Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Welcome to life’s parody of the buffet. If you are a willful rascal with a good measure of feistiness then you may find yourself nodding your head a few times throughout this story.
Many of us will recognize the phrase “life is a buffet so choose accordingly” readily. Is the buffet large & are the choices as vast as we believe? There will be varied answers from each one of us. The gift of free will is the antecedent to the opportunities to discern within the context of life’s buffets. Maybe living with type 1 diabetes as well as celiac provides me with the choice to even laugh a little at the description of life as “buffet.” Food buffets are risky if I take hyperbole to its highest denominator. Over the past number of years I have found ways to be super creative when I am invited over or out for a meal with a Dear Heart. Food type outings if I let it could be complicated. What is most important is sharing time together though & not the meal. I have found that taking a homemade dish or two over to a friend’s home allows for the simplicity of enjoying our time together versus fixating on the long list of foods that are going to elicit adverse affects. The nasty thing about gluten for instance is that even if a food is cross contaminated I suffer the consequences for about 12 hours afterwards. It is just not worth the risk. Then there is the matter of eating foods prepared by others where type 1 diabetes is concerned. That can feel like food roulette. How many carbs are in the foods we ask ourselves. Then we bolus & do a glucose test a couple of hours later & 90% of the time I end up needing a whooper of a correction bolus. This can go on for hours & hours depending on what is going on with blood sugars. You know the drill only too intimately if you live with type 1 diabetes 24/7. Sure there are a ton of food choices out there but my buffet has frankly been greatly reduced due to two of the autoimmune diseases that accompany me everywhere I go. This is as usual though no woe is me tale. I have found many recipes that are way tastier than some of the dishes that I have given up. And best of all I discovered the ultimate dessert shop (bakery specializing in scrumptious gluten free, dairy free cupcakes) that is cupcake heaven on earth just a short 20 minute drive from my house. I have been known to create factious celebrations to warrant one of these addictive cupcakes…you know like it being Wednesday for instance ha ha! Luckily, my husband includes gift cards to this bakery for me on my birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Easter, Mothers’ Day & Valentine’s Day so I can celebrate Wednesdays if I want to. They make the most delicious espresso & tea there as well. I am not deprived in any way that’s for sure as far as the enjoyment of choices. How great is it too that these cupcakes are made with bean flour which seems to really cooperate unbelievably well with my blood sugars. I cannot believe how little insulin I need to cover the carbs in a cupcake at this shop. During the times when I am sharing time with a friend & the food choices are outside the “non consequence” zone I choose to simply have a cup of tea. As a wee aside a study was conducted outlining the average tea consumption per person in a given year in each country. Canada scored close to the top & I think I did my part in the stats for that ha ha! (The Canadian average is 1lb of tea leaves per person & for sure I am many times beyond that). I always feel quite at ease with a simple cup of tea even if everyone around me is feasting away. On a funny note, what I really do have at home is a tea buffet of my own. I am not joking in some facets because I have literally a whole cupboard devoted to just different blends of teas. Sometimes when Dear Hearts come over to our home I will make a few different pots of tea at once & declare that we are having a tea buffet. Of course we have treats too but the tea is the main event.
Type 1 diabetes in a sense has caused my buffet to become larger in an upside down kind of way. My food choices have changed. I want to feel as healthy as rascally possible within any diagnosis. Willful rascally me has learned that when it comes to diabetes management it is optimal to partake of the entire “buffet” of care. This means that I try to choose daily to keep all the legs of the chair on the floor like: eating foods that are as healthy as possible (but also enjoying a treat once in a while), exercising (unbelievably brisk walking by someone under 5’5”), stress management (process in progress) and spiritual devotion. Being exactly a human being means that every one of those areas take continuous effort & are works in continuous progress. When it comes to diabetes management it means that nutrition, stress management, carb counting, exercise,staying on top of the learning curve on diabetes care technologies, attending the never ending medical appointments & tests are the big “buffet.” And the rascal in me has learned that that is a buffet that I need to accept & live in its entirety. I would love to say no to many (well all) of the diabetes management components. The outcome of doing that though is a consequence that I am unwilling to risk. The buffet of life after all is not just about me anyhow. The buffet & choices affect my family. I want the best for my family therefore each & every day I try with all my rascally might to do the best I can at diabetes management. You hear so many people out there in the world declare that they “just want to be happy.” What the heck does that actually mean I wonder? The most joyful times in my life have been times when I have witnessed the joy of someone I love. The most gut wrenching times have been (and always will be) the times when someone I love has been deeply sad. The buffet of life means at least to me that just wanting to be happy sounds a little flat. Just like type 1, there are good times & bad. The good days are great days I find. There is no “just being happy” or static days with type 1. All you have to do to see this is look at my line graph on any given day of glucose results. They are all over the map or page. The buffet choice within that though is for me to choose to be grateful for the things that are going right & the list is long. I choose joy even within the struggle. Would I love to be told that there is a cure for type 1 & diseases in general? Of course I would. Again, I am not putting life on hold for a potential cure. I choose life’s buffet living every single emotion with honesty. I choose to continue to be a feisty rascal & advocator.
Recently I had a humbling experience. These are grounding times I find & necessary for me. Sometimes the rascal in me needs a bit of checking. I decided that I would participate in a 33 day course but that I would only do the parts of the course that I thought were necessary. That is free will being taken to the ends degree at least in my case. A couple days into the course I realized that my formula for completing the course on my terms was flawed. I went back to the beginning of the materials & completed all the components. After checking my inner rascal at the door I embraced the buffet of the whole course & it lead to much better results. I realized that if I took my approach to diabetes management in the same fashion as I had at first attempted this course as a pick & choose thing that it would lead to undesirable results. So I decided to be a smaller rascal with a big buffet attitude about life.
My heart’s hope for you is that the buffet that you partake of includes huge helpings of experiences that make you the healthiest you that you can be within any diagnoses. And may you go up for multiple helpings of joy & love & friendship. Maybe you will add a wee side of rascal to help with positive advocating that needs action in your wee corner of the world. How about remembering as well to add an abundance of gratitude onto your plate. Don’t forget to pile humor onto your plate in infinite measure.
Smiles Saundie :)
Have a gentle week. Last weekend our nuclear family started a brand new Easter dinner tradition. Our younger sons asked that each family member tell everyone what the best & worst part of the day had been & then finish with a goofy joke. My husband is not renowned for saying much at all let alone bringing levity into the atmosphere but even he caught the spirit of the new tradition. He shared his silly joke:
One man says to another, “I see your dog has no nose.” The other man asks, “How does he smell?” Answer, “Terrible.”
Next Monday’s story is in the usual creative ether.