Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Self centered? Who, me?

I had a disturbing insight this morning. Diabetes has turned me in on myself.  This has two implications that I am not really happy about.

First, living with T1D means that some part of my brain is always consumed by tending to the needs of my body.  As a result I find that I do not think about the needs of other people as quickly as I would like to.  I want to see myself as someone who is quick to care for and act on behalf of others.  But honestly some days (cough, today, cough) I am so tied up with dealing with how diabetes is making me feel physically and what my blood sugar is doing as a result, that I cannot see the needs of others.  I don’t like this.

Secondly, I find that I am quick to condemn myself, as if every high or low blood sugar is my fault.  Sometimes the excursions of my blood sugar into the stratosphere or down to the depths are definitely the result of a bad decision. But I did NOT cause my pancreas to shut down.  So while I can do some things to manage this disease, mostly it is a crap shoot.  For a number of days last week, I was living in lala land, not lada land.  My blood sugars looked beautiful for entire 24 hour periods.  I wasn’t being particularly virtuous about exercising or eating better. It just happened.  But then there were 2-3 days of sticking at over 220, coming down briefly into range, and then taking off again into the heights.  and today has just been a roller coaster, coupled with nausea. I have no idea what caused any of these things.  But my tendency is to blame myself, and I don’t think that is a very good idea either.

So how to escape this force of T1D to turn inward?  I wish I knew.  I do know I need to be intentional about caring for others. I need to go into times with friends with the aim of finding out how THEY are doing, and expressing my concern and offering help where I can. I cannot save everyone from all their pain, but I also don’t want to be so wrapped up in dealing with my own challenges that I miss  the opportunity to use what I have learned to help someone else. I have learned a lot from this disease, and even though I would be perfectly happy to be cured tomorrow, I am grateful for those lessons. I think I have some valuable experience to share with others, not just those with diabetes.  But I have to get my eyes off of me to do so.