Lucy In the Sky

2001

Eleven years living with diabetes...

"Babe, let's go look at some puppies. We will go look, just look." I said to my boyfriend on a sunny Sunday morning in the living room of our condo. Soon after, we were off in our Subaru Outback on the hour drive to the breeder advertising in the newspaper's classified section. I called ahead, and they were expecting us. She wasn't old enough to go home with us, but she became part of our family that evening in August.

A few weeks later, we made the drive again to pick her up. She sat on my lap the entire ride home. I was in love instantly. The puppy crate, daily walks, puppy food, vet appointments, and puppy training were now part of my life. It was fortunate to live in a condo that backed up to a park. Many evenings spent with her and the chuck-it in that park. Her personality was infectious. She would burrow down to the bottom of our bed and sleep all night. The moment I picked up my running shoes, she would begin her happy dance, knowing trails were in her near future.

Meet Lucy.  The photo above shows her happily lying on the warm ground at Shelf Rock with her plush toys while we climbed.

Together we walked and ran on the trails in Boulder. It was a short distance from our Bear Creek condo to the Mesa Trail with NCAR to the north. Water bowl, treats, poop bags, and a leash were a few add-ons in my arsenal as we left the house. Going out of town added puppy items to our packing list.

Whether it is a puppy, a kitty, a goldfish - when you are responsible for something outside of yourself, having the necessary things to care for it is essential. Bringing Lucy into my life, I happily added the items she needed or wanted.

Diabetes doesn't give kisses. Diabetes doesn't cuddle. Diabetes doesn't welcome you home after a long day at work with unconditional love. Diabetes doesn't take her nose and place it under your hand to remind you she needs some petting.

Yet diabetes, to thrive, requires love, respect, forgiveness, compassion, and renewed energy to live with it. When you resist, ignore, hate, fight, and abandon your diabetes, the struggle gains momentum, and survival can feel questionable.

Diabetes is like the eternal puppy or newborn, in the capacity it requires to thrive. It doesn't grow up, begin to do its laundry, and get its license one day.  There are logistical aspects such as making doctor appointments, regular ordering of supplies and medication, calling insurance to appeal unpaid claims, packing for the drive downtown, or the vacation. Do I have what I need to survive? Do I have what I need to thrive? It is a 365/24/7 disease. Diabetes also impacts how you feel, physically, and emotionally. Most low blood sugar reactions do not occur at a convenient time.

The surrender that eventually occurs living with diabetes isn't complacent or lackadaisical. It is an acceptance of circumstance; it is an acceptance of the uncertainty; it is an acceptance of self.