Secret Dreams of an Insulin Pumper

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This isn’t me. It was easier to steal an image off the internet than find my camera. But that’s what my pump looks like.

I’m a type one diabetic. That’s the kind with insulin shots. About a year ago I switched to an insulin pump, and I also wear a little monitor that checks my sugar levels every five minutes, and between the two of them I can normally stay on top of things. Sure, I still have highs and lows, because life happens, but I can catch problems before they become scary.

One evening this week, my sugar level kept going low. I hadn’t been especially active all day, and I’d had a normal dinner and my dinner insulin was out of my system, so I couldn’t figure out why I was falling. But the level was falling fast into dangerous numbers, and I couldn’t figure out why.

I turned off the pump to stop any new insulin from hitting my system until things leveled off, and a thought jumped into my head. Maybe it’s over. Maybe today God decided I’d put enough effort into this illness, and I’m finished with it. Maybe I’ve done some things right lately, and he’s going to take this particular thorn out of my side.

Oh.

I had no idea I thought like that. I believe God heals, although I think supernatural healing is the exception, not the rule. I tell myself I believe illness and sorrow and hardship are simply part of life in a fallen world. It’s not personal. I’m not a diabetic because I failed at some cosmic test. And God won’t heal me because I figure out the answers and pass the next cosmic test with flying colors.

But maybe I do. At some level I’m not aware of, I must think I can make God so happy he’ll take away this illness. The thing is, I know he will. The day is coming when I’ll step into his presence, and he’ll take away not only diabetes but every sorrow. And in the grand time scheme of the universe, the difference between healing today and healing years from now or decades from now–it’s almost negligible.

Still, some little part of me seems to think I could be healthy if I ¬†was doing better at life. And I don’t want to think that. God isn’t like that. He loves me. He doesn’t withhold good and give out blessings based on merit, not really. If he did, there would be no good anywhere, because we all fail all the time. And he doesn’t play favorites. I don’t have to be his favorite kid to get blessings.

In my defense, it was a rough week. I don’t know why, but the whole week was emotional and weepy. Starting on Mother’s Day when my kids neglected even to say the words “Happy Mother’s Day” and lingering through a few days of feelings of insignificance, I was already in a low place where it didn’t take much to set off the pity parties. I struggle with value, but not lately, and not like this. This was worse.

Could be spiritual battle, since all week I told myself I might be better off if I stopped writing, stopped cleaning, stopped participating in things where I know I should be participating. I’m pretty sure the idea of running away from home and living alone in my car wasn’t from God. Meaning for some reason I was under attack all week. So I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt and hope that my belief that I have diabetes because God isn’t happy with me–let’s say it’s not really coming from me.

But I’m listening to the voice regardless of where it was coming from. And that’s not good. Means I need to fight. Usually fighting means digging into God’s word and speaking its truths to myself. It means focusing elsewhere. Too much introspection can make a person crazy, so I need to focus out a little bit. Maybe visit with a friend. This week I might take a meal to someone who needs it, and that will help me look out. Next week I’ll cook and help serve dinner for people downtown. That will help, too. This isn’t my first battle, and I know some strategies to get through them if I’ll put them into practice.

Still, though, thoughts like those can be hard to dislodge. We live in a world that grades on a merit system. I was a straight A student, and even though life does’t have grades, I still think in grades sometimes.

And weary, weepy days can’t simply be ignored. Maybe some days it’s okay to take a few days off, let a few tears fall, cling to God and even yell a little bit. He can take it. David wrote a few meltdown Psalms, so I can use those. Better to take time off than to let lies take hold. And I definitely won’t make big decisions during rough days, or I really would stop writing and ditch my family, jump in the car, drive to the coast to put my feet in the sand, and never come back. That’s probably not the best thing. Best just to stick with my current path and wait to feel better about life again.

I bet I’m not the only one who has those days when lies speak louder than truths, and fatigue hits hard, and dreams feel impossibly far away and maybe plain silly. Feel free to share–every pity party needs guests, right? But if you had to fight through something this week, lies that threatened to knock you off the path, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I hope you’re glad not to be alone, too.

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