I feel everything.
I feel the insulin seeping into my body as I press a button on an external organ, pumping in life and stinging as it enters.
I feel the guilt as I calculate a dosage that is over “normal”, over what my pump tells me is “correct”.
I feel the shame and confusion as my weight creeps upwards, despite every effort, and I am told by doctors and specialists to “eat less”, “exercise more”, and “don’t you want to get this under control?”
I feel the shaking of my hands and the wobble in my voice as I breathe in and out, willing myself to just insert the stupid cannula, “get it over and done with and you won’t have to do this again for three more days”.
I feel the sting as another piece of metal pierces my skin, and the dull pain that seems to pulsate through my stomach and hips, as though it’s berating me for doing this to my body yet again.
I feel the bumps and scars on my skin from five years of injections, insets, and infections, red and raised, as though my pancreas has decided to claim its territory on the outskirts of my body, having lost its autonomy on the inside.
I feel the embarrassment as I raise my arms to write a lesson aim, and a student sees an infected pump site on my hip. “Miss, did something bite you?”
I feel the fatigue as I drag myself out of bed at 6am, trying to teach 125 kids how to write after having spent the wee hours of my morning peeing and vomiting, and considering whether I would get more rest if I just slept on the toilet.
I feel the red hot flush of anger as I’m told that I’m not in control. I feel this anger slowly seep through my body like a warm tide, my body turns to syrup, and static noise fills my ears as I’m berated for trying my hardest. What’s the point in trying your hardest when neither your body nor the people around you acknowledge it?
I feel the hope when someone takes my hand and softly says “I know you’re trying, I know that this is all your body will let you do right now”, and the cool tips of their fingers as they squeeze my hand in a promise of solidarity.
I feel the tears roll down my face and my throat tighten, trying to remember those words as I look at yet another “HI” screaming at me from a meter I try to ignore.
I feel the fear, settling in amongst my thoughts like a thick fog in the early hours of the morning, growing ever thicker as another high refuses to budge.
I feel the gnawing sense of dread, praying my body will carry me through, that I will find a way to halt my organs destroying themselves, that I’ll die old and happy, not young, sick, and scared.
When it’s been five years, and nothing seems to be improving, I feel everything.