Thursday, February 16, 2012

What a difference a day makes:

Life in missions has been described as constantly adjusting to a new normal. This description is so accurate to our lives. Normal has changed for us.

It is now normal for us to walk 30 minutes from one place to another.

It is now normal for us to consume gallons of rice in a week.

It is now normal for us to answer the phone with "Halo?" and continue the conversation in Spanish.

It is now normal to hear fireworks on any given day even at 8 in the morning.

It is now normal to show up to parties an hour late.

It is now normal to eat guata, mote, and batidos de mora.

It is now normal to travel 5 hours by bus to get to an airport.

It is now normal to avoid rabid dogs in the street.

It is now normal to praise God, talk to God, and teach the word of God all in Spanish.

One time it was all new. Now it is normal.

But what was normal Wed. 15 days ago is all new now.

Marcus was sick. We didn't know it but his body was making a new normal for him.

Two Wednesdays ago we mentioned some non bothersome symptoms to a dr friend of ours.

4 hours later our lives changed.

Marcus was immediately admitted to the hospital where he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is different than type 2 which creates its own new normal. Type 1 is not temporary. It can not be cured with diet and exercise. It is a auto immune disease that has killed off the beta cells in his pancreas. The beta cells are what makes insulin for the body. Without insulin, he will die. He will never have new beta cells.

This newness is for life.

It's not normal yet. Not quite yet.

4 shots of insulin a day.
4 blood checks (sometimes more).
Not sleeping through the nights.
Changed vision.
Shakey lows.
Bad mood highs.
A severely restricted diet, carefully proportioned and measured, eaten six time a day.
Multiple dr's visits. (a lifetime relationship with a team of specialists)
Fear and anxiety.
A whole new vocabulary.

We have not gotten used to it yet. But we will. We can tell that was was once a shock is wearing off and becoming a part of our lives.
A life with Type 1 diabetes.

Already it has become normal to:
Talking with others who have this or have children with it.
Praying daily for health.
Praying daily for the scientists who are looking for a cure.
Praying daily for God to provide what we need financially and physically.
Scouring the internet for recipes.
Eating a bucketload of veggies everyday.

The rest of it will come. And with it we will have our new normal. One that includes a new ministry. One that includes a special kind of dependance on God. This same God who created my son has been caring for him (and for us) through all of this. He protected my son. He gave us the skills to understand this new disease all in a new language. He gave us skilled doctors and professionals to work with us.

He has grown us and molded us.
Two weeks ago we were different.

Now we are different.
Now we are, in spite of all this newness, BECAUSE of IT,
more like the image of our Savior.

It's true.
Our new normal looks a lot like strength, persistence, character, trust, bravery, and dependance on God. Our new normal looks a lot more like Christ than our old normal did.


Steph said...

Is he on the regime where he has to take a set amount of insulin at set times of the day and eat a set amount of carbs on a strict schedule?

If so, it might be worth asking his doctor about fast-acting insulin. With that regime there's one shot in the morning of long-acting insulin to cover basal insulin needs and then shots of fast-acting for every meal/snack as needed. It's more shots, but also less rigid. That's what I was put on right away- it allows for a much more flexible and "normal" lifestyle. You just have to get a good sense for counting carbs and then whenever he eats (whatever meal he wants/you want to make), you just have to estimate the amount of carbs and then shoot up that much insulin either before or after the meal. I usually do before, but sometimes right after is better because then if I end up not eating as much as I was planning on, I don't have to worry about going low.

I had to do that with the shots for 6 months before my insurance would cover an insulin pump, but that's really changed my life. I don't know how much you've heard about that yet, but it means no more shots- I just have to change out the site every few days and I can eat whatever, whenever, and it's wonderful. The supplies are kind of pricey, but that'll depend on what your insurance situation is.

Let me know if you have any questions or frustrations or anything. It's a really sucky disease but with the right treatment plan, it really doesn't have to be limiting. Heck, I was able to traipse off to South America and frolick on top of the Andes for a summer!

Jim said...

Wow - we can relate. We were getting used to life in Mexico when one of our children was diagnosed with a medical condition. Change within change within change! But God has been gracious to us! He is faithful.