The rules after surgery to fix my deviated septum stated that I shouldn’t be bending, lifting, or exercising. The drastic reduction in activity began to take a toll on my blood sugars. Before the surgery I had envisioned a long stretch of peaceful relaxation as I recovered. I thought I had planned for it well. I bought some excessively fluffy pillows and ridiculously soft blankets and gathered a stack of reading that I had been interested in. I stocked the kitchen and did lots of housework in preparation of the surgery so I could relax and focus on resting and healing when the surgery was over. I didn’t prepare myself for the frustration and meltdown that was coming.
My blood sugars were amazing the afternoon following the surgery. They continued to be phenomenal even for a couple days after. I was thrilled that I’d been able to deal with one less thing and let my body focus on healing. Then I started eating normally again. I also became premenstrual which always makes my blood sugars more difficult to corral into the normal range. I kept testing and taking extra insulin injections to try to get them back in the happy range, but diabetes was all done cooperating.
My elevated blood sugars stressed me out and between that, the PMS, and the pain from the surgery, my mood couldn’t have been much fun for my husband who had taken vacation time to help me heal. He kept gently pushing me to do more, to try to get back on my feet. I kept whimpering about how much my face hurt and about the swelling and nasal congestion. That week I had more than one meltdown, crying and feeling sorry for myself. It wasn’t my usual character to behave this way. Feeling defeated, I asked my husband why he wasn’t babying me more. He honestly hadn’t thought I needed babying. He reminded me of how strong I was and told me exactly why he knew that I would be okay.
“You are tough. You are the rub dirt on it girl”, he said. He reminded me of when we met. Back then I was working as a security officer for a retailer. “You used to catch shoplifters” he said. “Did you cry when they fought with you?” he asked. “No”, I replied. “What about when they ran from you, you didn’t give up, you ran after them” he stated. “That strong girl is still in there, you know”. Now I understood where he was going with this. That might have been a really long time ago, but whenever life got rough I’d always just done what I needed to do to keep going. He reminded me that no matter what the challenge was, he’d always seen me just get back up and brush myself off. This time I think I scared him because I simply wasn’t getting back up like usual.
I needed that reminder. I am the “rub dirt on it” girl! I have been knocked down by my health and even by life more times than I can count, but I always get back up. Sitting around and feeling sorry for myself for too long would be dangerous. We could all ask “Why me?”, but where would that leave us?
We can make it through these hardships. There are going to be tough days, or weeks, or even months, because diabetes is tough and unfair. We are bound to have the occasional meltdown, but we can’t forget that we are also tough, whether we want to be or not. I know that no matter how many challenges I’ve tackled in the past, be it shoplifters or crazy blood sugars, more difficulties are inevitable. I’ll get through those hard times though, and so will you.