Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bittersweet Evenings

Last week Brian and I went to see a play downtown. After it was over I went to the bathroom and bumped into a homeless woman I have spoken too several times before. She has always been so sweet and I recognized her right away and asked her how she was doing. She wasn't doing well. She looked a bit sickly and told me that she had been wearing the same clothes for three weeks and she stank and how hard it was. It broke my heart. I gave her a hug and promptly emptied my wallet. She cried. I cried and wished her well and left. It was all I could do to maintain my composure until I got back to the darkness of the parking lot and our car. As Brian closed the car door behind me I started to weep. I looked at all the little families walking to their BMW's, the little girls in Christmas dresses heading home to their warm and comfortable lives. How can that woman see that every day and still keep smiling? How can she not be overcome with anger and resentment at the unfairness of it all? On the way home I talked with Brian about what I could do the next time I see her. I suggested taking her home, letting her have a long soak in the tub, a good meal and some clean clothes. But then what? Send her back into the cold? It's hard to know what to do.

I decided that every chance I get to help someone like that, I will take. And in the meantime I will do my damnedest to appreciate every moment I have, every comfort I experience and every privilege I have not really earned. Tonight I am grateful for my family, my lovely husband life. It's the least I can do.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I think I have felt every emotion there is to feel in the past few days. I walk in to work and find myself face to face with a mountain of Christmas baking. I feel angry.

I eat my lunch and consider how healthy it always is, and realize that this change will be much easier for me than it would be for a lot of other people. I feel fortunate.

I measure my blood for the 12th time in 3 days and as I watch the little droplet raise above my skin I feel weak and scared.

I go running and despite everything going on I feel proud and powerful and strong.

I look at Brian and all I want is to have a baby and be a healthy little family and I feel devastated. Then I realize how lucky I am to have him at all and to have the love of my life to help me through and I feel so blessed.

I go to bed at 8:00, body tired, mind exhausted and I feel defeated.

And I wake up and start everything all over again.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Long Weekend...

The idea that your life can change in an instant is a globally accepted one. It is rooted in truth but also in the intellectually abstract. Everyone knows this is true but it never really makes sense until it happens. This past week has been a crazy one for me. Full of blood tests, doctors appointments and since my family doctor is in another city, a lot of driving. And the end result? Diabetes.

Now, don't ask me to explain this. It's not type 2, the kind people usually get in adulthood. It's type 1. As far as we know. Long story short: Brian and I applied for life insurance which involved a urine sample from each of us. They came back for blood from me and then sent me an email the Wednesday before last saying that my results were abnormal and I couldn't get life insurance. Abnormal? What a horrible vague word to send, attached to a person's blood sample no less, over email! Of course I freaked, even though I tried not to and had to fight with the insurance company to fax my results to my Doc rather than send them by mail. When the doctor finally got them and saw that my blood sugar was slightly raised (8.1 mmol/L - cut off is 8.0 mmol/L) she assumed they had screwed up the test and actually referred to the insurance people as "dumbasses". She referred me for a series of tests for this past Friday.

The test she sent me for is supposed to take 2 hours. First they get your fasting blood sugar level and from there they give you a cup of glucose drink and then measure how you react to it over the following two hours. Only problem was, my fasting blood sugar was 16.6 mmol/L. Anything higher than 7.0 means Diabetes - mine was so high it wasn't even close to the line. I couldn't take the glucose tolerance test because putting more glucose in my system would have put me in a coma. The nurse was a freaked out and that made me freak out. She called my doctor right away and suddenly I was taking another day off work. I left the office in tears and felt totally overwhelmed and sideswiped. It was a very long day.

So that's that. The doc got me a blood glucose meter and I'm testing myself 4 times a day. I have an ultrasound, more tests and all kinds of doctor's visits looming throughout the Christmas holidays. And no sugar. Did I mention this is through Christmas!?! Who's ever heard of a Christmas without sugar. Ugh.

This past weekend has been a long one. I've felt sad, angry, confused, scared and tired. I feel a sense of loss greater than the individual losses I will face. I am mourning a way of life I didn't really even appreciate until now. I'm trying to figure out how at 28, in the best shape I've been in for a very long time, I could just one day, wake up with a disease like this. I don't even have any symptoms. It doesn't make sense. That's probably the hardest part is learning to accept something that doesn't make sense. I have very little control over this and it has made me feel betrayed by my own body. I have tried very hard to see the silver lining in all of this, and it is there, shimmering however faintly. I already have a very healthy lifestyle and have been eating very healthy anyway so this won't be as big a change as it might be for some people. I'm educated and informed and will have all the resources I will need to change my life. I'm not afraid of needles. I caught it early before I got too sick. It could always be worse.

So that's that. I felt horrible all day Saturday and my levels were really high. Yesterday they went down slightly and I'm feeling better. A little less vulnerable and a little stronger. Not as pissed off and more willing to approach this with patience and a positive attitude. And armed with proof positive that true to my Dad's opinion, I am definitely a Sweetie.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Finishing the Start

Tonight I went for a run under the last full moon of 2006 and it was beautiful.