When we need a break from talking about our disease.
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!
June 2008 — Ever since my type 2 diabetes diagnosis in March 2005, our lives have been filled with talk about diabetes. Meter results, counting carbohydrates, future fears – all of them dominate our days and nights. I should have figured there would come a time when it all became routine.
Thinking, talking, and writing about diabetes was turning diabetes management into diabetes obsession. For the past couple months, events have dictated that the focus of our lives turn away from diabetes. Imagine this – now my meter averages have crept down, carbohydrate intake is easier to control, and fears about the future have been somewhat silenced. I do what I need to do to stay in control without much thought or discussion, much like Greg has done with respect to his type 1 diabetes over the years.
Instead of doing things because I "have to do them," I'm doing them because they make me feel good. I'll eat a bratwurst without a bun or start running when I intended to only go for a walk. I'll smile at the blood sugar readings within range and I'll frown when symptoms indicate I might be running higher than I'd like. But most of the time, I'd rather look at the meter averages than freak out about a reading or two out of range. Things still aren't perfect with my diabetes control, but I know diabetes obsession isn't healthy either. It only leads to burnout, which can't be good for overall health.
I look at what I've been missing out on the past three years. Other than work and diabetes management, accomplishments are few and far between. Home improvement projects are talked about, though never completed. Garden space is prepared, but never planted. And that's just the things around the house.
I want to be involved in this year's elections. Sure, much of my motivation is improving health care in this country, but I also care about the environment and foreign relations. I want to write fiction. Perhaps I'll weave diabetes into it somehow or other, but I also want to highlight my Midwestern background.
I look at how we introduce ourselves to others. While close family and friends are familiar with our conditions, people new to our lives are not. More often than not, diabetes comes up rather quickly. I keep thinking about how nice it would be to avoid the subject as long as possible.
No doubt, there are going to be emotions and events related to diabetes that necessitate writing, talking, and thinking about it. I just don't want to be obsessed with the routine anymore.
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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.
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