Do you ever have those dreams in the middle of a dead quiet night, that you're falling, and you die? And you think that its real, that maybe you died. You wake up and try to determine if you're in some kind of in-between place, where everything around you seems too calm and still so your sleep addled brain tells you that your gone. Then you hear a dog bark, or a siren, or a terrifying Darth Vader possum hiss and you know they're the sounds of being alive.
My life has another soundtrack that helps to remind me I'm alive. I play it on repeat every day; so constant that I almost know the lyrics. It starts with a mechanical click of springs sliding and locking into place, followed instantly with a dulled thud. Then begins a silent 5 second countdown that might continue on in silence, or end in 2 digital beeps. Silence is good. Beeping is bad. If I beep, even my husband knows what that means - that my day has not started well. Beeps are either followed by angry swearing (and my husband knows he can get a few more minutes of shut eye), or clumsy rustling in my bedside drawer, the slight hiss of air as a foil seal is punctured and loud gulping and breathing noises as I smash down a juice to treat a low. I don't really hear any of these though. If I am low then my aural senses become dull and disconnected, replaced by a ringing that I can't stop.
The pattern repeats itself, over and over throughout the day. The click of the lancet, the silence or beeps of the glucometer.
My pump plays a different tune to add to my diabetes medley. "Pah-tunk", "pah-tunk". This is the sound I recognise as an interaction between myself and King. Pah-tunk to select bolus. Pah-tunk to unlock. Quiet ticking as a bolus is delivered. I have silenced King, annoyed with his constant chatter. Still he communicates what he needs. The vibrations are audible against my skin, against my mattress, or against thin air. When I am connected to CGM, and in danger, he screams. I cannot ignore the shrill, piercing cry that King makes to alert me to an unresolved low at 2am.
Every 3 days Kings' continuing song is punctuated with a change in rhythm. I add in the clinking of a pencil against a new reservoir to get rid of the air bubbles. The whirring of King's motor as it rewinds. The steady beeping King makes to indicate that insulin is filling a new set line. A pop as the new set is pressed and inserted into my skin. If I am lucky enough, a click of my CGM transmitter sliding onto a new sensor.
These are the sounds that let me know I have life, and am lucky enough to afford to live it.