40th Anniversary

40 years ago, on June 4, 1974, a Navy pediatrician diagnosed my  juvenile diabetes, (Type 1.)

In 1974, diabetes was a very frightening condition, not easily tracked, and believed to be an unavoidable path to leg amputations and blindness.  The doctor told me, with no equivocation, that my life would be short and difficult.  On that same day, the doctor told my parents not to get involved with my struggles with daily living, lest I become dependent on them.  I was 14-years-old.

I wrote in this blog about that day at least 2 times.  I will try to find those posts, but here is a synopsis of the results of that huge change in my life.  I gained much of this knowledge in just the last few years:

I didn’t feel badly, in the first 6 months.  I applied my intellect to the problem, and stuffed the feelings.  I learned to inject insulin into my body.  At that time, no home glucose monitors existed; I peed in a cup, put some in a glass test tube, and tested for ketones.  That was the only indicator that my blood glucose was high, and I needed the doctor to tell me what dose of insulin I should be taking.  This was animal insulin — no chemically recreated human insulin for years.

After the first six months, I began to feel depressed more and more, and a feeling of who cares came over me.  I didn’t overcome that feeling for longer than a few years at a time.  I was married and divorced three times, always blaming him when the problems were often mine.

I couldn’t keep a job for more than two or three years; many of my jobs lasted less than a year.  I was, (please pardon the cliche,) rudderless.  Not until I settled here, alone and miserable, did I finally face up to my own character and behavior.  That was when everything started to smooth out.

So I remember a lifetime full of carelessness, but now I am intentional about what I think and what I expect from myself. I received enormous, intense and life-changing blessings throughout my life, and I am grateful for them every day.  I accept my family just as each member is, and I love them all dearly.  I have made friends who are good for me, and I cherish them.  I look forward to waking up in the morning; I feel and see and focus on different situations in my life, but, overall, I am content.  I love my life, and I strive to maintain that love through my daily ups and downs.

So all is well.

A Beautiful Spring Day in Midcoast Maine

Popham Beach State Park Image courtesy of visitbath.com

Popham Beach State Park
Image courtesy of visitbath.com

N.B.  I am posting this on a cold, wet day, but I wrote it a couple of days ago.  I am also plagued by the Add Media problem — ongoing.  Finally, as you can see, my home page does not pick up the paragraphs from my draft.

Fort Popham from the beach.   Image courtesy of carolyncholland.wordpress.com

Fort Popham from the beach. Image courtesy of carolyncholland.wordpress.com

I am enjoying a lovely spring day — sunny, no wind, warm enough for shorts, but not too hot to sit outside.  Maine is so gorgeous this time of year. A day like this always brings up memories of other happy spring days, when I was younger and still relatively carefree.  I love that I can remember those times — all I used to remember was misery.  My dad once said that I was projecting my current unhappiness on my memories.  I think I told him he was nuts, but I see now that I was doing exactly that.  I experienced sadness in my early adult life, but I also lived happy days. (I tried to insert a read-more tag here, but nothing doing.  Sorry.) Continue reading

Saturday Gratitude List, 05/31/2014

It’s Saturday morning, here on the coast of Maine.  The sun is bright, peeking out around the clouds; it’s also much higher in the sky than in the winter.  The air is cool, and a light breeze is ruffling the tree outside my window.  I feel good — I am sleeping more soundly than I have in years.

I am full of gratitude for all the good in my life.  I picked up my paintbrush last night for the first time in weeks, and I am currently working on making my water more realistic.  This simple act awakened the creative side of my mind — not only painting, but writing, which I also haven’t done in weeks.

I decided last month that my apartment is far too cluttered — not just old magazines and mail, either.  I own souvenirs from everywhere I’ve ever been, and I spread them onto every flat surface here.  I own furniture I don’t use, and I know one cause of my underlying anxiety is the state of these rooms.  So, my plan is to turn my apartment into something resembling a dojo.  I dragged my busted rocker, and that now beat-up plastic palm tree down to the dumpster yesterday.  After my nephew takes the big, old, beautiful dresser out of my bedroom, I will move my painting stuff into the bedroom, where the window on the north side will give me more ideal light.

I already moved my little pedal-er into the bedroom, where I see it immediately after I wake up.  I jump to it each morning, and the exercise, along with a much more limited diet, (limited phosphorus and potassium, and very limited carbs,) I made a huge change in my A1c, (my three-month average blood glucose.)  Three months ago, it measured 8.6.  Not good.  This Tuesday, my A1c was 7.2 — a huge improvement and  right at the level my Nurse Practitioner wants.  Who knew, all these decades, that the doctors were right about me needing to exercise?  (She smirks, amazed at the level of her  own stubbornness.)

Back to my dojo:  I am ridding myself of my recliner.  Even with two pillows behind my back, I never get really comfortable, and I wake with a backache every morning.  I intend to get a club chair instead, and a love-seat or small sofa.  The desk is going, as is the office chair, which also requires pillows.  My friend D. bought it for me as a birthday present a couple of years ago, but I judged it by its looks, and not by comfort.

On Thursday, I called the cruise company to check D.’s and my balance owed, and the first person told me that she had no record of us — no reservation, and no sign of the $500 deposit we paid.  I experienced a brief moment of panic, but then I hunted down our booking number and talked with the agent with whom we made our reservation.  All is well, and we set sail on October 26 for Honduras, Belize, and two stops in Mexico.  I intend to be well and ready for fun before that date.

I am grateful for my life, for my family and friends, for my readers, (I love you all,) my home, my health, and my newfound appreciation for staying healthy through exercise.  I am very thankful for my mental health, and I understand more clearly how to keep up a sense of calm.  I am a very, very lucky woman.

Intolerance by degree

Religions of the World (Image courtesy of http://projects.usao.edu

Religions of the World (Image courtesy of http://projects.usao.edu

Who's intolerant? (Image courtesy of popreflection.wordpres...

Who’s intolerant?
(Image courtesy of popreflection.wordpres…

Religious Intolerance in Myanmar Image courtesy: nytimes.com

Religious Intolerance in Myanmar
Image courtesy:
nytimes.com

(N.B:  I know how many people could take offense from this post.  Please write your comments, agreement or disagreement.  I welcome them all.)

(N.B.2:  Is anyone else having trouble adding media to a post?  Mine won’t go anywhere down the page, no matter where I put the cursor.)

I spent a part of my time in the Behavioral Unit, not working, but thinking with intention about topics of the day.  One which came often to mind was the different levels of intolerance among human beings, and the forms that intolerance takes.

In the last several months, we citizens of earth have rained upon each other all kinds of intolerance.  I am not singling out followers of Islam — in fact, I believe this is true of members of many faiths, including Christians, Jews, followers of Islam, Hindus, mystics of every shape and belief, Pagans, atheists, agnostics.  Intolerance seems to me an inherent human trait.  How terribly sad.

The ugliest form of intolerance arises among religious groups, many of which believe that their group knows the one right way of doing things, and that followers of  all other faiths are false, infidels, and apostate, developed in direct disharmony with the intolerant group’s supreme being.  I wager most people in the U.S. who read this immediately assume I am talking about Muslims.  In fact, I see many similarities between some Muslim radicals and, (I am going to say it,) some Christians who live in a state of anger and hatred towards anyone not like them.   Let’s look at ourselves — Americans don’t do that anywhere near often enough.

Those Christians among you reading this, if you are still reading this, read on a regular basis not  “God’s Word,” but rather to the writings of men raised in the culture of man as superior to women, and as the masters of the earth.  This is true, no matter how inspired the writers imagined themselves to be.  (Among these groups are those who insist on forcing their wishes and their way of living upon others.)

History certainly bears this out:  we could take as an example the terrorists who bomb innocents, or the Roman Catholic church during their hateful, anti-accepting practices during the Inquisition.  Another examples comes from armies and nations that believe in their right to interfere with other nations and the disagreements that trouble those other countries.  During the Cold War, Americans and other citizens of the West were frightened by the sight of the U.S.S.R. rolling in to force small nations to end up on the Communist side of the argument.  Was that so different from what we are now doing in the Middle East?  Those who served in the U.S. military during those frightening years may still be imbued with the patriotic ideal — but patriotism is often another root of intolerance.  In fact, our country is neither inferior nor superior to any other country.  And just because a person’s faith is strong and unbreakable doesn’t make it right.

I believe that each human should treat the beliefs of others with a different approach:  maybe we should mind our own spiritual lives and keep our noses out of others’.  No matter how superior we believe ourselves or our faiths to be, human is human, and we all will have to learn to accept each other, before we destroy the beautiful, precious and rare planet on which we live.

Home, and Happier

I am back.  Thank you all for being so patient.  I finally found what I knew I needed to know about anxiety, and its presence in my consciousness and subconscious mind.  I am identifying triggers, and carefully crafting my reactions to them.  Truly, I barely recognized anxiety in myself, though I surely know now!  I will not write about my process, yet, but soon. For now, I am glad to be writing at all, and you help balance my life with comment.  Thank you all for these gifts.  More soon.

Still waiting, but feeling better

I decided, a short time ago, that I am not seeing anything — after a dear friend of 40 years yelled at me.  I tried to make him see wbat I see, and he got frustrated.  I annoyed everyo e  this day, and I feel so isolated.  I came here yesterday, and I have not seen a dotor in, roughly, 28 hours.  I requested a doctor about 5 hours ago, and I still wait.  My nurse won’t even walk past my door, and only one nurse in theplace will even try to get a doctor for me.  I remember what a “crisis counselor ” told me today:  “Oh ,no.  The people here won’t resent you believing you see something.”  I just shouldn’t try so hard to convince one of them.

I am a little worried about my kidneys. I only peed twice since I got here, and the second time was four hours or so ago.  I just asked my nurse for a bandaid, and she said she would be back in 5 minutes.  I hate feelinv this, but I am still watching the clock.

I can’t sleep, again, and I don’t know what to do with myself.  This post is bumming me out, and I am going to hunt  for a more upbeat topic.  Bye for now.

Something more positive tomorrow.

Still today, a short while later.  My nurse came in response to me almost grabbing her in the stall.  Told her I’m okay for now, and it was a metamorphosis — she is suddenly  the sweet person she was yesterday.  Helps to be nice to people, I am reminded.  Goodnight to everyone.