Tag Archives: self worth and diabetes

Diabetes and Clinical Language Problem: We Have the Power

Recently and over the years, there have been very intelligent and thoughtful written reactions to the way that people with diabetes are clinically labeled as uncontrolled, non compliant and non adherent.

I wanted to share my thoughts today.

First, I think we need to define what “control” means in regards to diabetes and blood sugars.
Clinically speaking, my doctor would label me “in control” or “compliant”. Does this mean I always manage my blood sugars, can always predict them or often have swings that are outside of my ability to manage? No, but it means that my daily readings and A1c are generally considered the best possible for someone without the ability to make their own insulin.
 
Whenever an additional factor is present like gastroparesis, poverty or depression then we ourselves should keep those in mind so that if we do somehow come across the label “non compliant” we remind ourselves that we have our own legitimate reasons for blood sugar instability. While it is nice if others support us, especially for those without the self-confidence to prop themselves up emotionally, I think we should strive to be responsible for our own feelings of guilt. I understand this is difficult depending on who you are, what you have been through, how you were raised to think and so on.
I no longer feel guilty about my blood sugar management when it is poor. I know diabetes is hard and I work to improve it while patting myself on the back for attempting the impossible. This helps me tremendously because instead of sinking at the sound and judgment of a word, I focus more on the meaning of it and what I need to do. I’m not always very good at this but I try to focus on solutions instead of my feelings. I get that this can be very hard. I for one, always initially react emotionally to something and those feelings often overwhelm me when trying to think clearly. Still, I find that it helps to stay rational and try to keep emotions out of the troubleshooting process. 
Better results regarding my diabetes are going to help me feel better so they are my lighthouse.
I can certainly empathize with wanting clinical terms to go away. I’ve always advocated that doctors keep their technical in-house terms to themselves because they do not translate to people and their feelings. The truth is that outcomes are negatively influenced when people are emotionally upset. Doctors should recognize that there are many good reasons why someone isn’t managing their blood sugars as well as they’d like and help a person make improvements wherever possible without using a phrase that doesn’t take their serious effort into account. In-house, fine, I’m “controlled” or “uncontrolled”, whatever. Sitting with my doctor in an office, I’m “doing my best” and then we proceed to improve what needs improving.
 
If a healthcare provider or institution doesn’t want to change their ways of describing me on paper, I’m not going under for it, not going to cry, be hurt, feel inadequate. Not in the least bit. And I hope you don’t either. You are doing the job of an organ! If you are alive you already have my genuine congratulations. Maybe in this context we can all think of control as a clinical term to describe best outcome treatment goals being met? After all, our doctors and clinicians need a way to describe us for data compilation and such.
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In the meantime I suggest not tying any of your value, self worth or personal efforts to language. We have the power to start solving this problem for ourselves and our children by not being victims of words if we don’t want to be. 

 

Self Lovin’ Patriot

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It’s Fab Friday where we give self love a little thought.  Today, I’m thinking about why so many people out there aren’t registering to vote.  I am willing to say that amongst other factors, one is they are low on self love.

People who respect and love themselves also respect and love others, such as their children, family, and friends.  They want what is best for themselves and those around them.  They understand that communication is a positive thing and by voting, one is essentially communicating on a grand scale.

Don’t like either of the top two candidates?  Did you check out what the other parties stand for?  If so, a vote in that direction isn’t pointless even though they won’t win.  It’s still communication.  When the results are in, the country is going to report on how voting went.  People will feel united to those anonymous fellow citizens who voted like them and they may feel encouraged or inspired.  Everyone else will ponder the thought process of neighbors who for some reason, decided the way they did.  It’s never a bad thing to ponder heavy issues from a different perspective.

I’m not saying who to vote for or who I’m voting for.   If you understand the importance of voting and communicating in this way and you don’t feel like voting, then perhaps you don’t value yourself enough.

Frankly, I care to find out where others’ heads are.  Their thinking matters.  Mine matters.  Yours matters.  Consider registering soon before the deadline of the 15th if you haven’t already.  Do it because you care what happens to you and you care what message you’re projecting.

Actions never stop once we’ve done them.  They go on and on, moving and changing things in their wake.  Whether that change is mostly positive or negative is up to us.

Self Esteem Tips

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It’s “Fabulous Friday” again and I’m working hard to focus these days on self love and respect.  Cheesy?  Maybe…but it’s an effective way to get a grip on the emotional problems we have.  And since those of us with health issues like diabetes have plenty of emotional stressors to deal with, working towards self love is very worthwhile.

A crucial element of self love is a strong self esteem.  None of us love ourselves all of the time but some of us rarely love ourselves.  Either way most of us could use some reminders on how to strengthen our self esteem:

– Live with integrity

Work towards being honest, just, respectful, understanding, patient, and compassionate.

-Don’t be a pushover

Always stand up for yourself when you need to.  You are not below anyone and your needs are important.

-Try to think positive more than negative

This will become more of a habit with time and practice and will greatly support your mental and emotional health.

-Set your bar high

Don’t expect too little from yourself, you are fantastic and capable and amazing!

-Be responsible for your thoughts, feelings, and actions

By owning what comes out of you, you will become empowered with awareness and this will help you live a life within your standards and values.

-Build your life around your personal values

Try to work where you feel you’re not compromising your values.  Be in relationships that don’t pressure you to compromise your values.

-Belong to a community that is supportive of your goals for yourself

Like the DOC!

-Keep in touch with what you need and try to get it

Do you need to lose weight?  Start with a plan and steps you will take to get there and take it slow.  Do you need more emotional support from your spouse?  Sit down with them and calmly explain what you would like from them.  Do you feel like your diabetes is out of control?  Ask for help.  It’s ok to feel this way only you don’t want to feel this way for very long.  Fight to get what you deserve, like good health.

-Surround yourself with family that supports you whether they are blood related or not

Let’s face it, sometimes the family we were born into is not the family that we would have chosen.  While it’s important to give of yourself and help others, it’s also important to spend time with people with whom you feel safe and accepted.

-Lastly, forgive yourself.

You are human and will make many, many mistakes before your time on earth has ended.  When you forgive yourself you’re not letting yourself off the hook, you’re just acknowledging that you are worthy of love and compassion.  When we forgive ourselves we find it much easier to start the next day with a clean slate.

 

XOXO

Have a great weekend!

Thank You, Mr. Divabetic!

 

The following article is an interview by Riva Greenberg, to “Mr. Divabetic”. 

“Mr. Divabetic” Puts Glitz and Glam Into Diabetes Education

If you’re a woman, please make sure to read this article!  If you’re a man…well, this article holds a key to women that you may want to make sure you’re aware of ;)

I’m happy to say that I think Max Szadek, the man who started “Divabetic” has hit the nail on the head.  He isn’t a diabetic at all.  Yet, he understands something about women and their health that I wish more people would understand. 

Today, so many women feel pressure to look good, be productive at work, cook well, clean well, be outstanding mothers and devoted wives, sometimes all at once.  In general, a lot of women feel overwhelmed and often place their families before themselves.  Their health is often at the end of their priority list.  I struggle with this.  I find it difficult to change diapers all day, wash dishes, clean the toilet (or contemplate doing it, anyway), and still come out feeling pretty and special at the end of the day.        

Max Szadek has observed that when some special attention and care has been given to women, something wonderful happens:  they are more motivated to take care of themselves.

I’m the first to admit, we girls are interesting creatures.  Many of us would buy our kids an extra toy, get our husband a steak dinner, or take a girlfriend out to lunch before we ever treat ourselves to a pedicure.

Not that any of the above is bad.  It’s just that our health suffers a bit when we forget to be so kind to ourselves.  We flip through fashion magazines and see the bodies we don’t have and think, “ugh, I could never look like that so what’s the point?”  Those magazines are missing the point.  We don’t want to lose weight to look fabulous, we already are fabulous.  We want to be healthy. 

This seems to be the message that Divabetic tries to send to women.  Personally, I know for a fact that if I fix my hair, I’ll be more apt to eat healthy during the day.  And if I take a little time for myself once a day, I feel much more confident and relaxed and much more willing to say no to the nighttime snacking that does nothing but increase my waistline and ruin my overnight blood sugars.

So girl, put down that magazine and go do something nice for yourself.  (If you’re broke like me, do some stretches, take a bubble bath, read a book…or better yet, write down the 10 Things you most love about yourself.  Read yourself the list, every night.  I’m going go do this right now, along with my nails.

For our happiness and our health we should choose to pay special attention to our health.  It makes it so much easier to have Divabetic on our side to help inspire and motivate us. 

PS: If you’re a guy, you’re special, too :)

Oh and if you’re a guy who has a girl, go tell her something nice.

You’re So Worth It

 

I feel like I’ve arrived at a pretty decent place (wasn’t always this way).  It involves self appreciation and self respect.  It highly influences my diabetes management and my control of that pesky depression issue…

Maybe you’ve already noticed but, I’ve got a bit of a “loner” personality.  I’m not the type to bend to peer pressure and I never was a “social drinker”.  Heck I can enjoy champagne all by myself.  I used to love eating alone at a restaurant and even going to the movie theater alone.  And I didn’t go in hiding or as if ashamed to be alone.  Red lipstick and high heels came along for a fabulous night out with moi.  This had nothing to do with picking up a date or anything either.  It was about just getting excited to spend quality time with myself.  Long ago the thought of going out alone would have killed me.  Now I’ve romanticized the idea of taking care of myself and appreciating my own company.  I honestly have convinced myself it’s the cool and fabulous thing to do.  After all, we are all worth treating ourselves right, right? 

This doesn’t mean I put others last or that I always put myself first.  It just means that instead of bashing myself all day, I try to be nicer and more appreciative.  The way my body looks drives me bonkers since giving birth to twins but, ahh isn’t it nice how my belly stretched to absurd greats just to accommodate two new lives-kind of magical no?  Yes, it is.

People poke fun at me for being a total nerd, but on the other hand isn’t it fantastic when someone loves learning and gets excited over Albert Einstein’s quotes!?

And yes, I’m pretty bad about functioning in the morning but, maybe that just means I have more energy in the afternoon!

You need to do this for your amazing self.  Even if it feels a little silly. 

In many cases people hold their self-worth lower than other people.  This should change.

Example:  If you need to lose weight, tell yourself that you are so worth cooking healthy food for.  You are gorgeous and fabulous and deserve to take a little time out of your busy day to exercise.  When you want a third helping of cake, tell yourself you are worth the trouble it takes to restrain yourself.  (Sometimes this means I tell my husband to take it away from me but, hey, same outcome)

Maybe one of these days you could plan a date night for you and yourself.  Just go somewhere you like-the coffee shop or a bistro or theater or ball game and enjoy your own company.  Treat yourself nice, get a nice meal or snack, spiff yourself up (in your own style/fashion of course), and don’t you dare think a negative thing about yourself the entire time!  Think about your strengths and appreciate the parts of your body that are working properly, as opposed to thinking about your pancreas-don’t even stop there for a second.

You’d be surprised how much this will help guide your decisions regarding your diabetes management in favor of wonderful you.

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