I wrote the other day about how fearful Bravo was and about how he would shut down and refuse to try as a young dog. I told you how I used sit to regain his centeredness to try and place to gain mastery of his body, mind, and confidence. He became a guru of both of those words. One day at the beach I ask him to try to place on a rope cable (about 3 in in diameter). After many failures he succeeded in balancing himself on all 4 feet on that rope! I am not sure who was more astonished....him or me. We had a party! When we partied together we didn't care who was watching..because they and time didn't exist anymore. It was just him and I! He would leap over my head in one place and make this high pitched whine or yodel. I would grin! If it was in a location where he was off leash. He would take off running, much like a baby puppy with the butt scooting boogie's. Big ole grin of sheer joy and energy exuding with every leap and bound! He would get about 10 to 15 yards from me and turn and run in a straight line right at me. I would stand ready as he barreled at me at full speed. At the last second I would step in towards him, stop my foot, and say "GOTCH!". He in turn would athletically spin away and race off in other direction and the game would start over again.
The more we worked on the fear, the more he believed in me, the more he transformed to who truly was... A BIG ATHLETIC, GRACEFUL, WISE, AND JOYFUL SOUL. As all that was happening were also turned on his alerting skills and I also was transforming.
With a diagnosis of T1 I truly thought my life was over. All of the things that I once found a lot of joy in I could no longer do because there was no predicatabilty of how that activity would affect my blood glucose. Most of the time it was a adverse low blood glucose. I am not talking a little low....I am talking under 40 and refuse to respond to glucagon kind of lows. The kind of lows that got EMS called if people weren't worried about what I would do if I found out it was them that called. AT that point drs weren't sure why my body was doing what it was doing and had no answers to help....but every one of them was sure "let's do this test, that test, let's hospitalize you. In my humble opinion......I am okay with medicine.....but I am not okay with PRACTICING medicine. You SURE as hell are not going to PRACTICE on me or my body. Death does not frighten me, but practicing medicine sure as hell does! Do no harm.....this won't hurt......I CALL BULL SHIT! Let me do it to you first and let's see how bad it hurts. How many times they would start to do something to me and would say "this won't hurt a bit" or "maybe a little sting"......probably best to not get me started. Cause I always pissed someone off when I retorted, "and you know this how?" or "so you have had this done?" The flip side of that was when I got a newbie that had to draw my blood......I am a awful stick. My veins roll and are generally uncooperative! They would try one arm, then try the other arm, then always call for back up...at which point I would say to them. " Oh no, you are going to keep trying till you get this down" At which point they always replied "but I don't want to hurt you". I would grin and say "YOU REMEMBER THAT....I don't want to hurt you. Sometimes you have to hurt someone first, in order to help them....but don't you EVER lie to them". The older wiser techs in the door way would smile and say, I sure wish everyone was like you.
No lie...my fear of what T1D was doing to my life was huge. Things like hunting that I had always taken for granted became a huge chore. I had a severe low out hunting (used all the low treatment stuff I had with me) and had no clue where I had parked my truck. Thank God Bravo was barking his fool head off in truck! I had another severe low out pheasant hunting with friends. Bravo went from being a pheasant hunting machine to standing in front of me and not letting me move. HE WOULD NOT LET ME MOVE...poor Robert had to walk back to truck for more treatment! I am a stubborn old bird and I hate asking for help....even when I need it. Bravo learned quickly that if he told me and I didn't listen...he had to do more extreme stuff...he amped up his alert. Sometimes he had to face his own fears in order to help....sometimes it was the other way around.
LESSONS FROM BRAVO...THIS ONE WAS A HARD ONE BECAUSE I HAD TO REALIZE THAT AS MUCH AS I HELPED HIM FACE HIS FEARS...........HE HELPED ME FACE MINE. HONESTLY THOSE EARLY YEARS WITH T1D I WAS ON A SLIPPERY LEDGE. HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR BRAVO....THERE WAS MANY A MOMENT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO GIVE UP. FACE YOUR FEARS...ONE SECOND AT A TIME IF NEED BE! IT IS A JOURNEY NOT A RACE!