself to grasp every facet until I can feel my mind stop trying. That point is the wall, it's the end of my understanding. The topics vary, often I think about type I diabetes, my marriage, my children, what happiness is. Lately, if I'm being honest, I think a lot about how to help my book to find new readers.
I love the quiet that exists when my brain doesn't know where to go next. I don't consider hitting that wall as an impediment, I find it exciting, I trust that new concepts will eventually appear and that anticipation is electric. Sometimes nothing comes, I take those moments as a sign that I'm in uncharted waters, a place that I've yet to explore and I find the challenge to discover new ideas to be intellectually sexy.
Recently at the 2013 Lilly Diabetes Blogger Summit, I realized that there was a new place where answers about type I lived, a place that I didn't yet understand how to get to. That moment was exciting because it meant that one day I could do an even better job of keeping Arden's BGs in range. I like that idea very much.
Olympic skier Kris Freeman visited with our group at Lilly and during part of the discussion that we had with him, he spoke about his team. There are people that help Kris to optimize his insulin regiment so that he can perform at the peak of his promise. His team has, of course, access to machines and monitoring equipment that I don't have. More importantly they posses the know-how and intellectual prowess (far beyond mine) to read Kris's data and implement changes. Now, I don't have a team and I'm not a doctor but neither of those truths brought me down, on the contrary... they made me feel hopeful. If a bunch of smart guys can figure out how to keep an Olympic skier's BG from fluctuating, I can figure out how to mimic that response in a little girl whose sitting in a third grade class and playing softball a few times a week - right!?
It should be known that despite the vigorous testing, his team's calculations aren't always fool proof. Kris told us a story about a wildly varied BG that snuck up on him just before a race. His tale left me sure that diabetes is a wild bucking stallion for everyone at times. I loved how normal I felt listening to an Olympic athlete tell me that his BGs got crazy just like Arden's, it was so genuinely comforting to hear him speak those words.
Back before I knew what a CGM was I would test Arden's blood glucose at odd times just to see where meals and insulin would take her BG. I remember this one day in our Endo's office, Arden's NP asked how her A1c was so good when all of her BG checks where so high, I said, "Oh don't pay attention to those numbers, I'm trying to figure something out". I didn't exactly know what I was doing back then, what I did know is that there was some variable that I was struggling to comprehend, I could feel that it wasn't right to shoot insulin and then just except that the next three hours where okay. Today, thanks to those BG checks at crazy times and the advent of CGM technology, Arden's BGs are far more level and controlled. Tomorrow, thanks to Lilly and our meeting with Kris... I have something new to wonder about, something that may well bring all of this into even better focus. I can't wait to find out what lies beyond that thought.
There's always an answer. Please don't stop looking for it just becasue you've reach the end of your ability to understand. Push yourself, experiment and ask lots of questions until your conversations bring you the answers that you deserve.
Lilly Diabetes invited and paid for me to attend the 2013 summit. Airfare, lodging, food and transportation was all covered by Lilly. I did buy a jammin' lemon pound cake slice for myself at the airport. They never asked me to write about my experience or in any way tried to sway my opinions.