Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure

Anyone remember the choose your own adventure books that were popular about the time I was in middle school???

You would start reading a story, then you would get to a part where the main character would have to make a decision. You, as the reader, would have 2-3 options and there would be instructions on which pages to turn to so you could continue the story based on which choice you picked.

Sometimes my life feels like a "choose your own adventure" book...

Here's an example:

It's 1pm, and I am meeting a friend for coffee at 3pm then have Bible study at 7pm. I get up off the couch and realize I'm feeling shakier than usual, my heart is racing, I'm chilled but sweaty, and I'm blacking out. I check my blood sugar and it's 49. I try drinking some juice and eating some gummy bears but only get it up to 55. Now I have a dilemma...

Choice 1: Since my neurologist has warned me about letting my sugars drop or allowing them to stay below 70 for extend periods of time, I know I have to get my sugar up. The risk of long term neurological effects from chronically low sugars is something I want to avoid. But since juice and candy isn't working, I turn to PB2 or scrambled eggs for some protein to hopefully stabilize my sugars.

Choice 2: Because I'm not only having low sugars but am also dealing with my day to day GI issues, I know that eating anything is not going to go well and will probably result in severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and swelling. Since I'm not a huge fan of pain and nausea and throwing up, I decide to try more juice, some soda, and grab another handful of gummy bears and hope it is enough to at least get above 70.

So now it's your turn! Which do you choose??

I know, catch-22...I risk long term damage if I let my sugars consistently hang out below 70, but some days My GI tract just cannot handle anything solid and I risk nausea, vomiting, painful swelling, which can lead to needing an ER trip. Choose wisely...

Let's try another example:

It's about time to travel back to see my specialist in MN for my 6 month appointment. However, I've been so sick the past few weeks, I've felt like I'm on the edge of a major crash. The stress of the travel might be enough to push me over the edge. At the same time, this is the doctor that understands my condition better than anyone, so if anyone will be able to offer some insight, he's the one. What to do?

Choice 1: Decide that in order to best manage my health, it's just not worth making the trip. My specialist is fantastic about corresponding with local doctors, so we can still get his input without making the 28 hour trip. This can potentially prevent a major crash, but hopefully still get some new treatment options.

Choice 2: Take all the precautions possible and make the trip. This doctor knows more than almost anyone about mast cell diseases, and we are desperate for his input. Even knowing that it could cause a major crash, this may be one of few opportunities we have to actually see him in person and communicate my symptoms and the progression so he can make recommendations based on actually seeing me and hearing in person what is going on.

Another catch-22...there's no right answer but there may be a wrong one...and there is no way to know until after.

It seems that regardless of which choices I make, the next part of the story reads:


I think I need a new book that has better endings...

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