Out of the corner of my eye I saw a hand offering me a tray full of broken bread. I really didn’t know what to do. I had already taken a piece from another deacon. What was I supposed to say or do when a second deacon mistakenly stood at the end of the pew offering me and my family our second helping of the sacramental bread?
Being painfully shy, despite being a child, I reached out for the bread. I couldn’t hurt the kid’s feelings! My dad realized what was happening and stopped the transaction. I don’t remember what he said or did to turn away the young deacon. What I do remember were the words he said to me in jest. “Just because it’s Fast Sunday doesn’t mean you can have extra bread from the sacrament!” Yeah, I was embarrassed.
I don’t remember fasting even though I did once a month for nearly two years. I don’t remember if it was difficult for me. My memories are of my dad picking me up from class and walking me home for lunch whenever we went to church during the 11:00 am block. He would make a sandwich for me with some side of fruit or veggies. I would drink the milk he poured for me. It was probably good milk. I grew up on powdered milk but my parents would always buy a gallon of 2% milk for Sundays. I liked Sundays because the milk was better!
One Sunday my dad microwaved my sandwich and sat across from me at the table while I ate it. It must have been a Fast Sunday because he didn’t eat anything. I remember the roll was stiff and almost unchewable from the microwave. The sandwich tasted good but it was hard to hide from my dad the fact it was difficult to eat!
Three months before I turned 10 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I have never fasted again. The only times I have not been riddled with guilt on a Fast Sunday were those Fast Sundays I was pregnant. Other than that I hate Fast Sundays because I can’t fast. And I feel horrible about it.
I have gotten into some bad diabetic habits like not eating when my blood sugar is too high. This never lasts more than one meal in a row and ironically never seems to happen on a Fast Sunday! Until now.
Yesterday I got up and tried to wake up in the shower. It is going to take some time getting used to 9:00 am church. I really liked 9:30 better! Going back to the same schedule every LDS church in the world is on, except the place we lived in California, is hard! I know. I’m a big baby.
Anyway, I was so busy trying to whip myself into Sabbath shape, I forgot to check my blood sugar right away. I’m used to not having breakfast most mornings. One of those bad habits I’m in. When I remembered to check my blood sugar I saw that it was higher than it should be. But I didn’t want to give a correction bolus because I would need to eat in the middle of church. I don’t live around the corner, within walking distance of the church anymore. My dad isn’t going to walk me home and make me lunch.
I don’t know if this was a good idea or not, but I decided to check my blood sugar after Sacrament Meeting and correct the high then if I needed to. The correction would have two hours to bring me back into range. We would be home by then and I could eat lunch.
Only I forgot to check my blood sugar after Sacrament Meeting. I didn’t think about it again until we got home. It had only come down 10 points on its own. I took a correction bolus and decided to experiment. Could I actually fast two meals in a row? I figured if I couldn’t I was at least in the comfort of my own home and could eat as needed.
Apparently my basal rates are fine since my blood sugar was stable while I fasted. It only came back into range because of the correction bolus I gave. The kids were hungry. Fasting is hard. Gwen kept asking if it was time for dinner yet. The boys were much better about keeping their discomfort to themselves. I was not hungry at all. The closest thing I felt to hunger was when my stomach growled in the middle of church. It happened once and I never gave food a second thought after that.
The hard part for me was not being able to drink anything. If I was going to try this fasting experiment I was going to go all the way. Whenever I felt bored I looked at my mug full of water and had to remind myself that I couldn’t have any yet. Then I would think of what I was fasting about.
Not feeling hungry at all was strange indeed. I would imagine that the Lord asks us to fast because it is difficult. It’s a sacrifice for any human being to give up two meals in a row. The sacrifice allows us to gain mastery over our physical bodies while allowing us to be more in tune to spiritual matters. We grow closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior by making this sacrifice.
Only it wasn’t hard for me.
Shouldn’t it be?
I found myself being aware of this and wondering if I had actually mastered my physical body. I have tried in vain to sacrifice anything besides food for the sake of a fast. Nothing feels like a sacrifice. It is extremely frustrating to feel like I can’t fully participate in this one part of my spiritual development. I know the Lord understands my limitations and He is okay with it. It is still hard on me mentally to feel I’m not really making a sacrifice.
The kids devoured dinner. The food was delicious, of course. Heath loves making special dinners on Sundays. We both think we could have fed the kids stale crackers and they would have been just as thrilled! Unfortunately I overbolused for dinner. I didn’t end up with as many potatoes as I was expecting to get with my helping of pot roast. To make up for it I suggested we eat popcorn while watching a movie.
Inevitably several hours after our early dinner, my blood sugar plummeted. That’s when I felt hungry. Hungry, sweaty, panicky, and ready to eat anything in sight if it could only help me feel better.
Two things I have learned from this experiment:
- My feelings of hunger are dependent on a machine. For decades my glucometer has been telling me when I should eat.
- I will never do this again!
It was a dangerous experiment. I should just be okay with heartfelt prayers. I can’t fast, nor should I try.