This will most likely be the only post I write which deals directly with me and my affliction. This narrative is not to complain, but to glorify God in His plan and purpose for my life. I want it to be informative enough, though, to warn everyone who reads it about the dangers of diabetes. “Watered down” definition, it is caused by the inability of your organs to effectively process sugars in your body. Everything we eat is basically broken down into either some type of sugar or protein. If your body mass index (BMI) is too high (you’re fat), your body cannot process the sugar and it remains floating around in your blood stream causing ill effects, some of which doctors and researchers are still identifying today.
In my case, I became pre-diabetic (ask your doctor what that means) about 20 years ago. I was not insulin dependent until about 5 years ago. My weight was 387 pounds at the point I became insulin dependent. Since then, I dropped to 310 pounds but gained back to 328. I have now made it back to about 300. I still cannot keep my blood glucose levels down without insulin, and a lot of it (100 units per day). I may be insulin dependent the rest of my life. This condition has caused something called peripheral neuropathy – first in my feet and then in my hands. There is a great deal of pain associated with this and the loss of feeling (when I touch things or they touch me). I cannot feel if I stub my toe, which could lead to bleeding, which could end up, in worst case, infection and amputation.
What does this mean for me? OK, going shoe-less in the house is highly frowned upon, going shoe-less outside is out of the question (I live in Florida). There is no more going out for ice cream. There are no more treats in the house. A quick snack consists of only a handful of nuts (I never really liked nuts), there is no such thing as throwing together a quick meal like hot dogs or mac & cheese. Salads are nearly every night’s accompaniment and are not quick and at times cumbersome to assemble. Salad dressing is usually homemade because store dressings are loaded with sugar. No potatoes, no pasta, no chips, no cookies, no Doritos, no tortillas, no bread, no rice – no white foods whatsoever. Eating out is a major challenge and so seldom occurs. My diet basically has been reduced to meat, cheese, eggs and only green vegetables. Fresh green vegetables are expensive! Again, I am not complaining, I am simply telling it as it is.
OK, that’s my diet. Now, in order to be able to live with my pain, I take a carefully monitored cocktail of drugs to calm my central nervous system, especially at night so I can sleep. Unfortunately I have recently discovered that some of these drugs are slowly eating away at sections of my brain, which explains why I am now physically AND mentally unreliable to do most any job. One drug I have been taking for years, now, is said to cause early-onset dementia. I can hardly wait – LOL!
Now that you know my situation, I want you to understand my feelings. I am suffering the affects of sin I committed earlier in my life. Because of my practicing the sins of gluttony and lethargy I have abused my body and now I must deal with the consequences of that sin. I have, in recent years, learned to accept that this is the Lord’s “thorn in my side” with which to keep me humble.(2 Corinthians 12:6-8) I remember my father-in-law replying to a greeting of “how are you?” with “better than I deserve” – from his wheelchair. I would like to think I have the same attitude.
Today, I embrace my affliction as a God-given “thorn” which I believe has a three-fold purpose. First, to keep me humble as the Apostle Paul wrote; second, to force me into better life choices than I had been making; third, so that I might confess this testimony to you as a warning to the mistakes I have made in the past. Your body is the temple for the Holy Spirit. Refrain from the abuses of smoking, abusive alcohol, recreational drugs and probably the most elusively identified abuse to most of us – an abusive diet. Everyone is saying it, so heed the advice: Eat whole natural foods, exercise regularly and live every day in moderation except for Godly worship. You cannot do too much of that.