Diabetes is on your to-do list every day. At night, you cross out all the things you did to take care of yourself. The next day you wake up to start all over again with diabetes being on the top of the list. Some days you feel like a champion. Other days you feel hopeless. Wondering if there really is a loving God.
Our society sets an unrealistic goal of perfection. More damaging, if you are not perfect in your self-care, then you get the inadequate head stamp of being non-compliant. Once you identify yourself with the non- compliant stamp associated with your self-care, hopelessness sets in. The daily task of self-care starts feeling like Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day” movie. Ever day you wake up, knowing the same scene is going to play over and over again.
I use to watch my mother test her blood sugars. The high reading on her meter made her feel hopeless. In fact, it discouraged her so much; she started testing less and less. I remember the first time I asked her what her blood glucose meter read, she replied, “ I have been a bad girl.” That was the first time I experienced my “Groundhog Day” moment with her. Every time we were together, and she experienced a less than satisfactory reading, I would remind her that her blood sugar readings are simply feedback. I would go on by pointing out how blessed we are to have technology that can read blood sugars, allowing adjustments to be made to her insulin.
The truth of the matter is, you can eat right and exercise and get a “ good girl reading”. You can eat right and exercise and get a “ bad girl reading”. It is not about being compliant vs. non-compliant. There are other conditions that affect your blood sugar that aren’t as obvious to you. Stress, medication for acute illness and some invisible variable can completely throw you off you game.
Be Easy on Yourself
If you were only to judge yourself by diet and exercise, then you are setting yourself up to identify with the bad girl camp. The daily task of self-care is a job in itself. I do believe at times, we all feel that we have been dealt a hand that does not seem fair. However, when you look a little deeper and embrace the change, you find it gives you the strength you did not know you have. My mother passed away 11 years ago. She is still a teacher to me. The diabetes community I touch benefit from my experience with her.
Some of us go to school to learn a profession. For others, life teaches us our profession. My profession comes from my life experience with my family whom I loved so dearly.
Losing my mother and brother to diabetes had much to do with the hopelessness they felt. The impossible grind of trying to be perfect allowed denial to steer them into giving up.
This is my poem to anyone and everyone that feels a let down after seeing their blood sugar reading.
Blood Sugar Blessing
I have diabetes,
It does not have me
Blood sugar reading
Is a blessing to me
It’s simply technology
I do not need to plea
Or kneel down fearfully
Knowing what I need to know
Helps me internally
My blood sugar reading
Is a blessing to me