Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Spun Out With the Salt
What did some of your very first friends teach you about life that you have taken along for your whole life’s journey? Was your first friend a family member or someone else? Did he or she teach you something by word alone or with action too? To share with you, one of my first friends was my Grandpa Brown. The gem he taught me through action was that good natured humour is on the top 10 list. We could get all fancy here & start thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as we build our own top 10 list of things most needed or valued by each of us along life’s journey. I won’t go down that road though because I like to try to take myself lightly so the list that I am referring to for the journey will be in that spirit. What would be on your top 10 list or even a top 3 list? Mine would be: faith, family, friends, love, compassion, the golden rule, doing the next right thing, helping one another with no expectation, walks in nature, books, tea and humour! Okay, so if my Dear Heart engineer husband were here right now he would be quick to point out that yes, there are actually 12 on my top 10 list & the truth is that I could easily go on & on well towards 100 of the things that have & will always sustain me & mean the most to me on the whole of my life’s journey.
Humour is second only to insulin for medicine in my life. I do not intend to ever give up humour & I sure hope that no one gets to that point. It is not that there is something funny in every single situation. Some situations in life are frankly devastating yet at some point, I find that I need to get away from the intensity of even that with humour. It would not be laughing at that situation but rather taking a break & putting on a dvd of a favourite stand up comic or movie that breaks that intensity at least for a bit of time. Left to my own natural tendencies, I could fall into being a little too intense because I feel things big time intensely. If someone else is crying, the lump in my throat is there in no time too & the tears too whether I know the person or not. To live permanently with a heightened sensitive response though is a wee bit exhausting I find at times. Humour is like a healthy vacation for me I find & I take that “vacation” often & on purpose. One of my first friends, my Dear Heart grandpa could see early on that I was going to need to be taught the value of humour. He had that natural good natured humour that made him a fast friend to countless people in the community that I grew up in. His humour influenced me for a lifetime in the short time that I was honoured to love him on earth. Love lasts absolutely forever & so do the lessons that he shared with me growing up. Grandpa had a love of being outdoors, was down to earth, had a genuine & good natured laugh & sense of humour & he treated people with the golden rule always. He was a big time character. He & my Gran owned a number of apple orchards as well as a small hand built by Grandpa fruit stand. That was my first job…the fruit stand. One of the things that I really loved to do from a very young age was bake. At the fruit stand, I got to bake homemade apple pies in a very old oven that the smoke would come bellowing out of & you could see the evidence of the pies baking from the highway. The smell was irresistible so once people came into the stand to purchase apples, to leave without a homemade pie would have taken profound discipline. Grandpa loved homemade pie & knew that they would all be sold by the end of the day. He would telephone me at the stand at least once a week & it is difficult to describe this but it was like he was giving me a wink by telephone about holding back a pie. The first time he called, he said to me, “Saundie, you are not going to sell every pie today, right?” I understood. After that, all he would say was, “pie?” Grandma would get so perturbed by the one pie left over & question me at length about what happened. Grandpa & I did not let her in on the pie wink. When we saw one another we would just laugh about the inside pie understanding. Grandpa loved to fish & camp. He naturally appreciated nature. He had the Eastern Canada down to earth nature & he was big time loved (and still is big time loved). This is my wink to you now Grandpa all the way to heaven ;) And he could laugh & it was contagious so I thankfully caught my sense of humour & ability to have a medicinal, cheek hurting (in a good way), belly laugh…the kind that has your eyes watering & you think nothing of it.
Okay, I could talk about my Grandpa Brown all day & all night long yet I will leave it there for now & return back to the spun out on salt idea. Speaking of humour, have you heard of the comedy group, “Kids in the Hall?” My husband & I use to watch them on tv when we were first married & laugh our butts off. There is one episode at least that for some odd reason my husband over the years has never seen. He tells me each time (in good fun) when I refer to a scene out of that episode that I have hallucinated it. The scene I am referencing right now is the one where a businessman is sitting in a very boring meeting or conference & you can hear his thoughts in the sketch. He is saying to himself, “don’t put salt in your eyes.” Then the phrase keeps going through his mind until it starts coming out as “put salt in your eyes, put salt in your eyes…” Then he does & of course then starts bellowing out in pain. It sounds a little lame as I describe it but when you watch it, it is just funny. With this sketch in mind, I have found several times over the years that when I feel especially confused & spun around in circles (usually due to conflicting information) that the” don’t put salt in your eyes, put salt in your eyes” scene from this show comes back to me. It is a really good thing too because it is the comic relief needed to help me so often to take a step back & look at things in a different way & figure it all out.
Are there intersections where East meets West as far as medical diagnosis or treatments are concerned? That is a good question. In my current experience, I think there is an intersection although it is just my opinion…one not especially shared by the folks working along with me on the Western medicine approach. That’s okay. I don’t even need full agreement…but just had really needed something to make more sense so that I could get to a diagnosis & subsequent resolution & finally to the present of having days where I feel better than I had in nearly 4 years with the abdomen pain mystery. On the way to the figuring out what was going on, many potential diagnoses have been eliminated. I found the wait for the diagnosis to be so lengthy. In any case, the intersection that I did see happen was confusing & yet strangely encouraging. I had a follow-up with my G.I. specialist & the scary stuff has been ruled out so this was great news. I had continued to see a Naturopath for the past year. Within one week of one another, I received results pointing to potential food intolerances or allergies from the G.I. specialist as well as results from a food allergens test I had done through my Naturopath. Each doctor has provided a list of foods that I need to eliminate & then potentially reintroduce back over time. The challenge is that the lists do not match up too much so if I exclude every food on both lists, then there will be so little left to eat that it is surprising to me. And where one list says eat almonds, the other one says do not eat them at all. The one spot that the 2 lists intersect is in the area of dairy but not totally there either. It goes on & on with the conflicting information so it kind of gave me a headache & I felt spun around & the “salt in the eyes” so to speak. To top it all off, I received a third list of foods to eliminate due to the continuing psoriasis that just persists on & on. Yet more foods had to be eliminated & menu planning has become a challenge for sure. I decided to take a step back & really look into both lists for a bit & come up with a common sense plan that I felt may work for me. It was ultimately up to me to figure it out & although it was a bit confusing, I am not one to back away from a challenge. I feel jubilant as it has now been 5 weeks of avoiding the foods on the lists & I feel amazing! Ah, at last, the pain & nausea that had been driving me up the wall for 4 years has subsided. The cool thing is that because of life with type 1 over the past 7 years, I have built up even more of an attitude of “I am going to be as healthy within any diagnosis & live life with enthusiasm no matter what!” And I have & will continue to do things that are not easy to get to feeling as well as I can. Type 1 is a marathon that kind of prepared me for whatever struggles along life’s journey I face I really believe.
So, thankfully I am back to a state of “don’t put salt in your eyes” again but it is easy for any of us to feel spun around at times. We can feel this way health wise & in other parts of life. We don’t have to keep being spun around though & that is the great news. We are able instead to take a step back to clear the salt away. And thank-you Dear Heart Grandpa Brown for instilling that sense of humour that is the first step that I need to get my perspective back.
My heart’s hope for you is that no matter what confusion or spinning around that comes into your life that you are able to take a step back & stay clear of the “salt in your eyes!” And may you always have someone that reminds you daily that love absolutely lasts forever no matter how long they share time with us on earth. Wink, wink ;);)
Smiles, Saundie :D
May your list of 10 things that bring joy to your life include at least 12 things too! Next Monday's sharing is yet to be written...