From Deny-abetes to Slaying the Diabetic Dragon (Part 1)

By: Sandy Churchill

This has been a difficult week. Four doctors appointment in a row, one a day—like vitamins. A diabetic checkup and troubling infection, mammogram, ophthalmologist, and allergist appointment felt like a week-long tune-up that revealed some frustrating news. Blood sugars out of control again… or should I say “still.”


The truth is there are good days and bad days and I am ashamed to admit that I have sometimes thrown in the towel (partway) by not testing my blood sugar for days or even weeks at a time. I say partway because I still follow the dietary and exercise guidelines for the disease, but I refuse to ride the stress-cycle every morning when my a.m. sugars sky-rocket and it ruins the day. No excuses here—that is simply the truth. I’ve wiped out whole food categories to get a handle on this thing and still to no real avail. No pasta of any kind—save twice a year maybe. No bread, except Ezekiel bread occasionally. I even dismissed oatmeal for an entire year and for what? An A1C of 8? Seriously?

Exercise has followed the same course… I get all gung-ho and do weights, aerobic videos, two-mile daily walks and such—until a morning when it’s too hot and then a whole week when it’s too hot to move. How to stay the course?

This is surely a life-lesson of perseverance that can be a series of teachable moments for my two adult daughters and 13 year-old son. Do I cave and cry and surrender to the diabetic dragon—a foe too powerful for me to even hold course? Naturally, I did cry this week… a lot. But then I took a breath, delved into my protein shakes, committed again to daily walks, and pulled out my blood sugar monitor and workout DVDs. No, this is no time to give up.

My motivation? First, my 13 year-old who needs me. I remind myself he deserves every bit of energy and happiness in a healthy mom that his sisters had. Second, my husband and daughters who need me too. Third, for me. My parents suffer with the disease and I want to improve my numbers and do everything I can to be healthy on this journey.

My sweet son gave prolific hugs this week, reassuring me that everything would be okay. Discouraged as I was, we talked about blood sugars, nutrition, exercise, frustration, and encouragement—lessons that extend beyond the diabetic dragon and into management of myriad life challenges. Hopefully, he will learn perseverance and commitment and positive attitude lessons as I go through the diabetic journey and tackle this challenge with renewed resolve. God willing, my whole family will adopt even more health-oriented changes in our menu and activities and gain from the experiences.

So A1C, while it feels you are winning, your stance is temporary. I have perseverance on my side and my spirit may be down but not out. My family is on my team and we have strikes yet to deal. Blood sugar: you alone will not define me, but you’re going down anyway!

Read Part 2 of From Deny-abetes to Slaying the Diabetic Dragon.


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