Tag Archives: Diabetes and relationships

Join the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Chatroom!

 dsmaphoto

 

I was recently encouraged by Six Until Me’s Kerri, to attend DSMA chats on twitter.  I felt kind of stumped for a while thinking, huh?  What is DSMA and how does one chat on twitter?

Today I’m interviewing the woman that started it all.  We’ll find out exactly what DSMA means and why it was started and how you can join!

Cherise Shockley blogs over at Diabetes Daily.  Her blog is called Diabetic iz Me and she has been kind enough to answer some of my questions:

Cherise, How would you describe yourself?

 

I would describe myself as friendly, attentive, supporter of others, down to earth and all over the place.

 

What type of diabetes do you have and how long have you had it?

 

I was diagnosed with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) in June of 2004.

 

What is DSMA and why did you start it?

 

DSMA stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. It’s a twitter chat/discussion about anything related to diabetes, ie meters, endocrinologists, pumps, support and more.

 

I am not sure if you’re familiar with #hcsm (Healthcare Communications and Social Media) but that’s how I had my “AHA” moment. #hcsm is held every Sunday. I was lurking during one of the chats and it dawned on me, “The Diabetes Online Community needs something like this.” We blog, participate in communities, and tweet-why not use twitter to have an organized chat/discussion about life with diabetes, media and other things that affect us. Plus, you do not have to sit in front of the computer to participate. We all have questions or need insight on something-I ask it and PWD’s/T-3’s respond in real time! It’s amazing!!!!!

 

What kind of feedback have you received about this?

 

I never thought my “AHA” moment would have so much support and participation. The diabetes community looks forward to it. The feedback from the participants of DSMA has been phenomenal. The DOC looks forward to Wednesday nights.

 

How many people typically attend the chats?

 

There are approximately 66-95 people that participate in DSMA on a weekly bases.

 

What is the main purpose of DSMA?  Do you have an ultimate goal in mind?

 

The main purpose of DSMA is to talk about diabetes, living with diabetes, and advocating for PWD’s to come together once a week to chat/discuss questions about our experience and opinions about certain topics in an organized way. My goal has been met, it’s been fantastic.

 

Do you have to be a diabetes blogger to attend the chats?

 

You do not have to be a blogger to participate or even have diabetes. If you are a person who advocates for diabetes, is curious about diabetes, is a care taker and/or parent-anyone and everyone can participate.

 

What is the greatest thing you personally, have gained from DSMA?

 

Personally, I have gained a lot of insight in the past 9 weeks about PWD’s and Parents that have children with diabetes. One of the most important things I’ve learned is T-1’s and T-2’s have a lot in common. Yes, treatments are different and our pancreas works differently but we are still people living with diabetes.

 

How does one join the chats and when/where do they take place?

 

#dsma takes place every Wednesday night at 9pm EST. You can participate in a couple of different ways.

First you have to have a twitter account. Follow @diabetessocmed for the questions and when responding include #dsma at the end of your response. You can also log on to tweetchat/room/dsma; it’s the easiest way to follow. You don’t have to have a twitter account and want to follow the chat, just search the hash tag #dsma.

 

Anything else you’d like to tell us about this?

 

Sysy- thank you for interviewing me about #dsma. I would also like to thank everyone for participating. If you have questions or topic suggestions, you can email them to admin at diabetessocmed.com.

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Thanks Cherise!  So remember to  Go to this link to sign in to your twitter account and you’re ready to join in on the chat!  (Tip:  when you see “RT” this means someone “retweeted” or “reposted” a message-this is a good thing :)  Oh and PWD stands for People or person With Diabetes.  DOC stands for Diabetes Online Community.

For the record, I attended my first chat last week where we answered a few questions based on the topic of mental health and diabetes.  It took me a few minutes to get the hang of the technology (I’m slow with this twitter stuff) but, soon I knew the abbreviations and I was chatting with all sorts of people from around the country who actually know what I’m dealing with.  It was the first time I’d ever had dialogue about diabetes with fellow diabetics (aside from my younger sister).  And for the first time I felt like “hey, I’m not so special” Ha ha.  No.  Seriously?  I felt support and comfort knowing I’m not alone.  Neither are you.

So if you like the idea of this and feel like you need some chicken soup for the diabetic soul join us, we’d love to chat with you.

Handling Diabetes Gracefully

 

I find that most of us diabetics are pretty emotional people.  It’s hard not to be.  Sometimes this leads us to voice our frustrations in a passionate light.  Sometimes we aren’t so much passionate as we are offensive, however.   I have recently been thinking about children with diabetes (I used to be one) and have noticed that the kids with diabetes seem to have more grace than many of the adults living with diabetes.

This is due to the nature of children.  They are whimsical, forgiving, hopeful, optimistic, and they live in the moment.  We adults are famous for losing many of those traits as we leave childhood.  You’d think life would get easier with more practice but instead it gets harder and we diabetics quickly get worn out.

I remember feeling depressed as a child and still getting up in the morning, making good grades, having fun with friends, and playing a good game of soccer.

Now if I feel depressed, even brushing my teeth is a tall order.

I strive to publicly handle diabetes with grace.  I try not to whine and be overly negative and I try not to shoot out generalized statements about diabetes, knowing it may hurt another diabetic’s feelings.  If I break down I do it in private or in front of my husband or family.  Yet, I long to be that little kid whose eyes always sparkled when someone asked me about diabetes.  I’d answer eloquently and try to be descriptive and positive, yet realistic.  Now I have to be very careful not to depress the person I’m talking to about diabetes.  I mean the subject, overall, is depressing.  But, I’ve found that people don’t want to help the depressed person as much as they want to find out more about the one whose eyes sparkle.  Anything positive and hopeful is simply more attractive than something sad and gloomy.

As we fight to bring about massive diabetes awareness I propose a challenge:  That we all attempt to let the joyful life inside of us win over the destructive cloud that is diabetes.  That we try to write about diabetes in a more elegant way.  That we perhaps leave out phrases like “people who don’t understand diabetes disgust me” and any general pancreas bashing (your pancreas is not to blame).  When we say these things, people who don’t know about our diabetes are not attracted to us and therefore do not learn much about diabetes from us.  When we are honest yet, pleasant and positive, people are attracted to us and are much more willing to hear what we have to say.  Thus, our attempt at spreading diabetes awareness is more successful.  It’s a difficult balance, to be honest.  How do we get the message out there about the harsh realities of this disease and keep people’s attention?  It’s not easy.

My tendency is to say that we want others to notice that we are not full of bitterness, but instead hope, that we are not hateful, but instead forgiving, that we love life despite diabetes instead of walk around with doom written on our foreheads.  Then they will be inspired, enamored of our cause, and motivated to fight with us and for us.

We need their help, I don’t think we’ll make it alone.  Insurance costs are only getting more difficult to manage, healthy food is not the easy choice to make, and so many diabetics are lacking primary resources.

If we show others how special we are instead of what a burden we are, they will be on our side.  Again, children do this naturally.  My two kids cost me an arm and a leg (financially and emotionally speaking).  But, I would give my life for their sparkling eyes and bright smiles alone.  Maybe we should take a hint from them.

New Year’s Resolutions for July and August

 

The last two months (May/June) my goal was to get back into an exercise routine of some sort.  I was going to try to do regular yoga each day. 

Plans changed however, and I had an opportunity to go to the gym.  I really enjoy the gym and so I began either doing yoga at home or going to the gym and spending about 30-45 minutes there. 

My weight is the same because as I adjusted to more exercise I found myself hungry and snacked more often.  My weight didn’t change for another reason: I replaced fat loss with muscle gain and so although the scale didn’t move, I now fit into my clothes better.  A huge plus when visiting the pool and getting back into summer dresses!

Now I just have to keep it up!

For July and August my resolution was to be more social.

I had a really tough pregnancy and have elected to stay home with my 1 year old twins.  This has completely changed my social life.  So now that life with the twins has settled into some sort of routine I want to connect with the outside world again. 

I guess I’ll try calling old friends and invite them over to visit. 

I’ll reach out more to the great online diabetic community.

And I’ll…I don’t know what else! 

Anybody have any suggestions as to how to get back out there?  Help!

Oh and incase you are wondering, I am  following Leo Babauta’s The 6 Changes Method.  Try it!  It is a great way to accomplish some of your goals this year.  It isn’t too late :)

Interview with parents of two diabetic children

My parents
My parents

 

I know these people very well-they’re my own mom and dad.

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes is focused on women (although many men do read).  It occurred to me a while back that diabetic women aren’t the only ones who look for helpful articles to read.  Parents with diabetic children do as well. 

My heart goes out to parents out there who have children with the disease and doubly so to those who, like my parents, have more than one child with the disease. 

In 1984, my family moved to the United States from Venezuela to live in the land of opportunity.  Everything went as planned until 1994 when my youngest sister Ana, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 3.  I was hit very hard by this.  I was only 10 years old at the time but, I researched all about the disease and became well acquainted with the basic information about diabetes.  A few months later I was 11 years old and 2 months into 6th grade.  I sat in science class and thought about how I had been feeling the past few days.  Since I was well aware what the symptoms of diabetes were I thought to myself, “I have diabetes, too”.  I went home and had my mother test my sugar and it was 401.  This was after having ate tons of Halloween candy so it seems I caught my own diabetes very early.

My parents experienced raising one child with a peaceful, cooperative nature who only knew of life with the disease and another (myself) who everyday thought back to the days without the disease when life was good and continuously rebelled against reality.

Ana testing her blood sugar at age 6 

Ana at age 6, testing her blood sugar

They also dealt with 3 other non-diabetic children, whom I fear received a little less attention because of Ana and I requiring so much.  It isn’t easy for anyone, being in a diabetic family.  I hope all of you dealing with a child with diabetes hang in there and work together to support each other.

I want to do more interviews with parents-specifically mothers of diabetic children so If you are interested please contact me via email or in the comments and I will definitely get back to you.

Below is an interview with my own parents German and Maria Elizabeth.  M is for Mom, D is for Dad, and C is for their collective answer.

Please let us know what you think in the comments!

What was your initial reaction to the news about Ana and I? 

C- Let us tell you the story of how things started. Ana was diagnosed on February 28, 1994. Her signs started two months earlier when your Dad noticed that she seemed to be losing weight. I called the pediatrician and he told us to check her weight and let him know if there were changes in the range of 1-2 lbs. We went and got a scale and weighed her every day and for two months we saw no difference. However, even though she was almost potty trained, she wet her bed sometimes at night. I (mom) thought that she was not ready yet. Still your dad was noticing that at every meal Ana would finish everyone’s cup of whatever beverage we had. When we were out she always needed to go to the bathroom, she was always drinking, and therefore, she needed to pee. I remembered at yours and your brother Alejandro’s basketball games how I would miss some of your plays because I had to take her to the bathroom. I would be upset for all these trips to pee, and it never crossed my mind of the possibility of something wrong with her, much less diabetes, after all nobody in the family had it. So on February 27, your dad decided to put a 5lb bag of sugar to check the scale and it did not move, so no wonder we could not see a couple pounds difference, he also noticed her skin between her legs was very flabby so we decided to make a sick appointment the next day. After the doctor heard our concerns he did a blood test to find her glucose was in the 400s. We then had to take her right away to the hospital.

M- So I was in shock and pain but also I felt remorse for the times I got upset because she kept wanting to go to the bathroom. I cried when Ana was diagnosed because she was only three years old and I did not know much about diabetes. With you it was more painful, I knew all the health risks and most of all the control and care you needed and I knew it was going to be very hard for an 11 year old girl.

D- For me the shock came later, the more I learned about the reality of diabetes, the damage that it would or could cause to our daughters and their dependency on man-made insulin- which is not a cure.

Were you more frightened for Ana since she was so young at diagnosis?

M- Definitely, yes! But also because all of the pricking and shots she would have to endure, since I had no idea of how Ana was going to react. It was painful. But then again, God only gives you what you can handle and Ana was so calm and sweet about all the control she needed, never to complain. Then with you it was different, because you knew more and you seemed to accept it as something that you had to take care of.

D- For both of you, it was more like to subdue to faith and to knowledge- following the doctor’s instructions (the most immediate knowledge), and learn at a faster pace.

What do you know now which you believe might have have helped you to know back then?

M- That any illness can hit your family, even if nobody had it before. That this “diet” that you girls had to follow should had been the norm for all of us. That anything you eat becomes sugar, some foods faster than others, that portions are VERY important, variety of foods are a must, most of all balance between diet, medicine and exercise is a key factor for anyone. There is no such thing as a diabetic diet, just a healthy diet.

D- That a lot of things can trigger diabetes, not only genetic makeup. That food can have an impact as well.

Did you ever think of us as a “diabetic family”? 

M- No, I did not think of us as a diabetic family, you and Ana were the diabetics, the rest of us could continue the way we were; a mistake because the chance for diabetes lurks in the family still today.

D- Not then, now I do. I still think that we are a Type I diabetic family and we could even become a type II because we have not adjusted our diet as we should.

What advice would each of you give to a new parent of a diabetic child?

M- Learn as much as you can, knowledge is power. View the situation as a chance for the whole family to develop better dietetic and exercise habits that all can do. Do not panic, but neither get too complacent about your child’s diabetes care, depending on their age, you may have more or less involvement, still, be always involved, let them know that here is a person that understands and cares about them more than anyone. 

D- Read as much as you can about diabetes. To accept the diabetes and not to have it as an enemy, but to accept the dependency on insulin and to make them understand how import good control is. We should give them more support by assuming their healthy diet and exercise habits, not to have separate foods.

C- Look for a physician who you really trust and that shows a deep concern for your child. Our pediatrician at that time gave us his house number and cell number and on one occasion we had a concern over the weekend and called his house; he was out on a lake with his brother, but his wife called him and he called us back from the boat! We were never calling all the time, but we knew that we could call him day or night and he was always pleasant and concerned for us.

Do you worry less now that Ana and I are adults than when we were children?

C- No and yes.

No, because as you are experiencing now, we never stop worrying about our children; also because we know we do not have the control like when you were a child and that makes us nervous, yet, we pray to God and keep checking on you girls to see how things are. Also, because we know we all can fall back on our old habits. For example, Ana is in college- in the middle of a system that does not support a healthy style: like the meal plan that she “has to” buy because she lives on campus. The eating places that have all you can eat. It does require a lot of will power to stay on track.

And yes, because we know you girls are well educated about diabetes and maintain a constant check on the things you need to do.

Who was more difficult to raise as a diabetic and why?

C- You Sysy, because you were at an age where you pretty much did all the checking and shots, you went out with friends, had more extracurricular activities, and had known how it felt living WITHOUT diabetes. We could not be with you all the time, and also because you have a more stubborn character that says “This is what I want to do”. We also found out later all the sneaky things you did (daughter, you can leave this out, if you want..haha).

Personally, looking back I feel you both worked well as a team.  For example, Mom, you are very action oriented and don’t worry nearly as much as many people which enabled you to take care of us without letting stress stop you.  When it came to carrying diabetes supplies and remembering insulin doses and making doctors appointments you were the one in charge.  Dad, you do more deep thinking and take your time observing details and always watched us carefully.  This meant you brought up concerns to mom and she moved on them.  You were also the one to always acknowledge the emotional aspect of diabetes with a lot of empathy.

Do you both agree? 

C- Yes, you know us well!

Do you have any thoughts on this? 

M- Yes, we are a working team, me with the do it all attitude and Dad with the reflective thinking and searching looking for the underlying causes behind one of you not feeling well or not acting as you normally do.

Do you think it might help parents to use each other’s strengths for the wellbeing of their diabetic child in this way?  After all, no parent is perfect, but a pair can be pretty darn great!

C- Yes! As a marriage we work together in every aspect of our relationship and that includes our children, no matter how old they are.

Anything else either of you have to add?

D- If your child has diabetes, you have diabetes as well.

C- We believe that we have a duty to let others know what we have learned all these years (and we keep learning)

And so thank you so much for reaching into some sad memories to give us your thoughts.  Looking back now as a parent myself, I appreciate more than ever the way you took care of Ana and I.  Truth is, under your care we never had any scary incidents or hospital visits and I believe it was mostly due to your diligence and involvement with our diabetes management. 

Thank you :)

How to explain to your guy that your diabetes is SERIOUS

 Look him in the eyes sort of like this…

 

This is a must when you are in a serious relationship.  You are not diabetes but, you are a diabetic so do remember how important it is your loved ones understand exactly what you are dealing with.

First of all, they need all of the basic technical information.  You know, what is diabetes, hypoglycemia, insulin, etc.  Then a bridge must be made between all of that information and the knowledge that although insulin keeps you alive and kicking, diabetes is very serious and for a diabetic, maintaining health is often a delicate balance and a never ending struggle.

No need to get dramatic here, BUT, it helps both of you if your partner is clued into the facts.  When your blood sugar is up or down it helps to explain to him what it is you are feeling.  A good guy will think about how amazing you are.  You feel like that and yet you carry on all fabulous like.

He will also begin to anticipate little ways to help you.  When my husband and I dated he eventually stocked bottles of juice in his truck for me-just as back up.  We often went hiking or climbing and he quickly figured out how exercise would really push my sugars down. 

And no, he didn’t know my diabetes was serious at the beginning.  That took some time.  Don’t expect your guy to remember everything you tell him and don’t give him all the info at once.  It took you sometime to know all you do about your diabetes and the same goes for him. 

Something you do want to do:  observe how he reacts to your diabetes.  You don’t want him to start panicking when you test and your sugar is low but, you do want to see concern and a willingness from him to quickly help in any way he can.  After all, a good guy is like this whether you’re a diabetic or not, right?

A big thanks to all of the great guys out there who support us diabetic women, we know it isn’t easy and we love ya!

Dating and diabetes; What is the hardest thing?

 

I’ve heard people say the hardest thing about dating and being a diabetic is the shame one might feel about all the “medical stuff” they have going on in their lives.  Others mention that they feel they bring a ton of baggage to a relationship.  Women have mentioned they feel scared that a man will see her as unable to bear children and thus run in the opposite direction.  Women have also said they have a hard time feeling “sexy” as they look at their pump and the tubing attached to it and them. 

I agree and If I had to say what the hardest thing about dating and being a diabetic was, I’d say it was the psychological effects that diabetes has on the mind.  Wouldn’t that include all of the above? 

Time and time again I notice that the major beef women have about being diabetic and dating is something they perceive or fear someone else will perceive about them. 

I remember worrying about how my pump looked with my outfit and eventually discovering from my guy that he never even gave it a thought.  He said he just knew it had to be there and understood the role it played in keeping me healthy.   He just looked past it.

I also used to feel that because I had diabetes for so many years (now 15) I wouldn’t be able to have children.  After all, I do have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) a disorder which my doctor says was probably caused by the diabetes and which makes women unfertile.  I made sure my husband was aware of the possibility before we got married and what do you know he was the first person at the church that day…

Anyway now I’ve got 8 month old twins!  And believe me, I was the most surprised of all! 

Another thing- I used to feel that a guy would literally run away from me when he found out I had a serious disease.  This never happened (and I don’t look like a model, mind you). 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  This fear of being a diabetic and dating is 90-some percent in our heads, ladies.  What has worked for me is I have faked confidence in myself.  Yep, you heard me.  I have had all the doubts and crippling worries and yet to the outsider I seemed completely sure of myself and this has lead men to see me and maybe think, “hey, she looks happy and she doesn’t seem sick”. 

Of course, I still struggle with the relationship thing and how it is affected by my diabetes.  Despite being married (no, it doesn’t stop there!) I still have to tell those negative thoughts to go away or else I find them hurting my relationship. 

So I guess my point with this post is just to place a reminder in all of our worrisome minds that we create most of the dating and diabetes drama ourselves and we should just relax, take care of ourselves, and be confident.  Those three things will be something our guys will really cherish and appreciate.

Dating and Diabetes; An interview with my husband

It worked out in the end

It worked out in the end

My husband Alex is going to answer my questions about what it has been like to date and be married to me (a type 1 diabetic for 15 years).

Maybe men dating diabetic women can get a heads up and diabetic women can gain insight into what our non-diabetic partners may be thinking.

So we begin…

S:   Alex, we dated for about 2 years but, have been friends for longer.  While we were friends, what was your impression about  my diabetes?

A:  Well when we were friends I really didn’t know much about your diabetes.  I knew you had it but, didn’t really know what it was about.  I knew you had to check your blood sugar and I knew sometimes you had to get sugar if you were low or give insulin if you were high.

S:  Did it freak you out to see me check my blood sugar or give insulin?

A:  I never remember seeing you check your blood or give insulin in front of me.  I saw you use your insulin pump but, that was it.

S:  That’s right! I never let you see me check my blood sugar.  I did it in the bathroom or in the car before we hung out.

A:  So maybe it is good that guys read this.  I would encourage a guy out there dating a diabetic girl to let her know that you are aware she needs to check her blood sugar and if she needs to do it in front of you then to go right ahead.

S:  Yes!  That would have been so nice to hear back then.  At that time I was scared to let guys see me manage my diabetes.  A little encouragement would have gone a long way and improved my glucose numbers.

Next question.  Once we began dating, was there ever a moment when you realized my diabetes was more serious than you had previously thought?

A:  It wasn’t so much one instance as much as a slow realization.  Every time your blood sugar was low and you didn’t have some sugar with you (although you usually did) we had to stop whatever we were doing and get you some.  If we were going somewhere or at a movie or at a club, we had to quickly deal with it.  It wasn’t so much an issue of should we,  instead we HAD to.  So after a few months dating I began to realize how serious diabetes is.

S:  Did you ever feel I was an inconvenience to you?

A:  No I didn’t.  I guess it helped that we still went out to all kinds of places and did different activities.  I also saw you put a lot of effort into managing your diabetes.  It would have been frustrating to see you not try and then us both have to deal with extra scary situations and maybe not go out much anywhere because you didn’t take care of yourself.   It also helps that I love you.

S:  I love you, too!  Anyway, I didn’t expect your answer.  It’s interesting that something important for you is the fact that I try my best to take care of myself and still get out and do things.  Like when we go hiking, I just take extra sugar and supplies with me.  Same goes for you ya know.  I want you to take care of yourself, too.

A:  Of course there was that one time you woke me up and told me I had to rush you to the ER the time you accidentally overdosed on insulin.  We were there for about 8 hours.  (that complete dramatic story here)

S:  But, wasn’t it nice being the hero?

A:  Sure, but don’t ever let that happen again. (joking)

S:  No problem!  So…on a more serious note, did you ever wish I didn’t have diabetes?

A:  Of course.  You asked me once what I would change about you if I could change one thing and I said I would make you a non-diabetic.  Reason being because I see how much suffering is involved.  I know it would make your life so much easier not to have diabetes.

S:  A lot of emotional turmoil is involved, too…

A:  Yeah, It took years of dating but, eventually you let me see you when you occasionally broke down about it.

S:  It was a relief to finally allow you to help me when those moments happened.  I hid them from you for a while because I was scared you would feel I came with too much baggage.

A:  Have you noticed you breakdown less and less?

S:  Yes, It helps to manage blood sugars and maintain discipline.  Honestly, your support and understanding has helped me get to where I am now.

A:  Glad I could help.

When your diabetes stresses out loved ones

 

 

You may have really understanding parents, siblings, husband, children, and friends.  Nevertheless, from time to time your diabetes will leak it’s stress onto them. 

Sometimes we get tired of dealing with our diabetes and let our control slip.  Maybe we have a hard week or month and the emotional turmoil spills onto others.  We are human and no matter how great we handle our diabetes, we are not as consistent as the disease itself. 

Our loved ones should be understanding-that is for sure.  We should also be understanding. 

Let me tell you a story of realization.  I always thought my husband had it real easy.  He has no health issues-in fact has never even had a headache and I just assumed he breezed through life. 

Then he had a skin biopsy.  A benign cyst was removed from his back which had been caused by some blow to the area (probably from sports years back).  It was rather large because he had procrastinated in getting it removed (its true, men don’t like going to the doctor).  His stitches had to be pulled out because the hole which remained was too large to heal that way.  So I had to maintain his wound by packing it each night with sterile paper like strips about 5-6 inches long which freaked me out.  The strips would just fall into the bloody abyss that was his wound and the only way I could handle it was by joking to him about being a stuffed animal. 

Because of this he had to take it easy on the heavy lifting.  Mind you we have twin 6 month infants weighing about 16-18 pounds each.  I completely understood why he couldn’t pick up our babies but, the stress of the situation got to me.  I even brought up the fact more than once that he could have had the cyst removed years ago had he just not procrastinated.  I was frustrated with having to do double lifting.  My frustration was aimed at the situation and yet he felt a little personally attacked. 

Then I thought about all of the times he was the one doing double duty with the babies because “mommy’s blood sugar is low” or because “mommy needs to check her blood sugar”.  There are also the times where I’m extra moody because of the diabetes and he also must deal with that.  And what about all of the worry he felt during my pregnancy as I shared with him all that could go wrong because of my diabetes?  What about the time I gave the wrong insulin by accident and he had to rush me to the hospital?  The list goes on and on.  He has a lot on his shoulders with me sometimes and yet he never makes me feel bad.  The point is…frustration from loved ones is inevitable and in fact, it happens because they love us and choose to be near us!  Thank goodness for that. 

What does need to happen?  We and they need to come to an understanding and decision that we may get frustrated but will not attack or belittle or guilt trip each other.  Things need to be kept within loving and respectful boundaries. 

Life is not easy and the key is to handle difficult times with grace.  I don’t pray as often as I’d like but, when I do I ask for grace in handling my diabetes and for my family’s understanding and patience.  Then I go back to doing my best at controlling my disease because that is truly the best way to help myself and everyone who loves me.

Diabetes and diet; What does Victoria Beckham do right?

 

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      You know how often a woman marries and soon claims she is gaining weight because she now eats like her husband?  Same goes for a diabetic woman who is with a non-diabetic partner.  She might say her blood sugars could be better if she didn’t eat like her man. Well, I know this can be very true but, it doesn’t have to be.   Let me give you a current events example…

I researched Victoria Beckham, wife of soccer great David Beckham because I saw a headline mentioning she eats nothing like her husband.  Turns out she supposedly eats a completely different diet than he does.  Does this complicate meal time?  Maybe.  Do they have an absurd amount of money to help with meal time?  Absolutely.  BUT, her husband burns a ton of calories playing soccer for a living and she likes to fit into tiny fashionable clothes.  So she eats fruits, vegetables, and seafood and he eats… well, anything he wants. 

At the end of the day they are both fit, slim, and seemingly healthy. They’ve been married 10 years and I imagine are still attracted to each other.  I don’t see where this goes wrong.

The challenge is, how can we normal folk do this? 

Personally, I’ve been married a little over a year and have managed not to eat like my husband.  His job is active and mine (pre-twin babies) involved a desk and laptop so you can imagine what would have happened to me had I attempted to eat an entire steak, some potatoes, white bread, and wine for dinner. 

Instead I would have a small amount of steak, some whole grain bread and squash, and a few sips of his wine for dinner.  All I had to do was replace the type of bread,add some broccoli to the steamer, steal some of his wine, and voila!  Different meal for two.  Its like I’m a restaurant! Anyway, a little creativity goes a long way.  So does this easy tactic:  downsizing portions.  You most likely should never eat the amount of food your man does.  On average men are larger than women and require more calories. 

More examples: 

Spaghetti with marinara and meatballs.  My husband has a plate full with some grilled vegetables and I enjoy only one bite of his spaghetti, the veggies, and some meatballs. 

Chicken breast, fettucini alfredo, and broccoli for him and chicken breast and broccoli for me.  You get the idea.

Now if all you’re having is pizza-have only 1 slice instead of his 4.  And make yours thin crust.

It sounds overly simple because it is.  What it isn’t is easy to adhere to.  It is hard watching him eat so many tantalizing carbs and still stay thin and healthy.  This is where discipline comes in-and a paradigm shift. 

Look out for my next article on that.