As I sat in the waiting room, I began to rifle through stacks of “Diabetes and You” pamphlets. “The New You!,” “Controlling Diabetes!” –emphatic declarations of hope like that. And I started to shrink just a bit. I’ve sat in waiting rooms like this before; I’ve read stuff like this before; AND I’ve walked out discouraged. Why should today be different? Because I have a diabetes blog? Because now I have an audience that can be disappointed in me? NO! NO! NO! Something I realized more clearly today is that I attach a fair share of guilt to my diabetes. Many of the resolutions I have made to “Do Better–or else!” have been because of a tremendous weight of guilt. I have not resolved because it is the best decision, or the right thing to do, but because I feel guilty. But really, is any resolution made out of guilt going to stick or be accomplished joyfully? “Motivated by guilt, that person accomplished great things!” —said nobody. EVER. So, motivation is the problem, eh? What is proper motivation for diabetes management? I have “fringe” motivations: energy, quality sleep, avoidance of future complications, future additions to the Frei house (doesn’t the whole world want a little Benny Jr.?), to prove to myself that it can be done. But, my chief motivation must be a love for God that compels me to obey Him. Notice the BIG difference between a love that obeys v. a guilt that reacts.
“For the love of Christ controls us because we have concluded this: that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”
(I Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV)
So, I can’t live for myself. I can’t live to fulfill that burning desire in me to “do this perfectly, or ignore it, so you don’t have to face the guilt of imperfections.” I can’t do it to satisfy any selfish desire. Because I can’t do it. I am incapable of it. I think at the beginning of a journey like this, I have lots of steam–the Briana’s-motivated-and-gonna-do-this-thing train pulls into the station and chug-a-lugs into the future–until I get derailed. It doesn’t take much when you’re going off of a self-motivated desire to improve. God doesn’t bless a self-proclaimed, self-energized search for improvement. He does promise to satisfy those who “hunger and thirst” to be more like Himself (Matt. 5:6). So, the question is, if I am not satisfied–in my pursuit of anything–am I looking to be more like Him in the outcome?
This will serve as the excellent transition from “journaling Briana” to “here’s what happened at the appointment…”
I started trying to schedule this appointment last July. (As I was informed today, that’s a shortage of endocrinologists in PA.) Finally, in October, they were able to “squeeze” me in! I must say, it was well worth the wait! I have had a variety of personalities care for me over the years, everything from a sympathetic, but mostly unhelpful grandfather type, to a militaristic “if you don’t take care of yourself you’ll go blind, lose your eye sight and your limbs and die” type. This fella was a “let’s figure this out” type. I told him that I think one of the reasons I have struggled in the past is because of attaching personal guilt to it and he said, “Diabetes is a disease–you can’t cure it, but you can control it.” He encouraged me to not think of blood sugar readings as “good” and “bad” but as information. He said that my body won’t always be perfect and I can’t tie myself to perfection. I’m sure I’ve been told that before, but today, I heard it.
Okay team, here’s the game plan:
* Give the process a chance–Keep with it! (Dr’s orders!)
* Go for blood work (fasting–yikes!) on Saturday
* Test 7 times a day
*Write everything down for the first month or so
* Meet with a nutritionist (TBA)
* New Dexcom Insulin Pump (Dr said it’s worlds above Minimed)
“For it is God who works in [me!] both to will and to work for His good pleasure!”
My doctor also made some big changes to my insulin pump today. He said that many of my settings were too complicated. He wants to simplify, and I’m all for it, but I’m wondering how my body will react. The biggest struggle for me personally in this will be the need to write everything down and test 7 times. I consider it an accomplishment when I test 4 times. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
This was a long one, if you made it to the end, I commend you! Thanks for all the encouragement. It’s a huge blessing to me!