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Ready, Set, What?
Okay, so it is officially a new year. Do you find that you are almost conditioned to expect to implement changes to your life as you discard the 2013 calendar & hang up the 2014 calendar? I will admit that I do. While the logical side of my brain tells me every year that any day of the year can be the day to begin a fresh start, the emotional side of my brain is still conditioned to believe that changes are best implemented in January each year. My logic & emotions fight one another every year on this topic.
Have you found that if you feel really well overall that your logic has a tendency to kick in & when you feel unwell that your emotions want to rule? This is something that I experience often. When I feel well, I really tend to think things through & can conquer days that are challenging pretty well. On the other hand, when I am feeling unwell, even the smallest “mole hill” seems to justify an initial surrendering to less than helpful emotional responses. It takes some type of shift to get out of a funk sometimes I find. Sometimes we force the shift & other times it forces itself. For me, either way, it is a good thing if the shift takes me out of the funk that not feeling well has established.
2014, I had decided a couple of months ago was going to be a better year than 2013 because I had been not fond of 2013 with its barrage of type 1 diabetes struggles. The struggles with type 1 were even measurable on paper as I stared back every single doctor’s visit at an A1C of over 7% for the first time since my diagnosis with an initial A1C in the 9% range. I had been trying so hard to manage the type 1 & the results just stunk. Each of us know though that while life is beautiful that it is not fair to anyone whether we live with a chronic disease or not. With 2013 though behind me as of Dec. 31st, I looked to 2014 with excitement. This was going to be a better year beginning in January! Did you feel that way too? I hope that it has been a fantastic year for you so far.
January 1st started off pretty well & I felt well & we had a great family day together complete with a homemade feast. January 2nd though things seemed to have derailed & now over 2 weeks later, 2 colds in a row & the flu, my G.I. issues acting up, back spasms, elevated blood sugars, unexplained low blood sugars in the night, sleep disturbances galore & other health pains from type 1, I am left wondering what I was thinking. Frankly, I am reminded that the time of year to expect positive health changes just may not be January for me. It came back to me that pretty much every January-March, I seem to catch every cold or flu that is out there. Realistically, a better start to a new year for me just may be in around April each year. It is tough to take on the world when you get one cold & flu one after the other for most of the winter season. I am not complaining but rather just checking my thinking a wee bit. While I hope for & try to be cold & flu free, I think that it may be helpful to balance out the hope for a fresh start with the reality of the bugs that go around this time of year. It may be the time of year to prepare for a bit gentler pace & not get frustrated when the inevitable colds & flu hit yet again. Perhaps my immune system is not the greatest & I am guessing it is also “compliments” of the beast of type 1 diabetes. The thing is that although I am not throwing in the towel on the remainder of the winter season as far as my A1C goes, I am also keeping in mind that I can only do so much to manage where my blood sugars go when colds & flu hit. When I get sick my blood sugars go erratic & I chase them but I will always do my best. At this point, I feel pretty wiped out not just from the colds & flu but also from being woken up by low blood sugars in the night followed by sky high sugars in the morning. Type 1 is one thing yet having other things on top of it is really exhausting at times. Okay though, I refuse to be reduced by type 1 diabetes & to throw in the towel of enjoying life during the winter months. Ultimately, I have come to realize that when I am feeling physically unwell with illnesses on top of type 1 that I have to find a way to get out of the funk & be myself…that gal that was there long before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And the best part is that I know that I can because I have done it numerous times before. Maybe you have felt this way too. As a wee aside, I want to share with you with a smile that just this morning I was having a chat with my husband & he looked at me & said, “You know, I have noticed that you are an even stronger, more determined person in the last few years & I think that type 1 is responsible for that strangely enough.” It is not that any of us want to have type 1 or any other “365” challenge yet it was pretty cool to have my Dear Heart husband say that to me. And I feel stronger too & that is also a cool feeling. Do I want to be bombarded by things that add to the type 1 diabetes? No, none of us do. Do I know that I am strong enough to deal with whatever comes my way? Yes, big time! Are rest stops or a gentler pace needed or encouraged at times? For me, I would say, big time yes again.
There are times in life don’t you find that external demands keep us going at a pace that is less than gentle. I have found that since last September that I have had an extremely large number of external demands & that I have been looking forward to slowing things down. I try really hard not to let type 1 have a say in what I am going to take on. Realistically though, somehow, it tends to especially if the additional illnesses that arise from type 1 pop up & then are layered on in large numbers to type 1. There are times when my body literally just tells me, “no way.” That is part of life. And I know too that anyone that gets the flu probably feels like their body is telling them “no way” as well. For our family, the gentler pace was meant to begin finally around January16th & that was another reason why I was becoming excited about 2014 getting here. Things were still going at a frantic pace while I experienced 2 colds, the flu & the other multitude of physical challenges that have come my way since being diagnosed with type 1. I had to keep going & that was brutal. Frankly, I ignored my body’s screams at me of “no way, no way, no way!” I can be unbelievably stubborn & I save the biggest part of this stubbornness for type 1.
Have you found though that you can be in a funk & keep pushing yourself even while you are feeling physically very unwell? That is kind of where I have found myself being at during the first half of January. The physical illnesses & the pace I had been going at was really getting to me. What was going to get me out of this funk I wondered for several days. On January 15th, I got up still very sick & it came to me that it was going to be the day that the funk left. And it was. It was our youngest son’s 7th birthday & he was up at the crack of dawn as he wanted to celebrate every single moment of the day. I heard him get up before my alarm clock had even gone off. On each of our sons’ birthdays, they take the day off of school & we have a day of fun together for the entire day & evening. Our son was so excited & it took me no time at all to break free of the funk that I had been in since January 2nd. The spirit was of: Fun =me-D-I=s.i.u.p! In other words, the day was totally about Alex & his 7th birthday. That meant that in order for him to have fun, he needed the mom that I am minus diabetes & also minus illness & in order to do that for the day, I would need to “suck it up princess!” Although, I would not be able to tell diabetes nor the other illnesses to take a hike or a vacation, I had to tell them, “no way” were they going to have any part in the day at all. As far as our 7 year was concerned, I was going to get ready for the day & give him every ounce of energy & enthusiasm since the day was totally about & for him. Physically, of course I was sick big time but emotionally, I was funk free & that has remained after January 15th. Seven years ago, our son brought his first burst of joy into our lives & he continues to in so many ways. Each of our 3 sons brings joy to our lives & I feel so grateful to be able to be their mom.
Happy New Year again everyone & this time “funk free!” My heart’s hope for you is that when or if the funk comes into your life throughout the year that you have someone or something that breaks you free of this.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Wishing everyone a fabulous week & next Monday's sharing is "Originals & In This Together." :)