When Life Gives You Lemons
Move forward and trample them to a pulp
July 2013 — I have always thought the phrase, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" was a bunch of bull …(editorial intervention)… poop. I prefer the attitude, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." So when a crisis arises, such as being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, being laid-off, or running out of Pepsi Max, I regroup and enact a plan of action. I try to be bold, decisive, and "let the chips fall where they may."
I now face a crisis for which I have enacted a plan of action, but I am far from being bold and decisive. My future, as well as my emotional, financial, and physical well being seem far from certain, as the chips rain down around me. You see, my wife and I (after twenty eight years of marriage) have separated. As our relationship crumbled, I decided to move forty-plus miles to be closer to my job to give us some much needed breathing space.
With this separation I have had to deal with managing my diabetes while dealing with stress, setting up a new residence, cooking for one, cleaning the bathroom (yuck!), and exploring what will happen when I am removed from my wife's employer's health insurance and set up on my employer's health insurance plan. I have also had to deal with the "theory" that my depression (a close associate of diabetes) has affected my judgment and resulted in me separating from my wife.
When I decided to move out, I checked around for rental properties and found a used recreational vehicle for sale. After purchasing it I placed it in an RV park with a picturesque campground setting, with the goal of being either a happy camper or trailer trash. Living alone has been good for me, with one glaring, blood sugar raising exception — I am over eating and even binging on sweets. Recent morning readings have been around 135mg, totally ignoring my upper limit of 120mg. Yes, I know, my self-control is pitiful.
Like it or not, life happens in the form of financial hardships, lost jobs, lost health insurance, failed marriages, and eventually death. My failed marriage feels like a death, leaving me with a heavy sense of hopelessness and inevitable loss. I continue to move forward while my baggage drags behind me and threatens to bring me to a stop.
Being somewhat relentless, as well as defiant, I know that no matter how much I get pushed back in my diabetes control, I will regain my lost ground. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will be regained. I have begun to look for alternatives to sweets, thus relearning the habits that I established seven years ago when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My exercise routine has also been disrupted for the past several months. I have to get it re-established and build it back up to my previous level of eighteen miles, three times a week.
Am I scared? You bet. I don't know what the future holds for me, especially where my health insurance coverage is concerned. As I find out, so will you, though this column. By the way, I don't like being scared. Life has dumped on me a basket full of lemons. I am determined to move forward and trample them to a pulp.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
Cashew Turkey Salad Italian Sausage Tropical Black Bean Salsa Apple Chutney Cheesy Salmon and Dill Dip Honey-Mustard Turkey with Snap Peas Sole Amandine Southern Vegetable Stew Baked Flounder au Gratin Mini Cheese Pizzas
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...