What is my motivation today? The answer to this question is what carries me from day to day with type 1 diabetes. The days I don’t do well with this disease are often the days I forget to pinpoint for myself, just what I’m doing all this work for. I know I’m doing it for big health reasons, but those reasons are not immediate enough. I need a motivator that is close by and one I can reap rewards from really quickly.
For example: My husband and children had a cold last week. I’ve never not caught a cold from them but after a few days noticed the three of them had passed the cold around and I was (gasp!) still feeling fine. So for those couple of days my motivation each day for keeping my blood sugars in line was to not get sick. If my blood sugar was high, my immune system would be weaker and perhaps I’d catch the cold. So all day long I focused on keeping good blood sugar levels. A week has gone by and I’m out of the clear!
Another example: On some days, my husband and I take our kids out after he gets home from work. My motivation then is to have controlled blood sugars so that I can feel good enough to take our kids for an outing. They’re 20 months old and mighty difficult to manage these days so when my sugars are off, I worry I won’t have the energy it requires to take care of them and so we don’t go anywhere. The kids love going out and I’d hate to be the reason they didn’t go somewhere, so I make sure my blood sugars are where they need to be. When we do have to cancel a trip because of me, I know it’s not often and therefore I feel ok with it.
When I was working outside of the home, my motivation each day was to be on top of my game at work. I didn’t want to look weak by dealing with too many lows or highs and I wanted to maintain the quantity and quality of my work load.
Obviously, there will be days where nothing seems motivating enough to deal with diabetes. On these days you just have to forgive yourself and take things one step at a time. There will be days where diabetes will just deal too tricky a card and numbers will be out of whack. Don’t worry about those days. Just do what you have to do to get back in range.
But on all the other days, ask yourself what you want, what your motivation for having good blood sugars is. Then use this energy to make it happen. The snowball effect happens when you do this and more health and more opportunities come rolling your way!