Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
"S" Storm Tidal Wave!
There are many things that may be desirable to ride like a surf board or water sport/recreational fun “thingy” or amusement park rides, rides in nice cars, or the train or a plane ride to somewhere you have been looking forward to visiting. The common theme would be that any of those choices would be leading us in the direction of fun & enjoyment.
Everyone is a beautiful original so some of us will share the gravitation towards smoother waters literally & figuratively. I love a smooth, glassy, clear lake as well as cascading waterfalls. Both are magnificent. There is beauty too though I have found within stormy waters. When our family first moved to the area that we live within now, the day we moved there was a “100 year storm.” We almost had a flood in the home we had just moved into within 24 hours. There is a pretty powerless feeling that comes over you when you see the waters rising in your sump pump & then discover that the sump pump is broken so mother nature is in charge of whether your new home is about to become a wading pool. One thing that I do remember vividly though about that day was that I took a drive over to the other side of town for a coffee run. On the way, I drove by Lake Ontario & was drawn to pull over as close as possible by the Lake & watch the water smash into the rocks with profound strength. It was a picture for the memory bank.
One year after we moved into our home, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My mind amongst other things went to the memory of the day that we moved in & I sat beside the powerful waves that stormy day. If we believe that we are a part of Mother Nature too then we may be surprised by our own strength when something in life comes torrentially towards us. As strong as those waves were hitting the rocks that day, with every fiber of my being, I know that I am as a whole person indescribably stronger. My heart hopes that you know that you are too. The sentence that my family doctor said to me when I was first diagnosed with type 1 was, “well that pretty much sucks!” I did not expect her to say that but it was just right at that time. What else really was there to say? I already had the piles of forms & information & contact information regarding type 1 in one hand & our third son, a baby then in the other arm. And I thought at the time, you know, I don’t know what this type 1 diabetes is going to be about but somehow when I need it the strength will be there. That is not to say that it is because I am such a super strong person. I am human. The best part is that strength does not always come from within us but instead at times from the compassion of a friend or family member, acquaintances, and complete strangers. As long as we are on the water analogy, I will share that I firmly believe that someone upstream as Maya Angelou says whose face we may never know can benefit someone else downstream through kind acts. And we get to make this choice to do these acts of kindness for people as well downstream when we find ourselves upstream. Even on the days that have been the biggest days of struggle, there has been strength that has come from somewhere. What profound strength there is in the type 1 community. It is like a group of warriors that may get knocked down but never knocked out & we always get back up every single time. That is strength of spirit that goes way beyond what happens at times to our bodies.
To share with you, about a month ago in particular I had been riding the “s”___ storm tidal wave big time. The moving target of type 1 was in force big time. My blood sugar numbers were the most erratic that I had ever witnessed & then it turned into a tailspin of other physical difficulties acting up too. It is like a domino effect when it spins out like that. To make a long story short, my entire body became inflamed. I had splints on my ankles, elbows, hands & the hot/cold packs strategically placed over most of my body. There was mega pain to say the least. This all started up when my blood sugars started riding the tidal wave out of what would appear to be nowhere. Where they hit from though is I believe how our human bodies tend to change over time, & how we find this affects how much insulin we need & when. It is a moving target at times though & I turned into a storm chaser this round. Meanwhile life does not stop nor even slow down just because we are struggling with the “s” storm of blood sugars & inflammation. How is it that it seems that when it rains it pours? It could not have become a cliché unless there is a lot of truth in that statement don’t you think?
When I was especially sick in the early stages of having type 1, I handled it one of two ways: carry on in a denial type of state, or put on a stiff upper lip, smile & don’t let the world see the struggle. When I found that neither of these things were serving me well as I felt unauthentic, I made a decision to simply be okay with being honest with people about the good or bad days with diabetes. Hey, I am not talking about being a moaner about it. Frankly, a lot of the time, I will tell people if I am taking a sick day & then make a joke & always end the sentence with words of hope. Here’s a new one though this month & that is that when I did exactly that statement, I had a situation where an individual made a choice to pile on a tsunami on top of the storm. You know when you watch a geographic area on television that is being bombarded by high flood waters? You see the people in the area putting up sandbags around the edges of the water to keep the flood waters at bay. That was how I found myself facing this newest challenge & that was to establish stronger boundaries. If we tell someone that we are going through extreme erratic blood sugars & share our needs honestly & politely with someone & they choose to pile on stress onto us then thank goodness we can build our own sand bags around our own shores. And frankly it was powerful to tell this person that I have boundaries of steel. I try not to get fiesty too often yet there are some hills worth dying on as the saying goes. I choose this hill big time.
Most times, we receive compassion, support, care & love but every so often we are thrown something else. It can be brutal dealing with a s storm on top of diabetes. The thing that really brings things into perspective for me though is getting back to the nitty gritty. That is asking myself what matters most. It is about simplifying & discarding any drama that something external is trying to throw my way. I don’t “do” drama. Diabetes can be complicated yet other things in life don’t need to be I believe. Drama at least to me equals stress which translates into high blood sugar so I say no thank you to that. The best part of getting perspective back when we are in the eye of the storm is remembering that these type of storms are such a small part of day to day life. The diabetes is a daily part of our life but negative external drama thrown at us by folks without our best interests at heart does not need to be embraced. I find no personal meaning in that. Instead, I choose to give myself the positive & gentle gifts of time shared with Dear Hearts & activities that give meaning not only to me but also provide a ripple on the waters through acts of kindness to others. It has been a tough time but there is nothing like turning on the light when it becomes dark. There are many lights in my life & I am profoundly grateful for these Dear Hearts.
My heart’s hope for you is that when the “s” storms hit in life that you have countless Dear Hearts who support, understand & love you & that they find ways to minimize the stress for you. May there always be light for you.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Perhaps it is the holidays that sometimes squeeze the storm-like behaviours of those around us...may you always have a lifeboat of a Battle Buddy for those times & next Monday's sharing is "Jolly, Messy, Feisty, Buble-Captioned Christmas Season" :)