Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Beautiful (?!) Diabetes

on October 22, 2012

I have had to drive from Cincinnati through southern Indiana to eastern Illinois twice lately, and happily for me, the fall colors this year have been particularly beautiful.  It’s really fun to come up over the top of a hill and have a panorama of richly colored trees covering the hills and filling my vision.  This happened time and time again during these trips, so it made a strong impression on me.  First, it supplied the basis for an article for our church newsletter about thankfulness.  It also made me think of diabetes. Yep, really.

Diabetes is a patchwork of colors, just like those hillsides.  Some trees are less beautiful – like the trees whose leaves just turn brown and shrivel up in the fall. The uglier parts of diabetes are part of the picture – lows or highs that won’t go away no matter what I do. Shots.  Daily shots. Counting every carb.  Skipping dessert.  Knowing this disease is not going to go away. Ever.

Then I’d come on a really gorgeous scene – a row of bright yellow trees along a hillside, with the ground covered by those glowing yellow leaves as well.  Knowing that I am exercising regularly, doing all I can to control my blood sugar gives me that kind of satisfaction (occasionally). Encouraging words from my doc, my CDE, friends, others dealing with diabetes.  A pink insulin pump.  Thinking about all that I have experienced since my diagnosis that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

But neither the less-beautiful trees nor the spectacular scenes exist in isolation.  Put together, these form a beautiful collage that brings great pleasure.  The thing that makes these tree-covered hills so beautiful is that there are so many colors, none of which clash.  Purples, greens, orange, reds, yellow, even the brown.  Pretty much every crayon in the 64 color box is there.  Diabetes means I have to use every one of those crayons to complete the picture.  There are all kinds of issues that come up day to day and I have to be ready to pull out whatever crayon it takes, no matter how much I dislike the color.

Then I realized that I have to take a wide-angle view of my diabetes, just like the view I had of the hillsides.  I look at my blood glucose numbers over a longer period of time, say three months or so, rather than a day to day view (technology is a wonderful thing).  That is really helpful.  It’s easy to get discouraged by the day to day stuff, because I tend to remember only the extremes – my BG went really high and stuck there, or I felt really lousy because of a roller-coaster day. But that doesn’t happen everyday, and it all balances out, just like those hillsides filled with trees of all colors.

Best of all, I know who made the trees. He’s the same God who made me, faulty pancreas and all.  That is the most comforting thought of all.  The God who made me has NOT left me to deal with this on my own.  He is with me in it all, and I can see that I have grown over the past almost two years with diabetes.  And so I will rejoice in the beauty that He has created, in the autumn leaves and even in diabetes.



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