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Posts tagged ‘emotions’

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy birthday to Dr. Seuss!  He’s always been one of my favorite writers to read, recite, and then parody as needed.  In homage to the good doctor on his birthday, I’m revisiting a poem I wrote called A Human’s Resilient, One Hundred Percent! Because we are resilient, damn it.

*   *   *

Sighed Panky, a lazy panc deep in the gut
“I’m tired and I’m bored
And I’m stuck in a rut
From making, just making insulin every day.
It’s work! How I hate it!
I’d much rather play!
I’d take a vacation, or a long nap
If I could find someone to do all this crap!

If I could find someone, I’d kick back and chill …”

Then Panky thought, “Could Kerri be up for the thrill?”

“Hello!” called the lazy panc, smiling her best,
“You’ve nothing to do.  Does this sound too strange …
Would you like do the work I do for a change?”

Kerri laughed.
“Why of all silly things?
I haven’t islets or enzymes or things.
ME do your job?  Why that doesn’t make sense!
Your job is make insulin!  The thought makes me tense.”

“Tut, tut,” answered Panky.  “I know you’re not me
But I know you can do this.  Won’t you hear my plea?
Just pick up that needle and draw up the dose.
Once insulin’s flowing you won’t feel morose.”

“I can’t,” said the Kerri.
“PL-E-ASE!!” begged her panc.
“It won’t be too hard, kid.  Sorry to pull rank.
But I’m leaving regardless if you raise your voice.”

“You’re a jerkface,” said Kerri.  “Not to give me a choice.

I’m unsure how to do this. Details are the devils!
How do I keep steady my blood sugar levels?
What do I do? Can you leave me instructed?”

“You’ll figure it out,” and the panc self-destructed.

“The first thing to do,” murmured Kerri,
“Let’s see.
The first thing to do is to prop up this Me
And to make ME much stronger.  This has to be done
Because diabetes can weigh an emotional ton.”

So carefully,
Hopefully,
She searched, unimpeded
For the resources, tools, and support that she needed.

“I know that there’s life found after diagnosis.
It’s good and it’s worth it. That’s the prognosis.
I meant what I said
And I said what I meant …
A human’s resilient,
One hundred percent!”

Then Kerri, with peers and insulin by her side,
Well she tried
and she tried
and she tried
and she tried.

She kept at it for decades
Despite feeling perplexed.
It requires work one day,
Again on the next.
It sucks! Then it doesn’t!
But Kerri remained sure,
“My life’s worth this effort,
(Though I’d still love a cure.)
I wish Panky’d come back
‘Cause some days I’m so burnt.
I hope that my body thrives on the things that I’ve learnt.”

But Panky, by this time, was far beyond near,
And was dormant for good now. Diabetes was here
And was staying, so Kerri, for better or worse,
Had a pump on her hip, glucose tabs in her purse.

Diabetes is constant, day after day.
But the life in its wake is still good, plenty yay.
And even on days when the Stuff is Way Blah,
Life with disease is not life without Awe.
“It’s not always easy. Diabetes might test me.
But I’ll stay on task and I won’t let it best me.
I meant what I said
And I said what I meant …
A human’s resilient
One hundred percent!”

Some days it is simple. Some months are real hard.
Diabetes is something you can’t disregard.
But a panc on vacation doesn’t mean that you’re broken.
“You can still do this.”

Truer words never spoken.

 

[With apologies and thanks to Dr. Seuss,  this is in homage to Horton Hatches the Egg.]

Revisiting Resolutions.

Almost a year ago, I resolved (in that non-resolution sort of way) to aim for more balance in 2013.

Now it’s October, and I’m fairly sure the quest for some kind of balance wasn’t entirely achieved.  But that’s okay, right?

Maybe it’s not about achieving balance, but staying in constant pursuit of it.

Did you set resolutions for 2013?  Now that we’re at the end of the year, how strong was your resolve?  (Isn’t there a rug cleaner called Resolve?)

Despite Insulin …

The Sparling household has reached a frenzied pitch of stress this week, with a big project for me reaching the finish line simultaneously as a big project for my husband begins.  Overall, we manage our family circus (… could Billy ever get anywhere without leaving a trail of dashes in his wake?  Gross.) without stepping into the ‘unhealthy’ zone, but the last few days have been an exception.

For me, stress usually leads to higher-than-normal blood sugars, even despite insulin.  (Or “to spite insulin.”)  And not in that, “Oh, I didn’t bolus enough, so I’ll just correct this high,” sort of way, but in the “What the EFF – I just rage bolused the hell out of that blood sugar and it still won’t budge.”  This week has been all sorts of that, with fasting blood sugars as the only ones I’m comfortable keeping.  For the last few days, it’s taking 150% basal to keep me even close to range, and my insulin:carb ratio has been tweaked to accommodate the exceptionally busy week.

That 233 mg/dL?  All emotional, no other influence.  Insulin is good, food wasn’t introduced yet, basal rate was solid, and no I’m not pregnant.  I was 108 mg/dL an hour earlier.  This high was the product of stress.  It always amazes me to see how tightly woven my blood sugars are to my emotions.

The bad news is that my meter average, with which I was very comfortable last week, has gone to absolute shit.  I feel more tired and the highs are making me feel grumpier and shorter-tempered than normal.  (Which, if you’ve met me, is sadly saying a lot, because my average fuse is the length of a whisper.)  I’m not able to parent the way I’d like, because these highs are sapping me of my funergy (energy for fun).  I hate when diabetes derails time with my daughter.

The good news is that I know the cause of these diabetes radar blips, and I know things will be much more manageable in a few days.  Until then, I need to do whatever it takes to coast.  Testing more and correcting while taking the insulin-resistent instigation of stress into account?  Trying hard not to consume coffee as though it’s a necessary and actual basal rate?  Moments like these make me thankful for the CGM, because I can respond to trends, and I get a head’s up when I’m over- or under-compensating for stress.

For now, I’m in “just keep swimming” mode, hopeful that the highs will abate and leave me the hell alone in a couple of days.

Friends for Life Frenzy.

Bringing Birdy to the Friends for Life conference was awesome, because I was finally able to introduce my bonkers Birdzone to my friends in the diabetes community.  (And by “finally,” I mean in a way that counted.  When I brought Birdy to the conference when she was two months old, it barely counts, because she was more in the “burping and pooping and sleeping,” which she’s still into, but in a different capacity.  Except the “sleeping” bit. She’s not really into that.)  This year, my daughter was part of the party.

This year’s Friends for Life conference was different, for me.  With my mom and my daughter traveling with me, my perspective was skewed, seeing the conference through my own eyes (as an adult T1D PWD and faculty member), my mother’s (the parent of a grown-up CWD), and my daughter (the kid of an adult T1D PWD – holy acronym).  I watched as my mom worked to find her footing, immersing herself into a large network of other parents, even though her own kid was now grown.  I watched my daughter reintroduce herself to some of my favorite people, like Scott and Christel, and hug them fiercely.  I saw how Friends for Life could touch the lives not just of people living with diabetes, but for the people who care about the people living with it.  Because they’re also living with it.

As part of the conference team, I was responsible for co-leading several sessions, including the impact diabetes has on dating, a discussion about pregnancy, one about parenting, and a session on social media and the diabetes online community.  These discussions always serve to reignite my passion for connecting with other people who have diabetes, and talking about ways to improve our collective experiences.  (That, and they’re fun.)  More on these talks later, as I unpack suitcases and reclaim the parts of my brain that smash words together.

It’s a busy conference – lots of running around – and the breaks are brief and coffee/glucose-tab fueled.  There are so many people there that I want to talk to, and so many that I want to give huge “thank you” hugs to.  Running from session to session, with stop-overs at daycare to bring Birdy to the bathroom and then drop her back off with the other little kids, I felt like there wasn’t ever enough time to do or see it all.  I wanted to slow everything down, but the week rushed by at an incredible pace that left me hoping for ways to stretch hours into days.

It’s sometimes too much, trying to find words to describe how this conference has changed my life over the years.  I knew I wasn’t ever truly alone, but sometimes diabetes can capture you in a cage of isolation, making you feel like even small changes are too big to make.  But then you look around, right?  And you see the sea of green bracelets on the wrists of people whose pancreases are the same as yours, holding tight to family members with orange bracelets, and becomes more than diabetes.  It’s more than insulin.  It’s more than meters.

On Thursday night, at the FFL banquet, Scott and I were honored with the Friends for Life award, recognizing our work on our respective blogs, and also in helping to bring the “adults with type 1” track to life for the conference.  That night, I couldn’t figure out what to say.  Even now, a few days later, I still don’t know, other than a “thank you” that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.  But I do know that those awards stand to recognize not just individuals, but what the DOC has done and changed over the last decade.  Every voice matters, and every story heals.  For me, sharing these stories has been part of the prescription for good health.  Being part of this community has improved the way I manage my diabetes, and I am forever grateful.

Our lives are all different, from those without diabetes, and even within our own diabetes community.  In a week at Friends for Life, we learn that our differences can be empowering.  And our sames can be uniting.

“Mawm, I wuv confwences,” Birdy told me, spinning the orange bracelet on her wrist.

I touched her orange one with my green one, and she smiled.  “Me too, love.  Me too.”

My Little Orange Bracelet.

At the Friends for Life conference, people who are living with type 1 diabetes wear bright green bracelets.  Green bracelet’ers are the people who know what my diabetes life is like, from the injections to the blood checks, from the guilt to the successes.  They get it.

But the orange bracelets go on the wrists of the loved ones of people with diabetes.  The moms and dads.  The siblings.  The friends.  The people who take such excellent and compassionate care of PWDs.

And this year, there’s an orange bracelet on the wrist of my three year old daughter, who is experiencing her first Friends for Life conference.  She’s played with beach balls in the exhibit hall and covered her name badge with stickers, danced in restaurants while waiting for ice cream, had her face painted, and made art projects out of colored pom poms and pipe cleaners. She’s meeting other mommies who have type 1 diabetes, who wear their insulin pumps on their hip and test their blood sugar.  And she’s meeting other little kids who have parents who are wearing green bracelets, who know that glucose tabs are for “whoa bwoodsugars” and that our bags are always packed with snacks … for everyone.

This is the magic of Friends for Life – it’s not just magical for me anymore.  It’s for her, too.

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