So, I have already shared with you the new journey I am on in regards to my health. You can read more about my diabetes diagnosis here. Starting down this road I have been forced to look at my life in a different way, and that has led to some new experiences I have had to deal with as well.
One of the first things I have had to face is my addiction to food. It had such a control over me and my thoughts that I would sit and think about the food I would eat, how it would taste, and how much of it I could have. Well, I am now thinking about food a lot, but in a better way. What can I eat that will keep me healthy? What foods are trying to control me that I need to learn to manage properly? When can I allow myself to enjoy something and when should I turn it down? All good changes.
I have also had to learn to deal with my emotions a little differently. Food has always been something that helped me with my emotions, but now I do not have the ability to use that crutch the way I once did. I am spending more time talking to God when I feel unstable, and He is speaking into me and my life, allowing me the strength necessary to handle how I feel in different circumstances.
Another area that I have experienced a couple challenges is when the desire for the old stuff is just overwhelming. I had a night a couple of weeks ago where I would have done anything for a Coke and a Hershey bar. Two things that I absolutely love, but will probably never indulge in at the same time again! My kind and compassionate wife was so good in how she listened to me and let me have my time to whine before I finally picked myself up and went and found a handful of nuts and berries to chew on. She is so amazing!
I have had a couple episodes where I felt very weak and shaky and after a glucose test, I found I was finally in the normal range. While I should not feel strange in the normal range, I had been running high for so long that normal felt weird! There have been two “step downs” where that has happened. The first time I hit 120 and the first time I hit 100. I have not been under 100 to my knowledge – until today…
Cherry Festival is going on in Traverse City, just a short hop to the next county over. I hate Cherry Festival and the crowds it brings, but it also brings the Blue Angels, and for that and that alone I am willing to enter the craziness that is Cherry Fest. So, today after church we made our way down to the beach with about 100,000 of our closest friends and set up our beach chairs in the midst of the unwashed masses to await the show.
We brought our lunches and books and just enjoyed listening to the waves and the bickering that emanated from the family groups around us. We soaked in the sun and splashed in the water from time to time and just enjoyed another day as a family of four. The show was great and the jets were amazing as always.
After the show, we began the 40 minute trek to cover the 8 miles to get our son to work on time at the pizza and ice cream shop. We had decided that we would get a pizza for supper before going back to the beach to wait out the remainder of the day before taking in some fireworks. This is going to be a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG day!
As I walked up to the doors of the restaurant, the line to order was extended outside. There was a polite sign on the door asking the clientele to please not leave the door open so the air conditioning inside could keep up. So, I dutifully stood there in the hot sun waiting for the line to go down enough for me to enter the portal and enjoy the chilled atmosphere.
Standing there I observed a person cut into line by walking around the group standing there, opening the door and taking the first spot inside the door in the cool air. I thought that was not nice, but I held my tongue and ground. A few minutes later, I saw a couple of people do the exact same thing. I began to feel a little edgy over that. Not mad, just uncomfortable. Then a third interloper did the exact same thing and I calmly and purposely decided that if another person went through that door in a manner of “cutting” I would just step forward and knee cap them. This was a firm and real decision with no exaggeration. It seemed a rational response.
By God’s grace, the line moved us up and I was inside. I thought that the cool air might settle me and all would soon be well as I was going to order a pizza and pizza is a balm to my soul.
The door opened behind me and a little old lady stepped in with her husband. I was very aware of her presence as she actually pushed me forward in line. I turned over my should to see her and as the door opened again I was blessed with a strong dose of her husband’s body odor. I had new friends.
Over the next four minutes I stood there she prodded me forward three times and then told me that if I was not going to move up in the line she would be happy to move around me. I turned back to her and said I was in line and would move in the line as the line moved. I turned my back to her again and decided that if she pushed me one more time I was just going to turn around and smack her. Again, it was not that I was terribly angry or anything. I just felt that it was a reasonable response to her actions that I was going to follow through with.
God moved again through my wife and she showed up and we moved to another line where we could place our order for our supper. I was now away from the little old lady and I felt fine as could be and was actually pleased I would not be forced to deal with her as I had thought would be necessary.
Tammi went out to the car to put some stuff away and I stepped forward to place my order for a pizza. I was standing about 6 inches from the counter as most people would and was near the end of the process when a young boy started squirming his way in between me and the counter while I am again getting jostled from behind by the rest of his
litter family while the parents of this menagerie looked on with complete indifference. I moved to the side as soon as the debit transaction completed and was thinking that I was going to just start throwing people over the counter to clear some room when my wife walked up again to help me with the drinks.
We went over to a table and sat down. I sat there for a minute or two and tried to get a handle on these weird and violent thoughts I was having. I knew I was starting to feel hungry, but I did not “feel” angry. In a very “matter of fact” way, I just felt that these people needed to be dealt with for the way they were behaving. It was strange to have such violent thought without any real emotion. So I began to wonder if this might be a glucose thing.
I excused myself to the car to get my kit and tested. Sure enough. I was at 71. A new low, and an actual low. That explained it. I went back in and told Tammi about it and once I knew what was going on for sure, I started to be able to sort it all out. Food came a few minutes later, I ate, and not long after that I felt myself again.
I joked with Tammi that it was like I was going to “hulk out” at these people and I wasn’t even really mad. I decided at that point that the Incredible Hulk is a Type 2 diabetic dealing with low blood sugar. He’s not really mad, he is just trying to get the world to manner up and give him some space.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. This journey of a diabetic life is a learning experience. There are things I know, and there are things I don’t, but I hope that anyone with diabetes reading this will see that if we keep a positive attitude, discipline ourselves on our diets, and pay close attention to not only what we are feeling, but why we are feeling it, we can control this.
There is a peace in this new life that comes directly from God’s promise to be with me and to give me strength for the battles I face. As a believer this gives me confidence of victory and courage to keep fighting. I say fighting, because this is a battle with my old habits and desires. In order to be healthy I need to look at this as a war that needs to be won rather than something I can live with by taking a pill.
I want this aspect of my life to be handled Relentlessly. I will not give up, and I will throw all I have at defeating it. The best thing I have to use in this battle is my desire for God to be glorified in it. I trust that He will give me the victory and I will give Him the glory.
Now that we are at the end of this story. I need people to know that I realize low blood sugar is not funny and I need to take it seriously. I do. I really do. The thing we also need to remember is that funny is funny and we need to laugh. It is part of the attitude that gives us victory!
Be Relentless! Not violent!