Diabetes: It’s Just a Word, Not a Sentence!

Diabetes: It’s Just a Word, Not a Sentence!

Diabetes-word-highlightedIn a few weeks, I will celebrate my 39th “diaversary” (diabetes anniversary). I’m happy to say that I have managed to stay complication-free! I know that 39 years sounds like a long time to live with a chronic illness. But honestly, I deal with my diabetes one day at a time. If I need to, I can break down one day at a time further to one activity at a time or one meal at a time. When you look at it the way I do, it’s not so overwhelming. It keeps my life, and my diabetes, very manageable.

I could never have guessed on March 14, 1975 where I would be 39 years later. I am a clinical psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator with type 1 diabetes.  I tell my patients that looking to the past – the could have’s, would have’s, and should have’s – leaves you feeling depressed.  We can’t go back in time.  We can’t change the past. It’s water under the bridge. And looking to the future – the what if’s – leaves you feeling anxious.  We have no way of knowing what the future will be and can’t control what will happen. The best way to avoid feeling depressed or anxious is to stay in the “here and now.”  It is what it is.

Positive Attitude

In my book: MY SWEET LIFE: Successful Men with Diabetes contributing author Marc H. Blatstein, CHC, AADP wrote about his inspiring story living with diabetes.  He shared his positive attitude in his chapter “Winning with Diabetes.” He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10 and developed a “can do” attitude with the support of his endocrinologist and his family. His chapter is a testimony to endurance and perseverance. This is an excerpt from his final thoughts about living with diabetes for over 51 years:

I continue to live by the adage: ‘Diabetes – it’s just a word, not a sentence!’ Fifty-one years ago, life handed me lemons with diabetes; I have successfully made lots and lots of lemonade, and I’ll never stop! I’m proud to say that I have had type 1 diabetes for over fifty-one years, and I’m still kicking. Keep smiling and ‘Winning with Your Diabetes!'”

Positive Goal

In my (almost) 39 years living with diabetes, I try not to let diabetes control my life. I can make accommodations to live my life with minimal interruption from my diabetes. You can too!  It only takes a minute to check my blood glucose. Then I can enjoy whatever activity I am ready to do and know what to expect from my diabetes. I try to avoid unexpected hypoglycemic reactions! My diabetes doesn’t stop me from participating in any activity I choose. A quick check of my blood glucose before a meal and I’ll know how much insulin to take.  My diabetes doesn’t stop me from eating whatever I want. Managing my diabetes as I do makes me feel empowered!

If you feel that your diabetes is very stressful and you need some help to manage it, you should consider talking to your healthcare team.  They can give you guidance regarding your activities and meals. If you are finding it difficult to have a “can do” positive attitude, then please consider finding a support group to share your feelings with. Or, check out the DOC (diabetes online community) for friendship and informal advice.  Or, you may consider talking to a mental health professional about your emotional issues. Putting your diabetes in perspective and keeping it manageable is another way of keeping your life less stressful, which is always a positive goal!

Brought to You By:
Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes EducatorDDP Staff Writer.
www.diabetesdailypost.com

DDP Staff Writer
Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator www.AskDrBev.com.

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