“I’ve been here,” God said and closed the door behind Him. “You’ve been pretty busy since before Christmas.” He moved to the visitor chair closest to my office window. “I figured I’d let the distractions carry you along for a while,” He said and positioned the chair just enough so that He could look outside as we talked. “And they were good distractions, yes?”
“Not really,” I said and took a sip of the cold coffee. “But whatever.”
“The whole family has been on autopilot for a few weeks, now,” I said and turned in my chair enough to cross my leg. “And we didn’t get much of a Christmas break before having to go back to the grind. In fact, we didn’t get a break at all. Too many things were happening at once.”
“You were looking forward to the break, weren’t you?”
“Yes, I was.”
“The distractions kept you moving at full speed?”
“Yes, they did.”
“Good,” He said succinctly. But before I could contest His decisive word and stare, he added, “You don’t want to slow down right now, Chris. Not yet.”
He was right, and I didn’t need for Him to explain His words. I know just as He knows that I’m at my worst with a relaxed mind. Evelyn needs for me—for us—to be the best pancreas we can be for her while we fight an arduous combat for blood sugar stability, all the while being sabotaged by an organ deep within her body that randomly offers to help with our calculations.
The Honeymoon Phase, they call it.
So tritely described by others throughout the blogosphere as being all but celebratory, the Honeymoon Phase is the time it takes for the functioning portion of the pancreas that remains to die off and stop producing insulin. In some circumstances, this take years, and if you know anything about the disease, you’ll know how dangerous the time can be.
Essentially, when you are artificially administering insulin, you are doing what the pancreas is supposed to be doing naturally. You are checking blood sugar levels and making calculations and then injecting the chemical into the body’s fatty tissue so that it gradually makes it into the bloodstream where it works to reduce blood glucose levels and keep the person within a particular range of safety. If you don’t do this, the glucose levels will skyrocket (hyperglycemia) and cause irreversible damage to the body—as in organ failure and/or death. But if the pancreas decides it’s going to do the calculating for you even after you’ve injected the insulin, there is the risk of the glucose level dropping into an unsafe range (hypoglycemia) and resulting in a coma and/or death.
During the Honeymoon Phase, it is absolutely necessary to check blood sugar levels fairly frequently. If you don’t, a short order of trouble could be waiting around the corner.
“How are things going with Evelyn?” God asked and reached toward the window blinds to fix a few of the many slats that had become misaligned.
“It’s been challenging,” I said. “But you already know that.”
“Well, the doctors told us that we could probably cut back on checking her glucose levels at three o’clock in the morning,” I said and then took another sip, “but her numbers are still fluctuating far too much. We just can’t seem to take comfort in the advice and actually sleep through the night. One of us gets up to check on her.”
“Understandable,” He said and fixed another slat. “The Honeymoon Phase is a scary time.”
“Our biggest fear,” I began to say but then interrupted myself, “well, maybe mine, is that her pancreas is going to kick in one night after she goes to bed and her glucose will drop too low and she won’t wake up in the morning.”
“I don’t know about Jen, but I go to bed almost every night thinking there’s a chance my little girl might die in her sleep.”
“And if she did?” He asked rather bluntly.
“Well,” I said and took a breath, “you’d sure as hell hear about it from me.”
“I’m sure I would,” He sounded with a voice that one would expect to be accompanied by a smile, but wasn’t. His face was resolved. “And she’d be with Me, Chris, and I’d be there to help you.”
I looked away. I didn’t want to tell Him again how it all seemed so unfair, especially since just as I was about to turn back to accuse Him, Saint Paul’s words barged into my head rather suddenly: He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all…
“He got it right,” God said.
“Saint Paul,” He answered. “Saint Paul got it right. Of course, I had a hand in him getting it right. That little bit from the letter I had him write to the Christians in Rome,” He continued, “all by itself, it’s pretty crisp. It has real potency.”
“How’s that?” I asked with a dryness that did very little to hide my growing irritation at what seemed to be His lack of seriousness regarding Death.
“That verse alone can keep the cadence of a Christian heart indefinitely—and through pretty much anything,” He said plainly and turned back to adjust another slat in the blinds. “It defines your worth. It tells you in only a few words what you are worth to Me.”
I could tell He was leaving empty moments for me to speak if I chose to do so. But I didn’t.
“He who did not spare His own Son,” He recited softly into the air as if speaking to the blinds.
Fixing the last of the slats, He turned His eyes back to me. “That’s a reminder to you of just how much your daughter is worth to the Creator of all things, the One who promised to destroy Death forever.”
He didn’t say anything else. I didn’t either.
The blinds looked better. And with the minor adjustments, there were less obstructions to my view of the world beyond my window.