If you stumbles across this blog today, wondering about the HOW s and the WHAT s behind the title, let me tell you about a part, a big part of my life, over the past 54 years.
That’s right, I’ve actually shot myself over 22,000 times within that fifty-four year time frame. I’ve became a Type I Diabetic right after I turned sixteen years of age. I’ve been shooting up with a syringe (the current vernacular) of insulin 4 times per day, every day of those 54 years. Not counting how many times I’ve pricked my fingers with a lancet to test my blood-sugar daily.
HOW AND WHEN IT ALL BEGAN:
At the age of 16, the last thing that you want noticed was bringing a bottle of soda in a brown paper bag to a dance party at one of your friends patio parties. I remember telling a girl that I was sweet on in 1958, while slow dancing, “To Know, Know, Know Him…” that I was a Diabetic, I was quite surprised to hear her reaction to my embarrassment, “SO!”
I was born and raised in Southern California where the weather benefits teen-age get-together s at a moments noticed. In 1958, the only diet drinks available (“sugar-free”) were in plain, green colored, pebbled glass bottles. I even remember the name: So Cal Beverages. It took up about two feet on the grocery shelf compared to twenty feet of low-sugar drinks today, and at first, the only flavor was sparkling lime.
Now to bring this refreshment to the party, explaining to my friends mom what was in the bag, she was nice to me and promptly put the bag and bottle safely in the refrigerator; not to embarrass me in any way. Every now and again, when the 45 record was changed on the player, I would sneak back to the kitchen a grabbed a swig from the bottle in the sack. And you know what, to this day, I don’t think anyone knew, except for Jerry’s mom and dad; Mel Thompson was a DIABETIC!
Now in today’s society, being a Type II Diabetic seems to be the “social disease” of America. I have often said to my wife that they should give Type II Diabetes a different name. The symptoms might be similar, but that is where the comparisons stop! With proper weight management, correct eating habits and proper exercise, the patient can see the disease even disappear. With my type of Diabetes (Type I, or “Juvenile diabetes”), there is no cure.
Insulin was not discovered until 1922 by the research scientists, Banning and Best. I remember telling my grandma after the doctor’s diagnosis of diabetes, “Grandma, it’s not fatal unless you don’t take care of yourself. So stop worrying!” You see, grandma only knew that anyone she had known in the past who contracted DIABETES–DIED! I told her that my doctor said, “If you take care of yourself Mel, you will probable live a longer life than a non-diabetic who never takes care of themselves.”
Explaining My Malady to my Future Lady and Wife to Be:
In 1964, I met a Pagan: no, I know what you’re thinking. “She wasn’t a Christian?”, and you are right she wasn’t and I wasn’t either. PAGAN was her maiden name: Dianne Pagan. Are you smiling…? Her dad’s full name was, Joseph Archangel Pagan. Now that’s… funny!
Trying to make a long story short, in the dating process, I explained to her with some trepidation, she was about to marry a diabetic. Was she frightened, worried about her future, her security…? None of the above! In fact, I had to tell her, although the disease was not supposed to be passed on directly to our future children (was supposed to “skip a generation or more”) there still was the possibility.
Well, we got married in September of 1964 with our first child, our daughter Karen within the next year. Then another daughter, Kristin and then on my turning of 28, a son named Kevin was born.
Why am I giving you all of these details?
At the age of 4-1/2, Karen became a diabetic and at the age of 6, Kristin also became a diabetic. Out the door went the “skip a generation” theory! So now instead of dealing with (1) diabetic in the family [ME!], there was now a grand total of three Type I Diabetics in the Thompson household! Blood testing, shots given, (my wife gave them to our daughters) until they could handle it all by there selves. I remember Karen asking at the age of eleven if she could go to school camp this year; and her mother said, “When you can take your own shots, then you can go.” After her mother’s conditions, Karen went to school camp that year! We raised independent children, That’s good…and bad! Another blog maybe.
IN THE PROCESS OVER THE YEARS:
In August of 1972, Dianne and I both accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior together–the same night on our living room couch. Now the word FAITH was somewhat unfamiliar to us both. I thought LUCK and FAITH were synonymous. Three of us in the family were DIABETICS; that took shots everyday of the year, took blood test a gazillion times a day and IT IS WHAT IT IS–DEAL WITH IT mentality. The three of us were just UNLUCKY, that’s all! And that was just a fact in our lives. We DO know how to deal with it! But there have been many a bumps in the road over the years and without our FAITH, my daughters, my wife and my FAITH in the future outcome, we would not have been able to handle the disease. GOD IS ABLE however! Thank you Jesus!
Through it all, I have come to realize that by my God-given FAITH; God takes care of us if we let Him, and after 54 years of being a diabetic, shooting myself over 22,000 times, God has a specific plan for me while going through life with this disease. Now I’ve discovered part of His plans, but I’m still discovering all of His surprises He has in store for me and my adult daughters.
TRUSTING in the Absence of Understanding:
I wrote a piece about three men, who were about to be sentenced to death in a fiery furnace [Daniel 3] that contained three little words that jumped off the page: “BUT IF NOT”. That’s POWERFUL!
“If our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us out… BUT IF NOT…”
A QUESTION I HAVE ASKED OVER AND OVER…”Is my FAITH big enough?”
Now I’ve been to healing rooms, asked God directly in supplication and intercession, for a cure for myself and my daughters. I was told once by one intercessor, “Your CURE is on its way!” It’s a good thing that as a mature Christian today, I don’t walk in luck…”I walk by FAITH and not by what I see.”
Now the apostle Paul had a malady of some sort, some say “macular degeneration”, maybe even partial blindness, but whatever, Paul said that God had not remove the thorn from him and inferred…”BUT IF NOT…”
My FAITH IS BIG ENOUGH to make a difference! My FAITH is carrying me through it all, even with the side effects of the disease: 7-Way open heart by-pass surgery in 1998, Med-One coming to the house in the middle of the night because of Insulin Reactions [low blood sugar]. They knew me so well that we were all on a first name basis. But even through the events, God has brought me through every time. God wants me where I am; to teach, expound on, His Word as the WORD Detective and I will serve Him until He calls me home!
I hope this shorter than normal (from https://theworddetective.wordpress.com blog) will encourage you in your time of need, frustrations and ill-health, or someone who you know that is going through it all. If nothing else, you have gotten to know me a little better. Thanks for taking the time to read my story!