On living with Diabetes

One evening earlier this year, I was sitting in my dorm room contemplating what my life would become in just a few short months. On the horizon were huge milestones in my life: Graduation, moving back home, marriage, new job. And that was all going to happen in May.
If there was one thing I was praying for more than anything else, it was discipline. That is what I wanted. I wanted discipline in my marriage, as an employee, and as an adult with bill and responsibilities. Little did I know that disciple would come in a form I would have never imagined. To bring you up to speed, I need to take you back to April. Over spring break I went with a media team from my school to Thailand for a media mission trip. It was a great experience that I will never forget. I also become sick on the trip. Toward the end of the trip I begin feeling pretty rough, and by the time we left, I barely felt like walking to board the plane.

You know you feel terrible when you barely remember a 15 hour flight. I did think much of it when I got back to school. I had a ton of work ahead of me before I could graduate. I even had to write my hermeneutics paper that week (which somehow I managed to get a B on…. only God’s grace. seriously). I just wrote off feeling bad on jet lag and getting sick in Thailand. The problem was that I never really felt better. My symptoms went away, but my body never really felt better. But, there was too much to do for me to worry about how I was feeling. So, I kept pushing forward even though I felt terrible inside. At one point I remember telling Kami something to the effect of, “I don’t know if I can finish this semester…. I know it is only 2 weeks from being over but I am worried I am not going to finish all my work before finals.” We finished school, graduated, moved home, got married, started working, and began our life together. I still did not feel better. That feeling I had the last few weeks did not change once school was over. I was still exhausted all the time. I honestly don’t remember a whole lot of what happened from May- August. I know I laid on the couch, drank water like a machine, and lost all drive for anything. I just figured that my body was adjusting to life outside of college and being married and living life with another person. I am sure it was frustrating for Kami; I was hardly any help for those first few months. It is hard to even remember specific days, they sort of just bleed together. I felt horrible, but I did not really have any idea how bad I felt. On August 8th, everything hit the fan. Kami and I had been talking the week before about what could be wrong with me. With the help of WebMD and her iPhone, she diagnosed me with type 1 diabetes. Which actually turned out to be correct. That Monday I decided to go to an urgent care clinic and tell them to run some tests to see what could be wrong with me. While we were at lunch, Kami texted my dad and told him what was going on. She ran over my symptoms with him, and he gave even more support to the idea that I might have diabetes. My dad is a type 1 diabetic, and has been for about 15 years. He is a great diabetic. I grew up watching him take care of himself, check in blood sugar, dose himself with shots (and more recently with his pump). He said I should come by the house before I went to a clinic so I could check my glucose. We left work, went to the house, and before dinner my glucose was 540. Normal is 80-100. There was no need to visit a clinic. It was time to go to the ER. I spent the next few days in the hospital as the tried to get my glucose under control. It was a roller coaster ride for sure. Finger pricks every hour on the hour. Shots every hour. 2 different IV’s. At one point, while I was on an insulin drip, I did not eat or drink anything for 26 hours. That was not fun…. It was pretty rough sitting in the ICU by myself without anything to eat or drink. Not a pleasant place to be. Thankfully that did not last forever, and I was moved to a regular room, and then was able to leave.

I found out in the hospital that my average glucose over the last three months was around 350. Average. I was shocked. But looking back now, it makes total sense. My body felt terrible, and there was a very clear explanation why. My pancreas shut down. I am not 100% sure getting sick in Thailand was the cause, but it fits with the timeline of events. (Type 1 diabetes is not caused by a sickness, but it is triggered by something. You have antibodies that sit dormant until something triggers them to basically kill your panceas. Getting sick in Thailand was probably the agent that caused the anitbodies to attack.) Flash forward to today. I feel great. My glucose is averaging around 100 right now, and I love my pump. It is honestly one of the greatest medical inventions in the last few years. I am also really learning what healthy disciple looks like. My prayer has been answered….not how I would have ever guessed, but God has funny way of working things out. I have a new outlook on discipline. There are serious long term effects that can be avoided by taking care of myself now. By investing in my life right now, I am investing in my future health. I am committed to taking care of myself so I can take care of my wife and family. I am committed to taking care of myself so I can live the life God has for me. I want to be a good steward of what I have been given.

About jameseaton

This is me...in blog form
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s