Tag Archives: diabetes and not giving up

Say it Loud

Larger Than Life by Ana Morales

“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been reflecting on the above quote for sometime.

It’s quite a powerful message in a very short sentence.  I think that in one way or another, most of us do something that is different from what we say-obviously because we’re human.  For example, I have a friend who says she lacks confidence.  I don’t think it matters because every time I see her she is standing up straight, looking people in the eye, speaking her mind, and living in a way I’d describe as “confidently”.  In this case, I don’t hear what she says because I see her actions and they override her words.  I believe she feels a lack of confidence-I don’t mean to say she is lying.  I just think that she does a great job of putting her feelings of doubt to the side and tries to live as a confident person, even though she sometimes doesn’t feel that way.  So her actions win.

Whereas someone who says they have confidence and then don’t make eye contact, seem to hide when people are around, and don’t stand up for themselves are also speaking most loudly with their actions.

Anyway, this quote has been making me think about all that I say.  Let’s face it, because I write a post on here, 5 days a week, I’m saying a lot!  But am I doing it?  Am I living it?  I’ve been checking myself lately to ensure that there is a consistent line between what I say and do.  It’s not easy because we all have great intentions-that’s for sure.  But how well are we carrying those out?

I think it’s great to take time out of each day and reflect, just for a minute or two on the message in this quote.  It’s a wonderful way to maintain a realistic perspective on our progress with our goals.  When I catch myself not making a straight line between what I say and do, I am forced to refocus and try again.

We’re not perfect, we’re a work in progress and as long as we are, we can always say we are.

The “You Can Do This” Project

 

Sometimes all we need to get through another day with diabetes is the knowledge that it’s possible to do so and that we’re not alone in our struggle.  Kim at Texting My Pancreas started a wonderful initiative called The “You Can Do This” Project.  Here are the details in case you’d like to participate.  If you don’t have a blog, feel free to have The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes put up your written post or video if you just want to get it out there.  The more participants, the more hope and empowerment we send out to others :)

Here is my video blog for this project:

Hang On Just a Little Longer

Photo courtesy of Markuso
Photo courtesy of Markuso

 

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

~Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

It’s so true.  There have been times I’ve held on just past the point where I thought I was going to totally quit and reaped big rewards.  I don’t even want to think about all of the times I’ve given up just before the point of achieving something.  I those times have been the majority.

I think my pregnancy was my biggest personal example of just hanging on.  I said that to myself every day for months.  I didn’t just mean to “hang on” in the psychological sense.  I wanted to hang on and keep doing what I was doing for my health and for my children’s health.  I didn’t want to break down and have coffee or candy with high fructose corn syrup.  I didn’t want to start overeating out of stress and gain too much extra weight (the twin belly was quite enough bigness) and I didn’t want to give in to the pancake and sushi cravings because I knew I didn’t manage my blood sugars well when eating those foods. 

Hanging on isn’t just about not giving up it’s about maintaining effort and consistency and quality in whatever we’re doing. 

We tend to see things in short term.  We tend to think, “I can’t give up (insert unhealthy habit) because I want to enjoy this moment right now.”  Fair enough.  Only, long term matters.  Everything we do today is going to directly achieve tomorrow’s results.  And we’re going to want to enjoy those moments, that certainly isn’t going to change.  We’ll also want to possibly avoid saying, “I can’t believe this is happening to me, it’s so unfair”.  Realistically, what we do always has repercussions.  And most of us know a lot of what we should do in order to achieve our personal goals in life.  We just don’t hang on long enough with our efforts to make some of those goals happen.  We quit right before seeing the fruit of our labor.  Sometimes we tell others something didn’t work because it wasn’t effective when maybe we just didn’t try long enough.

And hanging on just for the sake of surviving isn’t enough, or at least it doesn’t have to be all we do.  We can hang on in the sense that we’ll stick to doing what we know we should, every day, with full on effort in order to create the long term outcome we’re hoping for.

So whatever the goals are, I urge us all to hang on just a little longer.  Let’s not quit right before our win.

The Irony of Diabetes

 

Sometimes I like to look at diabetes with humorous shades on.  It kind of numbs the pain.

Did you ever think that diabetes was overly ironic?  I often do.

I can’t help but think about how many times I was prepared for a low blood sugar only to have a low during the one or two rare times I didn’t carry something. 

What about the time I got the insulin pump?  I was 16 years old.  I was so sure it would make diabetes easier and doctors assured me my blood sugars would be much easier to control.  Yet, two years after I got on the pump, I sat dumbfounded, wondering how I had managed to gain 20 pounds, have worse blood sugar management, and still feel that diabetes was impossible to control. 

When I was a teenager, I thought, “exercise is always good” and took that literally.  So when I had high blood sugars, I wouldn’t skip the soccer match or basketball game.  I’d play.  I later realized that might have caused me some nerve damage and who knows what else.  (Slowly shaking head)

I remember a few years ago, when I discovered the possible dangers of aspartame and splenda, how betrayed I felt.  When I was diagnosed, I was so happy to have diet coke, sugar free jello, and crystal light, any time I wanted.  So to find out that some damage to my health may have been caused by what had long been my sweet tooth savior-well, you can bet I threw my hands in the air and much like Tarzan, yelled “Whyyyyyyy?!”

Diabetes is ironic.  Your effort level can be at 100% and your health might simultaneously be at 80%.  Someone else’s effort level might be at 50% and their health be at 85%.  That’s right.  Diabetes can be a silly slap in the face.  What will we learn next that will be contrary to what we know now?  I mean, I try to keep my blood sugars around 100.  Will there soon be a news flash to kindly let me know that has been the wrong thing to do all along?  We’re sort of aiming in the dark, folks.  I think this is where our faith steps in.  Me personally…I try to have faith that I just do what seems to be right based on info I have today and when that changes, I change, and hopefully, my body will hold out and I’ll get some kind of reward in the end.  When I don’t see a reward right away, I’ll have to try to assume there is one on the way.

Here is something interesting:  Supposedly…my chances for developing PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) rose by A LOT when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (then it rose more with my high blood sugars).  This led to my ovaries dropping more eggs at a time than the normal one per month.  According to doctors I have spoken with, this syndrome I have might have very well been the reason for my twin pregnancy.  So there is a good chance diabetes gave me my wonderful twin babies.  A crazy way to look at it?  Maybe…but I’ll take all the positive I can get out of diabetes. (Big cheesy smile)

Do you think diabetes is ironic?

The Power of Thoughts, Part 2

 

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down

~Arnold Glasow

 

A great way to get your mind on a positive track (hard to do when diabetes is constantly derailing you) is to decide to knock toxic people out of your life (when possible, anyway).  It’s not easy, mind you, but it’s effective to the point that it’s life changing.

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that most of us are pretty influenced by others.  It’s normal and natural.  The thing is, for diabetics, health should really be a top priority.  And this means that being surrounded by those whose presence around you somehow doesn’t support your health is not the way to go.  In other words, people who aren’t respectful of your health goals or people who constantly pressure you against what you’ve set out to do are toxic to your health.  This doesn’t mean that if you are trying to eat healthier you need to let go of friends who live off of pizza.  It means that you need to avoid being around friends who live off pizza who also tell you “Oh come on just have some!” after you’ve said, “I really don’t want any and I shouldn’t have any tonight.”

You may have a different opinion than me on this but, in my experience, as long as I stuck to kind and thoughtful people, I felt a sense of support towards my health goals.  When I hung out with those who somehow made it easier for me to let go of my goals or who somehow made it easier for me to feel like my health wasn’t important enough for sacrifices, my diabetes suffered and of course, my whole life did, too.  Health issues are at the root of 99% of my seemingly unrelated problems in life.  Really.  So if I simply tackle health issues, the rest will at least improve.  Just the same, if I ignore health issues, my life will literally fall apart and that would really affect loved ones.  It’s a big deal.

So honestly, and you probably know this deep down for yourself, If you spend time around someone who makes it that much harder for you to do right by your health, talk to them about it.  Give them some time to adjust if that’s what they need.  If that doesn’t work, consider your options in spending less time or no time with them.  You’re worth it.

A Reason to Try

 

It was the Spring of 1999 and I was 15 years old.  I was sitting in my College Prep Biology class paying attention to something other than the teacher.  I was poking at my thigh which was starting to show a few broken capillaries.  My friend Michael, who sat to my right that entire year noticed what I was doing and said, “Don’t worry about that”, as he made a face to signify that it meant nothing, the face one makes when saying “nah”. 

“But, what if this is happening because I don’t take care of my diabetes enough?-I know I don’t take care of myself enough.”, I said.  “Well, then you need to take care of yourself better, you have to at least try.  I know diabetes must suck but, at least you have a better shot than if you had terminal cancer or advanced AIDS right?”, Mike replied.  “I suppose…” I said, not feeling too reassured.  Then Mike said, “Besides, one day, the right guy won’t be bothered by a few broken capillaries, I promise.”

I sat quietly the rest of class feeling relieved.  As a 15 year old, my worries involved my health but, I spent a lot of time preoccupied with how my diabetes might affect the way I look and I’ve always feared people (ok, males)  would be driven away.  Mike was right, later on, the right guy wasn’t bothered by a few broken capillaries, not even by a lot. 

Almost exactly three years after Mike and I had that conversation I found myself standing in a packed cathedral, the same one I’d eventually marry in.  With the bagpipes wailing in the background I thought about Mike’s words to me that day in Biology class.  He was right.  I had to take care of myself.  I had to do my best.  I did have a better shot than someone with terminal cancer.  He put up a strong fight, but, in less than a year from diagnosis, my friend Mike died of a rare form of Leukemia. 

Every time I think about giving up or giving in, even for just a day, I remember Mike, and his firm words to me.  And how his early death proved that I would have a better shot than he.  So of course, to me anyway, there is no question about it-I’ve always got a reason to take care of myself better.  I’ve at least got to try.

If only to honor those that don’t even get the chance.

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