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Speaks Volumes.

December 11, 2007

This past Sunday night, I was watching Joel Osteen on ABC Family channel…

Okay, perhaps I should back up. I wasn’t really watching Joel Osteen, I was flipping channels and my remote control somehow became stuck on the channel and it wasn’t just Sunday night, it was just past midnight on Monday.

Despite the fact that I am a Bible-believing, Jesus-worshipping, cross-wearing (sometimes) Christian, I cannot stand Joel Osteen. Seriously, doesn’t his voice just make you want to crawl under your bed and cry?

But for some strange reason (perhaps I was momentarily possessed by the devil), I listened to Joel Osteen give another one of his impassioned speeches.

And I have to admit… it wasn’t too shabby.

Let me explain:

Mr. Osteen was talking about self-esteem. Now, this is something we can all relate to. He told some stories about how when he was a young minister, he often relied on his congregation to boost his self-esteem after a sermon. He said that he often needed ten or fifteen positive reviews for him to feel good about what he did. He added that if he even had one negative comment about a sermon, he would be depressed and discouraged for days.

As I was listening to him, something occurred to me (perhaps God spoke to me?) and I thought, “This is kind of like what I do with my blood sugars.”

When I have a blood sugar either in my target range or just around it, say 141 mg/dl or 164 mg/dl or 92 mg/dl, I think “Oh, well, that’s good.” And then I move on to doing whatever else I was doing, like watching television or cooking dinner or working on a report. Sometimes I’ll even think, “Gee, I wonder how long it will take me to mess this up…”

But when I get a “bad” blood sugar, like 210 mg/dl or 335 mg/dl or a 53 mg/dl, I think to myself, “Dammit! What did I do? I’m so stupid. I shouldn’t have done this or that or the other thing. Life is so unfair! I hate diabetes!”

Anger. Anger. Anger.

Why is that? I mean, to be honest, I probably spend far more of my time in the “good” blood sugar range, because if I really spent as much time being high as I think I am, I’d be blind and on dialysis by now. So obviously I have to be doing something right, right?

Osteen, the crazy kook that he is, said that nowadays, he focuses more on his own opinion of himself than what other people think of him. When people say something negative, he doesn’t dwell on it. He just accepts it and moves on. When someone says something nice, he appreciates it and moves on.

He reflected on why the negative comments are so hard to overcome: “They are so much louder!”

I wonder if maybe Mr. Osteen is on to something, diabetes-wise. Don’t high blood sugars just seem so obnoxious when you see them? I hardly ever hear anything when my blood sugar is 116 mg/dl, but if you switch it to a 316 mg/dl, I practically have to cover my hears from the screaming shame coming from the screen.

Maybe if I spent half as much time thinking, “Yay! You are 157 mg/dl! Woohoo! You rule!” and dancing around (assuming I was at home where no one can see me) as I do on the “You’re such a loser, Allison, what the hell is wrong with you?” thoughts, I would probably be a much happier person and I probably wouldn’t hate testing nearly as much as I do.

I’m 221 mg/dl right now. And you know what? I’m accepting that as a fact, telling the 221 mg/dl to shut up, taking a correction bolus and moving on…

… to the bathroom where I can wash my mouth out with soap for agreeing with Joel Osteen.

  1. December 11, 2007 9:03 PM

    I completely relate.

    At my mom’s birthday dinner last night, I tested and was greeted with a lovely 88 mg/dl. Feeling a little giddy, I commented to my mom and Dennis that my mood is largely dictated by my latest blood sugar reading. Had I just gotten a result of 188 mg/dl, I would have been bummed and sullen rather than energetic and enjoying my family’s company.

    Gotta work on that.

  2. December 12, 2007 11:26 AM

    Very true Allison. The older I get, the less I care what other people think. But that meter is such a critic sometimes. Too bad it doesn’t bleep some encouraging words like….”It’s just a high. Not a bit deal in the grand scheme. Now give yourself a nice bolus, and let’s move on. By the way, nice blouse you’re wearing today.”

    As for Joel, I share your opinion of him. I think he’s a bit unbalanced with the prosperity gospel / power of positive thinking stuff, but really every preacher is unbalanced in some way. Only Jesus has that perfect balance of grace and truth. I guess we should really be most concerned with what He thinks.

  3. December 14, 2007 1:37 AM

    I totally relate. You are so right.

    Joel is kind of a twerp, in my opinion, but there was one time I was in Taiwan and it was on TV and he was talking about self-esteem or some such thing and I didn’t change it and I quite needed that message.

    God has many messengers.

    The bloodsugar thing is tricky–not to react to a “bad” number is tough, but I’m getting better at it, too.

  4. December 15, 2007 11:41 PM

    I too agree Allison.

    It is so hard to use that number as just a number.

    I find that I feel better about a low (probably because I “get” to stuff something sweet into my mouth) than I do a high (because I stuffed too much food into my mouth…).

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