Skip to main content

Kind of like your 16th birthday...

...well, not really.

As a PWD (person-with-diabetes) I often find myself in situations where I wish I could pull out my "Licensed Diabetic" card. You know, something that shows I can take care of myself, that I understand how to interpret Blood Glucose readings, that I know what a carbohydrate is and how to count them, that I understand how to dose and administer insulin, that I'm generally aware of my condition and make a conscious effort to control it to the best of my ability. It would act as a "get-out-of-limiting-situations" free card. [Ahem...it would also be available in your favorite color...]

It's not like its "that bad" to get a letter from your doctor, but it is just so gosh darn frequent. Every time someone mentions those words, "Yeah, I'm going to need a letter from your doctor," I imagine the boss from Office Space smearing his words over the cubical walls, "Yeaaaaaah, I'm going to need you to come in on Saturday." I feel like jumping up and shouting, "Take my blood, take my urine, shoot puffs of air in my eyes, dilate the crap out of them, look in my ears, test those too, take an EKG while you're at it!!!! But can we just skip the Doctor's note this year?! Really, I'm still a Diabetic, but things haven't changed, I still know how to take care of myself."

Ok, fine, you caught me, I'm in another round of renewing my Flight Controller Physical at NASA. And as my doctor thoroughly pointed out, they follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Air Traffic Controllers (if you're curious check out App. B for Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus). Pro: Hurray for the process being a tiny bit better than getting my Class III special issuance, Con: still need a letter from my doctors (endo and eye doc). 

Don't get me wrong, I understand the importance of being healthy in this job. I am, after all, piloting a multi-billion dollar space station with 6 people onboard. I just feel like I am constantly asking for doctor's notes, and my endo is constantly wondering, "What in the world is she doing to warrant so many letters?" [Going where no Type 1 Diabetic has gone before...duuuhhhh]

Oh well, life continues, doctor's note after doctor's note. Side note: I have a big evaluation-type sim next week, so keep all that positive energy flowing!! So far it's been working great!!

Comments

  1. Ugg, doctor's notes. I'm irritated the paperwork for FMLA cost $35(!) for my doctor's office to fill out. I'm ready for concierge medicine.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…
01 09 10