Friday, January 7, 2011

Accountability and Personal Struggles

It was a mere week ago that I wrote about the highs and lows of 2010, how grateful I am to have my health, my family and my friends. I am truly blessed!! That has not changed - I doubt it ever will ;)

It was also a week ago that I made a New Year's Resolution to give up the sweets and start eating better choices.   Well ... I've broken that resolution :(   And I've fallen off the wagon.  And I've been struggling ... with a lot of things.  I'm trying to get my "house in order" - my life, my training, my relationships, my career, my family, my diabetes ... I could go on and on.

I recently had a "cyber-friend" - a woman that I feel very connected to, very close to and care about very much - lose her mother to cancer on Christmas day.  Wow.  That really puts things into perspective! My shit - my stuff - can't begin to be compared to that kind of struggle.

I also recently connected with a few FB friends who have shared personal struggles with me.  I'm "safe" because I'm more of a cyber-friend than anything ... I've been fortunate to lean on some of my cyber-friends in times of need, too. It really is good to have that "safe", anonymous friend to share anything with - no judgment in their eyes, just support and cyber-hugs.  One of those "new" friends is Michelle Alswager.  I didn't know her. I didn't know her story.  I didn't even know how we were connected! (Oh, and BTW ... SHE STARTED Team Triabetes!!! It was her idea!! Wow.  Just...WOW!)  I saw some cryptic posts that made me curious ... I feared something tragic had happened in her life. It had.  Her son, Jesse Alswager, died at age 13 in February, 2010.   She shared her story with me. I was floored. I'm a vet. I'm educated. I'm a diabetic. I could not understand how a boy who had been type 1 diabetic for 10 years, appeared healthy and active to all that knew him, and for all intents and purposes (or intensive purposes!!) was a "healthy kid" - could just die.  How? Infection? Blood clot? Ischemia? WHY???   She told me about "Dead in Bed" syndrome.  OMG ... how do you go on after that??   The answer is: Michelle is an amazing and strong woman. She has 3 other children so curling up into a ball and dying over grief was not an option for her.  So, she lives on. And she is still VERY active in the diabetes community.  Go ahead, Google her! Facebook-Friend her. Follow her blog.  This woman is truly amazing. And I cannot begin to imagine how I could survive past the sudden and inexplicable death of my "healthy" son.  My cousin, Jeffrey Wade Snyder died inexplicably 6 years ago in his sleep.  He was not diabetic. The coroner could not give a cause of death. This must be haunting for parents.  Scary and haunting.  I can't even think about it ...

All of that being said ... my struggle seem so ... insignificant.  Really, they are. And I wish I was a stronger person. I struggle with food addiction. I struggle with depression (dysthymia) - have since I was a teenager. I have an addictive personality, so really, once I find something I like, I must have it! I am likely a bit bipolar.  But I'm functional.  Most of the time! :)

Lately I've been struggling with that drive I used to have. I find it for a day or two, but I cannot seem to keep up the momentum.  I'm really trying hard to "get my house in order" - chunk off things I need to do, getting organized, working on scheduling things in a way that I can manage. As most of you do - I thought the new year would be a chance to turn the page and start new.  Well, I've scribbled on that new page.   So, I will try again.

What's the opposite of embellish?  (Runs off to look it up ...)  LOTS of synonyms, but only two antonyms: simplify and minimize.  I'll choose minimize.  I have a story ... I will be minimizing some of the details because the truth ... YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!! :)  Really, you can't.

I have a client, whom I like very much. She has 4 mastiffs - 2 very old, 2 very young. She contacted me to "prearrange" euthanasia for her two older pets. The old girl - she's a meanie! Vicious and will tear me open. She'll be a challenge.  The old boy - he's a total sweetheart. Her favorite.  She knows the end is near. She knows I can't positively come when called - I don't do emergency house calls, those are best handled by the ER vet.  She knows I don't come after 8pm - I'm with my family.  I had just neutered her younger dog and she called right at 8pm.  I let it go to VM, as I always do.  You can't believe how hard it is to hear someone begging me to come out to Ashtabula to treat their dog that's been hit by car and his eye is hanging out.   I can't handle it.  It's difficult.  But I saw it was this woman and I listened to her VM because I feared a complication at the incision site or something. I was wrong - her beloved old boy had fallen, and she feared a broken hip - it was time to euthanize.  She was sobbing and so grief-stricken. We contacted the funeral home and they would come out to get him tonight, so I was absolutely going to go help her boy make that transition to the other side as quickly and painlessly as I could. She didn't live far.  I had already taken my Ambien - only 5 mg, a low dose - and it was a 10 minute drive, tops.  I arrived to help her and we assisted him as he went to God.

On the way home, I knew we needed coffee cream (non-fat!) and I wanted to get her a sympathy card. Giant Eagle is at the top of my street - less than a mile. I stopped there on the way home. I got the cream, I got the card, and .... I got a bag of Reeses Pieces.   I know I should not be eating that - first off, because I gave it up as part of my NY resolution! Second, I'm 30 minutes from sleeping, I rarely eat after 6pm. But, I'm in the Ambien state - a state of no inhibition! No self-control. No good choices are made  ... let's remember, I'm usually SLEEPING by now (9:30 pm).   So, yes, I bought - and ate - the bag of those demonic, addictive, fabulously-tasty candy.  Now,  if I take insulin to cover the carbs, I'll get fat. (wrong and illogical, but that's where my head was!) Or, I can let my BG run high and damage my kidneys, my retinas, my nerves.   Hmmm - which should I choose??  Um, yeah, I chose the latter.   Not smart. Not wise. Not good. Not the behavior of a "role model".  I feel guilt. Shame.  Remorse.  Do I induce vomiting??  Then I'm "bulimic" - yet another malady to address. No, there will be no bulimia. I can't do it, anyway ... I know this because I've tried. Yes, I have tried. After eating a whole cake. Or eating a whole bag/tray of Oreos. Or ... well, you get my drift!  So what's left ... a laxative! That's what I'll do, I'll take a Correctol ... "the gentle, overnight, laxative".  And the Correctol will "correct all" ... right??  This is my thought process.  Yes, I know. It doesn't exemplify the "role model" I'm supposed to be.  It doesn't reflect my extensive education and medical knowledge. It's just me trying to "fix" my "failure".   It doesn't make sense because it's nonsense. It's not wise. It's about as brilliant as my father cutting his morphine lines, with kitchen scissors, then tucking them in his pocket ... the lines that lead to his spinal fluid.  He got meningitis.  Self-induced.  Brilliant!  So, apparently it runs in the family!!

Where am I going with this ... well. Today I had my quarterly Endo appointment.  My previous A1c was 6.4.   Today: 7.0   That's not great. It's barely "good" ... it's mediocre at best.  But it reflects my recent behavior. My "failures".   I confessed my failure. He said not to be so hard on myself.  But really, I think I should be!  I think that I have a RESPONSIBILITY to behave responsibly with my disease.  I didn't. I haven't. I can't hide from the A1c! 

So, I will try again. I will turn the page - today.  I'm about to get on the treadmill. I've had a good morning, mostly because I had to fast for my blood work, but hey, let's take what we can and move forward.  I can't wallow in self-pity.  I am going to own my behavior. I need to step up! I need to keep myself accountable, and continue to strive for that balance. I DO have my health. I DO have my children - and they are healthy! And I need to model behavior for them so that they can learn good eating habits.  I loved my mom dearly - and I miss her every day - but she struggled with food addiction too, and she modeled poor eating habits for us.  True story: she'd buy a 1/2 gallon tub of Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.  She'd thaw it a bit, then cut it into thirds. One for her. One for me, one for Trent.  And we'd eat our ice cream.  That was one serving.  When I'd go to a friend's house as a little girl, and they'd put this little scoop of ice cream in a bowl, my mind said "WTF??" (yes, my mind TRULY did say WTF - again, I'm my mother's daughter!!) - like, is this the teaser dessert  or just a preview??

So, today I move forward ... trying to regain some control ... some self-control. And some balance. And some perspective.  I am grateful. I am smart. I can do better. I will do better. And I appreciate all the support I get from all of you - it makes me feel amazing and makes me WANT to be amazing.  I'm not perfect. I'll never be perfect. I won't even try for perfect ... but I'll try for "better".  I really need to go to the Church of the Triathlon!

<3  Peace out!

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