There’s a song I like called “Simple Life” by The Weepies. The beginning goes like this, “I get up in the morning, put the kettle on, make us some coffee, say ‘hey’ to the sun…”
I used to do this too, except instead of coffee I make tea. I used to really treasure my free mornings. When I was in school, I looked forward to the one or two days per week I had the luxury of waking up without an alarm, lounging in bed for a few minutes, eating a leisurely breakfast (usually Joe’s O’s with golden raisins and almond milk), lingering over a cup of one of my many favorite kinds of loose-leaf tea, reading the paper, listening to music, or just thinking.
My mornings now don’t fit into nice pop songs. Nobody writes songs about insulin, pills, and especially not about throwing up. I still get to wake up without an alarm, but more often than not the first thing I notice is not how comfortable my bed is, or how well-rested I feel, but nausea. Instead of lounging in bed for a few minutes, I do a dance with my stomach–testing to see whether it feels like actually throwing up, or if it just feels like being queasy.
Once it decides, I move on to my blood sugar. I’m officially diabetic again, for reasons known only by my pancreas, so I test my blood sugar and go about the process of giving myself two shots in my belly that is tired of getting shots. Breakfast now has to be the right balance of carbs so as not to overwhelm my sluggish pancreas. My usual breakfast is very carb-y.
Next up: pills. I don’t really take that many pills. I take a few vitamins. But I take more pills than I used to, and each one is important, so it’s seven gulps now between me and my breakfast. When my stomach is queasy it’s picky about breakfast, too, and usually it wants it now, not seven gulps from now.
Two of those gulps are for my pancreatic enzymes, which help my body digest food when my pancreas is being as lazy as it is now. Speaking of enzymes, some people do write songs about pills. My boyfriend wrote a song to get me to remember to take my pancreatic enzymes…”at mealtimes. Digest those proteins in black beans, absorb the fats in ice cream, break down carbs to sugars in your gut…” It doesn’t help me remember, but it’s nice having my own morning song, even if it is about pancreatic enzymes.
My roommate says I get to be more in tune and involved with my body’s processes than most people. I help my cells get energy in the form of sugars with insulin. I can tell if I have too many sugars or too few running around my bloodstream. I help my body digest proteins, fats, and carbs–and I’ve been gaining a little weight thanks to all the digesting and absorbing I’ve been doing. I help it drain the fluid that it makes but can’t handle. OK, body, i’m helping you out–now help me out. Pancreas, stop being lazy. Fluid, stop collecting. Cancer, stop growing. Stomach, hold yourself together. I hate waking up nauseated.
By this point, if my stomach is still feeling queasy, it’s really wanting breakfast. And i’m really wanting to finally just put the kettle on and say hey to the sun. And my newspaper.