Posts Tagged ‘Type I Diabetes’

DSCN6784Have you noticed the snow drifting across my words?  It’s a Currier and Ives sort of feature that the happiness folks at WordPress provide; no shoveling needed.

We have, thus far, been spared any real accumulation snow here on the Cutoff and the sun is out today, smiling down upon us as we finish the last morsels of Thanksgiving (today it is turkey vegetable soup).  The last of fall is being swept under the carpets and the beginning of Christmas is starting to show.

I know some of you put up Christmas in one, fell swoop and your lights are already brightly shining. For some, it may take a while; perhaps just a sprig of green to honor the changing season. For my friends “down under”, summer has arrived, and for many I love, Hanukkah with its glowing candles will soon be here. Perhaps you do not celebrate the holidays or holy days of December, but, I think we can all embrace something in the change of the season, like a toasty fire in the hearth or a walk on the beach.

Here on the Cutoff, Christmas comes slowly, with candles aglow during our suppers of Advent and a theme of hope taking up residence. Trinkets and books have begun their appearance, coming out of boxes and drawers, while songs of good cheer are embracing our ears.  A Black Forest spruce magically appeared and is hugging the barn; a little something my Antler Man picked up this weekend and will bring in mid-month. He is being evasive about how tall it really is. The Christmas Room, thus christened by Kezzie two summers past, and magically festooned last November, will eventually host a chorus of angels and our woodland tree will alter the inner landscape of our lives, enveloping us in a sanctuary of hope.


We were filled with much hope last December, as Tom healed from eye surgery, which went well, but whose results were not as good as we had hoped for. Still-in-all, he has been able to resume work and all activities, and does so with strong determination and abiding faith. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of a vitrectomy, epiretinal peel, and all the steroidal shots he has endured can lead to a cataract forming, which is just the case with Tom. The cataract has developed quickly and its aggressiveness is causing increased macular edema. While cataract surgery has become a common procedure these days, it is a bit more complicated for those with Type I Diabetes. Such is the case with my Tom. So, dear friends, I find myself, once again, petitioning for your good thoughts and prayers as Tom undergoes cataract surgery in the wee hours of Wednesday and my Antler Man and I spend our time in that place we have often found sheltering: hope.



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A Giant Pirate

DSCN3887“He’s a giant pirate!” exclaimed the young boy to his mother as they exited the elevator we were entering. The pirate, in good spirits, growled good naturedly  “Aye, Matey” just as the door squeezed shut.

The human body is such a marvelous machine; its motor and gears and ability to reboot and restore a constant amazement to the mortals who wear them. While not perfect, often finicky, increasingly a pain in the whatever, I still like to celebrate its better nature, especially when a loved one is doing better.

You have all been so thoughtful and kind, asking and praying about Tom since his health issues of November and December, and I wanted to take a little time to thank you all and to let you know how he is doing.

Tom’s eye has healed well from the vitrectomy . Tons of medicated drops, with all manner of healing properties, and a well-worn path to the specialist’s office have taken him to the better side of restoration. His “Tom Selleck” looks and Irish wit are intact, and he has slowly (well, not as slowly as I would like, but, you know how that goes) resumed normal activities.

While the eye has healed from the surgery, what vision Tom will retain is still uncertain, and will remain so for many months. He will still need shots to stave off swelling and that well-worn path will continue to be driven, but, for now, we are grateful for good doctors, steady hands, sound judgement, advanced technology, prayers given – and answered.

My giant pirate is still captain of his ship, navigating unchartered waters – and a little boy is probably still talking about his chance encounter with a patched stranger on a wintry day.

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DSCN3266On a cool Autumn night, forty-four years ago, I went to a movie with a very tall, very cute guy. I met him at the end of my freshman year of college. He was an art major, I was in education. We went out on a few dates that summer, then started seeing each other when the fall semester began; movies, football games, campus activities.

I really liked this boy. We had fun, laughed, talked a lot, and got to know a little bit more about each other as the early weeks of the semester went on. I was having fun. Smitten, for sure, and felt he was feeling the same.

On that cool Autumn night, we were alone, talking, sharing some kisses, and I don’t mean Hershey’s! He became quiet. He said he needed to tell me something. I was sure he was going to tell me he liked me, I was a really nice girl, he didn’t want to hurt me – basically, the discussion took on the air of a break up about to happen.

Instead, he told me he had a disease. Diabetes. He had to take shots every day and watch what he ate. Sometimes, his sugar levels went low and he needed to eat something right away. He wanted me to know.

My heart went out to him and what the disease meant in his life. I knew just enough about diabetes to understand it was a life sentence and involved daily injections of shots. I admired him for his courage, instinctively sensing how hard it must have been for him to tell me he had a life-threatening, incurable disease. He told me about when he was diagnosed in high school how much school he had missed his freshman year college before he was finally put on insulin, and of how his mother arranged for him to have enough fruit and good food from his dorm’s cafeteria.

We talked long into the darkness that cool Autumn night in 1969. Society was changing, but not so much, not yet, when a 19-year-old boy was forced to deal with such a disease. He talked, and I learned more about his determination to be as normal as possible, and I think he learned that I wouldn’t turn away from him because of the burden he carried.

We continued to date through college, had the ups and downs of young love, graduated – and then, Tom and I married. We’ve had a good life, raised two daughters and have enjoyed the blessing of watching our family grow – and we have done it dealing with all the complications and implication of Type I (Juvenile) diabetes.

Now, four decades later, on another cool Autumn night, we have decided to share our story of living with diabetes in a companion blog, Brittle, which we just launched. We hope to help others dealing with Type I Diabetes, to tell of frustrations and worry, but with some humor and hope as well. From the proffered “blueberry pie cure”, to the “hospital from hell”, There are posts to be written that anyone who has a long-term condition (or even short-term) will be able to relate to,

If you are so inclined, please stop by Brittle once-in-awhile. We’re just getting started along this leg of our journey and are not yet sure of how often either one of us will post, as life so often gets in the way, especially here on the Cutoff.

To enter blog, please click on below.


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Sometimes, we read or see or hear of something that just tugs at our heartstrings and propels us forward with the urge to do something about it.

Yesterday, on Dee’s blog, coming home to myself, she posted a story about two other bloggers who are neighbors and friends. Theirs is such a warm story about the extent friends will go to help each other in times of need. It is also about how this thing we call blogging can become a powerful tool to help each other.

I will let you find your way to Dee’s blog, which you can do by clicking here. Dee tells this story much better than I. I encourage you to read her post and perhaps visit the other two blogs she highlights which are about Elisa and Melynda.

Melynda is a long-term juvenile diabetic who is losing her sight and has had multiple surgeries. Her medical bills have financially devastated her family in ways we all fear and she has just undergone surgery on one of her eyes in hopes of restoring some of her vision. In spite of diabetes, she still has a remarkable sense of humor.

This is the story of Elisa as well who, along with a few other bloggers, has managed to publish a book of Melynda’s lively posts to surprise Melynda. It is titled Just Nonsense by Melynda Fluery. Proceeds from the book will help to defray her medical costs. Information and links to sites like Amazon are available on Dee’s blog.

This story tugged at my heartstrings in so many ways. It also hits close to home. As many of you know my husband, Tom, is also a long-term diabetic. I wrote a bit about him when Ron Santo died. Tom takes exemplary care of himself, but 45 years of this insidious disease has taken its toll over the years, including vision problems, surgeries, chronic foot ulcers, and on and on, not to mention a life-style that is often a challenge. I guess what I’m saying is that we understand much of what Melynda is going thought, and that we know the importance of a good sense of humor as well.

I hope you will take some time to learn more about Melynda’s courage, and that you will consider purchasing her book as well. Off I go to break my book diet and order Just Nonsense from Amazon. It feels right when we find something that can do for someone else. Yes. It feels right.

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