Relaxation on My Mind

Can you imagine being not quite five years old and going to Walt Disney World — and then for a cruise on Disney’s newest ship — with two grandmas?

OK, one isn’t Ryan’s real grandmother (that would be me), but I did take care of him when he was a baby, so I count myself in as a special person in his life. I’m too old to be his Auntie, so I’ll just have to be his “Granny Janny.”

I go back a bit with his family. His real grandmother, Peggy, was this area’s labor market analyst with the state’s Department of Workforce Development when I was a business reporter for the newspaper, so we interacted a bit. After I left the newspaper, we became friends. Her daughter, Sarah (Ryan’s mother), was my grandchildren’s babysitter when they were here and my husband and I had to go out. Then, as I said, I watched Ryan a day or two a week when he was an infant. He even did a little teething on my insulin pump[1].


Anyway, I’ve had so much fun traveling with my grandchildren I decided Peggy should have the same experience. So I talked her into a Disney cruise. Because I’ve been there, done that — several times — and Peggy has never been on a cruise, I offered to go along and help.

Hey, it’s the least I could do.

I do owe Peggy. She’s the one who started me on the path to good diabetes control.

Shortly after I started on insulin, we were having lunch and I shared my frustration at still having blood glucose that bounced around all over the place. It was then she told me that Sarah had Type 1 diabetes[2] and went to an endocrinologist in Indianapolis.

Heck, I didn’t even know what an endocrinologist was. But, by the time I got back to my office, Peggy had faxed information to me, including the phone number of the practice Sarah went to. I immediately called and made an appointment.

It was one of the best luncheons I ever had. The endocrinologist knew more about insulin dosage than my family practice doctor did. Plus, the place had wonderful CDEs[3], who began my learning process.

Sometimes I wonder if the answer to good — or at least halfway decent — control is a function of will or of knowledge. I think mine is a combination: Gaining knowledge gave me the will to want to maintain control. Plus, it’s easier to control something if you know how it works.

So I’m having fun planning for a trip that isn’t until February. I’m not sure what I like the most, however: planning a trip or going on a trip. I’m also looking forward to seeing things through the eyes of a little one. My “babies” are now 17 and almost 19 years old. Cruise ships are also very relaxing.

But that’s in the future. In the here and now, I’m now on two IV antibiotics. That’s five times a day I hook myself up to a container of antibiotics. It’s a wonder I get anything else done.

On the relaxation front, however, I’m on a roll. There’s a huge maple tree in the corner of my backyard. Before the wind blew the privacy fence down, I would consider creating a little “secret garden” in the shade under the tree. My husband doesn’t want a full privacy fence back up, but has no objection to enclosing one corner.

In my backyard is a trailer with some privacy fencing, some pavers, and a bench. In a couple of days, I’ll have a little sitting area with a bench and a table under the tree where I can read and contemplate nature or something.

Besides, relaxation is good for lowering blood glucose. And that’s something I can always use.

  1. insulin pump:
  2. Type 1 diabetes:
  3. CDEs:

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Jan Chait: Jan Chait was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January 1986. Since then, she has run the gamut of treatments, beginning with diet and exercise. She now uses an insulin pump to help treat her diabetes. (Jan Chait is not a medical professional.)

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