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Involuntary Studying for a Test, a Test, a Test

17/03/2014 11:28

“A bee, a bee, a bee” was the first sentence that our oldest son uttered when he was a wee boy learning how to speak.  No one has found the off switch since that first sentence for our son, Matthew.  You know that my mind meanders in many different directions so you may wonder how we will travel from talking about these first words to where I am really heading & that is towards tests.  As always, please hold on tight & I promise we will get there.

That first sentence struck me as funny then & humorous still.  Kids can be such characters.  They can say the funniest things & bring a smile to our faces that brightens our day when we least expect it.  And we get to hold on to these memories & laugh yet again later. 

A memory of my own childhood that brings a smile to my face is remembering back to when my parents were planning for the building of our first house.  My Dad did the drawings for the house which I thought was cool & he brought them out often especially when we were anticipating the digging of the foundation.  I was 7 years old so I remember it all well.  I remember the property when it was vacant followed by what I called the “digging for dew worms” which was really the digging to prepare to lay the foundation.  Not long after we moved in, to my delight, I discovered that the beekeepers & the honey house were located directly across the road from our new home.  Warm, fresh honey was literally a “hop, step & a jump away.”  I loved the smell & the appearance & of course the taste of hot,fresh honey.  When we would be running low on honey for our morning tea & toast, my Dad & I would grab a few empty mason jars from home & then walk over to the honey house together to replenish our liquid yum yum supply.  Mr. Reekie the beekeeper would greet everyone in a huge yet unsurprised fashion.  If he had a bubble caption above his head it would have said, “ah yes, I was expecting you.”  In all the years that we visited the honey house to pick up fresh honey, I never once was stung by a honey bee.  Oh like so many other people, for sure I have been stung a few times by wasps but never a honey bee.  As an endearing aside although Mr. Reekie sold his beekeeping business many years ago, and the honey house has moved down the road & around the corner, to this day, every drop of honey that I enjoy is still from those honey bees from Georgian Bay.  My Dad often makes the little trip to the honey house on his own but he still makes sure we still have fresh honey for our tea & toast even  though we are almost 3 hours away each way.  And my Aunt Saundra (who must have been named after me (ha! ha!) always gives our family a gorgeous basket filled with honey from “The Honeyhouse” as well from “home” every Christmas.  It is an honour to be named after my Aunt Saundra.  She is an Aunt & friend all wrapped up into one.  She has the most incredible & infectious laugh, so profoundly musically talented, an expert scrap booker, shares a sentimental heart & lives “a hop, step & a jump” from where the beekeepers are located.

In one form or another, bees have been a string that has been woven throughout my life.  My parents still live in the home that my Dad drew up those plans for.  When our sons & I visit Mom & Dad, my Dad often takes our sons to the honey house.  Our sons love going there & they ask the beekeepers so many questions & they get to peer through the window where the bees are working to make the fresh honey.  No trip is complete without a taste tester of fresh, warm honey on a Popsicle stick.  The smell alone beckons you in as you descend the hill to get to the honey house. 

Just over a year ago, my dear cousin, Di returned home to introduce the family to her new “honey bee” baby.  It was a huge treat since Di lives on the other side of the country now.  Instantly, Di & I referred to the family get together as our colony & we smiled inside & out.  Our second born son had made a large cut out bee & coloured it in & we hung it in the room that we had the family party.  There were lots of homemade goodies including a carrot cake that I made with honey from “home” in it for this special occasion.

About a year ago, I spotted a movie by the name of “The Secret Life of Bees.”  I don’t often purchase dvd’s but this one I found myself gravitated to.  When the dvd reached home, I put it in the entertainment centre & kind of forgot about it for a long time.  About 3 weeks ago, I felt compelled out of nowhere to watch it.  It did not take long for me to realize that this film is a real keeper (no pun intended).  The meaningfulness in the film is indescribable.  I could not do it justice.  I could not help but see that the timing was perfect.  There it was again, the honey bees.  There they were again, in another form teaching me yet again.  Now I have finally come to realize that the learning that is being weaved in this way never truly ends & that is a great thing.

Okay, back to the parallel of “a bee, a bee, a bee” & “a test, a test, a test.”  Not to get too “woe is me” but I cannot believe how unwell I have been since January 2nd.  It has literally been one illness after the other & some even intersecting & that of course is always on top of type 1 diabetes.  The pains in my abdomen got so progressively unbearable that finally stubborn me went back to my family doctor & described what is going on.  This resulted in many upcoming referrals for tests & procedures.  Three tests/procedures require that I fast 12-24 hours.  Most people have experienced the dreaded fast for tests or procedures from time to time.  I know I experience a 12 hour fast every 6 months prior to my A1C blood lab appointment.  Personally, I don’t care about the fact that I cannot eat or will be hungry until after the test is over.  The thing that bugs me is that I have to somehow make sure that I don’t have low blood sugar otherwise I have to take a fast acting sugar & then I cannot go for the test if that happens.  Then I have to start all over a different day & try again.  Sometimes when I am stressed out, my blood sugars will go high & sometimes they will go low so I cannot always know how to best adjust my background insulin while pumping.  It is a moving target in other words.

In the spirit of “a test, a test, a test”, I had been thinking that having to fast for 3 tests/procedures over the next 4 weeks is going to be a royal pain in the sense that I had to make sure that my blood sugars did not go low & thus make the tests unattainable to me on the first dates that they are each scheduled.  It is complicated & then complicated again.  Worrying I know will not change any outcomes but worry was my natural response.  It turns out that I was about to be involved in involuntary studying for a test, a test, a test.  Last week on top of all the other challenges, I came down with strep throat. I have never had that before but I had the worst sore throat of my life so I went to the walk in clinic nearby.  The doctor on call told me that usually kids get strep throat.  To lighten things up a bit I told him that I must be a kid at heart because I was diagnosed with what is usually a childhood disease of juvenile (type 1) diabetes when I was an adult.  I said to the doctor that I would not be surprised to have any childhood illness since I must still be a kid at heart.  He took the throat swab & he told me that I had  a severe case of strep throat.  This is where the involuntary studying comes in.  It is very painful to swallow let alone drink or eat when you have severe strep throat.  For 4 days last week, I was pretty close to being on a continuous fast.  Here’s the silver lining though & that is that my blood sugars were pretty rocking!  It proved to me that I can do a fast, a fast, a fast & a test, a test, a test & “bee” okay.  I’ve got this.  I can do this.  I will do this 3 times over in the next 4 weeks & I am going to keep rocking good blood sugar results.  I have decided it.

My heart’s hope for you is that you find a silver lining in every cloud that comes your way.  You’ve got this.  Believe in yourself.

Smiles, Saundie :)

Tests come in all forms yet through each & every one of them may we all know that we are not just strong enough, but getting stronger with every challenge along the way.  Grace & friendship for this week's journey everyone.  See you next Monday for a new blog sharing :)