Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Better Way



I found it; a better way. I’ve been slogging through my days, dealing with the suck that is my mother’s life. (I won’t rage here about how useless this seems to be and how much I don’t see the point of life when it’s near the end and days are endless and painful and sad.) During this sucky time I’ve been paying very little attention to my diabetes. It’s there. I check my glucose, at least in the morning. I take my meds. That’s about it. When I see a higher-than-it-should-be number on my meter, I just shrug. I may have a good idea of why it’s high. I may not. It doesn’t seem to matter. I just go on with my day. I don’t get upset.

I am still aware of my glucose number when I think about eating. I still seem to be able to make a lower carb choice when my numbers are higher (most of the time). It’s not like it weighs heavily on my mind; it just is. 

I’ve eaten lower-carb ice cream and had ridiculous numbers the next morning. Shrug. I should stop buying ice cream because, obviously, it doesn’t play well with my D. I realized that I enjoyed the ice cream, and the high number the next day didn’t detract from the memory of my enjoyment. Hmmm.

Out for lunch with a friend and I chose to eat the middles out of my sandwich with a knife and fork, avoiding the high-carb bread. Another day I ate the whole damn sandwich…with FRIES. I didn’t care. I enjoyed it.

It slowly dawned on me through all of this that I had stumbled on a better way to live with my diabetes. Diabetes had ceased to be THIS BIG THING in my life; it was just part of it. There are so many other things in my life that should be claiming my thoughts and energy other than a number on a meter or whether or not I should eat something. My loving husband, my amazing kids, my fabulous grandchildren…my aging mother. I am focusing more on the things that make me happy, that make me sad, that give me a feeling of accomplishment…that make me feel. Isn’t that how life should be?

I am proud of the changes that diabetes has caused me to make in my life. I’m pleased that I have been able to realize that I have to do it; that no one can attempt to manage my diabetes other than me. I get a little bit giddy when I realize that the changes I’ve made to my diet have become healthier and I don’t really have to think about it anymore. Mostly I’m tired of letting my diabetes rule my life. I won’t ignore it. It is what it is; a part of my life. I refuse to fear food or let it rule me. It’s just food. Food addictions are real but they can be overcome. I did it. You can too. 

I know that diabetes is progressive and that I will most likely have to change my medicine or start insulin somewhere down the road. That’s what happens. People who dwell on trying to “get off the meds” are missing the point. I refuse to live in fear of what might happen in the future. I am doing everything I can to manage my diabetes. There is no other diet or supplement or voodoo that will do it any better so why worry? I can only do what I can do. I’m not being irresponsible and eating tons of processed or junk food. I’m eating in a healthy way, taking my meds and monitoring my progress.

I am not perfect; far from it. I will make mistakes; that’s life. I will overindulge now and then; I will not beat myself up about it. My meter no longer holds sway over my emotions. They are just numbers. I am more than that.

I have found a better way to live with my diabetes. It isn’t a certain way to eat or a magic pill. It’s just a better-focused life. I’ve finally remembered what life should be about, and it has nothing to do with my diabetes.

3 comments:

  1. Wonderful attitude, Kate. Next time you go bonkers over diabetes, remember to go read this post and remind yourself about keeping diabetes in perspective. (I'll remember to read it also.) I often wonder "how good do I have to be?" or "how low does my A1c needs to be?" Unfortunately there is no way of knowing the answer and no numbers are a guarantee of anything anyway. Great post!

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    1. Thanks Laddie. I've thought these things before but this time feels different. I think the opportunity to focus on someone else and not on my D has made me realize that there really is more to life!

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  2. Sounds very smart to me, indeed.

    And yes, I still owe you that email back. But wanted to pop over here to say hi too.

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