Sunday, October 20, 2013

What matters



We live in what some people would call “the boonies”.  Our town is small with only the bare minimum of services and shopping.  We aren’t far from a larger town and we go there at least twice a month to shop.  It can be inconvenient, especially in the winter, but it isn’t so bad.  We’re willing to put up with inconveniences because we love where we live.  What matters is being happy in our home.

I recently wrote about being in a funk.  It’s not my favorite place but I usually snap out of it fairly quickly.  Not so much this time.  About the time I climb up to the rim of the hole, something happens to knock me back down a few feet.  My elderly mom’s miserable life.  Family issues.  Frustration over the latest problems with my D control.  I can’t seem to catch a break.  I need to remember to focus on what matters.

I love the DOC.  I appreciate the camaraderie and support that you can find among the other people who are living with diabetes, either their own or someone’s D that they care about.  PWD and D caregivers are awesome people.  We “get it”.  Underneath all the support it’s important to remember to take care of yourself.  Support is good but taking care of yourself is better.  In other words; I can’t rely on others to make me feel better.  I have to do this myself.  How I climb out of this hole matters in the long run.  I need to hone my skilz.

One of my recent struggles revolves around trying to be an advocate for others when I feel so out of control myself.  I do a LOT of reading up on new ideas and food plans, supplements and ways to exercise.  Mostly that’s good, but lately it is taking its toll on me.  I’m increasingly frustrated that I can’t get my fasting numbers under control and that my weight is creeping up for no apparent reason.  I’m bummed and reading about ways to fix it just upsets me and adds to my frustration.

I’ve made a decision to disconnect for a little bit.  I’m going to step back a little and focus on what matters.  As much as I enjoy social media I think I’ll just stop going there for a while. I’m going to try to stop researching so much and just focus on what I already know.  I can do this; I know that I can.  I’m not going away; I’m just switching my focus for a time.  How long?  Maybe a week, maybe longer.  I don’t know.

What matters?  Right now, I do.  Right now my diabetes matters most.  When I have a better grip on things then I can be a better advocate.  I still want to help others; I just have to help myself first.  That’s what matters.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Funk



A funk is a dejected mood, according to Dictionary.com.  I didn’t need to look it up to know what it is.  I live it on occasion.  There are times when I literally slog through my day.  Joy does not abound.  Sadness prevails.  It is a form of depression but it isn’t chronic, nor does it require intervention.  I usually just need to wait it out and let it pass.  The wait seems interminable.  

The trick, for me at least, is to not let my funk play serious tricks on my head.  When in a funk I can get to feeling like nothing is worth the effort.  I can begin to focus on negative things and turn them into huge problems.  I feel guilty and can sometimes tear up over some presumed problem.  Life can feel hopeless.

I spend a lot of time reading articles and blogs about health and nutrition.  This is done to educate myself as well as for my gig on diabeticconnect.com.  Sometimes the overwhelming information can put me in a funk…or maybe I just react badly because of a funk.  Which came first?  It’s hard to say.  I recently read some negativity regarding almond flour (too much omega-6 fatty acids).  I wanted to throw up my hands and give up!  Almond flour has become a wonderful tool in my attempts to lower my carb intake.  So now I shouldn’t eat it?  I’m screwed.  But wait!  Don’t let the funk overwhelm you, Kate.  Too much of anything isn’t good for us.  Do I eat too much almond flour?  Nope.  Do I also add flaxmeal (which is loaded with omega-3s)?  Yup.  So settle down, dammit.  We need both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.  It’s the balance that matters.  I'm not giving up almond flour because of a funk.

Dictionary.com also says that a funk is a strong smell; stench. Yup, it stinks alright.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m currently in a funk.  It’s ok, I’ll get over it.  We all find ourselves living here from time to time.  Don’t let a funk ruin your good work.  If your funks last very long or are overly frequent; seek help.  

Funk can also be a kind of blues rock; jazz based on gospel music.  Funky: stylish and exciting; cool. That’s the kind of funk I can deal with.  I can be funky.  Funky is good.  Here’s hoping I’m back to my funky self soon.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dear Mr. Hanks



I was saddened to hear the news about your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.  I’m sorry that you have joined our ranks.  You see, I am one of the millions of people who have type 2 diabetes too.  I was diagnosed in 2005 and have spent the last 8 years educating myself about this disease and the myriad ways to control it.  

You impressed me, and lots of others in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), with your knowledge of the different types of diabetes. Thank you for that. Too many media outlets and celebrities get it SO wrong.  However, there were a few things that I read in the articles covering your news that trouble me.

First of all, in your attempt to assure your audience that you are ok, you downplayed the seriousness of type 2 by emphasizing that type 1 is a really, really serious thing.  You’re right; it is.  But so is type 2.  

Next, you made it sound as if controlling type 2 is simple.  Having lived with this disease for 8 years I can attest to the fact that it is not simple.  Yes, exercise and a healthy diet go a long way to helping to control diabetes but dramatically changing one’s diet is never simple.  Millions of Americans are faced with poor nutritional choices on a daily basis.  Fighting against that machine is a battle that is doable but never easy.

My plea is that you will continue to educate yourself about this disease and use your celebrity to help dispel so many of the myths that surround this disease and hurt people every day.  We are not a bunch of fat, lazy slobs.  We do not deserve this disease.  It is a really, really serious condition.  There is a vast online community of people with diabetes, all types.  I hope that you will reach out to us for support and encouragement.  No one should go through this alone.

Sincerely,

Kate, a fellow T2