Angel sandwiches were part of my childhood Christmas traditions. Angel sandwiches and gumdrop bread. I remember liking the gumdrop bread that much more after I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Even though sugar in any form was taboo for diabetics back then, I think my parents still let me have the gumdrop bread. I also remember my mom didn’t make it nearly as often after I developed diabetes.
I used to watch my mom make the angel sandwiches every year on Christmas Eve. She broke up the bread and sprinkled it in the pan along with chopped green peppers and onions. She would dump a can of sliced mushrooms in. There was grated cheese and probably some sort of egg mixture poured in to fill the cracks. Of course my favorite part were the sausages. Big fat succulent sausage balls.
Every Christmas morning as we were all settling into the living room to open presents, my mom would put the angel sandwiches in the oven. The warm Christmassy smell wafted in sometime around the middle of opening gifts. Breakfast was ready when we were.
Mom would slice up the sweet white bread dotted with colorful gumdrops and walnuts. The loaves were small like banana bread. So was our toaster. Only two slices could be toasted at a time. Then she would spread margarine over the toasted bread that would immediately start to melt.
I remember us each getting two slices of gumdrop bread with a big scoop of angel sandwiches. My stomach would turn at the first bite. Holidays always had that affect on me. My nerves seemed to always have a party in my stomach. Like a big knot of tangled laundry in the washer.
This was Christmas to me. Excitement, gifts, and the same breakfast every year.
One year my mom got this crazy idea to make angel sandwiches in the middle of a camping trip. They were what I had come to expect for Christmas. To eat them at any other time felt like blasphemy. The smells were all the same. The taste was all the same. There were still corners of burnt cheese bubbles that I loved along with the sausage. But it wasn’t Christmas. It just felt … wrong somehow.
The family traditions I grew up with seemed to center around food. I wouldn’t call myself a picky eater by any means but the anxiety that surrounded those special food occasions has made me hate those special foods. First Day of School Eggs will always make me feel nauseous. Even the gumdrop bread of Christmas – the bread I really liked – felt heavy as a brick. This could be why I haven’t really created many food traditions with my children. It’s taken me all these years to separate anxiety from holidays, I don’t want to hate any more food!
We do have one food tradition that just sort of evolved. Breakfast for dinner when Heath isn’t home. Heath was saying that even if he changed his mind about breakfast for dinner, he couldn’t. The kids expect me to make them breakfast for dinner any time their dad isn’t home for dinner. For Heath to join us in that tradition would ruin the whole thing. Which is why I bought a giant box of Eggo waffles today!
Heath has gone out of town before. It’s not like business trips are a new thing for us. This time I’m really struggling with it. It used to be that I freaked out any time he had to go because of my debilitating agoraphobia. I’m happy to say I have gotten over that. Within the last year or so I have been fine with him away when he needs to be. I can handle it but I miss him a lot.
This time has come with so many tears and fears. In an effort to ease my mind about things I decided to have him put in a CGM sensor before he left.
Three sensors later and not a single one was in my skin. Well one did go in. It hurt like a muthah! It stung. Then it started to bleed. Some blood is fine. Enough blood it’s obvious the sensor is in a major artery is not fine.
It wouldn’t stop bleeding. I kept putting a corner of tissue to the blood. Spots speckled the tissue ranging in size depending on how long I held the tissue to the blood. After several minutes the blood hadn’t stopped oozing out and I knew there was no way the sensor would be successful. So I pulled the dang thing out. That’s when my stomach started gushing blood that wouldn’t stop. Neither would my tears of absolute frustration.
Here I am trying to do the right thing. I’m trying to be a better diabetic and stay on top of my blood sugars. But I hate these CGM sensors. When they do go in and work there is still a 20 minute delay. I clear alarms all day that warn me of nothing I didn’t already know and take care of way before the sensor sent an alarm to my pump! It gets frustrating fast. But sometimes I do feel safer sleeping at night knowing I’m hooked up to a sensor. This time it was not to be.
I have tiny little scabs on both sides of my abdomen from trying multiple times to get a stupid sensor in. Each one bounced right off. I know I have rock hard abs … under inches and inches of fat!
I tried to take a bunch of pictures but they didn’t really turn out well. Here is my lovely bruise from the one sensor that went into my bloodstream. The bruise is raised into a nice welt too. That’s awesome.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the challenges of this life won’t last forever. One day I will be resurrected and have a perfect body free of broken organs and everything else that ails me.
The pity party I threw myself was fairly short lived. I didn’t want to be diabetic yesterday. I still don’t but I know there is a greater purpose to my personal trials. And I know the Lord understands what I’m going through. Mostly I was just sad and frustrated and a little extra emotional.
Heath gave me a blessing of comfort last night. I needed that more than a sensor alarming my pump all day about blood sugar trends I already know about. It’s good to exercise my faith in the Lord and have it be tested a little more than I am normally willing. All I can do now is hold onto the promises made in that priesthood blessing.
This morning I found out one of my visiting teachers is moving before Christmas so I have been assigned new sisters. It’s a lot more change than I want to deal with right now. But deep breath …
The kids and I will eat our scrambled eggs and waffles tonight. We will go about our days as we usually do. I will try not to cry as I read the nightly Christmas story in our advent calendar. Although who can blame me for not being able to finish The Gift of the Magi? Change is inevitable. Sometimes it’s just really not fun.