Wego Health is going primal today with their Monthly Challenge suggestion: If your health condition was an animal, what would it be? Is it a real animal or make-believe? (This was suggested by a mom of two T1s and cool beans blogger, Christina, who resides over at www.stickwithitsugar.com.)
I purchased a darling little book for the kiddo a few months ago and it’s become a favorite: The Splendid Spotted Snake. It’s a “magic ribbon” book, which means you pay through the nose to have a grosgrain ribbon running through it (the book, not your nose) pretending to be a snake. Adorable and entertaining for bedtime reading or whenever the kid wants to try to pull the ribbon out of the overpriced hardcover.
I don’t think I’m giving the end away when I tell you the very complicated plot. There’s a snake who is born and has one type of spots. Then he grew and the spots change color. And he grew some more. Surprise! A different color. Again. Again. Until finally, the spots get blended. The snake thinks it’s cool. The ended. (And that’s what it says in the book. “The ended.” My husband loves to say that part.)
Diabetes is a splendid spotted snake. You think it’s one thing when you’re diagnosed. Your body adapts and you adapt with it, learning and trying to manage the best you can.
Then you grow a little. (Mentally and physically. In my case, I grew a lot physically and not in the way I wanted.) And all of a sudden, the spots change on the diabetes snake and you’re left holding a cool husk of skin while it slithers off in a different direction. You’re loping after it, wondering what the hell happened as you are changing the way you eat and the amount of insulin you take and how much activity you yet. New spots. New colors. New technology. New analogues. New ways of thinking. You got this covered. Sure. You like these spots. Get used to these spots.
Then you grow some more. And you know that the snake is going to try and pull the wool over your eyes. (OK, snakes don’t grow wool. Sheep do. Baaa.) You’re prepared this time. You see the signs. This snake isn’t as slippery as you thought it would be. But you’re still a little surprised when it changes colors again. You change with it this time, adapting to your new skin and your new routine and learning to serpentine like the best of them.
And then this “splendid spotted snake” does something you don’t expect.
It bites you.
(In the book, the snake is cute. Sweet. Almost cuddly, if you can imagine snuggling up with a reptile.)
Life, unfortunately, is not a children’s book. If that was the case, I would have waved my wand, “expellaramus patronoused!” this cobra out of my body eons ago and gone off to Hogwarts to eat treacle and converse with Headless Nick.
Where was I? Ah, yes…
The nasty little snake bites you. An emergency room trip. The flu. A lab result that accuses you of not doing enough. Complications despite you giving everything you’ve got and more.
The wound inflates, inflames, reddens, and festers. You hurt for a while. You are understandably angry. Pissed. And scrunch-your-eyes-shut scared that this bite will change who you are forever.
But then you realize that you have a basket. A little wicker basket that you’d nonchalantly tossed into a corner. It’s frayed. Stained. Painted a color that the snake, nor Pantone, would never choose as this season’s fashionable choice. You don’t care.
You stuff that snake into it, play a sultry little tune of beeps and boops, and charm the bejeezus out of that little spotted sucker.
You learn you are a snake charmer.
And you are the splendid one.
Except for this picture, just for Christina and Melissa to finally complete a long-winded inside joke. (And for those of you who must click on a link to satisfy your insatiable curiosity. I like your gumption and devil-may-care attitude. Let’s hang out sometime.)