“You write like a chicken! The nuns didn’t teach you any better than that?” one of my many “Work Moms” asked.
In my defense, I should’ve been a lefty. But I did get off easy with the nuns of Catholic “grammar” school compared to my Work Moms’ tales of the ruler cracking their knuckles for poor penmanship.
In “grammar” school, they taught us grammar. My math, science, and arts skills are lacking to this day.
Reflecting on our Catholic grade school lessons recently, I confessed to one Work Mom that I was, in fact, a member of the first grade Liars’ Club. Granted, I’m no Mary Karr, although that would be pretty darn cool.
It was Christmastime, and we celebrated with the appropriate holiday page in our first grade coloring books. The scene was that of a Christmas tree decorated with big, shiny ornaments and a gold star on top.
“Are you done?” Sister Catherine* asked.
*Name changed because I still fear her wrath to this day.
The body of the tree had yet to be filled in with the evergreen colored pencil. But I’m done coloring the ornaments, I thought.
“Yes!” I replied.
Sister Catherine’s eyes widened in fury.
“Liar!” she screamed.
You didn’t let me finish, I thought.
“God doesn’t like liars! Shame on you!” she continued.
I blinked back tears and repeated my internal mantra, Do. not. cry. I had simply misunderstood her. In hindsight, I suspect that my blood sugar was low. The fuzzy feeling where it all makes sense in your own head, but makes-no-sense-in-anyone-else’s-head-and-you-know-it, was definitely present.
This week, decades removed from the grammar school incident, I found myself in a similar predicament. Words made sense in my head, but I needed to get them out into the air in order to breathe easier.
I took a sip of my iced coffee, exhaled, and looked my endocrinologist in the eye. Do. not. lie. And Do. not. cry. while you’re at it, I reminded myself.
“I don’t eat enough carbs. I’m way better than I used to be, but I need more. That’s part of the ketones problem,” I admitted.
Endo didn’t call me a liar. She didn’t bristle at the words that made sense in my head, and now made sense out in the open, too. Instead, she nodded and we immediately jumped into troubleshooting mode, discussing target carb-consumption goals and more.
I don’t eat enough carbs because my blood sugars do better on a low-carb regimen. But perhaps I have veered too low-carb at times, so my body burns fat for fuel. Hence, ketones. Hence, dangerous. Hence, this problem must be solved so I can live a full, enjoyable, healthy life.
I also don’t eat enough carbs because I just plain couldn’t trust my defective insulin pump products to deliver the insulin to cover those carbs in the past. Anxiety. Mentally, it was easier to go low-carb than to deal with the sky-high values when the pump failed as often as it did. This snowballed into a sticky situation, the residuals of which I am still trying to shake free from my mind. Just because I am injecting insulin now does not necessarily mean that my brain feels any differently about carbs or insulin. Only time, prayer, and hard work will tell.
^ All of this was understood and accepted, a starting point of honesty from which to move forward.
“Do you still talk to Dr. X?” Endo asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
A few days later, I went to see Dr. X. I wasn’t happy with what I had to tell her about carbs- that this was a bigger issue than I had perhaps thought that it was.
But I didn’t lie.
“The truth will set you free.” -John 8:32