This post was inspired by a comment @Jen made in the Canadian tax thread.
Thanks, and no offense taken. I just read your post on my lunch hour and it touched a nerve, not only because I spend a lot of time managing my diabetes, but because I don't think it's a "bad thing" if someone needs to spend more time on diabetes, especially if that's what's needed for tight control. Whenever I've slacked off and spent a more "average" amount of time on my diabetes my A1c creeps up into the 7-8% range (instead of 6% range). It makes me wonder how many people in "average" control would benefit from upping the time they dedicate to diabetes.
I've mentioned this topic before, so please excuse my repetition. When I retired six years ago and soon received a diabetes complication diagnosis, I made a personal commitment to give diabetes whatever it required in terms of my time and effort.
That extra effort delivered many personal health and emotional dividends I enjoy to this day. I basically told myself that I would do whatever it took to rein in my out of control blood glucose. One of the things I did was adopt a lower carb way of eating that I had considered and procrastinated about for more than a year. I would do as many finger pokes as I thought necessary. I committed to walking every day and also going for a walk at almost any hour if I thought it would help my blood glucose. I consulted with a diabetes educator to help me overhaul my pump basal rates. I spent hours every day reading and writing about diabetes. (To readers of the Canadian tax thread, during this time period I could have easily documented 40 hours per week on my diabetes.)
Realize that I had the luxury of making this commitment since I was retired and my time was my own. I know not everyone enjoys this luxury. I certainly didn't when I worked for a living.
What I discovered with this exercise surprised me. I wasn't too surprised that my health improved but I was surprised by how much it improved. I lost weight, dropped my A1c, reduced my average blood glucose and variability, and felt better, both physically and emotionally.
Prior to this real-world experiment, I viewed diabetes as a nuisance in my life. I knew I couldn't ignore it, but I steadfastly refused to give it everything it demanded. I wanted to "protect" my other interests in life from a bottomless pit of diabetes neediness. There's a natural tendency to do this since most of us need to work and we also have important family and social commitments that we don't want to short-change.
My most surprising discovery in this trial was that diabetes is not a bottomless pit of neediness. I found that as my health improved, my energy and emotional capacity increased. In addition, my new activities like low-carb eating an walking became integrated into my life as habit. Their "footprint" in my life diminished in reality and in perception. What I was left with was a diabetes habit that consumed no more of my life than before I made these many changes.
My n=1 anecdote convinced me that it is totally worth the effort and I could have done this before I retired, albeit in a more limited way.
My question to you is this:
Are you willing to devote more time, energy, and personal resource to your diabetes demands in exchange for better health, more energy, and a brighter attitude?