The truth is, (and I know I simply should've been blogging about this) I had a bad case of diabetes burnout. Ok, it wasn't that bad. But bad enough.
After I gave birth to my little boy, my family and I moved and then this huge Derecho storm hit that summer and then Hurricane Sandy hit that Fall and then the holidays and then BAM! I got hit with the realization that I was barely managing my blood sugars---at least in my book. I haven't had a health scare or anything, but I don't want to keep heading down this path---the one where you're just correcting as you go. Well, that about sums up type 1 diabetes in a nutshell, but I think most of us want to at least attempt to have [some semblance, haha] of better control over this beast.
And I don't feel like I have that right now. Particularly regarding stress.
So my A1c came back at 7.1%--same as it was last time, which, I suppose is better than creeping up even more. But I honestly think it's only because I was crashing so often after correcting for blood sugar surges. I'm still breastfeeding my almost 2 year old (which we are both very happy with) and so I think I'm also dealing with the nursing hormones that can wreak havoc on a woman in general, let alone your BG. Sigh. I sigh a lot about this lately. And that's also why I wasn't blogging. I didn't really know what to say and certainly didn't want to use my blog as merely a place to vent my diabetes frustrations---although that may not have been a bad idea, now that I think about it. It's often how so many of us in the DOC manage the emotional aspect of this disease on top of gaining insight and input that can be incredibly helpful. Sometimes, I'm like a turtle, where I retreat into my shell to think long and hard and sleep on something. And yes, most of it emphasizes the retreating part. Which we really can't do with type 1 diabetes, can we? It's 24/7, no ifs, ands or buts. Collective Sigh. ;)
So what's a busy mama, feeling the slow onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder coming on to do?
An overhaul. That's what the hell I'm gonna do.
I'm talking about paying attention. I know, right? PAY ATTENTION! what a great idea! Duh.
In my case, I haven't really been. I've been allowing myself to fall into bad habits and patterns that really aren't that hard to break but I've simply been lazy and I also have this thing about self-love that I need to work on that I believe has a lot to do with it---I'll blog more about that later. But let's just say that the emotional aspect of dealing with this disease can really wear on your psyche and your attitude towards eating and taking care of yourself---so much so that you actually just...don't. An amazing thought considering the entire disease is about just taking care of yourself. But why is that so hard? Don't we owe that to ourselves? Our families? To just hunker down and really take good care?
I'm not talking about not eating yummy foods, either. That's what everyone always thinks it translates into: a gym membership and a raw foods diet. Ha! I'm merely talking about some basic goals. Small changes. Little things that I know I'm having problems with that are so straightforward I really am being lazy not to. Well, that and the self-love-deserving-to-be-healthy issue as to why I haven't "allowed" myself to completely move into this approach. I didn't want to put it all out there because I was simply afraid to. Oh, the judgments and criticisms and the fear of letting that all go. Especially from ourselves; the worst kind, right?
I'll start my New Year Diabetes Overhaul [golf claps, haha] with mentioning some concrete things I want to change and why:
- I bake 95% of the time with nut flours (almond and coconut) and my BG does beautifully with these. The problem is that sometimes I get so hungry or have cravings when I'm out visiting or on an excursion that I eat junky sweets that make my BG super unhappy. I need to remember to just snack on this stuff at home most of the time.
- I get into a super bad mood---you know the fuzzy, cotton-mouthed stupor of oncoming/swimming in high BG? Ya, that. In my case, I often also feel a sense of fear and doom---kind of like the craze you feel when you're low and your brain tells you GET SOMETHING, ANYTHING YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON FAST---AND LOTS OF IT! ha! But I start feeling very agitated and frustrated and worried and anxious. The sad part is that I really thought I had an anxiety problem until recently I pinpointed my feelings to occur during high BG. This especially frustrated me because I felt I had decreased my stress a lot and had worked on my anxious states from way back when---only to think it was returning. Well, some of it was due to the stress of moving across the country, but I knew that was situational and temporary. This felt deeper---like I said, doom-like. Making me fearful. I think it was my brain telling me the pendulum swing was about to happen (that awful high BG-to-low-BG crash cycle.)
- I want to try to cut out The Whites: white sugar, white flour, white pasta, even whole milk. I'd like to stick with coconut sugar and raw honey, spelt flour and sprouted wheat, whole grain pasta (we so rarely eat it, but if/when we do...) and half&half or heavy cream. This is not about a low-carb "diet". This is about trying to work towards the most whole foods I can eat in order to basically stop craving white sugar. Again, I don't know why I get stuck in this madness anyway since I have the knowledge and baking skills (and have seen the gorgeous corresponding BGs to prove it) to not do this to my body. It goes back to that whole lazy thing. And self-love. And self-care. And knowing what a real "yes" and a real "no" means---accommodating only what your body truly wants. In my case, I know it's not white sugar. Oy.
- We'd like to have another child in the next couple of years and when I think back on my first pregnancy and how "stressed out" I thought I was, I'm kind of appalled! Ha! I seriously think this. Now I know what my Endo meant way back when I got diagnosed and he said, "It won't always be this easy." And now it isn't. Things have changed. My body's really changed. I know it won't ever be the same, but I know I also need to remember what got me through the pre-pregnancy planning and intense prenatal care was my deep desire to be healthy for both him and I. I don't sit here and wonder "Well, what went wrong?" It's not about judgment, but rather, What's changed and how do I learn to work with how things are now?" I think I just put so much of myself into the planning and subsequent pregnancy and delivery that I literally burned-out just from that, in some ways, to be thoroughly honest. So now I'm just trying to get back on the horse, so to speak. To try and get back into some of those habits I just made myself form before I got pregnant with my son.
So this is my new-ish goal for this blog this year: to work on being more open and honest and regular about sharing my journey towards the things I mentioned above. Otherwise, I'll do that turtle thing and just isolate myself from sharing it and then...I think little change occurs because it's easier to just wallow than start over again. Even if it's starting over every day. Which type 1 diabetes really is anyway!
Is there something you feel you need to do a major Overhaul on this year? What do you think led you to this point? Do you think you can change it by backtracking small?
I know I'll never own this disease. But I don't want it to ever own me. So who does then? Maybe no one. Maybe we all do. That's a nice thought: a collective owning of something we truly all do better with when we feel the community support and input and guidance from each other. No judgments, no criticisms, no perfectionism allowed. Just all of us. Learning to own it together.