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It's An Awful Lot Like "Green Eggs & Ham"
What a feeling it is when some parts of our lives circle back. There are portions of our past that we may wish that we could freeze time for. Other parts for sure we may just want to skip over. Two things collided this week to bring me to this Monday’s writing piece. The first was a beautiful reminder of my own childhood & the other was a message that I was ready to hear. The walk back down memory lane to my childhood came in the form of listening to our youngest son, Alex reading the story book, “Green Eggs & Ham.” In kindergarten, Alex was brutally stressed out about not being able to read. He stated often that he was afraid that he would never be able to read. He put a lot of pressure on himself. By nature he is a mathie. He picks up on math at an accelerated pace & I laugh because he loves to do what we call “recreational math.” He likes to be challenged by his older brothers & asks to see what they are working on in their grade 5 & grade 9 programs respectively. Alex struggled initially as he learned how to read & it worried him. This year he is in grade 2 & has a fantastic teacher & he has caught up with his mates in his grade recently in the area of reading. He was over the moon to accomplish this. Previously he had been reluctant to read aloud & would need a lot of encouragement to do this at home. My gut though told me that he would be just fine as long as I continued to encourage him, try to take the pressure off of him & continue to provide fun reading material for him to access at home. I also was confident that Alex really wanted to show his teacher that he could do it. That is the power of a positive teacher. I know because I had a few of these similar every day heroes when I was in school too from grade school straight through to university. A couple of nights ago I had gone up to bed early as my blood sugars were again sky high & knocking me on my butt. I decided to read for a while & then try to get to sleep after that. Our boys were getting ready for bed. Alex came into our room with a book in hand & declared that he wanted to read me a bedtime story. This was a wonderful first & he was so enthusiastic. You know what happens with enthusiasm…it is contagious! I smiled as I noticed that the book that he decided to read was “Green Eggs & Ham.” This was my favourite book when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My poor Dad must have known that book by heart because I remember asking him to read it every single night for well over a year. My heart is beaming with the joy of knowing that Alex feels confident in his achievement with his reading skills this year. He read that book from cover to cover flawlessly & with a variety of voices & sound inflections. And I could see that he has learned to enjoy reading at last.
If we think about diabetes & the “Green Eggs & Ham” story perhaps a few things come to mind. Do we want diabetes here or there? Do we want it with a fox or mouse? No & no would be my answers. Of course having diabetes anywhere is annoying many times. How about who we are with? Diabetes care largely I find is easier when I am at home. And being by myself or just with my nuclear family generally makes for less complicating self care. That makes for a conflict in my experience. It is not realistic nor desirable I think to withdraw from going out into the world fully & be around anyone or everyone from day to day. There is no place like home though when my blood sugars are through the roof. I would rather be “here” than any “there.” So many times I have dragged myself through the motions when I am “there” (out in public) during high blood sugars. It is beyond exhausting. Getting back home often for me becomes the ultimate goal. The comforts of home offer a refuge during the awful “highs” of diabetes. And being able to just let our hair down so to speak at home versus putting on an Oscar award winning performance of “a healthy person” (whatever that looks like) is in my opinion a comfort as well. The month of January was one that I wish to be neither here nor there as far as the sustained highs of diabetes were concerned. I always have 5 basal profiles programmed & none of them were working so I was in that land of reinventing the wheel as far as diabetes management goes. On no given day will I give up though. And don’t you ever give up either. I was determined to get my blood sugars into goal range for February. On a practical note, I have that big brother is watching feeling once again as from February forward, all my blood sugar information went towards my A1C visit with my endocrinologist. Without obsessing too much about it & instead taking it one day at a time, I will admit at the same time that I was committed to my goal of achieving an A1C in the under 7% range. (I had not seen that endangered number in over 3 years) That was a challenge for me yet one I will never throw the towel in on. It seems to be a well guarded secret that when you are a gal trying to keep blood sugars in range from one week to the next is a freaking moving target especially at certain ages. Please don’t get me wrong as I am not implying that diabetes management is not an albatross for guys or gals outside those age ranges. I am simply saying that hormones are a brute. It really is not spoken of for some reason. That is far from helpful. In any event, I will jump hurdles & find a way around obstacles in my fight to manage this beast of type 1 diabetes.
This week’s second message was timely. That’s the wisdom of messages. They appear when we are ready & need them most I think. There is a website that I absolutely love. This is the source of the second message. The message was that sometimes struggles in life come full circle to return to us. It is like we think that we have already dealt with something or figured something out & voila, it returns again. How do we feel when that happens? Do we chastise ourselves in a way that suggests that we failed at solving something from the past? I think I have done that to myself more times than I am comfortable admitting. If only life were that simple & solvable. Life can be a beautiful mess instead. It is not cut & dry or black & white. Frankly that would make for a pretty boring existence. Life may go along the same squiggly line or roller coaster line that our blood sugar graphs follow. Diabetes sure teaches me day in & day out that just because something worked one day does not equal success the next day with blood sugar control. The variables are countless in diabetes blood sugar management. Some days I would like to fire the manager of diabetes but oh dear, that would be me so instead I try to let the day go & try again the next day. I am sure that AA has it right with “one day at a time.” It really is the only way to embrace life & I think most especially life with diabetes. It is the decision to wake up each day & say, for today I will do my best & then do that again the next day & so on. My A1C numbers include 3 months worth of data but I am living those 3 months one day at a time thank goodness. I need to concentrate on today & hopefully all those future today’s will keep me under an A1C of 7%. The things I can control are my actions, determination & attitude & beyond that I have to let it go. The website that provided this week’s timely message is called “Brave Girl’s Club.” I would encourage you to check them out. The message this week that I really needed to hear came from “Brave Girl’s Club” & it is essentially that struggles resurface sometimes because we heal a little bit at a time & that our bodies know how much we can endure. That brought me to a different way of thinking about the re-living of struggles. Instead of thinking of something resurfacing as a fail on my part as far as resolution, I could look at it differently. Life is not black & white so this makes a great deal of sense to me. It would be neat & tidy to deal with struggles head on & be done with them forever. My experience is that is unrealistic. A case in point is diabetes management. To think that I have solved the mystery of why on some days I can eat something & have super blood sugar control yet the next day try to replicate the day & have brutally high blood sugars is unrealistic for me. My body responses are different on different days. What works one day can go very wrong on another day. That is the nature of the beast of type 1 at times. I would love to solve diabetes blood sugar control & be done with it. I would like to take the equivalent of a defibrillator for my pancreas & re-start it. Rest in peace pancreas you lazy such & such I say instead! The heaviest lifting I ever do is doing the work 24 hours a day for my non functioning pancreas. You will know exactly what I mean. A little bit at a time though I am coming to a place where diabetes is concerned where I admit that more things than I like are a mystery & short of a pancreas replacement, there will be bumps along the way. A little bit at a time I am coming closer to a place where I just live diabetes one day at a time & let go of perfection in any way with diabetes. When I let go of those things it gives me so much more room for things like the gratitude that I have for the Dear Hearts in my life & just plain peace whether I am here or there or by myself or in a crowd. That is pretty darned okay with me!
My heart’s hope for you is that you find peace in the chaos that is diabetes one day at a time too.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Little by little we are each building strength. Be gentle with yourself & others in your life. The world needs more gentleness released in every corner of the world. Next Monday's sharing is "The Fruitful Tree." :)