As our wedding approaches, all of the running around, both literally and figuratively inevitably comes to an end. And then the official preparations for the ceremony and celebration begin. I don’t realize how much of my time and energy I actually devote to all of this stuff until I stop to assess my to-do list. Then I realize that we’ve done a lot to get to this point, especially when it comes to managing vendors nearly 2,000 miles away.
That sort of reminds me of the realizations that come out of participating in #dayofdiabetes. We automate and internalize so much when it comes to managing this disease, that taking a thorough look at all we do can be an exhausting exercise. There’s a lot that has to happen for things (diabetes, weddings, whatever…’things’ is intentionally vague) to go right. Every now and then, try taking a break to recognize all of the hard work and effort that you put into…whatever you put hard work in to.
I’ve certainly learned a lot throughout this entire process.
This week, Mike Lawson joins me for a conversation about the new and improved TuDiabetes.org, his new boss at the Diabetes Hands Foundation, the Big Blue Test, and the hidden glory of a single sign-on web presence. Enjoy.
“Having diabetes can be very stressful, and it can bring out all kinds of emotions. Denial, depression, and anger are feelings many people with diabetes have experienced. When you’re first diagnosed, it’s normal to believe there must be some mistake. it’s also normal to be sad or angry over the lifestyle adjustments it requires. The inability to get beyond these emotions, however, can put your health in danger.”
Of all the things I wish I knew when I was diagnosed, I think this is at the top. I don’t remember ever feeling particularly “down” about my diabetes in the early years. Maybe jumping right back into my classes at Virginia Tech prevented any opportunity to truly contemplate what the future of my life would become as a result of this disease. With so much of my life undetermined, I think I just added this to the list of things I had to consider.
These types of nuggets of advice are always tricky for newly diagnosed. There’s so much information out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If you perform an image search on the word “diabetes”, you’ll get the clichéd injection pictures next to amputations. If you look for non-medical perspectives on diabetes, there’s a whole mess of blogs, and patient communities to discover.
Tandem Diabetes has decided to not allow current t:slim users to upgrade to their new Dexcom-integrated pump when it hits the market. You can read their justification here. As you can imagine, I wasn’t very enthusiastic.
I sometimes wonder if sharing my Dexcom and blood glucose meter readings is counterproductive. Reminding other people with diabetes that they aren’t alone in their struggles or successes with diabetes is great, but what happens when I start to self-censor what I share because it’s not “good enough”?
If I have a few consecutive days out of range, sometimes I prefer to keep that to myself. There’s nothing wrong with a little privacy, but when I become explicitly aware of that need, I think it has a negative effect on my diabetes management. Something to the effect of “I’m not doing my best, I need to focus more on myself, but that focus means I’m not sharing with the community, and sharing helps the community, but I’m not helping the community if I’m not doing my best.”
Organization has always been a thing that comes naturally to me. For some reason, I think it’s fun to sort things. Clothing is arranged according to Roy G. Biv. Physical media is alphabetized. It’s just something that I do.
Now thanks to a recent purchase at Target, pictured above, shoe storage reaches a new level of fun.
This tidiness excitement matches well with my life with diabetes, too. Keeping track of test strips, insulin pump supplies, Dexcom sensors, insulin, alcohol swabs, and all that jazz is much easier to navigate when I know where everything is and how much I have left.
Considering the cost of all these supplies, I figure showing them the respect of a standard home in our closet is the least I can do.