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Bamboozled, Physical Hijack & Then the Parallel World

06/07/2015 12:00


Life can be a roller coaster ride & life with diabetes…well…

Within our daily lives things can just happen to derail us from our schedule, our to do lists, goals & plans.  This past week I learned about plan B.  The first thing I discovered was that I live in the plan A world.  For the most part that works out fine.  For a small percentage of time though plan A blows apart & I am left with black & white solutions.  Those solutions have been either to proceed on at any price or cancel out altogether.  I am not a fan of black & white thinking so I found myself with a lack of peace last week because I live in the plan A world.  Thankfully my steady as can be, logical, cool as a cucumber thinking husband pointed out to me that restored peace of mind was only a plan B away.  Sometimes the most obvious things are too close to see I have found in life.  The simpliest of ideas can make a difference.  My husband suggested that I consider having a plan B when I am doing long range planning in my life. This way I would not find myself living in the black & white world of either suffering through with plan A usually to my own detriment or cancelling out at the eleventh hour (and feeling like a flake).  I am hugely responsible by nature & my word is my bond so cancelling out is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  I agonize over the possibility of cancelling plans.  Greg (my husband) shared some observations with me last week that provided a chance for me to take a look at how my plan A living was going.  For the most part it is going fine especially on the outside.  Greg told me that I am an optimistic person by nature & enthusiastic & upbeat & even moreso when I am with people outside our nuclear family.  He pointed out that although I am very open about life with type 1 & other 365’s that I share the best of myself with others & kind of make living with chronic illnesses look like a cakewalk.  I look healthy whatever that means.  Well, that is a good thing because of course I don’t want to walk around looking like a zombie.  I don’t want to look like the poster child for “sick.”  The thing is though that I am not super girl either.  That brings me to plan A & plan B.

Is there a price to pay for everything in life?  I think so.  Tangible things are easy to put a price on like goods & services.  These usually require payment in money.  What about other activities?  We certainly pay for absolutely everything we do every minute of the day with time.  We have no idea how much time we have here on earth so time is indescribably precious.  How about health?  Have you heard the saying, “that person paid for that with his or her health?”  An easy example would be if a person makes a dangerous decision health wise like taking illegal drugs.  How about if we are having an off the rails day with diabetes and or other 365’s that we live with & we ignore our body’s signals & cry out to slow the heck down?  That I realized is where plan B comes in.  “Saundie, I notice that you have no plan B” my common sense filled husband stated last week.  Holy cow, how did I not notice that?  I think a good part of the reason is that I value keeping my word so why would I ever need a plan B because I would not even fathom the idea of “flaking out” on plan A is the answer.  How did that level of thinking work out last week & during certain days where the 365’s that I live with have been especially punishing?  How about on the days where my body has screamed at me to rest?  That is pretty much a rhetorical question for many of us.  Honestly though when something isn’t working, why exert more of the same I realize.  This week I am training my brain to think in terms of plan A & B & by default plan C as well.  Plan A is to stick with any plans I have made, plan B is plan A with a modification but communicated to everyone at time of planning & plan C is bowing out altogether.  I won’t need plan B let alone plan C very often however I have come to find out vividly that there is a time & place for plan B in my life.

What is all this talk of plan A & B in reference to this past week?  For the past month my body has been less than cooperative.  Out of no where I got sciatica.  Thankfully I don’t tend to get back pain.  When I was expecting our middle son I had sciatica & there is no mistaking that spine & leg pain.  It took a good 2 weeks this time to get that pain under control & touch wood this week is looking up.  My body decided to have a party but not the kind you want to get invited to over the past few weeks & last week was the perfect storm of all that mixed together.  There was the back pain, then the neck spasms which a lot of people experience from time to time (mine from TMJ), then a serving of psoriatic arthritis pain mixed in, a bigger psoriasis flare up, nausea and naturally erratic blood sugars thrown in because diabetes for me seems to like to scream the loudest of all.  I felt like I was 95 years old physically however from a mindset perspective I do not throw in the towel on any day.  The fight just increases.  That is the power of the feisty.  If I have a superpower it is the ability to be feisty.  I need that.  I am grateful for this.  My response to the meltdown that my body has been having was, “hang in there.”  I did hang in there for a few weeks but last week my body decided to use the megaphone on me because I was not listening since I was only living in the plan A world.  As much as I realize that I need to reduce stress truthfully I pay this lip service at best.  I had taken on too many responsibilities over the past few months because too many yeses had crept into my vocabulary again.  The word, “just” is a dangerous one for me I have found.  I tell myself, “I will just do fill in the blank & then slow down a bit.”  Those “justs” add up & perpetuate themselves though in my experience.  There can be no end to the “justs.”  That is why the megaphone entered in the form of a physical storm within my body I am sure.  I hear my body but often I ignore it I admit.  Sometimes in life you “play in pain” so to speak but other times a rest may be the best way to ultimately get back in the game.  It is all about really listening.  I will need to learn to be a better listener to my body I have come to understand.  Last week I “sat out” several planned activities because my body would not cooperate with me one iota.  The activities that I did not sit out though I “played in pain” so it was a balancing act between being in the game & resting.  It will take effort & time to find the right balance between playing & resting I know.  That’s okay.  There is recovery from physical bamboozlement. 

On a lighter note, our son, Brian needed something from the mall last week in preparation for his birthday next week.  He has a very kind heart & is profoundly polite.  When we arrived at the mall he said, “Mom how about you stop & have a cup of tea.”  We finished up the errands that he had wanted to do & then we did go to the tea shop for a cuppa.  They know me well at the tea shop & jokingly refer to me as the “resident tea addict.”  They have lots of sample teas there that my son likes to try too.  It looks like the next generation of “tea addicts” are very evident within our sons.  It is commonplace for Brian to have a package of the game “Beanbozzled” in his pocket for instant play with any poor victims anywhere anytime.  He had it with him when we went into the tea shop & he found a kindred spirit in one of the gentlemen who was working there that day.  The two of them had a quick round of the game & ended up sampling the beans “stinky socks” & “skunk spray.”  Double yikes is my response to that however they were both smiling ear to ear.  In the meantime I was in tea heaven as I savoured my “Monkey Picked Oolong” which is my favourite of favourites.  One of the ladies who was working in the tea shop encouraged me to try some of the samples of the iced tea.  I live in fear of silent sugars.  That is one of the big reasons why I honestly prefer to make my own iced tea.  I have found that when a lot of other folks (especially people without diabetes) make iced tea they put what they describe as a pinch of sugar in but in realitywhat is in fact a cup full into the pitcher.  I went ahead & asked the lady working there how much sugar was in it.  She replied good naturedly, “not much at all…about a teaspoonful per cup or so.”  The “or so” is a bit unnerving when you have to count precise carbs.  Then she added, “you are better off having a glass of this sweetened iced tea than a glass of juice which has 6-8 teaspoons of sugar per glass.”  My thought immediately was, “what?”  We learn quickly when we live with diabetes to compute all foods & beverages into carb counts.  I am not sure what kind of juice this lady drinks but I sure know that I don’t drink any juice that has 6-8 teaspoons of sugar in it.  The only time I drink juice is when I need it literally for medicinal purposes to bring my blood sugar out of a low & the serving size I have contains exactly 3 teaspoons in it.  You will know exactly what I mean if you live with diabetes when I say that when I look at food on my plate I automatically convert what I see into math.  It is about math first & enjoyment after that because we have to compute the carb content in everything we eat period.  If there were a carb content game show, people living with diabetes would win every time that’s for sure!

As I mentioned earlier, large stress on top of stress brings out the beast in all 4 of the 365’s that I live with.  Plan A thinking does not help with stress reduction.  It instead for me has added to the stress many times.  My enthusiasm seems to be a magnet for people automatically signing me up for many groups, activities & duties. (Many without my permission in advance)   This happens a lot to me & while I take it as a compliment it does not always lend itself to stress reduction.  I found myself nipping another one of these “assignments” due to my enthusiastic attitude in the bud.  The person however doing the “voluntold” assignment without my sign up or sign on for it became aggressive, nasty & abrasive with my no thanks answer.  She decided to try the bullying approach.  My feisty superpowers automatically kicked in.  I have zero patience for bullying in any form.  The extra stress though from dealing with this person sent a wave of flare up  into my already down for the count body & has slowed down the healing further.  That is almost behind me though & I am taking proper care of my physical self so that is the first step towards feeling better.  I refuse to not feel & be the best feisty person I can be.  On a nervous note, I am now headed off to the dental office.  Diabetes seems to be taking quite a toll on my otherwise healthy teeth unfortunately.  Last Friday night one of my back teeth broke in half out of no where & so I find out today what is to become of that tooth.  I am spending too much time these days at the dental office.  On a very excited note in the parallel optimistic world that I choose to live in & focus on, my earliest childhood friend is soon visiting from the East Coast.  We have known each other since we were both 4 years old but I have not seen her in what feels like 500 years because we live many provinces away now from one another.  She is an actual everyday superhero…aka a nurse.  I guess the universe remains in balance even while the roller coaster ride continues with life & diabetes.

My heart’s hope for you is that you grow stronger every day no matter what the balance is on your roller coaster ride!

Smiles, Saundie :)

Have a gentle week & next Monday's sharing is in the creative ether.