Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Jekyll and Hyde

The last couple of weeks have been, um, well, diabetically challenging.  Highs have been really high and stuck for hours up there, and there have been a couple of scary lows as well as just too many garden variety lows.  These roller coaster days leave me sluggish, nauseous and just generally pretty cranky and self-absorbed.  In the midst of it all, I don’t see these things clearly. All I know is that I feel very sorry for myself and want it to go away and let me get on with my life, preferably with a functioning pancreas. (I can dream, can’t I?)

Of course, life doesn’t stop when diabetes rages seemingly with a plan of its own.  I keep exercising (most of the time), working and doing all of the other things expected of me.  Deep down though, I am not myself. I can only see that now, as I am coming out of this fog.  I had lunch today with the one person who probably understands best what my journey with diabetes is like, and I realized that over the past couple of weeks, she has seen some of the worst of me. The self-pity, the self-recrimination, the perfectionism that leads only to frustration. It’s not pretty and I’m not proud of it, but I must admit, it is truly wonderful to have a friend who sees all that and still considers me a friend.  I am grateful and incredibly blessed.  I only pray that I can reciprocate in some measure.

I feel different today.  I think I am more myself. I feel stronger, happier.  I don’t like who I am when diabetes is in control.  But I think I understand why it happens.  It is the difference between saying that I trust God to do what is best in my life and really living that out. In my head I know He is sufficient to pull me through those rough days and nights, and to change my attitude from one of self-pity to one of thanksgiving.  Even as I write that, I am amazed to think that that is possible.  But it is.  I cannot be a fair weather Christian, faithful only when my blood sugar cooperates with my efforts to control it.  If I trust Him in the easy times, I must also trust Him in the hard ones.

This is not an emotional thing. It is Truth that I need to hang onto for dear life.  I’m praying that in the days ahead, when things go wacky with diabetes again (and I know they will) or when any other trial comes into my life, I will be quicker to do whatever I need to do to remind myself of His sufficiency. Of His love for me. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde need to run to the Cross and embrace the truth of the Gospel. Not wallow in the mud of self-pity.

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This has been a really tough week.  Blood sugars have been higher than I would like, and really, really high at times.  Some of it has been my fault, some of it has been unexplainable.  And just to frustrate me a bit more, my Dexcom is now buzzing that I am low, shortly after eating dinner.

I want to be done with diabetes.  I am tired, weak, headachy, on the edge of tears (and have given in to them several times today), and now am starting to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar.  I should be talking to myself in much healthier ways, reminding myself that God’s strength is mine, and that He is sufficient for these feelings of complete inadequacy.  If I were counseling myself, I would tell me that I am making an idol of perfect management of diabetes and need to give it up.

I listened to one of my favorite Keith and Kristyn Getty hymns on the way home this evening, and need to keep the words in my head:

My heart is filled with thankfulness 
To Him who walks beside, 
Who floods my weaknesses with strength 
And causes fears to fly, 
Whose every promise is enough 
For every step I take, 
Sustaining me with arms of love, 
And crowning me with grace.*
Is every promise enough for every step I take? Today it hasn’t been. And it’s not His fault.  It’s my unwillingness to give up wallowing in my unhappiness and weariness.  I know in my head that every promise IS enough. Last night I taught that very thing to a group of women. And here I sit, the worst example of living out the very truth that I teach.  But hoping that tomorrow will be better.
That’s all I’ve got today. I can only admit honestly that I am not always good at coping with the daily battles that God has given me to deal with.  This week is proof of that.
*Keith Getty and Stuart Townend; © 2003 Thankyou Music (adm. worldwide at EMICMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Kingswaysongs, a division of David C Cook tym@kingsway.co.uk)
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“Tweeting” diabetes

I am not a twitter person, but I often think is twitter-like ways. So I thought I would just do a list of random thoughts related to diabetes that have come to me recently. Nothing too profound, just observations on day to day life with T1D.

  • Insulin really doesn’t smell all that good.  Think rubber tires crossed with band-aids.
  • Apparently standing around talking to people or walking slowly for an hour or so makes my blood sugar go up.  But it makes me feel like an old woman to sit down. Talk about a catch 22…..
  • I  love that when I have to test my blood sugar twice to calibrate my CGM (which I do by testing from a finger from each hand), my new glucose meter (a Verio  IQ) comes up with 2 numbers that are very close together.  Yeah, I know, this is totally trivial, but I take joy in the small things now.
  • Cinnamon does not cure diabetes.
  • Really, nothing cures diabetes. Darn.
  • I am beginning to think that eating ice cream (other than Graeter’s) isn’t worth the trouble.   I just stay too high for too long. Graeter’s however, is totally bolus-worthy and for some reason, doesn’t affect me the same way as other ice creams. Weird.
  • Pizza is also rarely worth the aggravation. Except Dewey’s.
  • I’m glad to be swimming again.  I feel better for doing it consistently, and I have made some wonderful new friends as a result. And, it’s good for my overall control of blood sugar.  Which makes it worth the day to day aggravations of never knowing if I’m going to go low after swimming.
  • I still find it ironic that after not really using my degrees in Nutrition for years, I now live immersed in a lot of the stuff I learned way back then.  I’m grateful and yet frustrated by this.
  • I am incredibly thankful for people who care enough about me that they bug me about taking care of myself. Please don’t stop.
  • I am also incredibly thankful for good healthcare providers. Really, the BEST healthcare providers I could want.  They are friends, not just good at what they do.
  • Every once in a while, I test my blood sugar and it’s exactly 100.  This makes me ridiculously happy.  Is this a throw-back to getting 100s in school? Perhaps.  It just feels like a target that I don’t hit very often now.
  • Shopping at places like Sam’s Club and Meijer makes me go low. Almost every time.  So yeah, I have to carb up to go shopping.
  • It’s a bad idea to change out my insulin pump when my blood sugar is low. It takes twice as long because I am really clumsy and thick headed, and one of these times, I’m going to break something important.
  • Strong emotions, whether frustration, sadness or happiness almost always make my blood sugar go up.  This really just aggravates the whole situation.
  • Diabetes is a curse. And a blessing. And something I will be living with from now on without a break.  I don’t let this thought haunt me too often.  It’s too depressing.
  • Mostly, I am thankful for what diabetes is teaching me.  I’m trying to be a good student.
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