Friday, November 02, 2007

A Time for Humility

Hello friends,

I have heard from so many wonderful people these last few days, and I just want you to know that I have been touched by your kind words, advice and prayers. When I post a blog, it is my journal, that I am sharing with whomever God sends. I open my soul, to Him and to you, and there is a healing love that washes over me, even when I have no idea who is, or who is not, reading my blog post.

I have been asked some questions about my diet, so I feel a need to clarify that my intent is not to preach, but to share what has worked for me. I don't usually do this, but I feel that some clarification is in order. I have poor health, and a host of diseases, that I control with medication, diet and exercise. You might say that in the past, I was kind of a health nut. My children never tasted white sugar, or processed foods, until they were nearly in their teens. I ate all of the foods that are considered to make one healthy. I took natural vitamins, drank herbal teas, etc., etc. And all of this may have delayed, but did not prevent arthritis, life-threatening asthma, trigeminal neuralgia, migraines and other neurological conditions, and diabetes. I'm aware that it is in my genes, and we live in a fallen world.

Most of the time, I'm able to forge ahead. I'm more of a half-a-glass-full kind of person, so I live on hope, faith, and my personal relationship with God. However, there are those days when I wonder why I'm doing this. Last night was one of those nights. My blood sugar, which I must keep under 140, no matter what I eat, was 160, and I could feel it climbing. I thought I was eating a food with no sugar. I discovered that although that was true, the food was loaded with carbohydrates, which turns into glucose in the body. This may seem small, but I am not on diabetes drugs. I'm doing this with diet, exercise, and holding God's hand.

I was so discouraged last night. I'm going to be 62 in less than six months, and I just don't know how long this diet and exercise will be all that I need to control my blood sugar. I will say this, for those who may be interested in my diet, that there are some fruits that have a lower "inulin" response (less likely to affect blood sugar rises). Here are the fruits that I stick to: one small apple, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, fresh cherries, apricots, peach, nectarine, and an occasional plum. I test my blood sugar before I eat, and one hour after I eat. That lets me know if I need to get on my treadmill.

A normal fasting-blood sugar, taken in the morning is 80. In a healthy person, blood sugar rarely rises much more than that, but in a diabetic, a fasting-blood sugar of 115 is a cause for dancing, and after I eat, if I can keep my blood sugar under 140, I can still get on my treadmill and walk it off. I use Splenda. You might say that I am very strict with what I eat, but some would say that artificial sweeteners are a poison. Well, I can't say that, since my poison is sugar. I believe that Splenda has given me quality of life.

I've recently discovered that I have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), in spite of how strict I have been in the last four years. Then I found out that I can't avoid neuropathy, I can merely slow it down. I'm stubborn. No doubt about it. I fight my diseases with every ounce of my strength. I often say that I'm going down swinging.

I do feel that it is important to let you know, that anything I mention, that I eat, is merely a window into my world. It is not meant to say, you must eat this, too. You see, diabetes is NOT a one-size-fits-all disease. It is a complicated disease, and no two people react exactly the same. So NEVER do what I have done, without a heart-to-heart conference with your doctor. He or she may send you to a dietician. The Harvard School of Health released an excellent food pyramid, which can be adjusted to your own lifestyle. The link can be found at

I realize that there are those who must be on diabetes medication. Let's face it, we all want to live as long as God allows. We do not want to "test" Him, by doing things that would hurt our bodies. I used to know two women, lovely women, who were diabetics. About once a year they would decide "I don't have diabetes." They would go off of their medication, and head for the chocolate cake. Both of them wound up in a diabetic coma, again and again. That's scary stuff. It scares the wits out of me. They actually were my inspiration to control what I eat, to test my sugar frequently during the day, and to stay on my treadmill.

So, now, it's just you and God and your doctor. Believe me, my prayers are with you. This is a tough life, but it is also a rich life. I can see. I can breathe. I can love. I can count all my fingers and toes. I don't have to die of an asthma attack or diabetes. And while I'm doing what is right for my body, I can praise God for the privilege of walking behind Jesus as He carries His Cross to Calvary. It's a small price to pay to honor Him.

Father, I begin again this day, to carry my Cross, with humor, faith in You, and a dogged determination that I will not dishonor You. Help me to understand what my body needs to keep as healthy as I can be in the body I have. Please bless those who are struggling with weight, diabetes, or any disease. Please give them hope, and strength, and love. Help each of us realize that we are incapable of saving ourselves. Grant us the grace to place our hand in Yours, believing as our Savior did, that it is not our will, but Yours that must be done.

With Love,

Jaye Lewis

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