I think I'm figuring this out. Ten years after my diagnosis I'm finally getting it. Diabetes isn't about
control. With sugars being affected by everything from food intake, stress levels, exercise and whether or not the day ends in 'y' we can't really control anything. What we do is make choices. These choices have consequences. Some are bad, some are painful, some are healthy, some are selfish, some are a form of dicipline but they are all just choices.
Each day we choose to be as healthy as possible or not so much. I choose to check my sugar to see how my diet, meds, exercise and insulin are working. I choose to make foods that are high in veggies, medium in lean meats and low in carbs because I feel better when I do that. I choose to swim a few times a week when my housework and gardening isn't enough because I know I will stay active longer that way and hopefully help my circulation in my legs and feet so I get to keep them. I choose to keep a food diary when my sugars are out of whack and lo and behold!~ It's usually traced right back to my food intake! I choose to skip alcohol because it messes with my meds.
Sometimes during the day I choose wrongly. Sometimes I choose to eat 2 donuts at church on Sunday morning and end up sleeping the afternoon away in a carbo induced nap. Sometimes I choose to eat chocolate so I won't fight with my husband and end up fighting with him anyway. I choose to eat the whole bag of microwave popcorn because I start it and don't portion it into a bowl like I'm supposed to and I look down into the bag and suddenly it's empty, so I must have eaten it. I choose to buy things that are sweet and yummy to keep in the house 'for the grandkids', but I usually eat them, too. I choose to be too lazy to get up and take my bedtime meds when I've forgotten them.
And I choose to learn. I learn when I sign up for my HMO's diabetes classes for education and help thru the winter holidays. I learn when I visit my doctor's office and see patients with limbs amputated because of the complications of diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation. I learn when I purchase online food diaries that help me track my carbs, fats and proteins thru the day. I learn when I go to the eye doctor and realize that my sight changes are due to my diabetes and not keeping my blood sugars in line. I learn by obtaining copies of my lab results each time I visit the lab so I can keep track of my good or bad choices and how they affect my overall health. I learn by reading about
ways to improve my knowledge of how diabetes impacts my emotional as well as physical health. And best of all, I learn by visiting this forum and seeing how others are making choices, both good and bad so I may make better ones in the future.
It took me a long time to realize that all along I still had diabetes. Through good choices, bad choices and denial, the only thing I could change was my choices. As soon as I did that I started taking positive steps to improve my self management of the disease. I subscribed to some diabetes magazines to keep up with the new medical stuff. I quit beating myself up for slip-ups, just started with good choices at the next meal or opportunity to exercise or relax. I became more forgiving of myself and saved my bad choices for a single day a month where I would just enjoy a great Chinese buffet and not be too good. (That is my downfall, especially fried dumplings!)
Now I look at the big picture and realize that I've choosen to be healthier than I ever would have if I hadn't gotten diabetes. And I've had a great impact on my children's health since they may be sharing my diagnosis some day... And I'm learning to care more about
others because I share this disease with a lot of good people who are trying to cope just like me. Sorry to run on... just wanted to share.
"As one goes through life one learns if you don't paddle your own canoe you don't move."
-Katherine Hepburn "Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change."