Tuesday, November 28, 2006

She's Here!!

Hey all - that awe-inspiring Chrissie has put up her very first post. How cool is that?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Our Essential Wholeness - The Silent Victory

It's 60 degrees here today in Minnesota, with more warm weather in store for tomorrow - no blizzards, no freezing rain, no single digit windchills. Very nice.

I'm staying in town for the holiday. My family is gathering at my sister's in northern Minnesota, and my restless leg syndrome is on the rampage and I can only sit for 20 minutes at a time, and a three hour car trip is not an option.

So, I'm helping deliver Meals on Wheels, a program that provides hot meals to people who are housebound. Since it's a special day, the volunteers are allowed to take extra time and spend a few minutes visiting. In the evening I'll go to my friend E's, for an enormous potluck with about 40 people meandering through (there is bound to be at least one unsavory green bean casserole).

I often find myself using the term "essential wholeness" and have been contemplating it all day. I think it's the first thing I think of at Thanksgiving.

Our essential wholeness is that part of us that always remains - the core of our soul - that which nothing, not even diabetes, can destroy. Nor can it be depleted by difficult emotions such as fear, shame and anger (that often come along with us for the ride.)

It surfaces in the tiniest acts of faith and kindness - faith that each of our lives has a purpose and will make a difference to our friends, family, co-workers and woman behind us at the grocery store with a screaming toddler in tow.

It is nurtured by looking for beauty in the mundane. On my morning walk to the bus stop, there is a huge old oak tree at the top of the hill. This morning, with bare branches, it looked like a loving grandmother with her arms outstretched, ready to give me a big hug. (And now I'm crying, thinking of my departed grandmas and their big holiday tables, with the chairs that are now emptied and replaced in the cycle of life).

And, it grows to full bloom when we let other people do something nice for us and then pass it on.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, be extra kind to someone - including yourself, and then, build on that victory.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

D Blog Day (Chaotic Ramblings)

I'd like to thank Sandra Miller for pointing out that today is D Blog Day. I had no idea, but, heck, until 6 months ago I did not know what a blog was either.

To preface this, I will say that I have not yet read anybody's posts today - it was slow at work and really hard to keep my paws off the Web - and I'm sure there will be some overlap. Second, I am not going to censor any of my thoughts. Most of the time I try to focus on being optimistic and positive, but tonight, anything that comes flying out of my fingers will stay.

I hate living with diabetes. And my friend J hates living with metastatic breast cancer. And my co-worker D hates living with rheumatoid arthritis. And my departed brother D hated living with AIDS.

My two distinct memories of my diagnosis (1974) were: 1) my hospital bed was right outside the nurse's station and they were having donuts and coffee late in the evening. One said to the other "Did you get bed 2's test tape (a dip strip used to measure sugar in uring)" and she replied, "Oh gawd, is she one too? These diabetics are more trouble than they're worth". 2) When I got home from the hospital, I turned on my favorite television show, Marcus Welby, M.D. - about this kind, fatherly GP and his handsome, hunky associate. It started out showing a girl eating ice cream and she immediately went into a diabetic coma. The next week she was suddenly blind due to retinal hemorrhaging - obviously caused by the dietary indiscretion.. But, Dr. Welby contacted a colleague who was involved in a new, experimental procedure - a vitrectomy and said it coule probably give her some vision back. "Not reading vision", he cautioned. I felt that cold chill of fear wrap around me, and have felt it many times since. Oh, incidently, I have hadtwo vitrectomys and I can read just fine. Ahem.

Diabetes sometimes makes me feel like a freak. After my father's funeral in 1986, we were having a gathering in the church reception hall and offering refreshments. A big tray of cake was being passed down the table and when it got to me, a woman on the other side of the room stood up and screamed , "Don't let her have any - she's diabetic!". Dead silence ensued and the flush rose up into my face. I hate the way that woman made me feel.

The burden and struggles of diabetes wax and wane, just like anything else bothersome in life. I frequently feel like I'm that mythical character that pushes the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down to the starting place. Mary Tyler Moore once described the effects of diabetes like "termites" - they are doing slow, consistent damage to the innards of the house while everything looks fine on the outside.

I have had DB for nearly 3/4 or my life. It is a part of me, a companion, that sometimes quietly walks beside me, and other times is a hissy-fit, tantrum-throwing brat that demands attentionat the most inconvenient times. And occasionally it is a fire-breathing demon that threatens to rob every last ounce of strength from me.

Living with DB reminds me of the words of this Motown classic -

So take a good look at my face
You'll see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears..........

Oh, baby, I suddenly want to put on Aretha and find a dancing partner!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Perfect timing - I had nothing to write about and now I've been tagged.

Five little known facts about me:

1. I play conga drums in an Afro/Caribbean percussion ensemble. People are
usually surprised because I am conservative, quiet, and could easily fade
into any midwestern crowd. It is a deep pleasure and we perform at
neighborhood festivals, Earth Day, birthday parties and such.

2. The only type of car I've ever owned has been used Honda Civics. They
all had names - Agnes, Cindy, Ignatius, Phoebe and Pablo. Both Ignatius
and Cindy were stolen, off the street, in broad daylight.

3. I once did a summer internship at a school for troubled youth, and
participated in several Native American sweatlodges. It was during the time
when my sugar was always high so I dd not have to worry about having
a hypo and toppling over onto hot rocks. (I would probably not participate
now, and that's okay.)

4. My favorite thing to do when I'm bored is watch old reruns of the tv
series "Kung Fu" - yeah, I know that many of you were not even born when
it was on, and would have no idea who grasshopper was, but I
love it. I have my private collection of all three years.

5. ......................and.....I still sometimes inject through clothing.
Really easy to just zip it through the skirt under my desk.

This was fun. If interested, I tag

MileMaster Sarah
Vic,aka cHoCo @ My.Diabetic.Life
Jane@ It's My Life, People
Heidi@The D Lon Cabin
Robert @ S.I.C.K.I.E.S

Fact #6 - I did not "do" links until I started blogging.

PS. If anyone knows why my alternate sentences have short margins, let me know before I go nuts.