Reigning in, and sticking with, a diabetes regimen.
By Deanna Glick
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 2010 — I can be a bit ironic. Case in point: summer has always been my favorite season, but January is my favorite month.
I relish the renewal this time of year brings; the energy and my drive to clean out clutter in my head and house; start new projects; get back to normal (whatever that is). For a lot of us, normal tends to be synonymous with some sort of schedule. I often get frustrated by schedules and strive for flexibility in my life. But the truth is, schedules are good for us and we tend to seek them when we need them. This month, I'm embracing the concept - tightly. Because my body needs me to for the sake of diabetes control.
Ever since I was diagnosed, witnesses to my diabetes regimen have marveled at my having to take thousands of shots and prick my finger and draw blood from it even more. They have always been surprised when I tell them those things aren't the toughest parts of managing my disease. The difficulty – as anyone who has done it knows – has always been the scheduling that diabetes control demands. Even though an insulin pump brought more flexibility than I ever dreamed of and got me through pregnancy and three years of being a mom with far less bumps in the road than had I been on MDI, it's not a panacea by a long shot. It still requires being mindful of the when, where, how and what still boils down to scheduling. In fact, the flexibility of it all can at times prove more challenging than eating the same number of carbs at the same time every day. And there's a fine line between flexibility and loss of control.
This is the line I'm at right now.
This causes many to take pump vacations to get back to basics and back on track. But vacations of any kind aren't in the cards for me right now. I'm currently faced with diminishing financial resources, increasing my work schedule, hiring additional child care help, and finding ways to remain emotionally and physically present for my daughter and husband for part of each day.
Schedules: I can't seem to live with or without them. But this month, I'm determined. It will be my salvation. So, as I clear the cutter elsewhere, I'm doing it with my diabetes regimen as well. I'm going to be all about simple, healthy meals at 8 am, noon and 6 pm. A piece of whole fruit at 4 pm. Steady, low-impact exercise. No bites here and there to screw up the system. No crazy kickboxing class followed by a few days on the couch.
Simple. Scheduled. At least for a while. I'll survive and be better off for it. I'll come away with a clearer picture of my illness and make the adjustments needed to face this new year and all the challenges it's sure to bring.
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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