Diabetes is a disease that involves a lot of blood. Blood sugars, blood tests, A1C's. It's not like I'm not used to that fact. But even so, what is it about blood that can be so disconcerting? Not the tiny blood test amounts. God knows I'm over any anxiety about that. No it's more the rare occasions when I pull out a site and consequently bleed profusely, that for some reason always seems to rattle me. It happened yesterday while I was priming the pump for a site change. I was dressed for work, ready to go, with one last task to complete before I headed out the door. Change my pump. Snip, snap, I'm quick at the process now. I have the beeping pump in my right hand, while at the same time I'm pulling out the set with my left. Not even looking. A few seconds pass and I become aware of a kind of coolness where my set had been. A coolness and a wetness, though it doesn't register as wet at first. Not at least wet like water wet. I look over and I see blood just gushing out of the site I've just removed the set from. Down my hip, all over my clothes, soaking me down to my underwear. This happens fairly rarely so I'm not prepared with a kleenex or towel handy. My dear husband is camping and so there's no one around to run get a tissue. Seconds pass, though they feel like hours as the blood continues to soak my clothes, and I finish the prime and find some toilet paper. I press hard. It takes a few minutes for the bleeding to stop and then I have to clean up, change all my clothes and get to work.
Which I did. But I never quite regained my composure for some reason. I mean I was fine and all but everything just felt a little off. I was rattled a bit. Which always seems to be the case when this kind of thing happens. The brightness of the blood, the bold redness of it, the intensity of that visual, the speed to which the order of my life just goes visceral, all change the balance of the day. And by the end of the day, I'm just wiped. Tired to my bones which doesn't make physical sense to me, but when I think about it clearly, it does make sense overall. All this stuff with blood is normal for me now and yet, even after 20 years, the fact that I'm a human, a person, a creature that reacts to blood viscerally doesn't ever change. I guess when all is said and done, there's some small comfort in that. That in spite of being used to diabetes and all that entails, I'm still a creature that reacts to blood a certain way. For all that it has changed me, it will never change me completely.