The Silver Lining Effect

I’m a moody person, usually greatly affected by hormone levels. But even though I chart this for my own benefit, sometimes when I expect to be down, sad, and irritable, I’m upbeat and hopeful. I call these fortuitous moments because I’m not pulled in by my own confirmation bias. And I’m not intentionally looking for a silver lining, but it’s there like the alarm clock of my cat’s meow at 7am.

This week hasn’t been easy, either. After coming down off the high of traveling for the holidays and consuming way too many sweets, it seems my body is trying to punish me. From a cold to an infection to now a clogged tear gland on my left eye, I wanted to throw up my hands on Monday and go home.

And when I got lost for the tenth time around Dupont Circle (these DC traffic circles are the bane of my directional existence) trying to meet my friend for dinner in 20 degree temperatures, I gave up on this week. But then I got to see my one of my best high school friends who was in town for a series of events for law school.

This is the same friend I had traveled across seas to visit in Paris my junior year of college. Now she was here with me in DC. By the time I hugged her and said goodbye and made the 15-minute trek back to the metro station, I didn’t even grunt about the cold wind and deserted streets.

The following day I woke up to falling snow and two inches piled on the ground. An urgent medical package had been delayed so instead of working from home like I planned to, I decided to make the 10-minute walk to work.


As soon as I stepped outside, I realized the snow was grounded in ice. Stupidly, I thought I could get away with my tall black boots with one inch heels I usually wore in the rain. Five minutes out, after slipping and sliding, I turned around and walked back home.

I put on my snow boots and packed my other boots in my World Market reusable bag. As I was crossing the snow covered street, also closed due to construction, across from my apartment complex, I stepped over the median, but slipped on the ice beneath and came tumbling down.

Right in front of the construction crew, of course, with my ass in the air. But fortunately, my bags landed upright, and I only cursed as I stood back up. It didn’t seem like I had any injuries, but I would feel the bruised tailbone later. Of course, as soon as I made it into the office, an email was sent out at 9am saying the office was closed.

But having fallen once, I stayed the course and was soon joined by other coworkers already on their way. It was like any other day, and I left at 2:30pm for an eye doctor appointment on behalf of my clogged tear gland. The sidewalks, for the most part, had been cleared, but the slush and water hanging out on the curbsides had frozen into giant blocks of ice. It became a mere jumping game to make it safely to my appointment.

Eyeing the A1C

Once there, while waiting, I heard the medical assistant complain of her blood sugar being off that day. I thought it was weird, but then thought some people have an idea of low and high blood sugar levels even if they don’t know the gritty minutiae it entails.

My doctor greeted me, a short, small middle-aged man with a friendly high-pitched voice. As we went over my paperwork, he noted the diabetes, and I gave him my usual doctor office response.

“Yeah, I’m a Type 1, but my A1C is usually between 5.5 and 5.7.”

“Wow, how do you get it so low? I don’t think mine has ever been 5.5.” Wait, this is an eye doctor – how does he know about A1Cs? I guess it’s possible, but then when he asked what I use for insulin, and I told him about my pump, he then asked which one I had.

“Me, too,” he said. “Do you have the sensor?” Suddenly, I was in awe. Not only did this doctor understand my vision problems, but he understood my diabetes, too. He was a Type 1, just like me, and obviously had many more years of experience with it. We continued to chat about sensors and blood sugar levels before addressing the reason for my visit.

Even though his expertise may be no different than any other optometrist, I trusted his judgment more. For the first time in my life, a physician completely understood the ticking clock inside of me. I smiled at the medical assistant on my way out.

Assume Plank Position

That evening, even though I was still bruised from my snow wipeout, I decided I needed to do something active. This is unusual for my winter hibernating self. I didn’t run the two-week course of the holidays, and when I attempted to run on Sunday in 60-degree temps, I felt my legs languid. So last night’s power yoga and an extension of my physical therapy exercises seemed most appropriate.

But as much as I try, I suck at yoga. I never keep at it enough to achieve the flexibility I need to master the poses. It must be a constant effort on my part to maintain that flexibility. But boy did I feel amazing afterwards … and exhausted. I went to bed early.

And finally started my New Year’s resolution: wake up every weekday morning at 7am to write for an hour before heading into work.

Here’s to not falling on my ass today.



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