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Did you make any resolutions for 2011? How many of them have you given up on already? Many of my Facebook friends have enthusiastically boasted of their New Year's resolutions--lose weight, spend less time online, read more, worry less. While their goals are admirable, their resolutions rarely last. Why? I believe it's because their aim is too high or too broad, and their enthusiasm is short-lived.
People with diabetes do not have the luxury of short-term enthusiasm. We are sentenced to a disease that has no calendar, no predictable pattern, and no cure. Although this seems to be dismal news, the truth is that diabetes forces us to recognize reality--that good management and achieving success don't come easily, but do come with great reward.
I admit, my diabetes management has been lackluster lately. In November, I became a mother for the second time through adoption. Having two children, a toddler and a newborn, has been challenging, and, as you can imagine, busy. There is always something going on--a doctor's appointment, a diaper change, a bottle to prepare, tears to be wiped, laundry to be washed, dishes to be put away. There are few quiet moments.
I have found myself testing four times a day instead of nine or ten. I'm thirsty all the time because I forget to drink water. I have managed to exercise every day, but my workouts are often much shorter and less intense. I'm tired due to night feedings and endless daily tasks.
Don't get me wrong: I feel very blessed to have my children. But diabetes is a full-time job, whether or not I want it to be. It can be a job that I stay on top of (testing, correcting, exercising, carbohydrate counting) or it can be one that I fight (test less, haphazardly consume meals, skip workouts), but it's not going away. And fighting reality is often more exhausting than surrendering and proceeding.
I am working to get back into sync with my disease in the only possible way: by daily, if not momentarily, committing myself to my diabetes. Flight attendants always remind us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. I know that in order to be the best wife, mother, writer, friend, sister, and daughter that I can be, I must make my disease a priority. As a popular maxim says, you can't give what you don't have.
I can't wait for a magical date on the calendar to set a goal for my health. Every day is an opportunity to do better, think more clearly, and act with purpose and precision. January first is just a date on the calendar. Diabetes is every day, every moment. Don't let your goals fizzle. Instead, make your goals specific and small, knowing that great rewards are waiting.
5 comments - Jan 14, 2011
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.