From my Biggest Fan!

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My husband is the best ever. He left this on our fridge “scrabble board” after I got my A1C results on Thursday.

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Rules are Rules…

…I don’t make them, I just enforce them.  

How many of us have heard this, thought this, or actually said it?  

In this case, I am both the maker and enforcer of “The Rules.”  After realizing sometime last Thursday that I needed to be in the driver’s seat here, I also knew that I needed a more concrete plan of how that was actually going to look.  I also know, as I discussed in a previous post, that when I am “on” baby, watch out, because I’m on fire… and when I’m “off,” well, you might as well not bother putting that brownie on a plate, just hand me the 9×13 and a folk.  

I needed a way to stabilize my peaks and valleys, if possible.  I already know my tendencies; I wanted to find a way to work with myself.  The idea was not original to me, nor is anything new under the sun, but a friend suggested a few weeks ago (thanks, Amanda!) that I make some guidelines for myself to add some structure to my decisions.  

Generally what happens is that I do really well during the week with food choices and planning, but then the weekend comes, or Ben and I go out, or we come in contact with any sort of frozen yogurt, and I fall off the wagon.  Oh, it doesn’t stop there, the wagon continues until it’s not visible on the horizon.. and then I run in the opposite direction.  This lasts 3 days, and I jump on the wagon again.. repeat.  I find that weekends are far harder than the weeks for obvious reasons.  So what happens is that I am either counting all the carbs, checking my blood sugar before meals / 2 hours after, and being mindful of diabetes {Perfect Country!}, or I am eating whatever and just “guesstimating” on insulin.  Checking my blood sugar occasionally {Fun Country!}.  

Here’s what I came up with. 

The Rules

Monday!  (Girl’s Night!)

  • MUST pre-measure anything and everything!
    • Maybe leave some snacks at Nahries?
    • Carbohydrate limit for the evening?  40 total. 
      • I need to think about this a little more.  This is a good place to start. 
      • No eating after 10 p.m. 

Tues – Friday

  • ONLY No-Carb/low carb (under 5g.)  snacks after work  / between meals
    • No Carb Ideas: Tuna, string cheese, NSA pudding, pickles, veggies, hard-boiled eggs, lunch meat, tomatoes
    • Low Carb Ideas: Hummus w/ veg, little pumpernickel squares, Adkins shakes
    • Eat all three meals a day!
      • 25-45 carbs each meal
      • This will take PLANNING when I want to go out somewhere..  BE THAT PERSON that brings a lunchbox…
      • No eating after 10 p.m.

Weekends

  • Saturdays
    • Eat breakfast by 10
    • Sweets / eating late allowed — as long as I know exactly how many carbs
    • Sundays
      • Eat breakfast! :) 
      • Only take an ABF snack occasionally.  
        • (Once every 6 weeks! Mark it in calendar.)

Eating Out

  • Try to look up nutritional information before going out & make a plan.  

 

I love this plan.  I’m sure it will morph over time, but for this snapshot of my life, it is helpful.  Previously, it’s like I had a switch in my brain.. Diabetes ON, Diabetes OFF.  This is destructive on many levels.  Emotionally, it makes me feel like a failure.  Physically, it really puts my body through the wringer–headaches, sleeplessness, and aches from too high BG.  Spiritually, it keeps me from glorifying God in my decisions and in my body.  Switching ON and OFF no longer being an option, I needed to know what ON looked like.

I have for over two years now enjoyed a Girl’s Night with close friends every Monday night.  Girl’s night is rarely cancelled, and a wonderful highlight of my week.  On Monday nights, I usually just flipped the switch, took lots of insulin, and ate the stress of the week away, one goldfish at a time.  (One goldfish swimming in chocolate, of course!)  I love Monday nights.  I love being with my girls & relaxing.  I love not feeling inhibited at all about what I eat.  Ah.  Love it.  But… the wee hours of Tues. morning most regularly find me awake, sick, and frustrated.  Frustrated that I’m sick, I caused it, and even more frustrated that I don’t ever want to stop having girl’s night the way that it has always been. 

But, you know what?  

I can’t just sit back and pretend that taking a huge dose of insulin and goring myself on Ghirardelli squares is okay.  Yes, my BG eventually comes down, and I’m in normal ranges the next day, but the lack of restraint is the problem.  Being annoyed by boundaries, that is the problem.  I am a rebel.  My rebelliousness must be checked.  While I cling to the believe that “you’re not the boss of me!  I’m an adult now and I can make choices without input from others” reigns in my heart, I will not live a life with diabetes that brings glory to God.  A life that praises Him and His good choice, no, His BEST choice to give me diabetes.  Not while I reserve the right to decide when I will or will not be controlled.

It was just a corner of my life, really, these Monday night divergences from diabetes.  I walked up narrow hallway to Nahrie’s house and left diabetes at the door.  It was just one night.  I still took insulin.  It’s not like I left my insulin pump in the car!  I was still diabetic.. I just wasn’t going to think about that for about 4 hours.  Ah.. what blissful hours I spend as a rebel.  It feels good.  I’m in charge. whew.

It only takes a minute of this kind of thinking to send myself into a tailspin of horrible decisions, depression, and hopelessness.  Really, it starts with the first whisper of defiance that says, “I will not be controlled.  I will not be restrained.”  I am realizing even as I type that I was allowing my Girl’s Night to become territory I was unwilling to surrender to God.  I place and time in my life where I would have no boundaries.  (Because everyone needs that little corner of the world that they call “mine,” right?) 

So, the answer is drink water and carrots at Girl’s Night.  THAT must be most pleasing to God. 

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  

See what I did with my “Rules” for Monday night?  I gave myself a carb limit that is high enough to enjoy a few squares of chocolate or a bag of the snack that smiles back.  I don’t need complete autonomy to enjoy myself. 

I’m thankful that God has given things for our enjoyment.  I can even enjoy Him in the gifts that He has given–but as I enjoy things apart from Him, in a heart of rebellion, that is when sin creeps in.  

I have been feeling a little bit like sin for me is different than a non-diabetic.  Probably every time I eat something delicious it is sin because God has given me diabetes. Oh, how wrong that perspective is.  Rebellion is sin; the need to control is sin; running from restraint–that is sin.  

Chocolate is not sin.  It is a gift from God.

(Isn’t that the news you’ve been waiting to hear???  Don’t forget, you heard it here first!!) 

Hey, Where are YOU from?

Perfect & Fun

These are my people–this is “back where I come from.”  On the itinerary of my “personality passport” it says, “Hometown Perfection, Frequent Visitor of Fun Country.”

Ben and I took a personality quiz a while back–we answered questions about what pumped us up, what disappointed us, what made us crazy.   We also figured out things like our top motivations in life; not necessarily what you’re good at, but what you really enjoy.  I came to a startling conclusion while reviewing the results of the test: my personality’s “home country” as the lingo of the quiz labeled it, is FUN!  I want to hear “it’s gonna be SO AWESOME”  “You’re gonna love this!”

 “WOOHOO” is one of my favorite words!

Ben’s home country was PEACE.  He spends a majority of his time here.  A huge canyon of space separates his home country, Peace, from his favorite vacation spot, Perfection.  So, he’s a steady-eddy who likes things in order.  Agreed.  This quiz nailed it for my B.

When it comes to my favorite vacation spot, there is not a canyon of space between–more like a revolving door–because I spend so much time there.  Destination?  Perfect Country.

It was hilarious when we were talking to Paul, who helped us talk about the results of our quiz because he turned to me and said, “Do you ever feel that those countries (Perfection & Fun)  are at war?  And all of a sudden, SO MUCH made sense to me!  I often feel a conflict within me of competing desires.  “The things I want to do, I don’t! The things I don’t want to do, I do”  comes to mind.  Everyone has the flesh v. spirit conflict within them, but this is not what I’m talking about here.  There is nothing inherently better or less sinful about either of these dispositions, they just don’t tango together very well.

I can clearly see how each of these sides to my personality take over at different times.  Some days, my house is picture-perfect.  Everything is neat and orderly.  Picturesque.  Other times, even days (Moments?)  later, there is chaos!  I like both because usually chaos = crafts.  :)  But some days, I just love the crazy mess.  Other days, I long for the order.

Perfect & Fun

I see this being especially frustrating in my journey with Diabetes.  I have spent some weeks recently being meticulous with carb counting, testing, meal times, and collecting data.  I loved those weeks.  It was fulfilling to put myself into something completely.  I felt great!  I had energy and strength.  I slept well, and I was happy to be doing something meaningful.  BUT those two weeks were SO HARD!  I was able to do it because I knew there was an end.  I was collecting data for a specific dr. appointment, so I knew the end was in sight.

I can live in Perfect Country with Diabetes.

As long as I can hop a plane to Fun any time I want.  But that’s not how Perfect works, is it?

It’s War.

I am currently in the process of processing this.

On the Road Again!

Hello there, that is, if I have any readers left!  Things have been rather quiet around here recently for a variety of reasons.  It all started when I watched an hour and a half YouTube video on making WordPress blogs way cooler.  Not the exact title, but you get the gist.  Then, about 45 minutes in I had made so many changes that I didn’t even know where anything was and what to do with it!  — and I had a new vocabulary including things like “Widgets” “Embed” “Parent Pages” “Encoded” I knew about as much of this new language as I do of French.  The extent of my French is 6 words.

Anywhoodle, I guess I kinda just gave up on the whole blog thing.  Having every intention of coming back.. no really, I did!  As soon as I could figure out exactly what I was going for here.  Whew.  I think I have a better idea now, and I am so thankful!

I am happy to say that Diabetes did not take a hiatus, (though sometimes, it’d be nice if it would.  Or rather, if I pancreas would come hang out over here for a bit).

I have many things to report.

Stay tuned.

Missed you. 

So We Do Not Lose Heart.

One week ago today, I woke up a bundle of nerves.  I knew I couldn’t toss and turn in bed forever.   Rise I did, as rise I must!  We actually left right on time, factoring for traffic and morning bustle, 8:00 a.m. found “all aboard!” my gold Toyota.  Hwy 202, always unpredictable, played a lady, and I walked in the diabetes center at 8:40, twenty minutes before my appointment.  Unfamiliar territory, being early, but… I approached the waiting room confidently.   The receptionist looked over – puzzled.  Apparently, my appointment was for 9:30 and I was fifty minutes early.  I just had to laugh at this point, because I had been so jittery to get there on time that I had completely disregarded double-checking my open-faced day planner on the counter.  I can only endure so many pages of the rather sizable “spot the difference between these two pictures” book, so I just sat for remainder of my wait time staring forward.  The nurse, Eilene, wore a brown dress and short hair.  She looked rather friendly, and I appreciated the lack of scrubs or lab coat.  She ushered me back into the office and we sat down like friends chatting over coffee and a biscotti.  She asked a few preliminaries.  All good.  Then she mentioned that my other doctor said that the reason I wanted control was so I could conceive—“is that still the plan?” She asked.  At this point, I just lost it.  Dr. Jay’s words from a previous appointment gusted back into my wound like salt water.  He had said, “You’re never going to get pregnant like this!”  Jolted back into my current appointment, I caught her eyes I remembered the question, “is that still the plan?”  In my mind, I thought, it’s the plan… eventually, but it’s not the main point.  I couldn’t hold back tears.  “I wish that people would stop using that as a motivation.” I thought.  I’m not sure what actual words I said to her.  I had said that in response to a question my doctor had asked me.  Something like, “you two have been married for a little while now, do you plan on having kids?”  “Yes, yes yes!  We want kids, in the next few years,” now he mentions it every visit, as though it were the only reason for the visit.  The truth is that a baby would risk serious complications in my womb as it is now, and I know it, but being a mama isn’t my primary reason for a great A1C.  It’s a great reason for control.  A better quality of life is a good reason, but it can’t be primary.  To remove the heavy burden of guilt I lay down and simultaneously pick up is a motivator for me.  The ability to look at my life through a large ornate frame and see a beautiful picture of domesticity, orderliness, and perfectly planned diabetes management is a desire I struggle with, but cannot be what motivates me. 

In the horizon of my life, all these things find a place—I don’t think I can remove the shadow of them.  The yearning in my heart and arms to hold a dear little one—my flesh and his—will continue.  The daily struggle I have to compete with that pesky-perfect Proverbs 31 woman will continue to be daily.  But shadows cannot complete with true reality.  Because my Father has said it, Who cannot lie, this is reality…

“But we have this treasure [the light of the Gospel in our hearts through Christ] in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed . . . SO THAT the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh . . . SO we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4: 7-18

Me, a jar of clay.  Reality check, please?  God doesn’t label me in this way highlight my insignificance. Being made of earth and water is insignificant, but He chooses to make me significant by using me as a vessel to hold the knowledge of Christ, not because I am worthy of it, but because it is His divine will to do so: an earthen container—containing the vast treasure of the universe.  As parts of me chip away, I can let rays of Christ’s love, goodness, grace, and hope emanate from within me.  Not because of me, but because of Christ’s work within me. 

When I start to fill my cracks—those places where I feel I am absolutely falling apart—with earthly things and earthly solutions, I am containing the very thing that God wishes to reveal—Himself. 

I must let Christ shine through the perceived incompleteness.  It is only perceived, for I am never whole without Him, and without my blemishes, He cannot shine.  Who am I to eclipse His radiant light? 

Courage

I was reminded again today that diabetes is a continual process of beginning again. Starting over with renewed purpose and sinew. I do not always feel brave, nor do I always have the stamina necessary to continue in hard days, but I always have the choice to begin again.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24

Enjoy this song by Chris Rice proclaiming His Great Faithfulness! http://open.spotify.com/track/3JfK0CVrKXDwXHYX7lZ6b8