Freedom

I feel like my back and shoulders always hurt. There are a lot of reasons for this: my posture, the way I sleep, my workouts, sitting at a desk all day…but I’m also convinced it’s because I constantly carry around a heavy purse. I’ve always been envious of the people who can fit everything they need into a tiny bag, a small clutch, or even just their pockets. That’s never been possible for me. I never go anywhere without having a stash of fruit snacks with me in case of a low blood sugar. And then I also carry around my glucose meter. I’ve learned to always be prepared so throw in an extra bottle of test strips, a battery for the pump, a couple syringes and an insulin vial…just in case! And if I’m already carrying all of that, then I definitely have room for my wallet, keys, phone, a lip gloss…you get the idea.

I am tethered to my purse. I constantly ignore comments like “you can leave your purse, you won’t need anything.” But I might! What if I go low?

I am tethered to my pump. The cord physically connecting my body to a medical device at almost all times.

And I’m probably emotionally tethered to my phone, but that’s for another time.

Which makes the few moments of untethered freedom even more satisfying. Like taking a shower. Or going for a run.

I’m not a distance runner, the most I run is 2 or 3 miles at a time, so I made the decision to disconnect from my pump and leave my meter at home for those 30 minutes. While I still carry my fruit snacks, phone, ID and keys, this is probably the least amount of stuff I ever carry while being away from home.

I don’t know if it was the endorphins from running or the lightness of having little to carry, but recently on a run, I had a sudden euphoric moment. “I feel so free!” I thought to myself as I bounded down the sidewalk. There was no pump clipped to my pants threatening to fall off with every step, weighing down my leggings. There was no strap around my shoulders or back connected to a bag holding all my supplies, adding weight and pain to my body. It was liberating.

But then reality set in. My body started to feel shaky and weak, my head started to feel dizzy. My legs continued to propel me forward, but they felt numb and disconnected from my body. I was experiencing a low blood sugar. It was a cruel reminder that I’m truly never free from my diabetes. I can leave my medical devices and all the supplies at home, but I can’t run away from my broken pancreas. The timing of the low right after relishing my “freedom” made me laugh at the irony of that moment, “You got me, body! That was a good one, you son of a bitch.”

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