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Diabetic Ground Hog
Guess what day it is? Guess what day it is? Okay, you know by now that I will reach for any reason to celebrate. That is the outcome of diabetes I am sure in my life. Everything is magnified & I do mean everything. The bad days are very bad & the good days are ones of euphoria. There is no fence sitting for this gal as far as life goes. Okay then, what in the wide world could Monday February 2, 2015 be a day fit for celebration for? As an aside whenever I ask one of my friends how she is feeling she always says the same thing, “I am vertical & breathing therefore today is a gift.” She is a lady with a fast & ready sense of humour & she has a long list of chronic illnesses yet she always sees some sort of bright side every day with honesty. She is a character. I like her for her shared rascalness that she & I share. Whenever I go to her house for tea she always serves me a “cup” of tea out of this huge soup like bowl & it has to be at least 20ozs (more like a pot of tea than a traditional 5 oz cup). And she will always challenge me to finish every drop before it gets cold & to not have to use the restroom during the visit. She also adds, “I hope this cup of tea is large enough for a tea-a-holic like you!” Then she laughs her infectious laugh. Whenever one of our sons are taking a hooky day from school to celebrate a birthday she always tells them that they will learn every bit as much out of school that day as in. The cool thing is that she is a teacher herself. Did I digress? Of course I did. The celebration for today (though hooky free since the schools are closed in the area due to a huge snow storm) is Groundhog Day.
As I have shared with you before, I grew up in a wee town (population 1200) about 45 minutes away from another small town called Wiarton. Once a year, otherwise little known Wiarton makes it on the map & the news due to a rodent. Yes, you read that right…a rodent. For sure you will have heard of the infamous “Wiarton Willy.” Willy makes his hugest debut once a year on February 2nd which is Ground Hog Day. Willy’s job was & still is to predict whether we would continue to be up to our knees in snow for another 6 weeks. If you grew up in Georgian Bay, you will know what it feels like to get snow in your boots. It is snowbelt. I don’t particularly know how long the average ground hog lives but I would guess that the groundhog Willy that I grew up with is long gone from this world & his grand-groundhogs are the groundhogs of honour for Groundhog day these days.
How do we go about celebrating some occasions that are a little off the beaten track like Groundhog day? Well, maybe we celebrate in the same spirit as my rascally friend who celebrates another vertical & breathing day as a great day or maybe we add a little more. I confess that basically anytime I can come up with what I think is a bonafide celebration/occasion, I love to go to this gluten & dairy free bakery that I discovered not far from where I live now. The celebration goody is always a pumpkin cupcake & I will add that they are miniature ones so they are to me 100% guilt free. Since this bakery is closed as most bakeries tend to be on Sunday & Mondays, I popped down there last Friday & got a mini pumpkin cupcake & put it in the freezer in readiness for today’s Groundhog Day celebration. Although these cupcakes have no dairy & no gluten, they are indescribably delicious. That is no exaggeration. I have been known for creating occasions & that I have done my whole life. I am looking forward to savoring this wee cupcake today at exactly 2pm with a cup of tea in one hand & an espresso in the other.
Is Groundhog day a real bonafide celebration day? At best it is pretty silly in my mind but I am okay with silly. I am more than okay with silly. In the middle of winter life can get a little heavy so why the heck not get a little silly? Our sons are almost convinced that Groundhog day ought to become a stat holiday. That is kind of funny. Catching the bug of celebration is like that. Looking for people & occasions to celebrate are awesome I think.
Did you ever see the movie, “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray? You will remember that his alarm goes off each morning & he has to repeat the exact same day over & over again for eternity possibly. That was kind of how I thought of type 1 diabetes management the first year that I had diabetes. Every day I would eat the same foods at the same time, take insulin injections at the same time & exercise at the same time, get up & go to bed at the same time & then basically pray for cooperation in blood sugar results. “Blah, blah, blah” was the way I felt that year like I was going through the motions of a zombie. Each day I x’d off another day from the calendar as I was counting down to the day where I could finally at least qualify to request consideration for an insulin pump. That went on for 13 months. I felt like a character out of the movie, “Groundhog Day.” Everyone is a beautiful original so just because I find my insulin pump to be the bee’s knees does not mean that it is the answer for everyone. There is no one size fits all in any part of life & diabetes is magnified in this regard as well. I love my pump & the freedom it gives me including the option to enjoy carbs when I want. That is not to say that the pump is the brains of diabetes. I am still making decisions 24-7 because I don’t qualify for a continuous glucose monitor so I have to make corrections throughout any day or night 365 days a year. The pump does not mean that I will be in range all the time. That would be a dream come true. That is fiction however. I have had nearly a full month of horrible high blood sugars…that kind of also felt like groundhog day (as in the movie) because every day I would just try again to break free of the high blood sugars…correcting, exercising, changing out foods, trying to reduce stress & other real life maneuvers. Yes, I do all my own stunts or in other words, I am the brains of my diabetes management or what feels like mismanagement some days & my pump is my little beloved minion. It gives me a fighting chance but it is not perfect & it is not a cure. I do hear that the cure is coming though in 5 years.(laughing) I know , I know, if you have also had diabetes for more than 5 years, you have been hearing that line too. Maybe you have been hearing that declaration for decades. There is sure to be many new gadgets for diabetes care every 5 years but the cure well, I would love to believe that the cure will come some time in my lifetime. I am not putting my life on hold in 5 year increments counting on that though. I will however gladly investigate new management tools & make personal decisions as to what I think would work for me.
Diabetes can at times I believe begin to feel like the perpetual Groundhog Day as depicted in the movie. It at times is more of doing the same thing& at the same time trying to break free of having to do the same things over & over again. Alas, there is absolutely no vacation, parole or running away from diabetes for even a single day. We wake up, check glucose, eat, check glucose, exercise, check glucose, correct or gobble chalky tablets depending on the all mighty number on our meters (the all knowing guru’s that don’t agree with one another), eat, correct one way or another, go about the rest of our day, self analyze ourselves to determine whether we are stressing, check glucose, eat dinner, check again, check every time we are going to get behind the wheel of our vehicles, eventually get ready for sleep, check glucose yet again & of course more checks of glucose at random times for a zillion different reasons, go to sleep…well, try to go to sleep because diabetes loves to poke at us even in our sleep. How about those 3am sweat feasts out of nowhere. Yum, there is nothing like a handful of gummy bunnies at 3am for a low blood sugar followed by a tummy ache to spoil an entire potential night’s sleep. The next day we do it all again. Unlike the movie though eventually the stars come into alignment for certain days & we see those gorgeous in range numbers smiling back at us from our glucose meters. It is so worth creating a celebration for those days. Those are the days that remind us that yes, we are more than vertical & breathing. We are going to take on that day & celebrate the heck out of it & appreciate it big time.
My heart’s hope for you is that whether you think of Groundhog Day as a gloomy thing of repetition like the movie, it can also be seen as a chosen day of celebration. Whether Willy says that we have 6 more weeks of winter or not, who cares really. The Spring is going to come. The feeling unstoppable or spring like days with diabetes come for us too. Those days are worth celebrating.
Smiles, Saundie :)
There is a lot of snow going inside my boots in my little corner of the world yet there is so much to be thankful for. Our youngest son woke up & sang the "Celebration" song when he found out the schools are closed due to the winter storm today. Next Monday's sharing is especially dear to my heart & is in honour of my Dad. What he did will melt your heart xo