Monday, December 29, 2014

The Chase

The increased sound of our pursuers crashing through the brush behind us meant two things.  First, they were getting closer and second, stealth was no longer a concern for them.  That last thought sent a chill through me that had nothing to do with the bitter cold.  If they were no longer concerned about being heard then they no longer planned to take us alive.  The fear nearly stopped me in my tracks, but the empath chose that moment to grab my hand and give me a quick smile.  I realized that she wasn’t any less scared that I was.  She just wasn’t letting it slow her down.  I decided I wouldn’t let it either.  Now the cold was a different matter.

The empath looked over her shoulder and said to the warrior, “We’ve got to find someplace to hide and rest soon.  She’s not going to last much longer in this cold.”

“At this pace we will be at the border in just over an hour.  We can rest then,” he replied gruffly.

“I’m telling you if we don’t rest and warm up soon, we’ll be carrying her the rest of the way.”

“Fine.  I will scout ahead for a suitable hiding place.  Keep up this pace so you do not lose sight of me,” he said with a pointed look at me.

Despite the growing attraction I was feeling for the warrior, he infuriated me.  Did he think I was slowing them down on purpose?  That I enjoyed freezing to death?  That I asked to be kidnapped by people I didn’t know and for reasons I didn’t comprehend?  He was an arrogant bully.  But why was I drawn to him?

I looked up when I realized that the empath was talking to me and I hadn’t responded.  She smiled and repeated what I’d missed.  “Don’t worry.  We’ll get you to safety and then we can explain everything.”  I tried to smile back, but I was so cold that my teeth were chattering.  She was right, I wasn’t going to last much longer.  My feet and legs were numb and felt like they were made of lead.  My hands and face had been numb for even longer.

At that moment the warrior circled back to us.  “If we can put a bit more distance between us and them, I’ve found a place that we can hide for a few hours.”  With determination, I picked up my pace and followed him.  I was going to make it out of this alive.  I had things I still wanted to do.  Maybe not big, important things, but things that mattered to me.  I still hadn’t perfected my grandmother’s gumbo recipe.  I hadn’t eaten near enough chocolate chip cookies while they were still warm from the oven.  And I’d never been in love.  Not truly in love.

I was so deep in my thoughts that I ran right into the warrior’s back when he’d paused to make sure we were keeping up.  “I appreciate your willingness to keep up, but please keep your mind on the task at hand so you can avoid knocking me over.”  Before I could stop it my sarcastic reply escaped, “I don’t think it’s possible for me to knock you down even with a bulldozer.”  His puzzled look reminded me that he was not from Earth and had no clue what I meant.  The giggle I heard from the empath let me know that even though she wasn’t from Earth either she knew what I was talking about.

Peering around him, I saw that our path was now up a steep incline.  “Are we climbing?” I asked, but didn’t wait for an answer.  Those few seconds of standing still had made my legs begin to shake.  We were much closer to my collapsing than I wanted either of them to know.  After his curt affirmative response, the empath moved quickly past me and began helping me climb.  I looked up and noticed the opening of a cave.  “Are we headed for that cave?” I asked.  “No, that is too obvious,” he replied.  And I guessed he was right since I’d spotted it right away.  “Make your way to the right of the rock face,” he instructed.  Once we did, the wind felt less harsh and I nearly sighed in relief.

We came to a group of tall vegetation when he announced, “We will hide here.”  I looked around and decided that our definitions of hiding were more different than they were alike.  As I turned my questioning face his way, he pointed at the ground.  “There is a crevasse in the rock that is wide enough for two people to lie down in.  I will stand guard.”  I found I was too cold to object to crawling into such a small space and once the empath had crawled in across from me, it didn’t seem quite so frightening. 

My teeth were still chattering and I was about to let them know that I didn’t seem to be warming up when the warrior said in a low growl, “You must keep quiet.  They are nearing our position.”  Before I could reply, the empath whispered, “She cannot help it.  She’s not warming up and that sound is her teeth chattering.  If I concentrate I can feel if they get too near.  In the meantime, we could use your body’s higher temperature to warm her up quicker.”

“I do not think that will be necessary,” the warrior began before the empath cut him off.  “Do not make me pull rank.  Just get in here.”  I felt a sudden rush of panic as I realized that he would need to lie behind me.  I didn’t want to be that close to him.  I was sure that it wouldn’t be good for my peace of mind.  Too late I realized that the empath could probably tell exactly how I was feeling.  I glanced up and she met my look with one of her caring smiles.  “Don’t worry.  We’ll be safe soon and I’ll help you make sense of all that has happened.”

The warrior chose that moment to slide down into the crevasse.  The sudden warmth behind me made me gasp.  “Did I injure you?” he asked with more concern than I thought possible and began to run his hand up and down my arm.  It took me a few moments to be able to respond, “No.  Your body heat just startled me.”

“I did not realize that you were so susceptible to the cold,” he said as he worked his arm underneath me, pulled me back against him, and wrapped his arms around me.  I couldn’t help but sigh as I settled into the warmth of his body.  It was beginning to feel like I would never be warm again.  I must have been feeling much warmer than I thought because I actually drifted off.  As I resurfaced from sleep, I could hear them talking quietly.

“I no longer sense them close by.  Once they searched the cave, they moved off in the general direction we were heading,” the empath whispered.  “Apparently the cave was too obvious,” I quipped and I thought I actually felt the warrior smile.  “Indeed,” was all he had to offer.

“Does that mean we need to get moving again?” I asked.  “No, I think we can stay here a bit longer,” he replied and then added, “Try to sleep a bit more to build up your strength.”  He must have moved his head as he said that last part because his breath on my neck made me shiver and I could feel goosebumps pop up on my arms.  The warrior pulled me tighter against his body.  “Are you getting cold again?” he asked with concern.  I was grateful that it was too dark for anyone to see me blush.  “No, I’m fine,” I replied but I knew it was going to harder to fall back asleep this time.

But apparently not impossible because the next thing I knew the warrior was whispering in my ear, “You must wake up now.  It is time for us to get moving again.”  I was loath to leave the warmth, but ready to have this over with.  I had no clue what those people wanted with me, but I was thankful for the help of the warrior and empath.  I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes without them.

We crawled out of our hiding place, worked our way down the rock face we had climbed up, and then continued our journey to the border.  The border of what I had absolutely no clue, but navigating was not my job.  Surviving this ordeal was my one and only job.  I must have been distracted because too late I heard the warrior growl at the same time the empath yelled, “Look out!”

Before I knew what had happened someone that was no more than a blur had grabbed me and began to take me away from my new friends at a very high rate of speed.  All I could do was scream and pound my fists on the back of whoever had grabbed me.  I looked up to see the warrior and the empath running as fast as they could after us, but we were quickly pulling away from them.  “NO!” I yelled as loud as I could as everything went black.

I came to suddenly and found myself in my own bed, alone.  It couldn’t have been a dream.  It felt too real.  In fact, I could still feel the lingering heat of the warrior.  I reached for my phone where I had left it on the nightstand and I checked the date.  It was two day earlier than the date in my dream.  So was it really a dream, albeit a very realistic one, or was it a vision.  And if it was a vision, I only had two days to either keep it from happening or prepare myself for it if I couldn’t avoid it.

Even though it was still dark outside, I decided I’d have enough sleep for one night.  I needed to run some errands and make some plans.  Damsel in distress was so not my speed.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The View

I woke up in bed alone, but he hadn't been gone long because his side of the bed was still warm.  I slid out of bed and went in search of him.  As I rounded the corner of the hall, I found him staring out the window.  We'd rented this cabin because of its wonderful view of the mountains.  He seemed entranced by the sight of the sun coming up over those mountains, but I was mesmerized by the sight of him.  Just looking at him could make my heart do backflips in my chest.  The sun turning his hair the almost golden colour it had when we first met nearly brought me to tears. 

Over the last few months, I'd begun to regret not having children when I was younger.  Especially now that I wasn't able to have them.  But seeing him at that moment made me realize that he was the only man I'd ever want to give children.  I would have loved to give him a baby girl with his golden curls and my gray eyes, but by the time he'd come into my life children were no longer an option.

Suddenly a weight that I hadn't known was there lifted and that regret I'd felt just faded away.  There was frost on the window he was looking out of, but the cold couldn't touch me despite my bare feet and thin nightgown.  I felt warmed from within like the sun was also rising in heart and melting everything that wasn't love and happiness.

I don't know if I made a sound or if he suddenly felt me watching him, but he turned around.  His face lit up with a smile as he said, "Honey, it's too cold for you to be wandering around like that.  You should crawl back into bed."  I smiled and replied, "Only if you come with me."  He chuckled and said, "Well that was always the plan, now wasn't it?"  I giggled as we walked back to the bedroom to warm up again under the covers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Better Late Than Never

When you live with more than one chronic condition, sometimes things can snowball and you end up buried beneath an avalanche of issues, doctor’s visits, self-care, and tasks you meant to do but didn’t.  Sadly, one of those things for me was Diabetes Blessings Week hosted by my friend Mike Durbin over at My Diabetic Heart.

It’s not that Mike had specifically asked me to participate (it’s an open invitation) or that I’d promised I would.  It’s that I was still a bit too shy to participate last year, but really wanted to.  Having a bit more free time this year due to a company-wide furlough this week, it should have been easy to fit into my lack of schedule.  Then life happened.

Here it is Tuesday.  Mike casually mentions it during a conversation and it slowly dawns on me that I’ve let another thing slip through my fingers.  Yet another chance to advocate that I let pass me by.  Nearly.

So with determination (and possibly a bit of stubbornness), I pause the craft video I’m watching on YouTube, set my craft supplies aside, and get Pandora going.  Time to see what this crazy brain of mine can crank out when I tell it to instead of just when it wants to.

What do I come up with?  No clue, but we’re about to find out together.  So buckle your seatbelts because this is bound to be one crazy ride.  Providing of course that Pandora doesn’t throw yet ANOTHER Taylor Swift song into my mix and try to derail my train of thought.

So I’m supposed to write about blessings, specifically those related to diabetes.  I’ll be honest, my first thought is “WTFructose?  Diabetes sucks!” and it does.  But just like nothing is all good, nothing is all bad either.  I dig deeper and see a faint light shining in the distance.  A bright spot amongst the endless numbers for blood glucose levels, carb counts, A1c’s, units of insulin, and the never ending cost of what feels like the million tools it takes just to keep me alive.

As I move towards that glimmer of something that feels like it’s made of hope, love, and support, I feel myself growing lighter and lighter.  The fears, doubts, and insecurities that crowd me begin to fall to the ground like the changing leaves of autumn.  My steps are buoyed by anticipation and my pace quickens.

I enter the outer reaches of the glow and instantly feel warmed from the inside out.  My nerve endings begin to tingle in a way that makes me think I’ve begun to glow on my own.  My smile widens as I take what feels like my first unencumbered breath in years.  Moving closer I feel it envelope me like a loving embrace and I know I’ve found that silver lining I was looking for.
You might be wondering what I’ve found and I will be glad to tell you.  What I’ve found is support, love, understanding, and empowerment.  We affectionately refer to it as the DOC.  The Diabetes Online Community.  A group of diabetics of all types, caretakers of diabetics, and loved ones of diabetics.  Basically, people who get it.  Where you can talk about diabetes without explaining WHAT diabetes really is first.

We are patients, children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, siblings, newbies, veterans, advocates, lurkers, bloggers, tweeters, non-profit workers, family and friends, but mostly we are just people, who happen to be connected by diabetes.  We are the light that makes the darkness retreat, taking with it the fear and doubt.  We are the hand held out to strangers and friends who need comfort.  We are the human connection that keeps all of us strong and moving forward.  We are the voice of advocacy and the cry for change that keeps diabetes from becoming a truly invisible disease.  We are love, caring, understanding, support, & kindness.  We are the DOC.

And that is a LOT to be thankful for.  Thanks for coming along.  I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My BFF Is A Published Author!!!

I cannot even begin to express how wonderful this book is. And not just because David Emprimo is my bestest friend. He is a VERY talented author with a wonderful imagination. Do yourself a favor & go buy this ebook. I promise you won’t regret it. :)

Thanks! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Monday, September 24, 2012

Diabetes Art Day 2012

Today is Diabetes Art Day & this is my submission. The background is something I digitally "painted" a while back. The blue circle is the symbol for Diabetes. I painted all of the bottles & stuff with a black paint pen then took a picture of them. My co-worker who is a Photoshop Goddess helped me merge the two (Thanks again, Sasha Whitney-Hayes!!!) & then I added the words.

Last year was my first time to participate & it was an amazing experience. So amazing that it actually gave me the courage to go to my first diabetes meet-up. Thanks, Lee Ann Thill!!! Your creativity is contagious! :)

Want to know more about Diabetes Art Day or see more submissions?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Poetry...

dangerous game

i am your once in a lifetime
your one last, best chance
at true happiness
and you are mine
but if you walk out that door
i won’t be here when you get back
you can’t make the rules
then break them to suit you
this is a dangerous game
you are playing with our hearts
by the time you realize it
you’ll be alone and unhappy
and i’ll have moved on
getting over you won’t be easy
knowing it was never my fault
will dull the edges of my broken heart
maybe even let me live again
but love is too dangerous a game
for me to ever play again


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Aftermath of Lucky Number 7

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr then you know that Friday I was at the hospital for another blood transfusion.  My seventh since December and I have to say it is really getting old. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am very grateful to have this option open to me.  Without the transfusions, who knows if I'd even be alive today.  My hematologist doesn't think I would be.  He's a not just a good doctor.  He's a great doctor, so I believe him.  Still, it's not a thought I like to entertain for long.

The transfusions themselves are relatively easy & mostly pain free.  I go to the hospital the day before to pre-register and have blood drawn for a type & cross-type.  After this many transfusions, I've developed several anti-bodies in my blood.  The blood bank has to match those anti-bodies carefully or I could have a serious reaction to the blood.  I'm O+, but usually get O- blood because the anti-bodies I have are more common in O- blood.

The next morning I report to hospital registration and someone from the Day Surgery unit comes to get me.  That's where I spend the day because getting two units is an all-day endeavor.  And lately I visit the Wound Care Clinic first for my ankle wound before going to Day Surgery.

The nurses get me settled, we go over the medications I've taken in the last week, and they take my vital signs.  Then the fun really begins because it's time to insert the IV needle.  Unfortunately the needle for a blood transfusion is larger because blood is thicker than IV fluid.  I won't sugar coat it.  This part hurts.  They give me a local anesthetic, but that can only do so much.  We've discovered in the midst of all this that I have a lot of valves in my veins and that just adds to the pain.

For the most part, once the needle is in & the IV is hooked up to it, the pain goes away.  Some locations will ache for a while after.  Some will ache the whole time.  All of them will bruise pretty badly a few days after the transfusion.  One of the hazards of being pale and having a low platelet count.

Once the IV is set, the nurse will go get the first unit of blood.  It will be given slowly over three hours.  For the first hour, the nurse will take my blood pressure & temperature every 15 minutes to insure they catch an adverse reaction right away.  After we're sure there are no reactions, I usually get breakfast and start watching television.

Instead of a hospital bed, they fix me up in a big recliner.  And I spend my day watching HGTV and Food Network.  They feed me lunch too.  The nurses are super sweet and they spoil me.  Also, heated blankets FTW!!!  Man do I love those because I'm usually cold these days.

After the first unit is done, they unhook me from the IV so they can change all the tubing.  I get a shot of Lasix to avoid any fluid collecting and I get up to move around a little.  Mostly I just go to the bathroom, rejoicing in being untethered.  Then the nurse comes back with the second unit of blood and we start the procedure again.  Except for the needle part.  That stays put to minimize my discomfort.

When the second unit is done, the nurse begins unhooking everything and removing the needle.  Low platelets sometimes makes this a tricky or messy task.  At this point, she usually watches a bit of television with me while she puts pressure on the IV site for about 10 minutes.  Then I have to hang around for another round of blood pressure and temperature checks.  Usually a half hour to an hour.

On a good day I'm out of there around four.  On a not so good day it is sometimes after six.  Those are really long days.  Made longer by the fact that I will wake up several times during the night with very painful leg cramps.  The best we can figure it's a combination of sitting in pretty much the same position all day and the sodium and potassium I lose because of the diuretic.  I'm prone to leg cramps anyway.

The next day I'm usually pretty tired.  It's amazing how worn out you can get from sitting all day long.  Usually I'm at work the next day.  I've missed so much work this year that I push myself to get back the very next day.  This does not make my hematologist happy, but I hate missing work.

This time I had the weekend to recover, but it sure made the weekend seem short.  Here's hoping this one lasts for a couple months at least.  I'm really tired of doing this whole transfusion song & dance.  Anyone care to cut in?