A Life Wider than Diabetes

Hi all

Yesterday I had one of those awful Diabetes days where my blood sugar ranged from 35 to 331. (Woke up high, overtreated and went low, 2 bad infusion sets). At 11:30 at night I was in the 300s and knew it wasn’t safe to go to sleep so I made a cappuchino so I could stay up all night and work on blood sugars. Somewhere around 3AM I got the “I’m so sick of this crap feeling”. Truth be told I rarely have that feeling (I consider diabetes somewhere between just a fact and a challenge), and I rarely have days like that. The last time I did it struck me how lucky I was to be diagnosed right before retirement, and to have the time to deal with this stuff. (When you have to work the next day you don’t have the luxury of deciding to stay up all night). At that time I posted a discussion on here about how much I admired all of you who deal with the D while working, going to school, raising families, etc.

Yesterday I had a different thought. My “I’m sick of this crap!” came from hating when my world feels like it’s narrowed down to numbers, and math, and carbs and testing and pump button-pushing, and ordering meds, and more testing. Then I realized that in a way, because I’m retired it’s all too easy to let my world get that narrow. I thought about a friend from high school, Tami, who died last year of a 20-year chronic illness. She, unlike me, was sick or in pain nearly all the time, and had severe mobility problems. But she worked really hard to keep her world from narrowing to her apartment. She went to theater and dance performances and social occasions, though she had to reschedule a lot. She told her doctor she couldn’t accept not being able to travel anymore and he had to help her be able to do that. A year before her death I met Tami and her husband in Costa Rica to celebrate her 60th birthday. I really respect how she fought to keep her world wider than her illness.

I think that whatever our daily lives are about, we all struggle to keep our lives wider. Some days we do better than others. So I would like to hear what you all do to keep your world wider than Diabetes.

I paint and I teach tai chi. Painting forces me out with my camera so that I always have something to paint. I am also trying to pluck up courage to take my easel and paints out with me to do my thing.

Run, bike, play guitar, read. Listen to music 24-7. I particularly like to make playlists to go along with what I’m reading. And different stuff when I run, e.g. “blizzard, hmmm, let’s try Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”” which turned out to be very engaging. I started lifting weights again recently too as I was crawling the walls on days I didnt run. Any sort of hobby can be useful I think.

Travelling is something I enjoy as well, and since I returned to the states have done less of it, ironically not because of my insulin use but because my cat is on subcutaneous fluids…lol. It definitely keeps your world wider. Have a great trip!

D is a relentless opponent and it’s inevitable that it will sometimes win. I don’t beat myself up about it, when D wins, but instead try to learn whatever I can and move forward.

A hobby or avocation is really important to keep life balanced. For me it’s music, like Acid Rock I play guitar. When I listen to music I’m always looking for a new song or lick to learn. I play together with friends periodically or play at parties so there is a social aspect also. I don’t think it matters what you do just so long as it’s something you love and that it provides a challenge.

Tons of stuff. Right now I’m working full-time representing disabled clients in administrative hearings, doing some preliminary work for a summer camp that I’m running in August, and am starting to lay the groundwork for a couple of articles I plan to write in the next year or 2. I still find time to go out with friends, exercise 5 times a week, cook all sorts of delicious stuff, and am flying to the deep South next weekend to see my fiancée. Life’s busy and I like it that way.

Along with my type1teen, we have a 5 year old, so as focused on “D” as I am, he gets equal time. I grab my time when I can; like running to the bathroom only for my family to find me on TuD :))! I have a BA in Fine Arts but haven’t drawn or painted much since kids. We built a custom home that I designed (acting architect) in 2002 and because I love woodworking, we have built all the cabinetry, there is always ongoing projects with the house. I am lucky to only have to work outside the home part-time. :slight_smile: