Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes


A good friend suggested this topic for my blog today. At first I wasn’t sure I could find my way with it but the more I think about the more I realize that word – change – has certainly been the key word of my life recently.

A lot of this change has been good. I have grown spiritually, and I am so thankful for that. I have been challenged to look deeply within myself, and especially at the way I deal with the ups and downs of diabetes. What I have seen isn’t pretty. Frustration, anger, hopelessness – not something that should characterize the life of someone who claims to live as a Christian. So I am working on this, with the Spirit’s help, taking thoughts captive and letting God’s Word rule my heart, not the emotion-of-the-minute. It’s good. Really good. I’m not perfect at it by any means, but I’m growing.

But some of the change is more of a challenge. I went back to taking a medication I had been on before with hopes of flattening out some of the roller-coasters in my blood sugar numbers (and hoping it would also help me lose weight). This time on the med was a disaster. Nausea, exhaustion, crazy numbers at night – it was a mess. So I gave up after a month and things are improving. But it was disappointing, as changes often are. I had high hopes of making my life easier with fewer highs and lows. But apparently that med was not the way that was going to happen.

And of course there are the constant changes that characterize life with T1D. A CDE asked me yesterday what the biggest challenge of diabetes is for me. I actually laughed when she asked, and said “I have to choose one?”. But finally I said “Unpredictability”. At the moment, my BG was sitting at 275, after being below 100 most of the day. I was frustrated by how long it was taking that high to come down, especially since I had no idea what had caused it in the first place. The moment by moment changes in blood sugar blow me away sometimes. On a good day, I can look at it and marvel at how incredible the human body is when it works to keep blood sugar in range all the time. When you have to be your own pancreas, you develop a great appreciation for physiological processes that regulate things like blood glucose so precisely without my even having to think about it.  I can’t keep my BG in range for more than a few hours at a time, but a living breathing pancreas just does it all the time with no problem. And so when I look at now changeable my blood sugar is every day, it is hard not to wish for the good old days when my beta cells worked.

I also have been feeling like my body is betraying me. First it turns on itself and kills off my beta cells, bringing diabetes into my life. And now my knee is shot, and I am looking at knee replacement in early May. And all through this, for the last six months or so, I have just felt so tired. Like someone pulled a plug and it drained me of energy that isn’t coming back. I am not resigned to just saying this is inevitable. I want to fight back against these changes and take charge. I know the beta cells aren’t coming back, barring a miracle or a cure. I am hopeful that a new knee will restore some of the energy that is now being sucked away by dealing with that pain.

Nothing in our lives is static. If it weren’t diabetes in my life bringing the challenge, no doubt it would be something else. Mostly I like change. I grew up as an Air Force kid, and moved around a lot. I liked that life, and get a little antsy if things are static for too long. But what I have realized is that I prefer the change that I choose, not the change that God chooses to bring into my life. And that is my growing edge.