A Hypoglycemia Story…Kelly’s View!
I receive hundreds of e-mails each month and can’t possibly answer them all… it’s sad and very frustrating but a reality. However, when Kelly Phillip from Arkansas wrote me recently, not only did I respond to her but also asked if I could share her story with you, my hypoglycemia community. Kelly immediately gave her permission.
I can’t express how much I have appreciated and valued your resources [as I learn how to cope] with Reactive Hypoglycemia. I was diagnosed May of 2013 and then it took me 10 months to figure out what I needed to do with my diet. Actually, it was more like ten months of trial and terror. Right now, after having figured out how to manage it with diet, I feel wonderful. I truly feel like I have my life back. I wanted to share my reasons to keep eating right:
1. I ran a red light….twice. People shouldn’t be driving while having low blood sugar.
2. My doctor told me to call 911 or go to the emergency room if I had another episode that involves slurred speech and blurred vision.
3. I had to see a neurologist to rule out if I had something more serious going on. This appointment was not necessary and only showed me how little health professionals understand Reactive Hypoglycemia. Being as young as I am, this really rattled me though.
4. Trying to understand someone explaining the difference between iced and non-iced water and where to find it should not be that confusing and disorienting. I think my exact words were, “I’m so confused; I don’t understand.”
5. Dizziness sucks.
6. Vertigo really sucks.
7. Walking into doors is comical but not something I want to make a habit.
8. Having a meltdown and getting angry at the self-checkout and its cashier is embarrassing and not worth the regret.
9. I don’t want to ever reach the point of feeling like I’m going to pass out.
10. My anxiety and depression have significantly lessened.
11. I don’t have Asperger’s. My blood sugar levels being off affected me profoundly in social settings. I don’t experience the disconnected feeling that led mental health professionals to believe that I might have Asperger’s.
12. I’m worth it. I have enough self-worth to believe that I am worth taking the time and care I need to feel 100%.
Thanks for all your insight and resources. RH is so complex and it affects so many areas of a person’s life. I hope others can see that it’s not all in their head and that eating right does make RH manageable. I know. As someone put it…”The real Kelly has finally shown up!”
I was so touched and inspired by Kelly’s e-mail that I asked her if she had anything more she would like to share. Read on for more thoughts from Kelly on the challenges she has faced and insights she has discovered while struggling with hypoglycemia.
I started writing this in December and I can see the progression of my thoughts and attitudes with this problem. I could see my heart start to soften and come to a place of acceptance. Some of the parts I edited out showed a lot of bitterness, confusion and frustration. Then, I started to see that for chronic problems there is a chronic love that brings balance and perspective.
Here’s a conversation with one of my doctor’s nurses back in July 2013:
• Me: So, ummm… I just wanna ask…I’m not sure…ummm…feeling shaky and dizzy isn’t normal?
• Nurse: No, this isn’t normal. Most people don’t feel like that.
• Me: Ummmm, oh…well… I …Ok… thank you.
Ha! For all of you who have to second-guess if you are normal or not, I have confirmation; I’m not normal. I’ve always wondered about that. As one of my doctors put it, “the only normal thing is the setting on my dishwasher.”
Basically, food became my enemy and I had to learn to make new friends. I have precious memories of the food that I grew up with. My father owned a Daylight Donuts and made hard-served ice cream. I bake for people just for the fun of it. I used to have my freezer stuffed with frozen cookie dough for random, drop by visits from friends. Now, it’s portioned out peanuts. For those of you reading, I promise not to get on my soapbox about healthy eating.
So, where’s God in all of this? In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth. It was perfect. Then, sin came into the world and things started to fall apart. I live in an imperfect world with an imperfect body that isn’t going to last forever. Having problems is to be expected. However, it has been mind boggling to think about how my own body can attack itself all because of sugar. As I’ve battled crazy ups and downs both physically and emotionally, God’s been my one true constant. (Sorry to anyone I may have exploded on, forgotten something, or just didn’t have the energy to do.)
I can’t wallow in it but I need to be real about how it affects me. There’s been a lot of fear with this but it’s been a reminder of how dependent on God that I am. I felt some bitterness but I’ve learned to let it go.
I now realize that I can’t serve God to the capacity He needs me to if I don’t first take care of the body He’s given me. What I thought was normal was absolute chaos and God is using food as a way to free me from this physical bondage. I serve a big enough God that, yes, HE CAN USE ANYTHING, even food, because He loves me that much. Oh, that reminds me. I am worth the time and energy to get better and take care of myself. I am worth it.
If you are struggling with something chronic, give yourself some grace. I have needed to allow myself the time to adjust and rest physically and emotionally. Seriously, slow down. Also, it’s ok to grieve the loss of the old normal. Wow, I’m going to miss those donuts. Lastly, realize and accept your limitations. God’s perspective of me comes first before what others may think. Most importantly, rest in that Chronic Love.
KP March 2014
Thank you to Kelly and everyone else who has shared their experiences with me and the HSF. Remember, we are not alone…we’re in this together!
Here’s to your health,