How Do You Cope?

June 9th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

There isn’t any beating around the bush today (or any day): living with diabetes is tough.  Every day. 

Sometimes I think if I could just stop eating for a few days, I could maybe get a handle on it.  The constant peaks and valleys (even on the days the peaks aren’t very high and the valleys aren’t very low) are draining to see and physically draining to experience day in and day out for decades.  I won’t even start (today) with the emotional toll it can take.

Or, if I had a hormone meter that would tell me where all of my hormones are at, so I could take insulin to respond in a more proactive way and keep my glucose levels in range without having to guess at my hormones.  Having some tools beyond my own imaginary self-sensors to help me out would be nice.

Or, if I had a miniscule camera under my skin at my pump site so I could see if there was a kink in my catheter or if I had put it into a section of scar tissue that meant hours of delays in insulin delivery (and of course the resulting high/low glucose levels for the next day or two).  Being able to see that would be nice.

Or, if I didn’t have taste buds and the food industry telling me high sugar content foods and high fat content foods were fun to eat.  Or if I had a better willpower to not purchase the food and bring it into my life.  If I could go to a Starbucks with a coworker and not have to parade in front of the pastries in order to get an iced tea.  That would all be really nice.

If I could live my life every day without feeling like something so basic and essential as feeding myself was also the thing that made everything so complicated; that would be very nice.


Since none of those options are realistic or feasible at this point, we each need a way to cope with the struggles we face in our lives with diabetes.  A way that doesn’t end up hurting us, or costing us a ton of money, or damaging our other organs, or requiring us to deny what is actually happening in our bodies.  We need some safe and effective ways to cope.

In case it hadn’t occurred to you before now, one of my best ways to cope with living with diabetes is exercise.  Lifting heavy weights, sweating on a treadmill running faster than I knew I could run, or hiking in the shady oak and pine trees in nearby hills, or running through as many cities as I can on a single outing, or whatever I feel up to that day.  It’s a great way for me to accomplish a lot of things simultaneously.

I get the multiple physical benefits of exercise.  I get fresh air.  I get distracted from the blood sugar worries.  I get to eat a bit of the junk food and not worry so much about it.  I get my body functioning and flowing and my metabolism higher so I can take less insulin.  I get tired and sleep better when I exercise.  I get to vent some of my frustration and anxiety.

Exercise is really a pretty nice tool.  I highly recommend it.

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  1. Lisa says:

    I love this blog and I used to be so active…until Type 1 Diabetes changed my life 5 years ago. Now, I’m afraid to exercise. The lows are painful, the interrupt my routine – especially exercise which I used to love.

    What do you do to prevent that crash while exercising?

  2. Lisa we can do this and get you back to exercising!! You are in a great position already– you enjoy exercise! So let’s talk soon. – Amy

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