Diabetes sorta saves the dayPosted: December 13, 2011
I went to get my bandages off last week. I asked the doctor if I could go skiing again now that I could fit a glove and coat over my hand.
“No, hold off on that for a month,” he told me. “I want you to get some more stability in that wrist first.”
Naturally, two days later, I rammed my glove on over my sexy new wrist brace and took the plunge down the intermediates at Loveland (all they have open right now, alas). I skied more wussily than normal–intellectually, I know that with a titanium plate in it and a stiff brace over it, that wrist is as protected as it’s ever going to be. On the other hand (ha), I also know intellectually and every other way that if I fall on that arm, it’s going to hurt like hell.
Still, it felt so good to get out there, breathe fresh air, and get the ol’ respiratory system working double again. So I considered myself physically prepared for a visit with my boyfriend’s stepfather (hereafter referred to as my “father-in-link,” courtesy of my editor at We Love Cult). We would all go up to Loveland, get him and his sister discounted lift tickets, and spend the day skiing.
This was to be the last stage in a fun but still clusterfuck-prone weekend. I continue to maintain that even if we hadn’t seen the midnight showing of Die Hard at the Esquire the night before, we would still have gone into it exhausted. After all, there was the holiday party with my high school friends before the movie, and we’d gone skiing with my cousin that day. Sunday would have been a great day to sleep until noon.
But no. Even though we were both tired to the point of physical illness when we got up at 7:30, Ethan insisted that we couldn’t cancel.
“If I feel better in two hours, I’ll spend the rest of the day feeling guilty,” he declared. “Besides, he and my mom will give me hell.”
“You sure you can’t tell them about the migraine? I’ll totally back you up,” I somehow managed through my fatigued lips.
“They’ll think I’m faking it.”
“What if I have a diabetic emergency?”
He grimaced. “Then my mom will call repeatedly to make sure you’re doing all right.”
All thoughts of sleep exited my mind as I rushed to don my long underwear.
Loading the car was a silent affair, as was most of the drive up, much to my dismay. Usually I’ll handle the drive up to the ski area just fine, not thinking about pulling over to take a nap until the way back.
This time, however, the mountains looked blurred around the edges, and the blue sky begged me to drift off into it forever. I continually slapped my cheeks to try and resist.
When it occurred to me to think about it, I started getting nervous. Injuries occur most frequently when you’re tired, and I was already down most of an extremity from a day in which I had been appropriately energetic.
But I sure as hell wasn’t getting that far up in the mountains just to turn around. I told myself I could cut out before Ethan and his relatives if necessary so I could get a nap in. And with that reluctant resolve, I pulled into the parking lot.
We’d decided for expediency’s sake to skip breakfast in Denver and get it at Loveland’s cafeteria. It would save the ungodly amount of time it takes to make coffee, and that way we’d already be on the mountain and primed to go when Ethan’s family arrived.
We sat down to our huge, carb-heavy breakfasts. Carbs are good things to avoid as much as possible when you’re a diabetic, but I figured I could use the boost for skiing. Besides, my trusty insulin pump would be able to compensate.
I’d just finished the last of my toast when Ethan’s phone rang. They were in the parking lot, gearing up. I threw my trash away and went to the bathroom.
A high-pitched noise followed me. I’d heard it when I started eating it, but since we were right near the cash registers and kitchen, I figured it must be a malfunctioning piece of equipment that Loveland needed to fix.
It was a malfunctioning device, but it was all on me to fix. As soon as I was alone in the stall, I recognized the sound of my insulin pump telling me it had stopped insulin delivery. Two days before it was supposed to.
I rushed out without remembering to pee. “We’ve got problems,” I told Ethan.
I explained that the insulin pump decided to crap out on me and that I had–well, no time at all, actually, before my blood sugar went off the rails.
“I can do a couple runs, maybe,” I said mournfully, “but I’ll probably need to stop to puke and pee after each one.”
“So we’ve got to get back to Denver.”
I nodded, pretty sure I could already feel the toast and potatoes hitting my bloodstream. My stomach stirred angrily.
Ethan buried his face in his hands. He let out a burst of laughter that sounded like the last cry of a Death Row inmate.
“I mean, if they’re willing to drop you off, you can stay up here and ski,” I suggested.
He shook his head, a strange gleam in his eye. “Nah. You’ll probably need me to drive, right?”
“Well, no, I mean, I’ve driven while totally high before–” Then I remembered how excited Ethan got at any prospect of talking to his parents for five minutes on the phone, much less spending a day with them. “Actually, yeah. I do think it would be best if I had a backup driver. Just in case.”
Ethan’s stepfather was appropriately concerned by the news. After making inquiries as to my immediate health, he wasted no time in making sure we could still get them discounted tickets with our passes. We stayed just long enough to help them save eleven bucks, then headed back down the mountain, our skis untouched on the rack.
The drive back was uneventful, and though I was almost literally green around the gills by the time we got back to our apartment, I successfully fixed my pump and hit the sack while my blood sugar leveled out. We have yet to hear how the skiing was, although there hasn’t been any new snow in a while and the open terrain was pretty slim. If we had to miss a day, we couldn’t have picked a better one (although I did tell Ethan that I would have gleefully gone the whole day, barfing and urination be damned, if there had been fresh powder).
And by the way, Loveland Ski Area makes a damn fine breakfast. They better have, considering I drove two hours just for that meal.