This weekend, though, it looked like I might have another shot at it. With four hours of a less than entertaining game, I would have plenty of opportunity to find out. The 49'ers had done their part in scoring 14 points in the first minute and a half of the game. That at least took the distraction of a nail-biting game out of the way. Now all I had to do was open my mouth and ask. Ask why he ended things, what he thought might happen that he worked so hard to prevent. And all those overly-girlish questions like "was it something I did" and "was there someone else?" I figured I would start small and go from there. And so after much deliberation I went with. "Aren't you bummed you're not snowboarding?"
In a lot of ways, I was in over my head dating a guy like Matt, not maturity-wise or in my ability to carry on a relationship, but in life experience. I was 17 and he was 21. But it wasn't so much the age as what we had done in those years. He had lived a full life before he met me and we were in such different worlds. He was always so afraid of having his past life somehow tarnish me that he kept a lot to himself. Matt moved to California from Florida where he was living with his girlfriend of two years. I had never really dated with the exception of a few boys in Junior High. But we didn't date as much as "go-around" whatever that meant. I hadn't kissed a boy in four years and Matt, well, Matt had been living with this woman and all that that implied.
Now he shared a cabin with two coworkers at the camp where he had taken a job as a cook. I got the couch and we got out from all the legalism. Without the oppressive safety net, the tension once again began to rise and with it my ever increasing paralysis. Maybe it was only in my mind or maybe it was in both our minds, but, either way, I was powerless to find out. It seemed we were always teetering on the verge of picking up right where we left off. However much I could convince myself that all the signs were there, I couldn't convince myself to act on it.
As I flipped on the pre-game show and settled in for a day of self-indulgent pity, I realized I was not the only one who had forgone the best snowboarding day of the year. Matt sat down on the floor next to the tweedy nightmare with a soda and a bowl of chips, which he promptly offered. I obliged.
The snow outside had built up to a good twenty-four inches overnight. The whole reason for coming on this trip was shot. I would be left behind when all my friends would take off to hit the slopes. Left behind to watch one of the most quickly won Super Bowls, one of the most boring in years, and one of the most memorable. The day before Super Bowl Sunday a couple of us had been outside playing in the snow. We had borrowed a friend's cabin and were spending the weekend away from the ever-warm and snow-free Southern California. We had gone into the snow like a bunch of giddy kids, throwing snowballs, slipping on icy streets, and enjoying being young.
I found a pile of freshly fallen snow and decided to climb to the top and claim "King of the Mountain" or rather "Queen of the Mountain", my ignorance of the snow glaring as I quickly sank knee deep into the mound of snow as white and glimmering as a starlet's newly bleached teeth. Eric, never one to pass up an opportunity for physical humor, seeing me trapped, thought it might draw a laugh if he pushed me over. He only partly succeeded. My top half went down like a felled tree. My leg from the knee down stood motionless like an impersonation of an English Royal Guardsman. Walking became a sad impression of Groucho Marx and snowboarding was definitely out of the question.
I was in my thinking spot, more commonly referred to as the shower, the only place I can get a period of time long enough to complete a thought in my head, reflecting on my last piece of writing and more over the tone of the last 4 months of my writing, when I realized that I had once again fallen into the depressing part of my emotional tide chart. Just like the tides come in and out with some predictable regularity, so too I tend to fluctuate between the heights of optimism, a I-can-conquer all attitude, and the depths of my dark humor and despair. I rode the tide of the dark side for long enough and decided it was time to see the moon pull on my side of the earth for a while.
The last thing I wrote was a simple exercise in letting the mind wander as I inspected me, 25 random things about myself. I realized how easy that was and thought I might be up for a bigger challenge, 25 good things Diabetes has brought into my life. I am sure I could rattle of a good 5 or 6 typical responses but to get to 25 I would actually have to think. I thought it might be interesting to see how many would be up for the challenge to look at their own tragedy or trial and try to see how many they could come up with. Maybe it’s just what the doctor ordered. And so it is, 25 good things diabetes has brought…
1. It wasn’t cancer or Leukemia. Those were the other options my doc proposed that my symptoms would match.
2. It has brought great discipline to my life. I have always been an undisciplined sort and had been praying that God would give me more discipline for about 2 years before he obliged. Little did I know…
3. It gave me a greater appreciation for what an amazing body God has designed in that it can balance the amount of insulin released from the pancreas, the amount of glucose released from the liver, the signals of fullness after a meal, the amount of stress hormones flowing around and the ever changing needs of muscle tissue for sugar. And it only allows the amount of sugar running around in my blood to vary less than 40 milligrams in every liter of blood. When I am left to the task I sometimes can’t get it to stay within hundreds of milligrams.
4. It has allowed me to team up with some pretty amazing people who are charging and changing the face of diabetes. People who challenge the notion that diabetics need to be mellow when it comes to pushing their bodies to the limit. People crazy enough to do the Ironman Triathlon, to climb mountains and to run a 200-mile relay over 24 hours. They inspire me to push myself harder every day I am out training. Without diabetes I would never have pushed myself to join a group (I was never much of a joiner)
5. It has made my life hard enough that I often get to the point where things are so bad that all I can do is resort to laughing at how ridiculously hard all of this is. What else can I do when my blood sugar is so low that I can barely control my impulses and have come within seconds of pouring an entire box of cereal over my head because it seemed like it might feel nice.
6. Without Diabetes, I would not have found out so quickly how great my husband, Tony, would be at taking care of me and forcing me to talk about all that I was feeling.
7. Diabetes gave me the ability to take off an extra 6 months during my pregnancy with Eli. That was time that I got to be a stay-at-home-mom for my eldest, Shea, time I treasure. It also gave me 9 months off when Shea was born.
8. Diabetes gave me a reason to write a book, or maybe I should say, be in the process of writing a book.
9. 25 is going to be hard…
10. Diabetes really drove home the divide between spirit and body. I can remember in the early days walking out of my doctor’s office in Los Alamitos and realizing my body was now broken. My pancreas just didn’t work like it was supposed to. But my spirit still remained as it was. It forever divided the two in my mind.
11. If Diabetes is the worst thing that has happened in my life, I have led a charmed life. There are many worse things that can happen.
12. I get to bring my own candy anywhere I want, movies, meetings, etc.
13. It has humbled me in a way that I needed big time. Being an arrogant, pompous fool never benefited anyone. I figured out real quickly that I was just as susceptible to harm and tragedy as the next guy. The invincible teen years ended before their time.
14. Diabetes started my running, swimming and triathlon career. When I was diagnosed my doc said I had to exercise everyday. I was in college so I couldn’t really join any teams, wasn’t quite good enough for college ball. So I did what I could do alone and with no equipment, I ran. One of my friends got me into swimming at the pool at UCSD between classes and I already rode my bike daily (the result of personal budgetary restraints and expensive parking permits on campus.) My competitive spirit put all three together and I started tri’s.
15. My daughter is well trained in calling 911?
16. I think it turned the balances in my favor in getting sponsorship with the Power Puff Girls/Cartoon Network for surfing. I wrote some cheesy paragraph in how I am just like the Power Puff Girls because I fight my own monsters. Yeah, I know, I played the D card. But every now and then you have to.
17. I have a great relationship with my doctor because I see him so often. He is so comfortable that he’ll sit down and rap with me for a while about the good ol’ college days. So when I do have a problem he always takes the time to hear me out.
18. I can always look back and say the reason I got a C in O-Chem is because my sugars were in the 7 or 800’s when I took my final (even though when I took O-Chem C I got a C too but I was fine.)
19. I never have to pony up a doctor’s note for an absence if my employer asks because I have a chronic condition. (Anyone up for a Tuesday morning surf when the Santa Ana’s are blowing and everyone else is at school or work?)
20. It has on many occasions forced me to face my own mortality.
21. I have met a few good-looking firemen and paramedics when I have had to call 911 because my sugars had gotten too low.
22. Diabetes makes sailing solo through the Florida Keys for four days more than a self-indulgent pleasure cruise and turns it into a chance to inspire others to do what people have told them they couldn’t because they are supposed to be good little diabetics and not push themselves to find new ways to conquer what in their Pre-D lives would have been commonplace and so easy.
23. It gives me a cause to raise money for. Insulindependence.com has this same mindset of helping Diabetics push themselves and inspire other diabetics to do the same. Check them out. (And if you want to help me, check out http://www.firstgiving.com/erinspineto.) Yeah I know it’s a shameless plug, but what can I say? It is an advertisers world.
24. Maybe diabetes has just allowed me to give you a reason to see the bright side?
25. Diabetes gives me a reason to come up with 25 reasons that diabetes has been good to me and spend the last hour practicing some writing skills.
1. i am a procrastinator. look how long it took me to do this. I am so behind on the trend.
2. i am a diabetic, type 1, who runs triathlons and sails to prove that i am in control, not my broken pancreas.
3. i am writing my memoirs on doing #2.
4. i hate capitalizing stuff when i type.
5. i want to sail single handed around the florida, keys. alone. by myself. without any one else (starting to get the point of the trip?)
6. i am not actually a writer
7. biochem degree from UCSD and a minor in visual arts just to give my brain a rest ( and because secretly I am an artist- just don't look to my work for confirmation of that fact.)
8. married my best friend after telling him that, even though he was getting the word from God that we were going to get married, i too had been praying and getting the opposite answer. One of us was wrong and it certainly wasn't me. (not the last time i was wrong, or "mistaken" if we are using p.c. speak)
9. married an artist, an oil painter to be more precise. so i guess i put that art degree to work after all. i try not to sound too stupid at all the gallery openings we have to get all gussied up for.
10. kind of random, but i guess that's the point... hadn't kissed a boy in 8 years when i first kissed tony after he proposed
11. want to do lots of traveling but mostly with in the 30's. (that's latitude for the geographically disinclined). no need for the rolling forties or roaring fifties near where its way too cold for people to actually exist without 42 layers of clothing.
12. live in encinitas, ca because its a community where on saturday morning most of the kids at the coolest donut shop on earth are only in their trunks and never have their hair combed and are only making a quick stop before they hit the beach until sundown and sometimes after. Their parents, most of the time, match.
13. wow... really... 25?
14. i have 28 teeth?
15. lived with a different group of 6 girls for the last 3 years of college with at least one each year with an eating disorder.
16. think that the only acceptable source of caffeine input should be Diet Dr. Pepper. no coffee, tea only if i think i am writing while sitting on the floor at a barnes and nobles after the kids have gone to bed for the night
17. had a birthday party when i was 10 that no one showed up to. i would like to think it was because it was the same weekend as halloween parties (dumb planning) but really it probably wasn't. too much grrr in my early days. didnt learn to fake the bubbly perky until later in life and still dont do it well
18. just had to get up and test my blood sugar because it often drops when i write. probably from all the energy i have to expend to come up with all this super "deep" stuff :) <---that is the silly little symbol people type to show that they are making a joke? right? i think id rather go with a "ha" from deep within the belly, kind of like one santa would do if he got drunk and forgot his lines, "ha, ha, ha" "isnt that the stupid line they always give me in all those sappy, crappy movies aired just before i get my break in jamaica?" 22. Yeah is kipped a couple.. what of it? 23. i just learned to spell piece when i was 25 when my 6th graders got sick of my misspelling on the overhead and leant me the silly little saying i still repeat in my head each time i spell it. "piece of pie." translation piece starts just like the word pie p-i-e 24. i still can only tell my left from my right when i picture myself taking off on a wave. i instinctly know my right is front side and my left is backside. the whole put your pointer and thumb out to make an L doesn't work for me because they both look like L's to me . sorry I had a hard time flipping my letters as a kid. think they should have put me in special ed and medicated me for that one. (insert another lame symbol or maybe we should dod the LOL thingy here) 25. i have just finished this thing