Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How I came to be diabetic

By the time you've finished reading this post, some of you might think I’ve flipped my lid. Ah well, that’s the beauty of the blog: No one is forcing anyone to read it...or to affirm its contents.

Many of you already know that inside my big file at the doctor’s office, I’ve been diagnosed as prediabetic. It showed up during my pregnancy as gestational diabetes, about two thirds of the way through the experience. It was a pain in the hind end, and I really missed ice cream, cake, real yogurt, chocolate, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and all those other staples of pregnancy…but my GD wasn’t as severe as it could have been; I never had to take insulin, or give myself a shot, and although I still hate to stick myself for blood samples, it really wasn’t so bad. I lost my pregnancy weight pretty quickly, and the diet worked because my dear little boy was just under 7 pounds—not a huge kid at all.

Typically, the condition of gestational diabetes disappears as soon as the child emerges. However, developing GD increases your chances of developing plain ol’ diabetes later in life. In my case, I just felt weird in the months following the birth of Marcus, and even though the doctors felt no need to re-test me when all was said and done, I wanted to have it done just for peace of mind. So I asked them to do so, and they agreed. But just as with many other tests, getting results for the blood test that measures glucose levels can take a few days of waiting.

Now, during those months after I had my son, another drama was unfolding. A gal I know, not really well but semi-well, had discovered that she had cancer. She was going for daily radiation treatments even while I was waiting for my blood test results from the diabetes re-check. She is married, with a nice-sized family. Small children—and since this was a couple years back, the kids were even smaller then. She’s very nice, very sweet, has nothing negative to say about anyone, is a good mom and wife, and is simply a pleasant and friendly woman. She’s a great person.

And I was driving one day with my baby securely in the back seat, running errands, and I was praying. (With my eyes open, of course—don’t worry!) First I was praying for my test results, and I don’t remember the exact words, but you can guess the gist: Lord, please let those results come back negative, please let my paranoia be just that, etc. And then, I was praying for this friend, praying that the treatments worked, praying that she would be healed completely.

And suddenly I was convicted in my heart, because here she was fighting a much bigger fight than me, fighting to stay alive, to stay here on this Earth and raise her family… and I was bemoaning the potential loss of chocolate cake from my daily existence. Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it. I stopped praying for a minute to let that sink in. I felt a bit selfish.

And I heard a voice; it said, “Would you be willing to accept diabetes if this woman can be healed?” or something quite close to that. I kid you not, it was as if the voice was in my head. It was not a big, booming voice or a still whisper or anything like that—just a voice, a clear vein of thought. And I knew who was asking, and I knew what my answer should be. I am happy to tell you that my honest, gut response matched the response that in my heart I knew was desirable to the One who was asking: Yes, I answered. Yes, of course, if it means that she is here and well.

And that was that. The light changed or traffic sped up or something took my mind off the exchange—and it had been an exchange, at least to me. Within a few days, I had the call from the doc’s office, asking me to come back in. Yes, I was, indeed, still diabetic, but just barely so. Yes, I still needed to do what I’d done when pregnant, although not to the same extreme. Yes, it could worsen at any time—but thus far, it has not.

The conclusion of the story? My friend finished her treatments, and no, she has not had any recurrences. I pray that will always be the case. Would my answer to that inside-my-head question be the same today? You bet it would.

(I’d love to see you right now, reader, and see whether you are shaking your head and compressing your lips in doubt. All I can say is that if you know me, you also know that I lack imagination and have often been accused of believing thing only when they slap me across the face. If you know me, then you know I couldn’t make this up. Enough said.)


Anonymous said...

Well, if you saw my face, you'd see the smile as I read it and maybe a little "mist" about the eyes. How can anyone who has any faith question what happened to you? (As the song says, God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.)

Mel said...

thanks, chris h--it's good to know that someone believes me. it just sounds a bit far-fetched to some folks, I am certain. but I felt the need to share it. ; )