93 Ford F150
Not my truck … but looks close

A couple of years ago I bought myself an old, beat up, full size pickup truck. A 1993 Ford F150, extended cab (have to be able to fit the kids in there somewhere…).

It has served me well over the last couple of years, but, like any old vehicle, it’s really starting to show its age. I can damn near reach through the rust holes on the passenger side to unlock the door if I should ever lock my keys in there.

This is also the first time I’ve owned a rear wheel drive vehicle.

Rear wheel drive vehicles are interesting to drive in the winter. You step on the gas a little too hard or too fast, and the rear wheels just spin like crazy. The vehicle doesn’t really go anywhere, you just sit there spinning your wheels! You might fishtail a little bit from side to side, but that’s about it. There’s just not enough weight back there for the tires to get any traction.

This is especially true for pickup trucks. Many people will put a few hundred pounds of sandbags in the bed of the truck, trying to get some extra weight back there to help a bit.

I do have the ability to switch into 4 wheel drive if I need to, but it’s not like they are these days, where you press a button, or flip a switch, and are running 4×4. I have to actually get out of the truck and turn a lock lever on the two front tires.

I spend most of the winter in regular 2 wheel drive, switching into 4 wheel drive just after a big snowfall or if it is especially slick or icy out.

The first winter I spent with the truck was a huge learning experience. I survived, and in one piece too!

Every now and then though, I would goof around a little bit. You know, if I’m turning a slow corner on an empty street, I might punch the gas just a touch and do a sweet fishtail or sideways skid – you know, real mature stuff.

Well there was one time after leaving a friends apartment where I had to cross through this big empty parking lot. I simply could not let the opportunity escape without playing around with this massive V-8 engine and slippery back end.

Here I go – just a very slow approach, goose the gas a little and spin the wheel…

Holy shit.

Big heavy truck with a little bit of momentum.

I had set this massively heavy truck into an uncontrollable spin through an empty parking lot. The truck is so much heavier than any other vehicle I’ve driven, and it just kept going around and around and around.

It felt like forever. I was literally frozen at the wheel, watching my world rotate around me, bracing for some kind of impact (which was silly, the lot was empty) and waiting for the ride to stop.

Around and around and around.

And I felt so helpless. There was not a thing I could do to make this big truck stop spinning until it ran out of momentum and stopped on its own. Either that or smash into something.

The truck did come to a stop, and in reality it was probably only one and a half rotations – but it felt like I had been through the spin cycle on the Maytag.

That feeling – frozen, a death grip on the steering wheel, watching everything spin out of control, just waiting for it to come to rest or bracing for impact. When will it stop?! When will the “storm” be over?

That is how I feel about my diabetic control right now. It’s been spinning out of control.

It has been a string of probably a month or so, where I’ve been running high all the time, or swinging violently from low to high and back again.

I need to step back and re-evaluate where things are not working. I feel like I want to tear it all down and start fresh, start from ground zero. But how the hell do you do that?! And it all seems like such a terribly big job – so big that I’m intimidated by it. I’m scared to death to bite off a piece and work through it. Why is that?

It has a lot to do with my “ohmygodIneedtofixitallrightnowanditmustbeperfectthefirsttime” perfectionist tendencies. Rather than the healthier, small piece at a time, I feel so frustrated with things that I will not be satisfied unless I can do it all, and do it all right now. But that is impossible.

Having been thinking about all of this for a while now (but not doing a damn thing about it yet), I was particularly in touch with this post from a dear friend of ours. Yes, I hear you loud and clear. I’m grumpy too. “Out of control” learning curve mode, and starting back at square one. Yes and yes, check on both of those.

I feel like the facts are not the facts anymore. Formulas and ratios that have worked forever are not working anymore. 2 + 2 no longer equals 4. Up is down and down is up. Inside is outside and left is right. It’s all crazy, doesn’t make sense.

Where’s the “reset” button on this damn thing…


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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, and advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer.

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…