Q: How did the relationships with other people inspire you to take care of yourself?
A: I remember when my now husband and I started dating, I suddenly felt very much pushed to manage my diabetes better. There were concrete reasons. High blood sugar causes me to have major dry mouth-something I wanted to avoid on dates. We went out on a lot of active dates like hiking or playing soccer or roller blading and I did not want my blood sugars to make impressing my husband the more difficult (hehe). I am after all, one of those girls who insist women are as athletic as men and therefore I needed my blood sugars to cooperate and not slow me down.
My diabetes management improved as soon as I discovered that I loved Alex. I felt lost before, not sure of what my motivation in life even was. I’m not saying a person should be one’s ultimate motivation but I guess it was a start for me considering I didn’t know what to do with my life, yet. Once I realized something I wanted, I could buckle down and get my diabetes management together. I made a clear path between me and him and pushed my diabetes out of my way by controlling it the best I could.
In high school when my blood sugars were out of control I remember feeling no reason to do better. Yeah, my family wanted me healthy, sure I wanted good grades, and of course I wanted to play on the soccer team-apparently it wasn’t enough. I didn’t sense a clear path between me and anything. My family would love me and be there for me no matter what, I could just get by on mediocre grades, and I wasn’t going to play soccer much longer anyway. I didn’t see my future, I didn’t imagine anything great or appealing. I thought, “what’s the point?”
When I became pregnant with my twins, it all became very clear. I had no problem denying myself certain foods or testing frequently because my motivation was on target. I wanted healthy children and that was that.
Besides wanting to always be there for my kids, I consider a marriage a never ending work in progress so I still get motivated to be healthy for my relationship with my husband.
I always considered my parents kind of invincible. I always felt like they take care of me and not the other way around. Recently, my two living grandparents have needed their children to step in and take care of them for the first time and knowing this has awakened in me the realization that I must also take care of myself so that I can be there for my parents when they need me. Suddenly I see what my path must be and can work towards it with enough focus and energy.
The relationships in my life have helped fuel my motivation to take care of myself and I’m so thankful for them.
Now I’m enjoying the extra oomph of support coming from the great big diabetes online community. Being a part of this community is like getting constantly reminded that my health matters, that I matter. Support is one of the most precious things in life. So thanks :)
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