Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
It Never Gets Old
Laughter, a smile from a loved one or even a stranger, a child sleeping peacefully, a door being held open, the first buds every Spring season, the colours of the leaves every Fall season, snuggling in with sweet Beddy (our golden retriever) in front of the fireplace on a blustery winter’s evening, a perfect cup of tea (pot of tea really). What does this list actually speak of? It captures briefly some of the wonders of life that I will never grow tired of. What does your list look like? Within the framework of living 24-7 with type 1 (plus 3 other autoimmune diseases) I will add that a cooperative day health wise is emphatically added to the list as well.
The things that get old do not need to lead us down the path of being any older than our spirits have defined us as. For instance my body some days gives punishing blasts of reality of the autoimmune diseases that are unwelcome “guests.” Those are the days where blood sugars go beserkly high or low. If you live with type 1 diabetes you know exactly what I mean. This past winter psoriac arthritis got a hold of my joints particularly in my shoulder & both ankles & to a lesser degree to my wrists, finger joints & back. Each day that I woke up I thought to myself, “this is getting old but I am still a young at heart rascal.” This and anything else is not going to turn me into an instant octogenarian (no disrespect to any young octogenarians out there.) Being a rascal has its advantages I have found. It means that tenacity is sky high. It catapulted me to seek out reasonable avenues for pain relief. As an aside the pain relief industry must be one that does well since there are so many products out there that offer up the hope of alievement of pain. Everyone is a beautiful original so what works for one person may not work for someone else. My pain tolerance is high. How do I know this? I know this because I gave birth to our second born son with zero pain relievers. Please don’t get me wrong because it really was not a decision that I made in advance. That rascal son decided to make a speedy entrance into the world & almost was delivered by my husband on the side of the road in a construction zone. Luckily we just barely made it to the hospital…not to the delivery room mind you. Most moms have some sort of story surrounding the birth of a child. The point is that I really do have a high pain tolerance. I had no idea that psoriac arthritis would manifest itself with such brute force. Over the shelf oral medications did nothing for this pain. Each morning I tried something different & felt that eventually something would diminish the painful attack of the joints. Finally after about 8 weeks of trying different combinations I struck the one that decreased the pain thankfully. It was a combination compression product & Halsa mat that did the trick this time for me. The pain is still there in the background yet what a difference to have it on the backburner vs in the forefront. I am not interested in feeling like I am 40 years older than I actually am! The last 8 weeks were getting old but not rascally me. I will admit that I am pretty open about most things but one thing that I am reluctant to share with many people is my age. Outside of my family, there is a tiny group of people who I have shared my age with & they are always shocked & respond with disbelief. Okay, I kind of like that because well I am just a rascal human. No one enjoys dealing with health challenges. I refuse to accept that within any diagnoses I cannot be the healthiest me possible. I will never give up. Rascal rascal.
Last week it was March Break for my 3 Barbaloots (sons). I love sharing time with them. It is exhausting fun. Just like most of us hear so often, kids grow up fast. Yes they do! Sometimes I like to jokingly ask each of our boys what they remember about their own birth. The reaction that elicits never gets old to me. We did lots of activities together last week & generated extra muddy laundry because it rained every single day. I could care less about getting dirty though. The muddier we were the more fun we had is our philosophy. And I don’t care one iota that while I played goalie (poorly) with the backdrop of our white garage door that we have ball hockey mud marks all over the garage door & my pants & coat. Everything can be washed. Life is far too precious to get all caught up in being vain or fixated on appearing to have a perfect home or attire. C’est la vie. The day that stands out from last week the most was the day we went to our local maple syrup festival. The irony is not lost on me that for most people the highlight of the maple syrup festival is eating pancakes bathed in fresh maple syrup. This of course was not my personal highlight since I have celiac. Instead as always I loved the gooey, smiley faces of our sons. And I loved watching them roll down the big hill just outside of the dining hall…mud and all. It was cool too when other parents around me reclaimed the kids inside themselves by also saying to their kids , “go play & if you get dirty that is okay today.” Go mom & dad I say enthusiastically. I tip my hat as well to the dad with 4 daughters that I had the privilege of seeing skipping as he described “like a girl” & causing all 4 of his daughters to giggle with delight. Yeah, the world needs more of that. The line up for the pancakes was long. Long lines have never really fazed me. More times than not my genetic chit chat gene activates & I get to hear about someone else’s story. That day was stellar. The family behind us in line had driven over 4 hours to enjoy this rainy outing. I shared some tips on some really cool things to do around town with his family as well as the parts of the park to be sure to visit. They were a very cheerful family & it was a treat to chat. The line seemed to move too fast in some ways because I ended up having a neat chat as well with the lady in front of me in line. I decided to check my blood sugar since we had done a lot of exercise & that usually sends me potentially low so I wanted to catch my blood sugars before that might happen. Our younger sons wanted to see what my number was. Oh boy, it was a rare sighting of the 5.5! I knew though that I would bottom out further so out came my supply of bunny gummies proactively. Fun waits for no one & for sure I was of the mindset that a low blood sugar would slow us down & I would have none of that. Again, rascally rascally determination to the rescue. The lady in front of me turned around & said, “Oh I see you have an insulin pump.” I love my pump. I love talking about how much I love my pump. Was this an invitation to do this? Yes it was! It turns out that the lady has a grown daughter with type 1 diabetes & she is also a diabetes nurse educator as well as a pump trainer. She shared with me that her daughter does 12-20 glucose tests a day. That literally made me feel “normal.” I have been told too many times to count by my insurance carrier that I do not need to test as often as I do. I shared that information with the lady & she simply stated, “That is ludicrous & you should also get the Dex.” I agree & agree. I am looking into this & have oodles to learn. It is very cool though hearing from someone who gets it that my 10-12 blood tests a day are life sustaining. I know this already but it is refreshing to hear it from someone else. My blood sugars for the past couple of years have changed out radically & I have to accordingly keep a close eye on them for my own safety. I have for instance had my blood sugars go from 14 to 6.2 in 20 minutes without a bolus. Weird stuff. I have reached the point where a Dex or CGM of some sort may be my best safety insurance. How great would it be to know about those lows in the night every time too! It may give my guardian angel the odd night off. The thing that never ever gets old for me is meeting other people out there in the world that have type 1 or have a family member with T1D who bring up the topic of the insulin pump. The pump does not solve all of my problems but for me it has made all the difference in having more good days & more good days are great! Again, everyone is a beautiful original & some people are amazing at A1C control with multi daily injections. Hats off to everyone who is managing type 1. It is a beast. Type 1 itself “gets old” but meeting new people (battle buddies) never gets old. Hats off to every single person living with any autoimmune disease. May you find within your community moral support, encouragement, kindness, friendship & care.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a gentle week. Next Monday’s story sharing is in the usual creative ether.