People who find out I am diabetic often ask “how do you do it”? How do you live with diabetes? My usual response is “I just do it”. It is part of my life. I have to live with it. There is no choice.
I guess there is the choice to live in denial. To disrespect my diabetes and in turn myself. But why would I want to do that? I want to feel good and be healthy. I have so much to live for every single day.
But how do I find joy living with diabetes? How do I live day to day, minute to minute with a chronic disease? A disease that I will potentially have forever. I still hope and pray for a cure, but for now, I will have diabetes the rest of my life. Is it a death sentence? A poor me situation? Is it really so bad?
Diabetes is so engrained into my life, that I cannot imagine living without it. Don’t get me wrong. If I could wake up tomorrow and magically not have diabetes, I would be thrilled. Technology is improving and cures are on the horizon.
But today is today. This morning I woke up with a 195 blood sugar. I started a new birth control pill, and the progesterone in the pill is affecting my blood sugars. Yikes. I made the correction and kept moving through my morning. While a high blood sugar makes me feel tired and sick, it is part of having diabetes. There are good moments and not so good moments. So how do I cope with the bad moments of diabetes?
Believing is number one for me. I always believe that it is going to be okay. Even in the heat of the moment when my pump has stopped working or my blood sugar is 58 at 2 am in the morning, I believe. My initial emotion might be frustration and anger that this is happening or that I feel terrible. But when all simmers down, I believe that it will be okay. I do what I can to rectify the situation and focus on moving forward. I am thankful that I am alive. I am feeling a low or high blood sugar. I am here, experiencing my life.
Trust. I continuously work on trust. Trusting that I have calculated the right amount of carbohydrates. Trusting that I have set the right basals for the night. Trusting that my pump will keep pumping as I sleep. Trust is such a big part of my diabetes. If I did not trust, I would lay awake with one eye open all night. Worries about complications would consume my day. I would not be able to function. No one can live their life that way.
Rather, I choose to believe and trust that everything will be okay. Sometimes that is easier said then done. When those not so good (okay – bad) moments sneak up, I remind myself that this is a moment in my life. It will not last forever. I become proactive and take action to rectify the situation. This may include calling the doctor, changing out my pump, giving a correction bolus or eating a snack. By taking action, I feel empowered and in control.
Ahhh…Control. That word is used so often in the world of diabetes. Am I controlling my diabetes, bloodsugars, and diet? For me, control is a mixed emotion. There are aspects of my diabetes that I try to control – diet, exercise, sleep, and destressing (meditation). Yet, I have learned over the years, that I cannot always control what is going on with my body. Unexplainable high and low blood sugars are going to happen. Things will pop up which make me feel out of control.
And after I acknowledge the discomfort and fear, I realize it is time to take back the control. Taking charge puts me in the driver’s seat. Fear and frustration has to take a backseat. I am managing my diabetes to my best ability. No one can ask for more.
That is the key. It all starts with me. I believe and trust that no matter what is going on with my diabetes, I am in control of my life. And a good life it is.