Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Most Beautiful Diabetes Puzzle

There is one place in the house where I let my mind wander...the shower. In the early days after diagnosis, I spent many moments standing there, letting the hot water spray across my face and splash away the tears falling from my eyes. The tears of frustration, anger, sadness....they have still occured randomly over the past almost 5 years...but they are definitely less than the amount that washed down the drain in those first few weeks. I have spent many moments standing there, trying to wake myself up for the day and shake off the remnants of another sleepless night due to wonky blood sugars. Standing there feeling the hot water soothe my tired eyes, my weary shoulders, my aching head. I have spent countless moments standing there, thinking....thinking of this life and this community that we have been a part of all these years. This morning is a prime example of one of those moments.

I stood there thinking about how the diabetes community is sort of like a huge puzzle. I don't mean one of those easy 100 piece rectangular shaped ones....I'm talking the big jobs...the 1000+ piecers that wind up forming some odd dragon shape when you are finished. When you first open the box and dump all the pieces out on the table in front of's doubt your ability to even be able to find two matching pieces, let alone complete the entire thing! So, you glance at the picture on the box and know that you want to do want to finish it so you can feel that sense of accomplishment and get to see the masterpiece at the end. You begin by flipping each piece right side up, so you can see the section of the picture on each tiny oddly shaped piece. If you're like me, you then search for the corner experience has always taught me that it's easier to find the middle if you have the frame set up first.

Did you read that last sentence? Did it hit you like it hit me when I thought of it?

It's easier to find the middle, if you have the frame set up first.

Managing diabetes uses the exact same concept for me. When I was first told that my daughter had type 1 diabetes, I was lost...overwhelmed...doubted my abilities. Then, I discovered the diabetes community...I flipped over my puzzle pieces so I could see the snippits of the big picture....I made friends...felt the bond...asked questions and learned from them. I am still learning from them. I set up my frame. My frame is solid.

All of these years later, I am still searching for and finding pieces to the middle of the puzzle. Each one of us is a puzzle piece for another. Be it doctors, nurses, dieticians, social workers, endos, teachers, family members, friends, or pets and alert dogs. We are all pieces in the puzzle. We are all unique individuals...beautiful and strong on our own. When placed together, side by side...our curves and edges interlocking with one another...we form the most incredible puzzle imaginable. As one solid masterpiece, we can withstand anything...and we will.


  1. We are spectacular puzzle pieces and together we make an amazing & powerful mosaic!
    Beautiful post!!

  2. More than 20 yrs later, I still remember crying in the shower before running back to Children's Hospital (type 1 diagnosis meant a full week stay back then!). You captured both the poignancy of those early days and the tangible accomplishments, as each D family "constructs" its own puzzle. The beauty of the DOC is that the learning curve is expedited when one isn't "filling in" the picture alone. Bravo!