Having diabetes makes us grateful for so much during the holiday season.
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!
December 2008 —It's that time of year again when I tend to make things difficult for myself - yes, it's . All of our children will be home and I always want everything to be special. I'm in charge of cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, and everything else. Sometimes, just thinking about it all overwhelms me, but it is my choice. I've been wandering around my house replacing our everyday art with more holiday, seasonal-type pictures. Excessive, probably, but it is what I do. There is a sign on our den wall that says, "Thou shalt not whine." I put it there years ago when the kids were small. It was a reminder that whining was not appreciated and would not be tolerated. I thought, maybe, it was time to remove the sign, permanently. The kids are grown and doing well on their own. Before taking down the sign I wondered about how much whining I do – about work, about life, about . I decided that I would work on complaining less. Now, how to do it?I thought about how I complain, most mornings, about going to work. I like the people involved with my job, I don't mind working hard, and I appreciate getting paid. I don't enjoy when the alarm rings. I realize there many people who don't have jobs to go to or are healthy enough to go out to work. I'm sure most of these people would trade places with me without complaint. I should be grateful I have a job and the ability to do it. So, most mornings, and the last few days, it has been a little easier to get up and head out to work without feeling like whining.
I thought long and hard about having diabetes. It was not my choice to be diabetic, nor would I EVER choose that option. I don't enjoy constantly thinking about it every time I make food choices. Everyone doesn't have to learn about , figure insulin doses, or keep track of what spikes blood sugar readings. I get tired of making sure my glucose meter and my are my constant companions. Then I think about what it was like all those years ago growing up with diabetes. I didn't know about carbs, and figuring how much insulin I needed was just a guess. I had no way of knowing what my blood sugar was. Glucose meters and insulin pumps were only a wish. Would I want to go back to those days? No! I do appreciate the knowledge and innovations available to keep me living well.
Most importantly, I have friends and family who support me. Some of them aren't sure of the difference between treating a high or a low. But they are there for me when I need them to be. I don't have to deal with this alone. Some of the people in don't even live close to me. I have two sisters-in-law, Eileen and Mary. who are two of my biggest supporters. We live in three different states, but they cheer me on, inform me of new research, or give me a gentle kick in the pants when needed. I'm sure I would still be close to my friends and family without my having diabetes, but it is another reason to be close.
The "Though shalt not whine" sign is staying up on the wall. I look at it as a gift to myself. I know it is the time of year for gift giving. And yet, with the real gifts I already have, who needs material gifts? (But Santa, if you are listening, I wouldn't whine about finding keys to a new Jeep in my stocking.)
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.
Ginger Teriyaki Scallop Skewers Vegetable Barley Soup Slow Cooker Mexican Roast Mexican Black Beans and Rice Barbequed Pork Chops Applesauce Bran and Oatmeal Muffins Spinach and Orzo Caribbean Cucumber Salad Santa's Pasta Salad Cumin Braised Brussles Sprouts
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...