Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The gift God gave me

I tend to not blog about personal stuff, as this is meant to be a craft and travel blog, but it is also a blog about faith and hope, so today's topic with be just that.

Thirteen years ago, God gave me the gift of a baby boy. The first night after he was born I lay in my hospital bed with my boy in my arms in amazement that God would give me the perfect family; one daughter and one son.

Fast forward thirteen years, and I am lying in a hospital bed with my boy in my arms sobbing and distraught, because my son has just been diagnosed with type 1 insulin dependant diabetes. The shock and reality of it makes me want to vomit, so I pray to God to take away this pain from me. But God uses pain and suffering to make you realise what blessings you have in life.  In the bible, St Paul prayed that God would take away his affliction (we don't really know what that was) But God said no, because his grace is sufficient for us to deal with it. And without pain, we cannot grow spiritually.

How did we end up here? My son had been losing weight over a year and the past several months he was drinking alot. I took him to the doctor for a blood test last Wednesday. On Thursday morning, his nurse rang us to come in immediately because the blood test revealed there was sugar in his blood. Wham. I felt like a truck just hit me.  I studied health science at uni, so I knew exactly what was going to happen (or so I thought) We were sent to emergency at a private hopsital (thank God for private health insurance) and he was poked and prodded with needles and a drip was inserted.  He was admitted to the children's ward and a wonderful paediatrician came to visit us. He said that diabetes is a "bit of a nusciance but you will be able to do everything you ever want to.. school, exercise, swimming and travel" As my knowledge is not up to date, I thought my son would have to inject himself with insulin 10 times a day and would eventually suffer from a whole host of diabetes related ilnesses. My husband works in healthcare and many of his patients have diabetic ilnesses, so that was our immediate thought- that our son would end up with horrible diseases and physical disabilities.

But, I was wrong.  The doctor offered us 2 options- injections 10 times a day or an insulin pump. I immediately chose the pump, even though I didn't fully understand what that was. But, here is how it works... The pump contains a cartridge of insulin which is fed via a line and needle into the body.  everytime the patient eats a food containing carbohydrate they must work out how many grams of carbs is in that particular food and then enter the amount into the pump. The pump then calculates how much insulin is required to metabolise the food and sends that amount into the body via the line. The pump also feeds a small amount of insulin into the body constantly, just as a pancreas does in a healthy human. The pump is a miracle innovation which almost acts like a bionic pancreas so the blood sugar levels in the body are so much easier to control than with old fashioned injections. If he goes in water, the pump is disconnected and then connected again after. He was fitted with the pump the very next morning by an amazing diabetes nurse.  He has to prick his finger every 3 hours to test his glucose levels and the pump line and needle is changed every 3 days. But that is pretty much it.

My son has been astounding me with his courage and positive attitude.  He never once complained with all the needles and blood tests.  He did his own finger prick test since the second day and because the pump is computerised, he learned how to use it in 2 lessons and does all his carb entries himself. We both cried alot the first 3 days, but I kept praying that we both would become strong, and that's exactly what happened.

God has blessed me in many ways throughout this ordeal. Firstly, our paediatrician and diabetes nurse are angels. We can ring them 24 hours a day with any concerns. The other blessing is that we live on the Gold Coast in Australia. The Gold Coast and one other hospital in Sydney are the only places in Australia that offer insulin pumps to children as a first treatment option. Apparently, everywhere else in Australia thinks little kids should give themselves injections 10 times a day. How is that a better treatment option? the pump is so easy; no measuring insulin and being constantly jabbed with a needle. And it so much easier to stabilise blood glucose levels on the pump as the settings can be altered depending on your exercise and food for that particular hour. As far as I know, even in USA children are not immediately put on pumps. Kids in this generation are raised on techno stuff, so operating the pump is so easy for them. Our nurse also arranged for a mum and her diabetic son to come and visit us in hospital and she has been a great source of information and support for me.  And since the pump keeps the blood glucose levels more stable, health complications are significantly less likely.

So, God gave me gift of a baby boy, but he also gave me the gift of an awesome boy who has strength and faith to face this disease with hope. He gave me the gift of people to support and pray for us.

These bible verses really apply to me at the moment:

2 Corinthians 4:16... For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is being renewed day after day. And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention , not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.

For we know that when this tent we live in - our body here on earth- is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home he himself has made, which will last forever.

James 1:2... My brothers, consider yourself fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure.

James 1:12... Happy is the person who remains faithful under trials, because when he succeeds in passing such a test, he will receive as his reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.

1 Peter 1:6... Be glad about this, eventhough it may be now necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many trials you suffer.  Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine.  Even gold which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honour on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 4:19.. So then, those who suffer because it is  God's will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps his promise.

I will be starting a new blog dedicated to my son's diabetes journey and all the things we learn along the way.  I have been doing extensive research about how diet impacts type 1 diabetes which is the opposite of what the medical profession tell me (eg: "keep eating McDonalds and heaps of carbs") I have been inspired by many people who have minimised their diabetes  through diet and exercise. In the past 2 days our whole family has drastically our diet. All carbs and processed food have been disposed of in our kitchen, and we are following a Paleo diet which has reduced his blood glucose levels in just 24 hours!

So, in conclusion, as a family we have chosen positivity and a life of faith for what ever health problems are in our future. We will not allow this little hiccup destroy our life and we refuse to feel  sorry for ourselves or be miserable.  Being negative will not make this situation go away, but being positive is the only way to approach any set back in life. God allows pain so that we can grow spiritually.  This makes sense; if life on earth was perfect we would never grow spiritually, and it is our spirits which live forever, not our mortal bodies.  We LOVE LIFE!!!



  1. Hi Lisa... I read your post with much interest... am happy to see that your boy is strong and that both of you are coping well with the situation... take care...

  2. I'm not a Christian, but as a resident of Japan I can say ...

    Ganbare to you and your son!