Friday, 8 January 2010

Medical Adventures in International Living

So, I had my first appointment with a Diabetic specialist here in Sweden this morning.

I was dreading it for days. I always do. Diabetes and I have never found peace sharing the same body. And doctors have been far more damaging (emotionally) to me than helpful from the time I was 7 years old. I think this may be some of the reason behind feeling so discouraged and weighed down the past few days. Diabetes is such an emotionally oppressive thing and it's always the lead up to seeing the doctor when it affects me the most.

My God walked with me up this frozen street toward the hospital at Wieselgrensplatsen, the sort of 'city square' nearest my flat (this is where I get groceries, go to the post office, etc, etc. My little neighbourhood). He hovers so tenderly near every time living with this disease gets to me the most.

And the receptionist was so beautifully helpful and sweet, fishing for English words to explain things to me in this new system! Trying to explain how a "frikort" works-- that I pay for each appt. up to 900 kronor a year. This appt was 300kr (Approx. $42). Please will you pray with me for Him to bring this money in before my credit card is due? I don't have any room in my monthly support for extra expenses like this. Testing my trust in His provision, as usual!

My new doctor is so typically Swedish it's almost laughable. Tall and lean and blond and fair, with solidly-cut features and a firm handshake. And a typical doctor in that he had that unnerving "I know everything" attitude. But untypical, in that he really didn't seem to know much of what he was doing. Haha. He kept referring to his nurse to educate me on how things are done here, but I won't see his nurse for 4 or 5 weeks and must wait for them to assign me an appt. with her. Funny how it will only cost 100kr to see her, and she does far more work :) Oh doctors! He didn't test anything-- not even my blood pressure. Just looked at my perfectly wonderful feet (!) and checked my belly for the infusion set sites for my pump! And he only looked at my medical records when I prompted him. But, he did send in a prescription for me to get my insulin in this country! So, that's a relief :) The prescription pricing system works separate from the appointment one, and the cap on prescriptions is 1,800kr in a year. So, I'm not desperately needing insulin yet, but please pray that He will provide the funds when the time comes!

Or heal me of this disease before then :)

My A1c is up again. Dr. Strandberg (pronounced: str-aw-nd-berry) says that he thinks I must feel very poorly with an H1c in the 10's. I don't feel poorly as a rule, but I suppose that's because the climb is gradual. I would love to lower it.... Please pray with me for better discipline with glucose testing, and for God to keep providing use of a gym!! I thought I would get a few gym passes with some Christmas money and then discovered that the 10-times-card that I thought to get would cost $113!! I was so disappointed as I had been looking forward to this since Christmas, expecting it to be under $50 and figuring I could spend Christmas gift money on it and not feel irresponsible when everything is so hand-to-mouth. So I was stunned when the conversion rate puts the price at $113. But He provided another free weeklong pass like I tried (and loved) in October :) And I can only expect that He will provide other ways after that!

I am really coming to a place in my walk with him where the spiritual is meeting up with the physical. Our bodies are the temple of His precious Holy Spirit. This body of mine will never be perfectly healthy. It's slogged along under the oppression of this auto-immune disease since it was only 7 years old, but it's going strong. Even after all the abuse I've put it through by taking out my stress and angst on it in years past, with eating-disorders and self-mutilation and just not liking it enough to look after it. I feel like I'm finally reaching a space where the desire to live well in Him, to honour Him with my whole life, is stronger than the insecurities and bad self-esteem. And that means a new interest in living healthy. I don't endeavour to be perfect, that's not gonna happen. I live in reality :) But to make a lifestyle out of making healthy choices as far as they present themselves... And so, I have a new-found love for the gym :) I'm also part vegetarian :)

So, please pray with me for His provision in the use of a gym! At least during the winter when it's too icy to continue jogging. It is especially vital to my Diabetes management.

After seeing the dr, I sat with such a kind nurse in the lab for a few minutes to test my kidneys (which are A-ok!) and be educated on the way the Swedish system works (prices, appts, pharmacies, etc.... SO HELPFUL!). She was the sweetest, most helpful thing, and I found myself just thanking the Lord for sending her my way. I wasn't supposed to see her today, but she happily took me in. And invited me back up anytime I have any questions. So kind!

He provides. Not the way we expect most of the time, but always always always :) And I am thankful.

So, I walked home in the bright (COLD) Swedish sunshine with a huge sigh of relief to have got that particular 'first' out of the way now. Thank you so much for everyone who has been praying. I know it's hard to understand the emotional struggle attached to living with this livable disease. Thank you for hanging in there with me anyway. You are gems and jewels.

"O Lord, if You heal me, I will be truly healed;
if You save me, I will be truly saved.
My praises are for You alone!"
-- Jer. 17:14


gabi dickinson said...

I know you sometimes wonder about sharing personal stories here, but let me tell you...this touched my heart, girl. I've never experienced Diabetes. I don't know the weight of that as you live with it daily. But I do know that this post once again made me cry. We have such a Perfect Father. What love is that He has lavished upon us...meeting us in our most fragile moments. Ah, never stop sharing the way He carries you with us all.

gabi dickinson said...

Sorry meant to type ''what love is THIS that...''

Hannah said...

I meant to ask you how all that went so I am glad you posted it and also glad you are taking care of yourself!

Anonymous said...

:-) Love, hugs & prayers!!

He too, has written Jer. 17:4 on my heart and I go about often saying, "Heal me and I will be healed, for You are my praise!" all glory and honour to Him alone!

Sept 27th, Streams in the Desert!!!!

a tremendous word that I continue to rest in and absorb and pray that He works belief in me, and opens the eyes of my heart to, and I grow deeper INTO the love of Christ!


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