Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Blessing from despair

I have to admit, it has been a rough few weeks.  You would think that after going through  a pump failure and then getting a new pump shipped to me immediately (great customer service Animas!), things would be going smoothly now.  Not so.  And I think my dashed expectations that things would go smoothly has made this past couple of weeks harder.  But a couple of things have occurred to me that might redeem the frustration.

First, I have learned that I lose hope easily when my blood glucose is high for long periods of time, or repeatedly for shorter times.  There is definitely a correlation between my ability to cope well with diabetes and my blood glucose level.  I think highs hit me harder than lows, strangely enough.  I have said here before that I HATE being high.  It is hard to bring down most highs, and it takes way longer than I want it to.  And, as I have finally learned, the reason it feels so frustrating is that when I’m high, I simply have no perspective to see that things will get better. I’m stuck in the mud of discouragement and am only rescued from it by encouragement of others and/or a restoration of my blood sugar to an in-range level.  (Note: I am using ‘in-range’ because I am trying hard not to consider things ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’.  Labels matter in this disease, believe me.)  Therein is the second of the lessons I have learned recently.  The encouragement of others is incredibly helpful at times that I feel hopeless.  I don’t necessarily respond immediately with cheerful abandon to their kind words, but it does shake me into realizing that the world isn’t completely dark.  Yesterday a good friend shared with me something that really touched me, and it was related to my being a diabetic and sharing that journey with her.  It made me feel that there really is something good coming out of this disease, outside of myself.

Here’s why that was so encouraging to me. Diabetes is a lonely disease.  I only know one other T1D that lives nearby that I can actually get together with and commiserate with. (Shout out to Jane!) While there are others who encourage me along the way, and the diabetes online community (DOC) is definitely a big source of encouragement, they can’t take on the hour to hour attention that diabetes demands. I cannot underestimate their value to me in helping me and supporting me,  but this is a disease I have to deal with on my own, decision after decision, needle poke after needle poke.  So every high or low blood glucose is mine to cope with emotionally, mine to treat, mine to try not to blame myself for.  Choices of what and when to eat or exercise or shop (it’s exercise, believe me!) or sleep are preceded by a whole analysis of what it will do to my blood sugar.  That’s all happening in my head, and no one else can make those decisions for me, as much as I would LOVE to pass those tasks on to someone else.  I think that is part of what had me in a blue funk yesterday, was that feeling of total isolation, even in a sea of people who care about me.

So hearing that I helped someone be better at what they do was a huge blessing.  I need to get out of myself. I need for diabetes not to define me (Thank you Kerri for introducing me to that phrase and that attitude), but instead to be able to take what I learn from living with a chronic, demanding disease and use it to reach into someone else’s life for their good.  If I can do that, it helps make the day by day tedium of diabetes worthwhile.

My desire to see others benefit from what I am dealing with is my way of honoring Christ and not some self-serving exercise.  I’m not perfect at this by any means, but I’m trying. Day by day, dose by dose, needle poke by needle poke.

1 Comment »