Living Fearlessly with Type 1 Diabetes; my own, my child's and my husband's type 2. Also, follow my experiences with Continuous Glucose Monitors, both trails and purchased. *Previously titled Diabetes Self-Care.
Curious thing. I have been doing a lot of work on self-care over the past year and have become very intrigued with how out of sync "we" have become with our bodies, with our minds and our emotional and spiritual needs. I work less and play more, but it is so easy to forget that we live in cycles; like the moon, the tides, the seasons, the climate...ah the climate. A perfect example of what happens when we ignore our inner rhythms or when we push for things to be the way we want them, despite what is actually good for us.
Mind, body and spirit are tied; our thoughts tend to be the leader, but sometimes body and spirit don't follow, because they know better! That is what happened when I quit my job as an executive director. My mind was on overload, my body was exhausted, but I kept pushing it anyway and my spirit was on vacation; but I had a job to do. One day, I changed my mind or my wisdom changed it for me. I heard my body's cries, my spirit raised the white flag and my mind finally yelled, "I QUIT."
I have spent a lot of time in my short life fighting what my body is telling me. In the past year I have learned that my body is a barometer to how thoughts make me feel. You know that "feeling in your chest?" It is telling you something; to take action or to stop acting. It is amazing when you listen to that feeling, you almost always end up on the right path.
Scott's recent blog got me really thinking about diabetes fatigue. We go through phases, yet we refuse to recognize that this is normal. We are in a constant state of judgement; we should be 'doing something" to fix ourselves. We should be taking better care of ourselves. We are constantly shoulding on ourselves.
Would we expect the tides to stay high, or the moon to stay full or for our periods to stop, just because we say so? How can we expect our emotional, physical and mental state to stay on an even keel all the time? It is impossible, but we "think" we can fight it, ourselves, our feelings.
The biggest gift I have learned is to recognize when I am at a low point; I'm blue, I'm tired, I don't really care about my blood sugars, and I am going to eat anything I want. In recognizing that I am there, I then give myself permission to ride it out, becuase this too shall pass. Doesn't it always?
If I start feeling bad (emotionally, physically or mentally), I say, "Hmmm. Self, your not feeling so good today. Your in a blue mood. That's OK." Seriously, I have to say this out loud to myself (although not in a crowded room). I have to remind myself that it is OK to be in this place.
What invariably happens is that the blueness doesn't hang around as long as it used to. I also recognize that I might need to do something nice for myself today, like take a walk with my dog, go swim or go buy ice cream or new shoes. I also may do nothing but lay in my hammock for thirty minutes.
I am more respectful of my physical, mental and emotional cycles and what I need to make it through every day. I still have bad days, but not so many very bad days. If I remember to listen to myself and honor the phase I am in, things iron themselves out more smoothly and more quickly.
Do you, like Scott, feel diabetes fatigue phases coming? How do you honor this phase? For instance, I quit taking my blood sugars (less an issue with the CGM, but I quit looking at the numbers), but I always make sure I check before bed or if I feel high or low. How do you go with the flow, but keep yourself safe?
I am exhausted. My daughter is six, nearly seven and endures the every three day infusion set changes, the 8 to 10 blood sugar checks per day, but I just endured the longest hold out EVER over diabetes.
I have the Minimed CGM and I upgraded her pump, so she could use it too. Well, today was going to be the day. We went to the Endo and we were going to "give it a try." We have a trip planned to Hawaii and I wanted her to have the CGM with the 5 hour time difference, the constant activity and 12 hours of inactivity during the flights. So much to worry about.
We iced her butt, we talked, we hugged, we iced, talked, hugged, cried, iced, hugged, cried, hugged, hugged, cried, talked, hugged and cried some more.
The damned needle on this thing is LONG. It is freakin' scary, even for me on the first try. On the Navigator, at least you didn't see what was about to be plunged into you.
So we tried again. More hugs, ice, tears, then squirming, then Daddy tries to help. He holds her with a hug and she twists away. He holds her tighter and she cries and twists some more and he gives up. I talk, she cries. I hug, she hugs, she cries and 45 minutes later; totally exhausted and late for a play date, we promise to try tomorrow.
For weeks I tried to convince her that this was going to be a good thing. Less B.G. checks (she says she doesn't mind checking her blood sugar), less worry for me (she really doesn't understand). I talked to my counselor about how to approach this, because she is simply scared it will hurt. My words mean nothing. I had friends with young kids that have the CGM talk to her, email her; she is NOT convinced it won't hurt like hell. Words mean nothing; I can not change her perceptions of what could be.
My counselor said I need to talk from the heart and I did. I told her that I love her more than anything on earth, and that as a mommy who loves her, I have to do everything in my power to keep her safe and healthy. We are fortunate to have access to the CGM and as a mom who loves her little girl, I have to utilizes the most powerful forces in the universe to protect and help her be healthy.
She seemed to buy that; understands that this isn't just about what I "think" is best. But it doesn't changed the fact that she THINKS this is going to be the worst thing ever.
Holding her down and slapping the thing on her butt was what we had to do with infusion sets early on, but it just feels SO wrong to me with my child. I breech a deep trust with her when we have had to resort to that. It has broken our hearts more than a few times.
So I have given her a big job tomorrow, her job is to try her very hardest to use all the tools she has to keep herself as calm as possible. We can't change how she feels, but perhaps (idealistic mommy here) she can help herself be a little less tweaked. Anyway, I am emotionally wiped out. She is playing up stairs and I'm going to go close my eyes.
She cried out, "How did this happen to me? How did I get diabetes?"