By Scott Johnson
I live in Minnesota. A state where winter can be long and cold, making me want to just hibernate inside for the whole season. A season where it’s dark outside when I leave for work in the morning, and it’s dark outside again when I leave work and head home in the evening.
When spring approaches, it is such a welcome change. The temperature starts warming up. Fresh green buds shoot out of trees and plants that were dormant for the cold season. There are many migratory birds making their first appearances of the year. Life just seems to be springing out from everywhere! It’s a very energizing transition. And the mosquitoes (our other state bird) have not yet started buzzing around.
The start of the spring season almost begs for new beginnings and fresh starts. All of the new life, longer days, increased sunlight, and just general energy of the season can provide a real boost to anyone’s motivation! It can be a very powerful time of year to take on any challenge. Spring is a great time to leverage all of that energy and direct it towards personal change and growth.
Because managing my diabetes is such a challenging endeavor, often going through it’s own transitions and seasonal changes, I almost always have areas that need work. There is always some piece of the puzzle that I have let slip out of control, or some aspect of management that I have neglected a bit too much.
It can be anything from a normal exercise routine, (or lack of), to checking my blood sugars as often as I need, to taking a look at my dietary decisions and habits, or even just getting in to see my care team for scheduled tests.
Before I can spring into action, I need to take a real honest look at where I am with everything and where I would like to be. What areas of my diabetes management need some attention, and are there any areas that are in desperate need of help?
Once I have figured out some areas that I need to work on, I can start working on my plan of action. I have a tendency to try to do everything on my own. I set HUGE expectations for myself, and try to do it all alone.
With diabetes, whether it is type 1 or type 2, we have an army of specialists who are there to help us with this part! People who have dedicated themselves to helping people just like you and me. These people are there for the sole purpose of helping us put together our game plan.
Even if there are not many specialists in your local area, in this age of the Internet and e-mail, fax machines, and more phones than people to answer them, we can work with specialists who are not located near where you live! Don’t let distance stop you from getting the help you need.
It is up to me to live my plan, but I can certainly call in the reinforcements (my care team) to help me put that plan together!
Having a game plan is more than half the battle. There is a seemingly never ending list of work to do, and I only have a limited amount of energy to use on that list. Knowing exactly where to apply that energy in order to see the results I want is priceless.
That being said, having a plan and living the plan does not always mean things will go as planned. However, living twenty-six plus years with type 1 diabetes has taught me to be flexible, adaptable, and resilient.
I roll with the punches and try my best to be persistent with my plan. Being persistent with my plan will help me get closer to where I want to be.
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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