When I was in elementary school, I came across a book that was interesting to me. It was about a little girl who was excessively thirsty and hungry, fatigued and moody, with fruity smelling breath. I have a memory of sitting on the floor reading the book cover to cover, as I learned about this little girl who had Type 1 Diabetes. I wish I could remember the name of the book, but I distinctly remember everything else.
As I have been thinking about the various ways the Lord provided for us prior to George’s diagnosis, the memory of this book came to mind. Could it be that as a young elementary aged student the Lord brought that book to my attention, knowing that in 30ish years I would need to be aware of those symptoms on behalf of my beloved son?? What a thought!! What a God. What a provider.
Yesterday I wrote about the Lord providing a safety net of prayer and people for us. All set up and ready to go before we knew our need of them. No one is completely prepared for a life altering diagnosis. But I want to share a few more ways that the Lord provided for us so that the effects of the shock were not as brutal.
- I have been on a weight loss journey since February 2013. At my heaviest weight a few years back I was 220 pounds. I have lost around 80 pounds on this journey. The way I lost weight was by exercising and counting calories. By the time George was diagnosed with T1D, we had already established a (mostly) sugar-free lifestyle and conversations about portion control and nutrition were common. Counting calories is different than calculating carbs, but the system is basically the same, so when we met with the diabetic nutritionist she told us that we didn’t have many changes to make. The only change we needed to make was Georgie’s juice intake. That was it. Everything else was already as it should be.
- Exercise is a major part of managing diabetes. The body utilizes insulin more effectively with regular exercise. As I just mentioned, we have been incorporating exercise into our lifestyle over the past year. George is used to seeing his mom and dad exercise regularly, so he is prepared and ready for this part of diabetes management. Had he been diagnosed a couple of years ago, this would not be so. I thank God that this piece was already in place.
- When I exercise I do not need as much sleep at night to feel rested. Which as it turns out, is a big deal because I am absolutely sleep deprived right now. In January, we noticed that George was wetting the bed. He had been dry at night for months prior to this. Bedwetting was one signal that Georgie was drinking more than usual. By the time I realized T1D might be the cause, he was wetting the bed several times a night and I wondered if I would ever sleep again. Now that bedwetting has been resolved, I get up three times a night to check his blood sugar. Uninterrupted sleep is not in my near future. But I’m going to thank God for the couple of months I had to get up to care for my son and change the bedding because it conditioned my body, and the times I get up now seem normal.
- On the heels of excessive thirst came excessive hunger. My little boy would eat large portions of food then cry because his tummy hurt. Then he would cry more because he was still hungry. I knew what these symptoms pointed to (because of the book I read that I mentioned above), but of course I didn’t know for sure. Shane and I discussed the symptoms, and I shared them with other family members as well. These conversations were hard, but I thank God for them because we were somewhat prepared to hear the diagnosis.
- I picked him up from pre-school a few hours before I took him to his pediatrician on March 19. I was in tears because that morning I had weighed him and saw that he was losing weight. I absolutely knew in my heart what the pediatrician was going to say. I shared all this with his teacher, who had also noticed his excessive thirst. She had another little student a few years ago who was diagnosed with T1D around the same time of year. She had already walked this path with another mother. And wow, she has lovingly walked this path with us as well. Because of this other little student, Georgie’s preschool was completely prepared and ready. I will never forget sitting down with his teachers, preschool administrator and another sweet teacher who just happens to be a registered nurse. They knew more about T1D than I did. And they provided such peace, care and love. Each of them already in place, trained and ready. For us. For our little Georgie.
I am more convinced than ever of God’s involvement in our lives. My dad reminded me of the portion of Scripture from 2 Peter 1. God has already given me what I need for this life. This includes the ability to live a godly life and to trust in His promises. And to receive His provision. Ahead of time. Before I even know I need it.