Archive for September, 2012

Freaking Out

September 27th, 2012

I work hard and feel I have trained myself to freak out less at nearly anything I encounter.  I even married the most laid back person I ever met so that I could learn how (on earth) he does it.

It felt like a compliment the other day when someone mentioned I’m easy going.


I’m pretty darn certain I’m a type A personality.  I mean, I’m pretty determined and focused, and I DO care.  I make lists.  And I write things on those lists I’ve already done, just so I can cross off that I did something on my list.  Because it makes me feel better about my day, my weekend, my entire world.  Just a little bit, just by having things on my list I’ve already crossed off.

I think that is the sort of thing that reeks of “type A”.

And that personality trait/preference is precisely the type of thing that can make life with diabetes incredibly miserable.  A walking ball of anxiety and misery: that’s what I could be.

But I’ve opted to do something different with my diabetes.

I’ve opted to not look at every number that comes up on the screen.  I’ve opted to not think there is a big difference between a 110 and a 120.  (As there isn’t a requirement for meters to be more accurate and we’re all pretty much doing better now than we were doing before meters came on the scene, I figure we are for the most part doing okay with that.  I really don’t think that a more accurate meter with a 2% margin of error is going to enhance my life.)

I’ve opted to instead look at trends, repeated highs or lows that bug me because I feel I could do better at my regular life things I do.  I could sit through a 9am meeting without silencing my CGM from alerting to a high.  I could sleep past 2am without my CGM alerting me to a low.  That could really enhance my life, if I could do those things just by making some minor changes to my BG management.

The trends are where it’s at for me.

But some people who care deeply and intently about a 110 versus a 120 I feel need to take a breath or two.  To look at what they’re anxious about.  Are they feeling responsible for maintaining a non-diabetic A1c? Well here’s the rub: you DO have diabetes.  You DO have a different body than other people.

And there isn’t anything you can do about that.

AND, and here’s the point: THAT IS OKAY.

See?  Isn’t that refreshingly laid back of me?  Whew.

Different types of “NO”

September 25th, 2012

I don’t know what the right answer is for this one.  I just want to make sure we are asking the question as often as we need to in our own lives.

It stems from a blog I read about a kid who wanted to do a new sport, and whose mom didn’t want him to do it because of the child’s diabetes.

It would be too much of a hassle.

The kid would have to carry stuff around.  Maybe wear a sensor.

The mom would have to get up earlier to get the kid ready with enough time to get him to practice.

And stay around for practice.

And it sounded to me like the mom was trying very very hard to get the kid to not want to do this sport.  It sounded like the mom didn’t want the kid to do it because of his diabetes.  It sounded like the mom was pointing out the kid’s diabetes to him. (He probably wanted to forget, but did the mom really honestly think he did forget he has diabetes?)

Reading it reminded me of the numerous times I asked my parents for a dog.

Except we never did get a dog, and I learned it was really because my parents didn’t want a dog—it didn’t have much at all to do with me or what I wanted! (Again: not saying appropriate here or not; just mentioning it.)

And our family was fine.  And I’ve never forgiven them for not letting me love a dog of my own.  (And I don’t think I have to!  Scarred for life; I’m telling you. Life.)

But the big difference I see between getting a dog and starting a new adventure?  It’s that the kid should try new things—that’s what growing up is all about.  The parents are supposed to facilitate that growth—aren’t they?

The mom mentioned in her blog that she couldn’t just let the kid go off and do the sport.  The mom felt she needed to be there.  Every practice.

Which to me is gearing up for the kid to hate their diabetes.  And hate the mom.  And I foresee a huge mess of problems down a messy tangled path that leads to a heck of a lot of him not taking care of himself.

I don’t think the mom replied: okay; let’s think about how we can get you safe so I’m okay while you’re trying the sport and having fun.  Let’s make it happen with a little extra thought and planning.  I want you to try what you want to tryI want you to learn what you need for this sport and the next sport and the next and the whole entire lifetime ahead of you that you face with diabetes and probably/maybe/hopefully/definitely without me at every practice.

Because this is your life, and I want you to be unafraid and never feel inhibited by your diabetes.  It isn’t something I want you to hate.


I felt I should write about it here because I didn’t get the sense from reading that blog that the mom realized maybe what she was teaching her kid.  And I’ve never met either of them, but I hate that anyone with diabetes feels they can’t do something they want to do.  I don’t like the fear or the resentment.

So I need us to keep asking what, really, are we saying “no” to?

Reality Check!

September 10th, 2012

I think it’s time for a reality check around here.  A reality check for what life with diabetes means.

I drove to work today behind a car with a “Make-A-Wish Foundation” license plate cover.  It got me thinking… I have never heard of a kid with diabetes having a wish granted.  Which means, to me, that there must be a criteria we don’t meet.

So I checked it out.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation receives a referral, checks eligibility, finds out the wish, and grants it.  Simple.  BUT, we as diabetics will never qualify for a Wish. 

Because to be eligible, the child must: be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition – i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy.

Those of us living with diabetes, or parenting a child with diabetes, or caring for a parent with diabetes, or however you’re at this site: we don’t have a diagnosis that qualifies us to receive a Make-A-Wish wish.

You know why?

Because we have at our disposal the capability to go after our own dreams.  To persue our own goals.  To make our lives whatever we want to make them.

So go get after YOUR dream.  Make YOUR wish a reality.

You deserve it.

Take a Break

September 6th, 2012

I feel like we are continually admonished to “live in the now” and not spend too much mental time looking backwards (depression) or forwards (anxiety).


It’s difficult.

Add diabetes into the mix and its never-ending checks questions calculations and figuring… “living in the now” gets sort of swept away before one can even get started!

And, I’m sort of wondering why someone else is telling me how to think, to begin with… was I complaining about something or asking for help?  Maybe not.

It’s the same sort of reason I refuse to read Real Simple magazine—none of those “simplifying” solutions are simple.  Seriously.  Drives me crazy.  They spend all this time sort of trying to make you feel bad if you have a disorganized desk, drawer, or heaven forbid house…just simplify by doing this simple 17 step process every time you cross the threshold.  Crazy making!

Ooh sorry; didn’t mean to rant there.

What I do think is important is having some mental down timetime where you and your mind don’t have an agenda.  You aren’t singing along with Pandora, you aren’t reading the ticker tape across the bottom of the screen, you aren’t on hold with an insurance company.  You aren’t making the grocery list or driving to soccer.  You aren’t trying to accomplish much of anything at all.

Mental down time.  It doesn’t have to be living in the now.  It doesn’t have to be living in the yesterday, or in the tomorrow.  It is more about not having a running commentary at full speed.  It’s trying to allow your mind to slow down and saunter for a bit.

Some people want to meditate.  I haven’t ever really been able to achieve any sort of nirvana while attempting to meditate… I’m asleep far before I reach any enlightenment!

Some people want to knit.  (Love that someone said yesterday their favorite exercise is knitting.)

Some people want to sip coffee and read the morning paper.  For me, it’s running or other exercise.  Some people garden.

Whatever it is, your mental down time is a lot like a rest day off from exercise—essential for your health.  Just like you only can get physically stronger when you are at rest, your mind needs a break from its usual pace.

Think of it as what you do after all five of the kids return to school after a busy summer spent driving, vacationing, sightseeing, and funning.  Those first few quiet days.

Just try sometimes to have an hour or two to give yourself a mind break.

I think you’ll find it’s really quite nice.