This Pancreas Failed Art Class

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George’s doctor tells me that Type 1 Diabetes is not a science.  It is an art.  But I’m the one who sat in art class with a blank piece of paper trying to decide how to draw a perfectly straight line, with a perfectly sharpened crayon, wishing for a completely quiet classroom and step by step guidelines on how to draw that perfectly straight line.

I cannot build anything with Legos unless there are instructions. Varying from a recipe??  I feel like I’m breaking the rules somehow.  I’m literal and analytical.  Black and white.  All or nothing.  1 + 2 absolutely must equal 3 and if it doesn’t I will probably spend countless hours trying to figure out why.  However, I am also an emotional, over-sensitive, deep feeler.  It is most likely this deep emotional side of me that enables me to sit at the piano and sing my own songs of worship to the Lord.  I don’t need someone else’s music or words for this.  It is the one part of my life that does not need a formula for guidance.  It just flows.

Put all this together and I’m probably describing lots of other women out there.  Which is all fine and good.  But put all this together and it’s not a good combination for someone trying to be their son’s pancreas.

I can provide George with a perfect day.  Shots exactly on time.  Insulin to Carb ratios absolutely error free.  Exercise noted and snacks given to help maintain blood sugar levels.  Balanced meals with carbs and proteins working together.  Adequate hydration.  Everything working together to give George the best possible chance for stable blood sugar levels.  And I can give him a finger poke, test his blood and find that he is low.  Or high.  And moody.  And confused.  And angry.  And full of sorrow.  And has a stomachache.

Georgie also has not-so-perfect days.  Meals not quite on time.   Insulin to Carb ratio not perfect due to food not being measured adequately.  Too much exercise without snacks.  Or not enough exercise and too many snacks.  Meals with carbs only and I forget to add some protein.  And I can give him a finger poke, test his blood and find that he is exactly in the target range.  And he is joyful.  And content.  And feels great.

This makes the analytical, literal, 1 + 2 = 3 side of me absolutely anxious and stressed.  And it drives the emotional, over-sensitive side of me to guilt and tears.  I know I’m writing some vulnerable things here, but being a pancreas is so much more than food, insulin, carbs and shots.  Taking care of my son in this way is bringing to the surface every vulnerable part of me.  Yes, it also causes my strengths to surface as well.  As it does for anyone walking through pain and suffering.

And that’s life, isn’t it?  The good with the bad.  The joy with the sorrow.  The dawn after the dark night.

This is all on my mind tonight as I gear up for another long night tending to George.  His numbers were consistently high all afternoon and evening.  So we had him running sprints and playing hard outside before bed.  Which could lead to nighttime lows.

For this girl who failed art class, I’m desperately wishing there was an easy, step-by-step formula for my son tonight.  But since there is not, I’ll just let that one part of my life that isn’t contained by a formula loose.  I won’t worry about perfectly straight lines with perfectly sharpened crayons tonight.  I will look to the Lord with every finger poke, and with every decision I have to make based on his blood sugar levels.  And then I will let myself worship.  No formulas.  No instructions.  Just deep calling to deep.  All night long.

“Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.”  Ps. 42:7


3 thoughts on “This Pancreas Failed Art Class

  1. As I’m up five to seven times a night…I look for your blogs….cry out to Jesus on your behalf and wonder where I put my fudge…I thank you for not running from God…but rather to Him as you care for and make art out of George’s life w/food and exercise to help him balance each day….I am so impressed that our lives are intertwined by the ways our children need us those same children you and I spent hours, weeks, years praying to be able to even have….I know now that He was training us then for what our kiddos would need…a incredible honor to call you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dearest friend. I read this in the middle of the night. Thank you so very much. I remembered your words as I put the kids to sleep tonight. We have sure come a LOOOONG way from those early days of the ridiculous chicken alarm clock and you telling me that it was OK for me to fall in love with this Shane-guy. 😉 I love you more than words.


  2. I so understand this as we are still so new to dealing with Type 1. I said in my blog the other day ‘There are times I feel like I am playing a game that I can never win and the fact that her life is at stake scares me to death. ‘

    Why can’t 1+2=3?


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