27 September 2010

A New Mode

Now that I am back at work, and, really, back among the living I get asked a lot how I am doing. I think i fielded that question at least 20 times in the last few weeks since school started. I usually answer that I am feeling ok. Not really normal, but, maybe, a new normal? That's the thing I am most recently learning;. I thought this new disease was an easy fix, just take some meds and I am back to normal, problem solved and, really, over with. But we are so bad at mimicking with meds what the body does so naturally. Stress goes up and your body matches it with increased thyroid levels. So I am always having to change my dose to match my activity level and stress level so that I don't get too far behind on the fatigue. And it sneaks up on me sometimes. I am learning to recognize my stress levels and trying to be proactive with dose changes. The diabetes has taught me a lot when it comes to that, but, of course, when I change my thyroid levels, it changes all of the protocols I have developed to manage the diabetes so it's like I am no longer solving equations in one or two variables, but now have 4 or 5 dimensional problems. With all that, if I can manage a "just ok" I think I am doing pretty damn well. It has, overall, dulled my personality, though. I have become the things I hate far too much, jittery and on edge, and lost the part that I loved so much about myself, that zip and spunk, willing to take on any challenge and always looking for an adventure, and when it gets all out of whack, it inhibits my sense of clarity and judgment and I sometimes do things I normally would not because it has temporarily warped my sense of reality. I am trying not to act on those whims but sometimes I let it slip. I am, also, working against a whole new set of fears that my body will fail again. I had to learn, in the worst of it, not to push my body because it would mean a week or two of recovery, a really bad, tortuous recovery, so I am trying to unlearn that self-preservation mode and re-enter into the push-myself-as hard-as-i-can mode. Tough switch since I don't know where those new boundaries lie. I dont want to overshoot them, but I do want to get very close to the edge asap. I think I might have to fall over the edge a few times to really find it.

20 September 2010

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I had set out to write tonight, got dressed, got my butt into my writing studio. I realized how often b.s. stands in the way. Right at 7 when I sit to write, my blood sugar dips to 62 and takes with it any capacity to think clearly. so, I sit here, pecking away at the keys with one hand, the other holding up my sagging head, fully aware of the dullness sand myriad (yeah, I know it's overused) of typos and punctuation crap. but, whatever, i guess i'll edit later. i have vowed to write weekly, so here is the crap that flows when i am low. now i will lower my sagging head to the cold desk at sit back as i watch my swirling mind slowly be fed more and more sugar and hope that the endless lows choose not to kill the parts of my brain that i need and use, maybe theyll destroy my worry center or my hyper critical part, or maybe the part that loves any sort of goodie late at night. guess we'll find out soon enough. (push "post"" without a second look)

13 September 2010

An Aptitude for Solitude

        I snuck out for a few moments on my way to Back to School Night Tuesday and saw the horizon out of my open car window. I smelled the ocean and pictured myself for a moment out on that ocean with nothing surrounding me but the sea, watching the sun rise and the sun set for four days in a row. I realized how much my soul needs some version of extended solitude.  Some people are made for that kind of thing, some think it torture.  For some it cleanses their souls from all the sludge that builds up on land and brings them back more ready to attack life, for some it drives them to madness.  I am a member of the former group.  I have always had an amazing aptitude for solitude. It is what often has made me forgoe going out with a group of friends to finish a project at home.  It is what allowed me to survive one very lonely freshman year of college where I would go for days on end without talking to anyone except for the guy who made my sandwiches for lunches. It is, also, what has driven me to plan this solo adventure, to push the boundaries of what is thought possible for a diabetic, and what has caused me to spend countless hours planning and arranging and seeking out sponsors to get it off the ground.
       Many people have asked me why I couldn't bring someone else along with me.  A few were concerned for my safety, a few trying to solve the problem of finding a boat to charter from companies that seemed to outlaw solo sailors. I tell them there is an extreme difference between sailing solo and going with someone else.  It's in the freedom to indulge every whim right when it hits.  To go out as far from land as I want without having to consider another, to see what I want to see, to stop where I want and to drive on when I want to meet a goal.  It is so unlike my life on land where it is always a compromise, when I am pulled in a million directions other than the one I truly want to go. Work pulls. Bills pull.  Even having to choose a place to eat involves balancing the needs and wants of everyone else. Tony needs to eat clean foods and needs to eat in the next fifteen minutes.  Shea won't eat meat. Eli will only eat foods that involve begin dipped in ketchup. I need to sit in a place that involves direct sunlight on my face and all of this has to be done for under twenty dollars.  But, it is not so when you are solo.  It is all me.  It is simple to balance the things that I want.  One opinion to sway the vote, one need to satisfy, one desire to fulfill.
     It's not just about indulging my will, though.  It's about testing myself without having any fallback.  No one else to confer with or lean on when things go wrong, no one to brainstorm with if something breaks, no one to choose a course or to figure out where we went off course and what point on the chart that huge tower actually is.  It will just be me. When the wind picks up or the boat gets grounded, I alone will have to fix it.   If you want to know yourself, to truly know of what you are capable, you have to put yourself in those situations where there is a chance that you are in over your head.  It is only then that you can find the outer extents of what you are capable of.  If you never get to the end of your rope, how can you ever know how long it is? I hope I am able to find that point so that I can come back knowing that I can handle anything this pedestrian, land-locked life can throw my way.  We will have to wait and see...