Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
What do you love best about yourself? Is there also something that you feel is a work in progress within yourself? Are you beating yourself up over having that work in progress? Do you sometimes find that there are some activities that seem so easy for other people to do & yet are brutally difficult for you? We are each beautiful originals so we will each answer our own questions. Emphatically, I urge you & I to stop beating ourselves up if we are working our guts out already, doing our best day in & day out. In that same spirit, I also urge all of us to celebrate one another & ourselves daily. There is already enough turmoil, division, criticism, nastiness, and worse out there in the world so let’s just go ahead & do that thing that may just be the most difficult yet simplest thing in the world…give ourselves a freaking break.
A couple of weeks ago I shared my heart about a fear come true about my diabetes lab results. It was difficultly easy to share that. I wear my sensitive heart on my sleeve so I feel everything at 100%. And I stopped apologizing for this trait within myself years ago. So many times I have also shared with you that the most difficult word in the entire English language for me is the word, “no.” Once a recovering doormat, always a recovering doormat I suppose would fit for me. The doormattery (yes, yet another made up word) for me is a work in progress that I am guessing realistically I will be saddled with my whole life likely along with type 1 diabetes. (Other than we are continuously promised that a cure for type 1 diabetes is always perpetually 5 years away…insert curse words about that). A neon light shone on my lab results causing me to feel (at first) full of fear. I let myself feel that fully at 100% for 3 days & then I gave myself a gentle yet stern talking to. I told myself that I was done beating myself up about those results, that it is a new day every day & I have cleaned the slate & reset the current 3 month time period to try new strategies in managing the bratty type 1 diabetes that I live with. I am not anyone’s victim ever & nor am I a victim to type 1 or any disease. For sure I got knocked on my ass with the last lab results but I did not stay down & I will always get back up. You make sure you keep getting up too. Don’t beat yourself up though.
With the determination of a giant & the feistiness as well, I got back up in an elbows up kind of way with the new strategies for combating diabetes. Despite our efforts in diabetes management we can get stinking rotten results. That just sucks big time. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves though. We need our strength to fight, fight, fight diabetes day in & day out & night in & night out. It is freaking exhausting literally. One of the things that I began to add into my strategies every single night is setting my alarm for 2:30am to check my blood sugar because my blood sugars are erratic especially at night often. Sometimes it will be sky high & I make an insulin correction & other times I am lucky I checked my blood sugar because I am low, low low & this could prove to be dangerous or even fatal. It is difficult often to get back to sleep so sleep quality for the vast majority of us living with the brat of type 1 diabetes sucks. I guzzle even more coffee during the day. Instead of waiting for my beloved double espresso at 2pm, now post 2:30am wake up call strategy, I award myself with that espresso closer to 11am. The 2:30am wake up call via my alarm clock has been a difficult easy thing to do. It is easy because a startling alarm when you are sound asleep jolts you up for sure & it is also simple to do because I need this information in more ways than one in the middle of the night to help me make real time decisions (be they ever so groggy) as well as decisions to affect how my morning blood sugars will likely look. It is of course no fun waking up & it cheeses me off when I see either a low that I have to treat by eating sweets at 2:30am then wait & retest my glucose levels & it also irks me even more when I see a lousy high blood sugar result for no sensible reason. A high blood sugar feels like a fail..an F to me. I wish I did not feel this way however on purpose I do not beat myself up over it. There are 2 more major changes that I have made as well to diabetes management that are proving to be game changers for me. One is analytical & the other is lifestyle related. The analytical change is led by my resident engineer husband (byoe…bring your own engineer). It is not an accident that I married this calm, cool headed, logical, brilliant brained husband who scares the hell out of most people yet has the heart of a gentle giant. As fiercely independent as I am I decided recently that I would suck it up buttercup & ask that guy for some brain power where blood sugar control is concerned. The guy does process engineering for a living for crying out loud & boiled down to its lowest common denominator blood sugar control in my mind is a process control issue. I just plain don’t know what I don’t know yet most of us know someone who does know what we need to learn or assist us with. Sometimes I just get out of my own way & freaking ask for help. I don’t like needing help & I find it difficult to do a simple thing like ask for help. The thing is that once I asked my resident engineer to lend me his brain power that guy has made some remarkable discoveries that are helping me make better decisions & better decisions are well better. That guy downloads my glucose data every 5 days & we sit down & look at every time block in the data & he translates a bunch of mathie stuff to me. I am still the decision maker. The first week we downloaded the information I filled up my swear jar I will confess because I was sure that I was going to see my average blood sugar numbers trend down because I had ramped up my glucose test from 10 a day to 15 a day & had changed out all my basal profiles. Here’s the sucky part though…the swear inducing part…that first week my average glucose results were as high as ever although I was working my guts out without cease. Then I got back up faster than the last time & got determined to try new strategies & tweak basal & bolus & be a student of those glazingly boring numbers charts & make decisions & know that sometimes it takes even greater effort & time to see the desired results of changes. I am steadfast that I will always try at 100%. If something matters to me, it matters to me at 100% period. Being the healthiest person within any diagnosis matters to me at 100%. The lifestyle related change I have made affects my diabetes management hugely. Remember, I shared with you that I am a confessed recovering doormat, a peacemaker, a people pleaser left to my natural state of “me”ness. Please don’t get me wrong, being a peacemaker and someone who loves to care for others is a wonderful attribute. My traits though are far beyond that. I gave up being a real, live doormat a couple of decades ago & it was an easy decision & difficult big time in practice to this very day. When I don’t stand up for myself & instead let myself get taken advantage of, don’t stand up to voice the truth I feel like crap & when I feel that way I beat myself up. As naturally difficult as it is to do the simple thing of using the word “no” in a sentence it does not get any easier for me ever. I am getting a lot of practice getting better at this though ironically since determining that the word “no” was going to be essential in my ongoing diabetes management. If I say “yes” & then silently suffer the vast consequences the stress rises & so do my blood sugars predictably. The price is too high to be a doormat in more ways than one. We can get braver or we can get smaller to the point of being nearly invisible. It is a choice & I choose braver. Although I began practicing being brave versus being a doormat a couple of decades ago it is still very much a work in progress. I admire people who can just plain say no without a thousand apologies & a plethora of reasons behind the simple word, “no.” Here’s the big take away though that I have learned & that is that when I say no to the things that I need to, I get to say a big yes at 100% to the things that truly matter. I don’t want to be all caught up in a web of nonsense that leads me to get sicker than sick in silence. The word “no” for me equals bravery when it is used when needed. Of course I wish it were easy for me to say. And for sure I wish diabetes would cooperate as well. Since neither are easy, I just plain choose brave, strong & of course deposits into my swear jar when needed too.
My heart’s hope for you is that you find the simple, yet difficult things that make sense for you that lead you to being the healthiest beautiful original that you can be. Be brave.
Be gentle with yourself, be brave & don’t beat yourself up. Get around the encouragers in your life. Then go ahead & be someone else’s encourager. That is how positive change in this world starts to work. The next story sharing will be just after my 9th year Diaversary (that celebration not of diabetes but the fact that I am still alive is on November 29th) on Monday December 5th. Be brave on purpose!