I’ve been on a rollercoaster health journey this past month, trying to improve my challenges with having Type I Diabetes. I’d been having some serious hypoglycemic events, more often, with little to no awareness of the symptoms until I was dangerously low. I’d reached out to my physician and endocrinologist, completed more than a month’s worth of insulin, food, and exercise data, but even they were unable to determine a pattern or a solution.
When I almost went unconscious swimming laps, the only person at our compound indoor pool at the time, I felt vulnerable and terrified of what could have happened. I considered going back on an insulin pump, even though I went off an insulin pump eight years ago. I suffered from repeated deep-tissue infections at the insertion site that required ten days of IV antibiotic treatment and it felt intrusive being attached to a machine 24/7. But that was eight years ago. Technology has advanced. I decided to give it another try.
At the beginning of November, my endocrinologist put in a request to our insurance company for the latest in diabetes management, a Medtronic insulin pump-continuous blood monitoring system. It was approved, but there were no transmitter-sensors in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to delivery hold-ups from Covid. Or so they said. When Mister and I went to the Habib pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions, there was one box available. As I would soon find out, after two weeks of frustration, my sensor and transmitter were faulty.
In the first 24 hours my sensor malfunctioned, unable to calibrate. I burned through another two days later. Despite WhatsApp messages with my diabetes educator and three calls to the Medtronic representatives, constant alarms, beeps, red flashes and messages that woke me up all night and stressed me out all day, I was offered no solution. Last Friday, after being awake on the couch from 2:30 to 5:30 in the morning, I’d had enough. I made the decision to take the sensor out of my arm. The heaviness began to evaporate almost instantly.
I share all this not just to vent or plea for pity, but as a segue to the important message, which is to develop your resilience and trust the process of life. Even when the answers feel illusive. Especially when the process is sticky, mucky, and overwhelming.
Trusting the process of life means having faith that there is a purpose to your existence and your path. It means you don’t have to lean on your own understanding all of the time. God, the Universe, Science -however you view creation- has a plan that we mortals can only begin to comprehend. Often the learning doesn’t come until we’re through the thick of things and able to look back with the insight of hindsight.
I don’t know where my journey living with diabetes is taking me, but I know it’s no worse or better than any other challenge. I know it brings vast opportunities for learning. There is no need to criticize or judge my experience. I can let go comparing myself to the people who manage their challenges better or worse than I, whether they be physical conditions like diabetes, mental illness, emotional distress, or spiritual struggles. I’m not them and they aren’t me.
It isn’t about avoiding the hard stuff. Shit is going to happen, no matter who you are or what your life circumstance. It’s about creating a resiliency tool kit that fits your own individual skill set and values.
We all are beings of creation and we are all good enough as we are. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to do the work. But it means we don’t need to judge, criticize, approve or disapprove of ourselves or others. There is space on this earth for each of us, room for us all to live our best lives, however that looks. Even with all our screw-ups and mistakes.
I’m reminded of the five agreements by Don Jose and Don Miguel Ruiz. Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. Be discerning. I’d like to add a few more. Be kind. Practice gratitude. Allow others to live their own lives without judgement. Love.
I choose to feel gratitude for this beautiful life. For the joys and sorrows that have shaped me. For the gifts. Instead of focusing on my health challenges, or allowing them to define my existence, I’m feeling attuned to my blessings. Maybe I will receive a new sensor in the new year that will function. Maybe not. I don’t know what my path to wellness holds, but I trust that I will make good decisions when the time is right. I’ve got this.
So yeah, I’m feeling resilient, finding my faith and trusting in the process of life.