In my bag I have my blood sugar monitor, glucose tablets, a bottle of water, extra test strips, insulin pen, extra lancets, and my blood glucose log book. I will never leave the house without any of this stuff...in short, I would never leave the house without this bag.
Because of this, the bag has gone through a fair amount of wear and tear in the past couple of years or so. It also seemingly likes to collect various amounts of things; this morning I was emptying it out because it needs to go in the wash again, and I found lots of little things in my bag that in some sense, were almost like mini memories because everything in my bag; is evidently a remnant of something I had done previously.
For example, I found an old blood sugar book in my bag.
On the front it reads 'Ellie and Paris' blood sugar book' It made me remember that me and my Diabetic friend Paris made a pledge to one another not long after we started talking that we would help each other out with our Diabetes, and we would get our hba1c's down by the Summer. It reminded me of the gift of a friend because a couple of months later me and Paris are still helping each other out and still here for one another.
I also found an old copy of some discharge notes from my recent bout of DKA in February 2013.
It flooded me with thoughts of the struggles that I have been through with Diabetes, being able to sit on my bedroom floor and read through those papers a few months on gave me a sense of pride, because I have faced obstacles on my journey with Type One and I will probably face more...but today I was not struggling, my blood sugars were good as they have been for a little while now. I am here still going strong and it made me realise all the little things count. Because in February I experienced my second time in DKA but in May I am fine, I am sitting on my bedroom floor, listening to music, emptying out my bag: even though it doesn't sound like much fun, at that moment that I saw those papers, I was happy and grateful to be living my life, even if I was just cleaning out a bag.
"Just a bag" On the outside all you see is it's seams and the fabric complete with the zips and the pockets sheltering all that sits inside, on the inside it has memories and it is the carrier of my lifeline every single day. It makes it easier for me to carry all of my diabetic stuff around- it is a bag that I have had for a long while and it is even in photos of significant times in my life; even looking back at a photo I took back in February in A&E my bag is with me on the bed, I have my bag on in a photo of myself in Amsterdam; the first Holiday after diagnosis.
February 2013- DKA
My bag also has a 'Lennie the Lion' hanging from the zip. I was given the mini Lennie keyring during a visit to the Hospital to get the new Medtronic Enlite sensor back in March last year.
Although my bag contains all of my Diabetes supplies; it also has all of my "normal teenager" stuff within it too. It has my purse, my headphones, my phone, an eyeliner, some random clips, a brush, lipstick and other small things that make up my life as a Teenager, minus Diabetes.
But then again, my bag interlocks diabetes with my life as a regular teenager. Sometimes I will go to get my headphones out and find them entwined with the zip on my blood sugar kit- I see how Diabetes fits around and within all that I do; it isn't all that I am. My bag has been to the hospital with me as a Diabetic teenager, but then again it has been to Thorpe Park with me as a seemingly "regular" teenager, but it still has my supplies in it 24/7- my bag sort of sees the balance between being diabetic and being a teenager.
I love to listen to music, then again I have to test my blood sugar a lot and I wish I could just listen to music as much as I have to test my blood sugar, so sometimes I test my blood sugar whilst I listen to music.
I love music, I love my family, I love my friends, I love cats and pretty pictures and skater skirts and peter pan collars, I love converse and vans, I love Starbucks, I love Skittles, I love sunny evenings, I love smiling, I love to make people laugh, I love helping others, I love to smile. I love to be a Teenager; despite facing both emotional and physical challenges that most other teenagers I know don't.
My bag holds much more than I realised, it's intriguing how if you observe something in a different light it can reveal so much.
Sometimes even just a mere object can harness memories and thoughts deeper than a photo can.
So, my bag- what's in it?
A lot more than you would first think.