Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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To Err is Human…

Last week I got a call from a nurse at my doctor’s office. She isn’t the nurse I normally like to talk with. I prefer not to. There is another nurse at the office I usually interact with. Now she can actually make me mad, but I don’t mind her because we actually talk to each other and have a dialogue. We have a relationship. The nurse that called me last week? Well, she talks AT me, not TO me. That doesn’t sit well with me.

Out of the blue, she informed me that I had Diabetes. I was in shock. I get my blood tested regularly twice a year, and we don’t even test my sugar because it’s never been an issue. How could this happen? Well, she made it clear that I had better start making drastic changes immediately or the consequences could be dire.

I got talking about it with Summer and we agreed something didn’t quite sound right. For one thing, my doctor Grace would have called me directly herself if it were that serious. I just know she would have. I had called the office before I got my blood test done because I was prepping for a colonoscopy and hadn’t been able to eat anything for 24 hours. I did though, have to drink the prep stuff, plus plenty of ginger ale and gatorade. Wouldn’t that effect my glucose levels?

I called back the doc and asked for a retest. Today I saw her and got my results.  Glucose healthy range is 65-99. My first test came back 163. The second came back 98. Within normal.  Insulin serum healthy range is 2.0-19.6. My first test came back 37.9 (ouch!!). My second test came back 10.2. Well within normal.

Phew.

Now I didn’t appreciate having the crap scared out of me. But I love my doc and here is why. She just apologized. Without having a word said to her, she described the “bucket of mistakes” they made. I should have been told NOT to do the test to begin with. Nurse should not have called and scared the crap out of me. The ridiculous results should have been an automatic red flag to retest. Grace then reminded me that I have her personal cell number (which almost no one has) and that I can call her whenever I need to. She knows I won’t take advantage of her.

And the silver lining? I had to admit, that without the scare I wouldn’t have taken action. But now, I am “doing what Darcy always does” according to doc. I started getting educated. I’m making an appointment with a dietitian. I ordered an exercise bike (triple yuck).  I despise exercising but it is crucial to avoid diabetes. I have a dislocated clavicle which keeps me from doing any repetitive arm movements. I have cuboid syndrome on my feet (following surgery) and I’m unable to do aerobics, running, treadmills or elliptical machines. The only option I have is the bike.

So I am going to try hard to make some changes. Small and steady. But not in a panic, which is a much better place to be in. I prefer less drama, but I did need the kick in the pants.

Remember, we all make mistakes. I make more than my share, and as much as I am out in the public trying to advocate for managing the medical mess of a system that is out here, no one needs to be perfect. I have all the respect in the world for Grace because she just took responsibility and we immediately moved on. Thank you again dear friend and doc!


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Anger, Chapter Two

I had a few days like my old self. I recognized it when I was running errands and being pleasant to people in line, to people behind the counter, etc.. It really isn’t hard to be nice and people really appreciate it. Seeing their smiles is worth the small effort you put in.

But then, the new, angry me came back with a vengeance.

My friend was driving in the Home Depot parking lot and accidentally pulled out in front of someone. We made all the usual “I’m sorry” gestures to apologize because my friend realized it was her fault and felt very badly about it. I had to get out of the car at that point and walk by this guy’s car. He had the window open. So I went the extra mile and apologized again to him for almost causing a fender bender. He said it was okay, smiled at me, and I knew it was worth the effort.

Wrong.

He started yelling at me. He went on about how we lacked basic driving skills like “pay attention to the road” and “look where you are going.” He was nasty. Old me would have shook my head and thought about how sad it is that people let things like that ruin their day. Everyone makes mistakes and most people don’t make them on purpose. But the new me snapped and screamed back at him. “We just F*****G apologized to you. What the hell is wrong with you?” He basically told me to shut-up and drove away. I was furious. There was another lady that witnessed all of it and she had a few choice names for the guy, too. But I was so mad I was shaking. And I didn’t stop shaking for about an hour. What is the world coming to when you can’t even offer a sincere apology and have it mean anything?

This week, I had some new grief anger, too. Out of the blue, I had started to cry. I looked at this beautiful 8 x 10 glass frame I have had for years. It holds the picture of our last Father’s Day together in 2010. It is the photo that ended up on the back of the cover of Bitter and Sweet. It is Tim and I and the four kids. I wanted to pick it up over my head and smash it into a million pieces on the floor. I was shocked by this. I have never felt that or ever had urges to be destructive.

And I didn’t even know why.

I didn’t do it, but it got me thinking. I’m mad that Tim left us, that he left me a widow. I look at the four kids and think about how well they have all done. They grieve and are sad sometimes, but they have all done an excellent job in their own ways with their own personalities, in moving on. They seem well-adjusted. I am so grateful for that. Thank God.

But what about me?

I remember when Frankie was a newborn, the first couple of weeks I was in a daze of exhaustion and complete chaos internally. I remember distinctly staring at my computer screen and saying, “What is wrong with you? You have a Master’s Degree. You own a business. You can figure this out.” And I did. And it didn’t take me long to get my bearings.

It’s the same feeling I have now. I know I’m smart. I know I’m strong. So why can’t I figure this out? I don’t feel like I’ve adjusted. And it’s going on four years now.

I’ve been talking to my F-bomb friend a lot lately. I told him he’s the local anger expert so I keep asking him to help me understand what’s going on inside me, and what I’m supposed to do with it. He asked me if I’m angry that I’m a widow? Or just angry that I’m alone? I thought it was an excellent question. I decided it’s both.

If I were divorced, there would be another parent out there that would still be responsible. If I were divorced, I could sit around and blame myself (or him) for failing at the marriage. But this? No one to blame but cancer. I was a good wife, a good mom, and a good step-parent when the kids made life hell for me. So why?

I’m just mad. Mad, mad, mad. I told my girlfriend I might go postal someday. She said, “Please just don’t shoot me, ok?” I told her she better not piss me off then. We both laughed.

BUT…

Just so you don’t completely give up on me or think I’ve lost my marbles entirely, I will give you a classic Darcy story.

The boys got me flip-flops for Mother’s Day. I wear them constantly. I went to get some groceries this week, and as I was walking out of the store, my ankle twisted and I was forced to step out of my flip-flop. What the heck? Somehow- and I have no idea how this is even possible- my flip-flop got wrapped around the wheel of the shopping cart. I mean totally wrapped. It took me several minutes to figure out how to remove the thing. Once I finally figured it out, it was so warped I had to throw it out when I got home. But just picture me squatting in the grocery store, wrestling with my shoe in a wheel, and you should end this blog with a chuckle. 🙂