Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Sabbatical twists

Life is unpredictable.  I started sabbatical with thoughts of long unstructured days that would be pretty much at my disposal to do whatever I wanted.  Ha!  If only……

Don’t get me wrong, it has been wonderful to take a step away from my usual life and enjoy the slower pace of living in the country.  Just the environment has caused me to relax.  But, God does have  a way of de-railing my plans.

My Dad, who has been struggling with dementia for the better part of at least 15 years, took a sudden turn for the worse a few weeks ago and after a little over a week, he passed away peacefully. My two brothers and I were there with my mom, and I am so thankful that I was close by through his hospitalization and then transfer to hospice care.  God knew the timing, and He was so obviously present all during the weeks before and since Dad’s death, even in the fact that my blood glucose numbers were better during the week of the funeral than they have been in months.  That was a huge blessing, and a total surprise considering how little exercise I was getting and how badly we were eating.

And now we are back home in Cincinnati, catching up on work here, and preparing for a postponed wedding shower we were to have had the week of the funeral.  Two months of sabbatical are gone, only 4 left to go.  I am having to adjust my expectations so that I do not set myself up for disappointment.  I would like to think that I am prepared for this and will just accept that whatever I am able to accomplish during sabbatical will be enough. That needs to be true.  But expectations are powerful and can set me up for regret.  I need to remember that my ultimate satisfaction comes from being in Christ, and that the rest is gravy.  When we return to Illinois, I am praying that it will be with renewed appreciation for the time we have left there, rather than panic at looking at all that I had hoped to accomplish.

And, not for nothing, but a new, fun haircut has given me a happy boost. It’s the little things that lighten the days!

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Ups and downs

It has been way too long since I have posted anything here. I am hoping to get back in the routine of writing every couple of weeks. Since we have a sabbatical coming up, I should have more time to write.  It’s not as if I have not had anything to say about life with type 1 diabetes.  On the contrary, the last few weeks have been way too eventful.

The main issue is that I have returned to more or less regular exercise. This is a good thing, and I definitely feel better because of it and have lowered my basal rate and overall doses of insulin. This is the good news.  The bad news is that it throws a wrench in managing my blood glucose before and after exercise, and I have had to endure way too many lows in this process.   I want to make exercise fit into my life rather than allow diabetes to dictate when I exercise.  That really does not seem to work all that well yet.

I won’t bore anyone with the details of all of this, but really, the numbers are not so much what I want to write about.  It’s my attitude toward the numbers – the thing probably all of us struggle with. I really do try to see them as just NUMBERS, but, yeah, I am not always successful.  After a particularly frustrating day and a rough low that I did not really deal with all that well, a good friend (with whom I had been texting throughout the ordeal) finally got frustrated enough with me that she said “I wish you would learn to coexist with your diabetes instead of fighting it!”

Wow. That stopped me in my (complaining and whining) tracks.  I have been living in a battle zone within my own body.  She is right – that needs to stop.  Oh how I wish this were a simple thing to do.  I don’t have a nice neat strategy for how to do this, it is one step at a time, one low at a time and one high at a time.

As a Christian, my attitudes are all tied up with my faith. Do I believe God is good and that He loves me? Do I believe He is sovereign over my life? Do I believe my trials have a purpose?  My head says ‘yes’ to all of these questions, but my heart is not so consistent.  I have been experiencing a lot of fatigue these past few weeks, and that contributes to my discouragement, making it harder to control my emotions and attitudes.  It’s complicated. But I am trying to walk in the light rather than the darkness.  One step at a time.

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Knitting as my ‘cure’ for diabetes stress

We all need strategies for dealing with the stress that diabetes brings into our lives.  The highs and lows and sudden empty pumps and sites that malfunction and awkward questions that people ask and….well, you get the idea.  I have noticed recently that I am handling some of that stress better these days and I have been wondering why. Some of it has to do with a change in jobs and working fewer hours, so I have more energy left over to deal with the stress – because the level of stress from diabetes does NOT seem to let up. EVER.

In a conversation with a friend recently, I realized that knitting is one big way I cope with the daily ups and downs of living with T1D. I think that it is the ability to have control that makes knitting a great stress reliever. I can look at a pattern and know that (within certain limits) I can reproduce that object in a way that will bring me pleasure.  Knit, purl, yarn over, knit 2 together, these are regular, repeatable moves that result in the same thing every time.  That is not true for anything related to diabetes.  That kind of predictability is comforting and soothing.  Sure, I might have to rip out rows of knitting to fix a mistake, but even then, I know I will be happier having done so and I can always re-knit what I took out.  I can try any number of things to ‘fix’ a blood sugar ‘mistake’ and the results are far less  reliable.

So I knit. And knit some more.  I am soothed, I can relax and for a period of time, I can forget that diabetes is just lurking around the next corner, waiting to surprise me with some craziness.

How do you cope with diabetes-induced stress?

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