2009: A Year to Love Myself a Little More
Managing stress, getting fit, and controlling my diabetes is the goal!
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
February 2009 — For me, 2008 was a year of blessings. We formed the Diabetes Hands Foundation in March; the Word In Your Hand initiative inspired another project that is now raising funds for diabetes charities; the two communities we started in 2007 continued to reaching out more people touched by diabetes; and I had the honor of appearing in a TV show with Regis Philbin.
But at times, beneath each blessing comes a price to pay in disguise. Having started the year with my A1C at a record low of 6.2, it climbed to 6.6 by the end of the year. There is only one explanation for it - my diabetes management has not been as good as it was before so many great things started to happen.
This has not been the first bump I've hit since being diagnosed with diabetes, but last week I experienced pain in my feet like I haven't felt before … and I feared foot complications. So I have decided to use the New Year as an excuse to start loving myself a little more and combat the climbing trend in my A1C. I've set some specific diabetes goals for myself.
My three goals for the New Year:
- Lower stress levels. Clearly, one of the factors that had to do with my elevated average blood sugar numbers was stress. I can do very little to control all the bad news we are bombarded with on a daily basis, but I can work on how I let all this news affect me. I will pick up where I left off a few years ago on reading about meditation and putting it into practice. I imagine finishing the book I am writing (due at the end of the month) will help reduce stress, too.
- Increase physical activity. This is a common fixture on most New Year's resolution lists, isn't it? In my case, since we relocated at the beginning of the year, I live within walking distance of my son's school, the local supermarket, the bank, the library, etc., making exercise a little easier. Sure, I don't have plans to run a marathon or a triathlon, but the additional walking as part of my daily routine will have a positive impact on my numbers.
- Get started on Symlin: Since late last year, I have had two Symlin pens sitting in my fridge. I wanted to settle down after our move before I started taking Symlin shots. I am a bit concerned about the potential nausea side effect, but I want to give it a try and see how much it helps things this year.
Though an A1C of 6.6 is still a very good number, I am well aware of the highs and lows I have experienced in recent months. And honestly, the foot pain I felt shook me like nothing has since my diagnosis. So, check back later in the year, when I hope to update you all on my progress.
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.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...