Occasionally, I've had people ask what it's like being me right now, with all my stupid health issues and the bloody cast on my (what's left) left foot.
Here's my day:
- Wake up in the morning, which usually involves me thinking "Wow, made it to another day". Waking up takes about 5-10 minutes before I reach an operational level of consciousness.
- Foot check! Make sure left leg isn't turning bad colors, make sure nothing is seeping out of the cast, make sure the cast doesn't smell like rotting meat. Check to make sure right foot hasn't decided to turn traitor, rub on diabetic foot lotion to keep skin happy. Dry, cracked skin gets infected easily.
- Bathroom! Thankfully the knee scooter fits into the bathroom with me or life would be FAR more painful. On/of the toile is time-consuming and tricky with one foot and few things to brace on. Shave while standing on one foot and braced against the sink, great morning exercise. Wipe down with these "dry shower" things, think baby wipes for adults. I'm not allowed to get the cast wet at all. Every other day or so, use spray-on dry shampoo to keep my hair from going bad.
- Now come the wall of meds. First, check my blood glucose as this will change how much insulin I shoot up. Always, 12 units of long-acting insulin, then from 3-8 units of Humalog regular insulin depending on my blood glucose level. Top this off with Lisinopril for my blood pressure and metformin to add yet more control to my blood sugar, and I'm done for the morning.
- Breakfast! Atkins meal bar and sometimes a beef stick. Plenty of water as well.
- Get dressed. This is the easy part, shirt and pants go on easily even with one missing foot. I had to cut open and re-pin thel eft pants leg as the hospital dressing, and now the cast, don't fit down a normal pants leg. Crappy pants design, and these are NOT skinny legged pants!
- Call a taxi. There's no way I can reach the bus on the knee scooter, and even if I could there's no sidewalk for the 1/3 mile walk from the bus stop to the office, so it's paying for a ride. This is setting me back close to $300 a week!! This is where all my money is going, it should be going into a savings account. Sometimes get the cab to drive through McDonalds for additional food.
- Arrive at work, scoot to my desk and drop off my micro-pack "Happy Bag". This pack contains my glucose test kit, my Humalog insulin pen, needles for the pen, dextrose tablets in case the blood glucose goes too low (yes, it happens, rarely) and alcohol wipes for sterilizing where I take blood from for blood glucose tests or injection sites for insulin injctions. Work is pretty asy - halls are wide, los of room in the bathroom, most people understand about the foot and my work space is accessable. If only there were a bed and shower here, I'd just move in.
- Lunch! Send out or have soup. Sometimes check blood glucose and inject insulin to compensate, if it's been a tiny breakfast, just eat the soup. The Campbell's soup-in-a-microwave-cup is relatively healthy, low sugar and acceptable carbs. Chinese food will kick the blood glucose up pretty high if I get anything with a sweet sauce or high carbs. Dry rub chicken wings are great, but French fries will do some damage.
- Work, work, work. Lots of coffee and even more water, dehydration is a constant issue for me and many diabetics.
- Call a taxi to go home. Sometimes, I get dropped off at the grocery store and then get a cab once I have supplies, or if I feel death-defying then it's a run through Taco Bell or similar. Eventually, I get home.
- Home! Put up anything I bought, then into my room and on to the bed. Check my blood glucose, shoot up insulin to compensate for left-over glucose from lunch, and take another metformin. Dinner will be what I bought out, or an Atkins bar plus beef/cheese snack and/or nuts. Usually a beer or two, that's not enough to trash my blood glucose.
- Work on the computer - write, compose music, play games, chat. Sinc I currently can't really walk, going out isn't an option - Austin is one of he least handicapped-friendly places, bar and restaurant wise, of any city I've lived in - hell, Tulsa was better about handicapped access! Shame on you Austin!
- Stick in my high-density earplugs to drown out the screaming noisy imports living in the rooms next to mine and sleep. I'll be moving to my own place as soon as I recover and get some money into savings, before I kill screaming parents + screaming kid and get free room and board for life. Honesly, they don't speak but maybe 5 words of English.. how'd they get into this country? Thankfully I speah enough Spanish to say basic phrases like "good day", "how are you", and "it's midnight shut up and go to sleep".
Welcome to my world, at least for the next few weeks.