I love you. No, that’s actually not true. I don’t love you. I don’t even hate you. I nothing you. There are some who think that you and I are very close. They are wrong, of course. Though, I have to admit, it is not necessarily their fault. You may have been close to them at one time. But my situation is a little…different.
My days are filled with laundry, dishes, cooking, driving children to school, and a plethora of other thrilling adventures. When I get a free moment, I take a break from domestic adventuring by resting or reading or practicing my newest hobby, napping. I love napping. It’s fun, budget-friendly, and good for your mental health. In spite of my new hobby, people still catch me looking haggard, stressed, and run-down. These inquisitive people are problem solvers and they want to know what might be causing my disheveled appearance. “Obviously,” they think to themselves, “she worries too much.” Let me reiterate. I am a tired, worn-out, mother of three.
To complicate an already full life, my oldest son, Josiah, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago. This disease takes the concept of work to a whole new level. Now my adventuring is literally a death-defying endeavor. It requires checking blood sugar several times a day, counting carbohydrates, dosing insulin at every meal, and treating low and high blood sugars when they occur – which is every day, frequently in the middle of the night. We go to four extra doctor’s appointments every year. We pick up prescriptions for needles, test strips, and insulin every few weeks. Somebody has to keep inventory, and you can bet it’s not the carefree twelve-year-old. Through all of this we (and by “we” I mean “I”) communicate frequently with our insurance to make sure everything gets covered. We also have lengthy conversations with the school nurse and fill out extra forms for every activity.
Just six months ago, Josiah acquired an amazing new piece of technology called a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). This makes our lives much easier. The CGM checks Josiah’s blood sugar every five minutes and alerts us if he’s high or low. It is a life-saver, literally. But it too, requires work. I order sensors for the CGM every four weeks and change Josiah’s sensor once a week. Josiah then calibrates it by checking his blood sugar the old-fashioned way, twice a day. Less work, but still stressful.
For the last four years there have been people who learn that I have a child with a life-threatening chronic illness and immediately assume that I am consumed with worry. Nobody ever accuses Indiana Jones of being too anxious. Never mind that Nazis are after him. He shouldn’t worry so much! I am not worrying. I am surviving. I push through one day and hope I will have enough energy for the next. It occupies all my time. It’s not anxiety. Its work. I’m just busy anticipating my enemy’s next move.
Not surprisingly, I talk about diabetes a lot. Diabetes is a huge part of my life. For me talking about diabetes is simply talking about my life. I also happen to be that weird person who finds this disease to be totally fascinating. Insulin production by beta cells in the islets of Langerhans sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi novel. The body’s reaction to high blood sugar by breaking down fat and producing ketones (along with a non-stop urge to pee) is a fascinating side effect. I have a degree in chemistry because I love learning about this stuff. I also think this is good information for others to learn, so I share it generously. Sometimes my sharing is misinterpreted as nervous chatter due to anxiety. This is simply untrue. I want you to know how amazing your body is, and how messed up it can get. And I happen to be consumed by this particular aspect of the human body. Every. Single. Day.
Anxiety, you know that we’ve had our moments. You were there before every college exam. You sat next to me as I learned to drive. And you kept me up all night when we first used the CGM. But most days you are as fleeting as my desire to conquer the universe (who doesn’t have that desire every now and then?). On a side note, if you ever conquer the universe, please help me out and rid the world of disease. And share my blog.
If you plant a seed of fear in my mind it usually dies before I can even remember to water it. On the rare occasion one of those seeds does take root, I quickly turn it over to God in prayer, remembering to thank him for every good gift. Anxiety, I simply have no time for you. And if you impose yourself on me you will only push me closer to my Heavenly Father, who cares for me. You see, I am aware that he has laid out my path. And that path is leading me home. I will fight this fight and finish the adventure. There’s nothing you can do to stop me. You lose.
Forever in His care,
“Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow: for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34).