So much of growth comes from the little things adding up to new behaviors or outcome. Last night just a moment occurred for me. Nothing huge in it's own right but on balance, a pretty big shift in the scheme of things.
We were at my best friends house for Christmas dinner last night. A nice tradition that's developed over the years. It's been crazy snowy, icy, wintery weather here this last week, and yesterday was really the first day we'd ventured out in a serious way. We're just not equipped for this kind of weather here in the northwest, so the fact that we actually made it to my friends house at all (she lives at the top of a very steep, very high hill) was something amazing in it's own right. We were determined not to miss our annual dinner and gift exchange!
Because we've all been snowed in for days on end, my friend and her daughter had plenty of time to make plenty of cookies. Many more than the usual plates and trays full we've had in years past. When we arrived I was greeted with plate after plate of beautifully decorated, colorful, hand made cookies, brownies and lemon bars! They all looked so divine.
We sat down to a wonderful, traditional Christmas meal soon after we arrived. It was fun and delicious as always. Lot's of laughter and holiday cheer. As the meal came to an end and we moved to the living room to open some presents, everyone stopped first to fill a plate of sweet desserts to enjoy along the way. I stood there looking at the plates of beautiful cookies and treats, locked in an internal debate. Should I take an extra shot and indulge? Though I've done this successfully before, for some unknown reason it hasn't worked well lately. A number of times this season, I've tried to cover and indulge but have failed miserably, crashing hard as my various boluses layered on top of each other. What followed were some very slow recoveries requiring lot's of eating and waiting and eating and waiting as my blood sugars slowly rose to a normal place. It's not been fun at all. Which led to the internal debate inside my head standing in front of the cookies last night. "Is the momentary deliciousness of a cookie or two worth the risk of another roller coaster ride later in the night" I asked myself over and over again.
And then something remarkable happened. My friend, who I have increasingly shared my day to day diabetes struggles with, came up beside me. I must of have said something like "I don't know what to do" at the moment she approached, because she responded immediately with something that made all the difference. Kindly, softly, she said, "why don't I make a small plate of cookies for you and you can take it home to have tomorrow". She knew that it was easier for me to adjust to cover foods outside my usual routine in the daytime vs. the night. She also knew intuitively, that what I needed at the moment was a nudge toward the right decision. There was no judgement, no pressure to "be like everyone else" or on the other hand, to not have a treat if I really wanted one. Somehow she understood what I needed was a little encouragement to resist just then as well as the promise of a treat when it made better sense. Her kind presence, support and willingness to see my dilemma from my vantage point allowed me to regain some equilibrium and make the small yet prudent choice at that moment. My friend offered me a helping hand just when I needed it most!
This small experience reminded me that living well with this disease is not a solitary act. It's been up to me to share my journey with a few people who care to witness it with open eyes. And it's been up to those kind people to act on my behalf at the times when I get stuck or weary or disheartened. At those times when I've needed a helping hand, a quiet nudge or word of encouragement, I've been able to move forward because of their strength and support. Though most of the time I'm on my own with all the decisions and challenges diabetes presents, I'm not without support or guidance. What's surprising to me is that the more I've shared, the more people have been willing to offer a helping hand along the way.
And that has made all the difference, one small event or moment at a time!