“May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)”
My revived addiction to exercise is what makes dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for me. I get so very frustrated with the fact that I can’t just “go to training”, or “go for a run” when I want to. I know that if I did it could be quite dangerous from a diabetes perspective, but more to the point, I wouldn’t be reaping the benefits that exercise has on my health and wellbeing by being reckless. I get frustrated and angry that I can’t impulsively exercise to clear my mind or blow-off a bad day. Listening to people who have no health issues and choose to not exercise, yet complain about lethargy and weight issues drives me bonkers. (Cue latest Nike campaign!) If only they experienced how hard it is to exercise while managing a chronic illness at the same time, they may think twice about doing themselves out of the opportunity to simply feel good.
I made a decision mid last year to get over myself and just do the things that make me feel good. After experiencing a health scare that closely related to the reasons why my Mum passed away unexpectedly in 2010, I felt it was time. I realised that no amount of planning was going to get me any closer to happiness; if anything, it made happiness seem even more unattainable and distant. And my diabetes was certainly staying put. That was that; my propensity for “paralysis by analysis” was going to be extinguished!
Regular and enjoyable exercise is one thing that makes me feel fabulous. So I identified the factors that had been barriers to me exercising sustainably in the past, and I managed to smash them all, including diabetes.
SOCIAL INTERACTION REQUIRED – joined a local training group which has a large and varied membership base
SHORT TRANSIT TIME – 5 minute drive from home
KIDS ARE TAKEN CARE OF – committed to three 9am weekday sessions a week so my daughter, Aspen would be at school and my son, Jarrah could come with me, go for a run on the oval with us, or take in a movie in the boot of the car on colder days!
DIABETES – waking up an extra 30 minutes early on training days to combat out of range BSL’s which would otherwise prevent me from exercising safely.
The only time I have had to “play the diabetes card” at training was when my insulin pump line fell out from underneath my shirt during a mad boxing frenzy and I ripped my site out. I took a 5 minute break to run to the car, do a BSL, inject the amount of insulin I calculated I’d need to see me through training / shower / site insertion and I got right back into it.
Diabetes can take a hike.
I choose to be fit, healthy, and most importantly, happy.