Monday, December 20, 2010

Finding The Calm Amid The Chaos

There are five days until Christmas and, given this year’s circumstances, I am impossibly calm, cool and collected.  I keep wondering what is wrong with me that I am so damn relaxed!  But I am.  It’s strange.

Here’s the situation:

We are moving.  And I don’t just mean moving across town.  This is a trans-continental move.  This is an EPIC move!  And it’s happening NOW.  Well, not right now, but in three short weeks we’ll be packing our every possession on a semi, then driving across this beautiful, albeit frozen country of ours and going back to my home town.  (We won’t be driving the semi - we’ll leave that to the professionals. We’ll be driving our Tundra pick-up - a very capable vehicle for what Mother Nature might have in store for us.)

The reasons for this move are varied, but it has a lot to do with the desire to be closer to my sister and her family.  It also has to do with the D.  But that is a separate post that I plan on writing very soon.

Right now, the issue is Christmas.  And packing.  And driving for days on end with two young children across a nation that is, at present, in the icy clutches of Old Man Winter.  And all the planning and preparation that these two ginormous events entail.

And...okay, YES.  There is the D to consider during all of this.  How can we not consider it?  It is never something that can be glossed over, even during the simplest of times.  I have prepared the lists of things to pack. I’ve ordered the Frio packs to keep cool the three vials of insulin I plan on packing, as insulin likes to be.  I’ve taken stock of our supplies and have on order all we will need to top up our reserves.  I’ve got the glucagon, which has recently become a more versatile and vital tool in the D toolbox as so many other D families have discovered. (For more info on glucagon mini-dosing, see this awesome post by Lorraine.)

We’ve been discussing the road trip and the need to go low carb with regards to snacking on the road.  We won’t be getting much in the way of exercise for several days straight (save for the odd pool time at any hotels we stay at that happen to have such facilities.)  This means that the temporary basal function will be called upon often to stave off any spikes.  But I want to further minimize the chance of fighting frequent highs which will only serve to make Jenna feel miserable and exhausted.  The drive alone will be enough of a physical and mental test as it is, without adding the insult of high blood sugar to it.  Doughnuts and muffins, while convenient and readily available, are really not the best choice (and, I dare say, that pertains to all of us.)  But I suspect we will all get tired of carrot and celery sticks pretty quickly.  So if anyone can recommend any low carb, low fat, low mess, car-friendly snacking ideas kindly leave me a comment.

So you can imagine what our household looks like these days.  Among the boxes and packing paper, we have a tree up, although it is a fake one.  Next year we will go back to a real tree.  But this year, we had to keep it simple and pull out the ol’ faker.  The stockings are hung by the chimney with...uh...well...lets just leave it at “they’re hung.”   The word “care” doesn’t apply when they are being taken down, tried on, played with, stuffed with toys from Christmases past and put back up in varying order, multiple times a day!  If they survive Jenna’s constant mauling due to her inability to leave all that jingles and sparkles alone, I will be astonished.

We even managed to sneak in a cookie baking session the other day, just prior to packing up my cookie sheets and mixing bowls.

Speaking of packing, J and I are on top of it.  We have been picking away at the task for weeks now and our garage is steadily filling with an ever growing mountain of packed boxes.

And in light of the packing chaos this year, we have made reservations to eat Christmas dinner out.  This will be a first for us.  I’m usually at home stuffing, then wrestling a turkey into a roaster and making those fancy cross slits in the bottom of each brussels sprout, the purpose of which continues to elude me.  On any given Christmas day I can be found ironing the fancy table cloth and its matching napkins just prior to placing them on the table which is always just prior to dinner being served.  Somehow, I always forget this detail until the very last minute.  But this year someone else is going to take care of these details. I whole-heartedly welcome this break from tradition, in light of all that is going on.  Next year I’m going to do Christmas up right.  The tree will be real.  The cookie baking will involve more than just one recipe.  And the Christmas dinner will be second to none.  But the best part about Christmas next year will be sharing it with my Mom, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew for the first time in too many years.  It’s something I’ve been dreaming about for so long.

The next three weeks should prove to be unbelievably busy with a lot to consider, not the least of which is Jenna’s diabetes.  But through it all I have somehow become even more aware of how lucky we are and I am incredibly thankful.  This seemingly ill-timed move has had a strange, paradoxically calming effect on me.  I have a heightened awareness of what is really important.  We have amazing, supportive and loving family and friends, both here, on Canada’s west coast and back east in my home town.

And the four of us have each other (and our stash of diabetes supplies.)   I don’t need or want for anything more, for I know that wherever we (and the diabetes supplies) are, as long as we are together (with our big box of D-supplies and chilled insulin), that is where home is.


Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

I love how marvelously composed you are. And you're able to get a blog post in there as well!

Enjoy and good luck with this move. I'm looking forward to the D part of the reasoning, but am glad you will be closer to family.

Lastly, thanks for the shout out. Since it was via Nan's blog I was prepared, I'm glad to further the awareness and hopefully spread the "calm" re: glucagon. :)

Renata said...

You are obviously a planner that's why you feel so calm. That way when something unexpected pops up, you will handle it beautifully because everything else is going well.

I wish you all the best in your trip and moving back home. Any kind of move can be stressful.

Alexis Nicole said...

I agree. So calm! Good for you!! I wish you safe move and diabetes give Jenna a break woulda ya!? Kthx. :) if only it was that easy!.....I wrote a blog last week with some of my fav go to snacks. 2 are healthy and no mess. One is Materne Squeez GoGo. Apple sauce in a squeeze container. 15gc no sugar added all natural. Great for low or snacks. Also Zbars by Cliff make awesssssome protein bars specially made for kids! Carbs range 23-27 depending on flavor. Good luck!

Brenda Bell said...

Good low-carb snacks may include string cheese and meat jerky (a bit higher in sodium than one would like - so use in moderation!). Nuts and seeds are lower-carb than fruits, dried fruits, and chips -- so that's also an option. Plan on taking along some no-sugar-added cocoa mix as a portable treat (mix with hot water at a restaurant/rest-stop or in the hotel's in-room coffeemaker). Take advantage of rest stops with indoor playgrounds for the kids to let off that "trapped-in-the-car" steam. Ask the hotel desk clerk if there are some relatively empty corridors for the kids to run up and down and be noisy in.

It's been a few years since I've done a two-day drive -- it was pretty rough on a pair of forty-somethings with non-insulin-dependent Type 2. I remember 8- and 9-hour "going on vacation" drives as a kid, and a lot of fun with the reststops, but I also remember it getting pretty boring in stretches. "Look at the cows! the horsies! the farmhouses! and so on... when almost all we could see were miles and miles of cornfields.

Unknown said...

We just moved across town last Spring and I was a huge stress ball! I am awed by your calm Sherry...and like Renata, I too...think it is b/c you are an organized woman.

As far as the low carb snacks go...I love and Joe loves salami and cream cheese roll-ups. Nuts...pumpkin seeds...popcorn...and as you are already planning crank that basal up,up, up. On flight days with Joe I have to crank him up by 80%! And...that is to keep him in the high 100s and low 200s...UGH.

Good luck with the move. I look forward to hearing about the "adventure" of it all.