Caring for our mental health is now on the list of other care we diabetics receive. At each visit, I am asked how I'm coping. Most of the time I give the prescribed answer: "Just fine." I made the mistake of telling the truth once and was sent to a group meeting of other struggling diabetics. Perched on an easel near the large conference table was one of those giant tablets on which were written two columns of coping strategies: what we should use and what to avoid. Sort of like the "Do be a Do Bee. Don't be a Don't Bee" from Romper Room.
In the Do Bee column were listed Mindful Breathing and Yoga. Both I've tried. Neither work for me. If I try Mindful Breathing, I can't breathe. My timing gets thrown off. Inhale. Exhale. No, we're still on inhale. Or are we? I'm either hyperventilating or not breathing at all. In. In. In. Was that supposed to be out? Now in? Now? No, out, no, in, no, what am I doing? I should not interfere with what my brain stem does so well on its own.
Yoga brings on another set of problems because I am literally a warped individual. Remember when they dug up Richard III from that parking lot. My husband said, " Look, his spine looks nothing like yours." I'd just had a new set of xrays done, so I agreed. I've got 2 curves, both of which are worse than the one he had. Stress twists me into a corkscrew. Yoga positions warp my scoliosis even more.
On the Don't Bee side: Alcohol. Drugs. Mind-numbing activities. Alcohol tends to make my CGM bleat at 3am, which is stressful. They won't give me a prescription for drugs. Some months, I have a hard enough time getting a prescription for insulin. So that leaves Mind-Numbing Activities. My most difficult times involve waiting for my blood sugar to crawl out of the basement or come down from the sky, all the while refraining from doing something that will make matters worse. Mind-Numbing Activities come in handy for those times. Here are my favorites:
•Playing mahjong and solitaire on my laptop
•Knitting (which results in something fuzzy to wear)
•Watching Vampire Diaries/ The Originals (at least I'm not worrying about hybrid vampire/werewolves)
•Tuning my harp
•Making up ridiculous stories in my head.