Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Lawnmowing Partner

This is Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week. Today, the topic is entitled "Your Biggest Supporter." As Karen pitches it: "Sure, our diabetes care is ultimately up to us and us alone. But it’s important to have someone around to encourage you, cheer you, and even help you when you need it. Today it’s time to gush and brag about your biggest supporter. Is it your spouse or significant other? Your best friend, sibling, parent or child? Maybe it’s your endo or a great CDE? Or perhaps it’s another member of the D-O-C who is always there for you? Go ahead, tell them just how much they mean to you!"


I'd planned on some elaborate post being the end-all-be-all tribute to the wonderous person I consider my biggest supporter. Words. Poetry. Picture prose. Something grand, as that's what is deserved. Heck, even in realizing that it wasn't going to play out that way and it was self-defeating behavior to even think I could write something eloquent to capture it all, I pondered changing tunes and going with a funny anecdote about my Cat or Dog and the support (or non-support?) that they give me. But in the end, it didn't materialize that way and I've run out of time or creativity. Maybe, it's because words can't describe how significant a part of my life this person is, and how much a foundation and fixture I've come to rely on this person's ability to not only put up with my personal craziness, but also everything rolled into my D-Life.

So, to offer just a tiny glimpse of this person's support that can't possibly encompass everything or do justice, I give you a story to contemplate.

On Monday, I escaped work a little earlier thanks to the many extra hours I'd put in the previous week. Part of the early-leave was to get home for a much-needed lawn mowing before the forecast and visibly approaching rainstorm set in. Without even changing out of my work clothes, I pulled out the lawnmower and started what I expected to take an hour or so to complete. Our smaller, unfenced backyard came first - as it grows to lengths we fondly describe as "the forest" thanks to the dog doing her business out there. I started the mowing, and did about a quarter of the back before the lawn mower decided to quit on me.

Frustrated that my starter-cord pulling was leading nowhere, I cursed out loud, kicked the air, and journeyed inside to pout. Being an experienced lawn mower herself, Suzi followed me outside to investigate what I was griping about. A quick investigation revealed that it was, as she noted, on level ground. Yet there seemed to be little gasoline inside. I wondered why I hadn't noticed that when peering inside myself.... Realizing the red fuel container in the garage was empty, we concluded a quick drive to the gas station was needed. I fussed, glaring at the cloudy and darkening sky that appeared to be laughing at me. Suzi decided to drive by herself, and she told me to go inside and sit down for a rest before she returned. I obliged. After she left, I noticed my vision was blurry. I was even cold, despite spending 30 minutes outside cutting part of the grass. Something wasn't right. So, I did a blood test and found: 51 mg/dL. This was interesting, especially since I'd tested at 345 about three hours earlier. Apparently, my correction bolus had worked and combined with the exercise to drop me down Low. Things started clicking into place, and my earlier lack of observation and deduction and patience seemed to make more sense.

Instantly, I spotted the candy packs of fruit-flavored Royal Rolls on the kitchen table where I sat. These were long lost but recently-discovered Christmas gifts from my aunt, and they're basically like LifeSavers. A roll of 6 little candies equals 18g, so I unsealed a new one and stuffed the candies into my mouth. Before long, I felt the effect. Added some PB and Saltines to the mix to help it all stay with me and prevent a future drop.

Suzi returned, filled up the fussy lawnmower with fresh gasoline, and offered to finish for me. I stayed inside and managed to bring my sugar level up with some more Royal Rolls, then joined her outside and grabbed the edger to start trimming the non-lawnmower parts of the grass. Our teamwork prevailed, beating out the rainstorm that didn't arrive until later that evening.

So often, Diabetes can get in the way of our regular life tasks. This is just one of them. Outside observers may not see anything special about this lawn-mowing example, but it's just one of the many that we share in working as a team. Some may have different opinions, or handle Lows or Reactions or Highs or Anything D-Related differently, but she does a marvelous job in putting up with me and responding in the best way possible. We've come a long way in the decade since we've been together, the five years of marriage this September. We still have a long way to go because it's a lifelong journey. But every day and every moment is speal, regardless of how stupid diabetes wants to be and the curve-balls is throws at us. I've written about her responses before, from the Wrestling Diabetes to Calling the Paramedics and Conquring my Delusions of Being Attacked By Apple-Cider Poisoning Aliens. Sometimes, it's just routine daily tasks such as carb counting my meals, helping me with D-Math, asking how an Endo appointment went, or checking out my day's Twitter postings to see what's up. Simple or complex stuff, all the same. No matter the situation: I know that in the end, when the D gets in the way of my metaphoric lawn-mowing, there's someone there to support me and help out.

Of course, there are very many others who support me and have done so throughout my 26 years of living with the D - mom, dad, family, friends, co-workers, bosses, swimming teammates, fellow students, fraternity brothers, and OF COURSE the Diabetes Online Community... There are just too many to name, as Kelly puts it: "It Takes A Village."

Everyone is irreplaceable. And I can't say Thank You enough. Because without Suzi and everyone else, I'd be a goner.

10 comments:

connie said...

It sounds like you have an amazing "lawnmowing parner"!

You are blessed to have such a supportive and loving wife by your side, I am sure she is feeling the love from you with this wonderful tribute to her!

Saffy said...

and I also think back to that story about how Suzi looked after you that morning when you didn't turn up for work ;) She's awesome - totally the perfect biggest supporter.

olivejooice said...

So Sweet!! You are very lucky to have her, and seems like you know it too!! I think it a real special person to love us diabetics, since there is so much work and uncertainty involved.

thisiscaleb said...

Thank you for sharing Michael. I think this will be a very uplifting day and encouraging for me to know that Caleb can grow up and have the commitment, love and support of a spouse to help him live with diabetes. I'm happy to know that you have that.

Meri said...

I hope my boys find a wonderful partner such as yours. It is one of the many things that I worry about. I know it will take a special woman to support them in their battle.

Cara said...

I'm glad that you have her to be there for you. And I love the title "lawnmowing partner". :)

George said...

I hear you man, our spouses are awesome!

As is the DOC!

Renata Porter said...

No worries about being witty. It's nice to just say it like it is.

Cherise said...

Can someone please pass me a tissue...

GFX Landscaping said...

Great! I think the two of you are the most blessed partners who achieved great success on your Lawn Mower and lucky to have a most supportive and loving partner.