Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Diabetes and a Homeschooling Mom

Ten years of homeschooling has been a very positive part of our lives. However, I learned at the end of 2010, that my lack of regard for my own care has taken a big toll on my health. It's very scary, and uncomfortable to have to face something that I had been dodging successfully, all my life.

My thyroid stopped working when I was 19, resulting in weight gain, and a lot of other problems. At some point, I stopped going to doctors unless I had to get my routine checkup for my thyroid, because doctor visits are too expensive, and there were times when I just didn't want to hear any bad news about myself.

There were times that doctors told me that my blood sugar was out of control, and it did scare me, but I would immediately go on a diet, and the problem would be solved. However, my diabetic grandfather would point out that most of our relatives became full blown diabetic after age 35.

I had gestational diabetes through all three pregnancies, but that was only temporary. With my third pregnancy, I was placed on insulin injections, and I thought that I would never be able to handle having to do that for the rest of my life. Being pregnant and diabetic is the pits.

Let's fast forward to December, 2010, right before Christmas, and three months before my 35th birthday. I had Christmas dinner all planned out. Desserts were already made and stored away for the big day. I made all of my favorite side dishes to go with the turkey. It was going to be perfect. The only hurdle that I had left before the holiday was to get my usual checkup and lab work so that I could get my thyroid meds refilled, and get on with the rest of my life.

After I had my visit with the doctor, and blood work was underway, I went home to enjoy the rest of my day, and work on getting my house ready for Christmas. That afternoon, the doctor called to give my results. My thyroid levels were good, so I would continue the same medication that I was using for that. My fasting blood sugar was over 300. I was crushed. It was very hard to listen as he gave me instructions over the phone and told me to go back to the clinic in the morning to pick up my new prescriptions. The girls tried to console me, but I couldn't stop crying. Many of my relatives, including both of my maternal grandparents, have passed on because of diabetes complications. It felt like I had been issued a death sentence.

It's been about a month since then. I've have been dieting, exercising, and taking meds. The pill medication didn't work for me, so now I am on insulin. The expense of this disease has been very frustrating, but I do know that God will provide. At first, I was angry about being diagnosed right before Christmas, but maybe I would not have lived to see 2011. My first thought was that I had no support system, but a dear friend came to me right away, and offered to help me through this. We are cheering each other on, and praying for each other. Other friends have been praying and encouraging me as well. If you were to ask me who my best friend is, I would say that they are all the best. It means a lot to me. Maybe someday God will use me to help another soul who is going through the same thing. In fact, I discovered that this really is an answer to a heartfelt prayer when I asked God to please restore my body so that I could feel better, and be of greater service to him. Quite possibly, the true miracle was finding out what was wrong with me in the first place.

Giving All The Glory to God,
Laurel Santiago


  1. Laurel, my hubby has been a diabetic for 19 years now. Insulin dependent for 17yrs. It's a different lifestyle, sometimes hard but certainly doable. When Devin was diagnosed, he wieghed 396lbs. At that time, his weight NEVER bothered him, I loved him no matter his size. Upon our 1st visit to the DR, it was such a reality check for us. Within a year Dev was down to 230!!! Diet, exercise was the key to success. His journey has been diffucult, because he's hard headed. His feet were a major problem 2yrs ago, but he's so much better now. His weight is up and down, but I give him a huge E for effort! Since we've moved back to W. Texas he's found a DR that he really loves, which is so important to his health success.
    I have a TON of diabetic recipes, I'll be sure and share some with you. If ever you need anything, even just to vent, please NEVER hesitate to ask!

  2. Becky - that is awesome about Devin's improvement and your ability to help out Lori.... I pray you both see success in dealing with this.