A Whole New Level of Self-Obsession

Okay, I admit it: I’m self-obsessed. I would say that I’m narcissistic to boot, but I certainly do not have an inflated sense of self-worth, and I’d also like to think that I’m pretty empathetic.

And yet, even though I know I’m not the bee’s knees, I still think and talk about myself ALL. THE. TIME.

So what’s the deal?

Well, I’d wager that anyone with Type 1 Diabetes has to be at least a little self-obsessed. We’re taught from the day of our diagnosis how important it is to constantly check in on ourselves. Especially for those of us diagnosed before insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors were acting almost like artificial pancreata, it was hammered into us how to identify symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. You have to constantly think about when you last ate, if you’re about to do any physical activity, is it time to change your infusion set, did you bring extra batteries in case the pump battery dies, do you have enough test strips and lancets to check your blood sugar, is it time to renew your prescriptions, blah, blah, blah.

We are taught how to check our feet for cuts and open wounds, since we often lose sensation in our limbs and therefore can’t always tell if we’ve been injured. Since we usually take longer to heal from any kind of wound, we’re also more prone to have the wound become infected, which is why you always see the grandma with diabetes in the movie or TV show getting her foot cut off “from the ‘beetus.”

We’re taught to be mindful of any changes in our vision (i.e., floaters, flashes of light, blurriness, etc.), since diabetics are likely to develop diabetic retinopathy, which is when the blood vessels in your eyes start to leak. If left undiagnosed or untreated, you can go blind from it.

Anyway, you can see how diabetes is a full-time job in terms of self-awareness.

Now, you add onto that all of my health problems, and you are checking in on yourself quite nearly every single minute of every waking moment of your life.

That’s why, at any given time on any given day, I am likely asking myself one of the following questions:

  1. What’s your pain level, on a scale of 1 to 10? (Medical staff’s #1 favorite question to ask patients like me)
  2. Is the pain in your back better or worse than yesterday? If it’s worse, does there seem to be a reason for that? If you think of one, note it for your next doctor’s appointment.
  3. Is the nerve pain in your arms, legs, hands and/or feet better or worse than yesterday? If it’s worse, does there seem to be a reason for that? If you think of one, note it for your next doctor’s appointment.
  4. What’s your blood sugar? Does it feel like it’s rising or dropping at the moment? Do you need sugar, insulin, or to chill the fuck out for a second?
  5. Is the dizziness you’re feeling at the moment (since you’re feeling dizzy every waking moment) from a low blood sugar or all the meds you’re taking?
  6. Did you take your last dose of meds yet?
  7. When’s the last time you peed? If it’s been more than three hours, time to go!
  8. When’s the last time you pooped? If it’s been more than a few days, note it for your next visit to the gastroenterologist.
  9. What’s your blood sugar? Does it feel like it’s rising or dropping at the moment? Do you need sugar, insulin, or to chill the fuck out for a second?
  10. When’s the last time you did your PT exercises?
  11. Have you checked your feet yet today?
  12. Do any of the open cuts or wounds on your body (there’s always at least one at any given time) look infected?
  13. What’s your blood sugar? Does it feel like it’s rising or dropping at the moment? Do you need sugar, insulin, or to chill the fuck out for a second?
  14. How much range of motion do you have in your hands today? Is it time for your next round of trigger finger release surgery yet?
  15. How’s your heart rate doing? If it’s too high, make sure you’re not walking around, especially if you’re by yourself.
  16. Any new flashers or floaters in your eyes?
  17. Is your vision blurry? If so, what’s your blood sugar?
  18. When’s your next doctor’s appointment? PT appointment? Medical procedure, test, or surgery? If you’re meeting with a new doctor, did you print out an updated list of your prescriptions, surgeries, and medical conditions for their files?
  19. Which prescriptions are ready for refill?
  20. Are there any outstanding medical bills to pay today?
  21. When did you last eat?
  22. If you’re eating, how many carbs are in the food? What’s your blood sugar? How many units do you need to bolus to get your blood sugar to the desired range?
  23. Is it time to change your pump site yet?
  24. If you’re leaving the house, do you have extra batteries, candy for low blood sugars, your medic alert bracelet, your mobile medical alert device, your blood sugar meter with enough supplies? Do you need to bring your cane? Does at least one person know where you’re going?
  25. Have you reminded yourself lately to be grateful for the health that you do have, the support you have in your family, friends, and doctors, and the quality of life you are lucky enough to still enjoy?

Frankly, I’m sick of me. I’m sick of thinking about me, I’m sick of monitoring myself, I’m sick of reporting on my self-monitoring to the team of medical personnel who help keep me alive and halfway sane.

Clearly, I’m not sick of writing about myself, but alas, I need an outlet for my frustrations, and it’s a helluva lot easier to vent through writing than to bore myself and others with more me talk.

So, after all this venting, and all of this writing about myself, what’s to be done? The honest answer is nothing, not if I want to keep myself as healthy as possible. I suppose I could go back to counseling, but then, of course, I’d have to do what? Talk about myself more!

If nothing else, I’m most definitely suffering from decision fatigue. My fantasy is to live in a world in which I’d never have to make another decision for or about myself, ever again. But of course, we live in the real world, and I want to make the most out of this defunct body, so I will be asking and answering these incessant questions, self-monitoring, self-reporting, and providing as high a level of self-care as I’m physically and mentally able to, for as long as I’m physically and mentally able to.

For a period of years, I was so sick of these incessant questions and decisions that I flat-out ignored them. Unfortunately, that just led to my diabetes taking a sharp, steep decline, and my body quickly shutting down.

Nope. There’s no vacation from me to be had. In fact, my self-obsession will likely only strengthen over time.

Maybe that’s part of the reason why I want to help others? So I can get even a momentary break from myself?

At any rate, I’m hoping that if you and I interact in any way in the future, you can do me a favor—please, talk to me about anything else in the world but myself! (And let me just bring it all full-circle and reiterate that I’m not narcissistic enough to believe that you were dying to talk about me in the first place!)

To all my fellow exhausted self-obsessers out there, at least know that I’m out here, thinking of you, too!

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As I’ve mentioned previously, publication of my memoir, Relentless: From National Champion to Physically Disabled Activist, is forthcoming.

Keep tuning in to this website or one of my countless social media accounts (i.e., my Instagram pageTumblr pageTwitter page, Facebook page, and LinkedIn profile) in order to learn more about me, and about when the memoir will be available for purchase!

Any questions or concerns, feedback or suggestions for future blog posts or articles, you can always email me directly at contactkate@katherineitacy.com.

Article Published in RI Bar Journal

Hello, my friends!

For any and all interested, you can check out my latest article in the Rhode Island Bar Journal, entitled: Your Moral Imperative To Routinely Practice Self-Care, by clicking here.

It’s been a busy last few months for me, but I will hopefully be coming out soon with some new podcast episodes this summer.

Much love to you all!

Kate

Gratitude

By: Katherine Itacy, Esq.

Dated: April 25, 2019

 

Wow. Things have been busy for the last few months!

Yvens and I have been slowly moving into our beautiful new home:

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During which time I’ve encountered some….unwelcome guests:
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(That’s what I found at the bottom of the fridge as I was cleaning. Absolutely disgusting.)
I’ve had to travel for a continuing legal education (CLE) conference, and went to my first ever writer’s conference.
My health has really been suffering because of all of this, and I’ve had to find all new specialists in Detroit after having moved here from Rhode Island, requiring me to undergo a whole host of new, painful tests.
But despite how physically draining the last few months have been, I woke up this morning, the first morning after having officially moved into our new home, and I was hit by a fierce wave of peace and gratitude.
I describe my first encounter with a true moment of peace in my upcoming memoir, From National Champion To Physically Disabled Activist: My Lifelong Struggles With A Diseased Body, And The Lessons It Has Taught Me Along The Way, which is now set to be published by WiDo Publishing!
For anyone who has yet to experience such a moment, I can only explain it as euphoric. I’ve (thankfully) had a lot of moments of happiness, even bliss, but they really can’t compare to a moment of true peace and gratitude. It’s as if all is right with the world; like every tiny, simple good thing going on for you have joined forces and pushed their way up to the surface, blocking out all of your struggles or worries.
There’s a stillness in the air — almost as if you’re Zack Morris, freezing time:
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(Kids, if you don’t get the reference, ask your parents)
The moments will pass quickly, but will leave you with a lasting happiness in the hours and days that follow. And they’ll be there for you to conjure up, whenever you’re feeling stressed or tired.
Now, I’m not completely self-obsessed. I’m very aware of all of the horrible and troubling things going on in the world. I know just how much work we have to help better our planet.
But sometimes, you just need to sit back and count your blessings, and I’m not talking about once a year, while you’re sitting around the Thanksgiving table.
I might have had to endure forty-nine surgeries and medical procedures over a thirty-year period, go through a shitty marriage and an even shittier divorce, and lose the ability to continue practicing criminal defense (which I’d believed was my true calling in life), but ever since I’ve become disabled, I have learned and implemented the incredibly effective practice of recognizing moments of gratitude.
I don’t wait until the beginning or ending of each day (which, if you’re busy, may be the best way for you to start) — I stay aware throughout the day as to what I can be thankful for. And I honestly believe that that leaves me more open to these rare, euphoric moments of peace.
Non-humble brag, but I have to express gratitude right now for the fact that I have an upcoming article coming out in the Rhode Island Bar Journal; my book is set to be published, with the cover art done by an incredibly talented friend of mine; Yvens and I just moved into a beautiful new home in a wonderful neighborhood; I now have a beautiful new space to continue my writing (in addition to my new bedroom, where I’ll be spending most of my days and nights);
I am meeting wonderful new people from the greater Detroit area; I have incredible friends and family, who love me for exactly who I am, flaws and all; I, for now, still have possession of my mental faculties; and I have some exciting new projects in the works (the details of which will be coming soon!).
I am completely aware of just how blessed I am, and I couldn’t be more grateful for each and every positive thing I have in my life.
And I’m not trying to be obnoxious by posting this. I firstly wanted to express thanks for all of the wonderful things and people that surround me, and for all of the amazing things that are happening to me right now. But secondly, I wanted to try and express how easy it is to be grateful.
You don’t have to achieve all of your dreams or be rich to be happy. Recognize all of the good things you have in your life. Express gratitude for your life and everything in it. And please don’t wait until something life threatening happens to you or a loved one before doing so!
I promise you, as cheesy as it may sound, the more you appreciate your life, the more happiness and peace you will feel. Stop lusting after what you don’t have, and start taking note of what you do. You’ll realize how full your life already is. And you’ll leave yourself open to experiencing moments that will truly change your life.

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As I’ve mentioned, publication of my memoir, From National Champion to Physically Disabled Activist: My Lifelong Struggles with a Diseased Body, and the Lessons it Has Taught Me Along the Way, is forthcoming.

Keep tuning in to this website, my social media accounts (i.e., my Instagram page, Tumblr page, Twitter page, Google+ page, and LinkedIn profile), as well as my podcast in order to learn more about when the memoir will be available for purchase!

Any questions or concerns, feedback or suggestions for future blog or podcast topics, you can always email me directly at contactkate@katherineitacy.com.

Check out my new Medium article!

Click here to read my latest article on Medium, entitled: “Spoiler Alert: There’s No Door Prize For Prioritizing Pride Over Pain!”

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And remember, keep tuning in to this website, my social media accounts (i.e., my Instagram page, Tumblr page, Twitter page, Google+ page, and LinkedIn profile), as well as my podcast in order to learn more about when the memoir will be available for purchase!

Any questions or concerns, feedback or suggestions for future blog or podcast topics, you can always email me directly at contactkate@katherineitacy.com.

Best,

Kate

Listen to Episode 3 of the Hear Me Roar Podcast: “Tips on Book Writing” — Hear Me Roar – Podcast with Kate Itacy

Happy 2019, dear listeners! Thanks for your patience while Kate took a hiatus from the podcast. To start the New Year off right, Kate’s first episode of 2019 focuses on the insights and ideas Kate has learned about the book writing and publishing process. Given the number of people who’ve asked Kate about her research […]

via Listen to Episode 3 of the Hear Me Roar Podcast: “Tips on Book Writing” — Hear Me Roar – Podcast with Kate Itacy