Today’s Diabetes Blog Week topic: More Than Diabetes:
Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with. Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU. If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can. Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes! (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)
If I were to describe something that is me outside of diabetes, I would have to say I’m a walking contradiction. I love being lazy – watching TV, reading books, relaxing in the hammock, while at the same time I love adventure. I love to travel-I’ve explored 23 countries on three continents. I love to ski and ride roller coasters. I’ve gone snow-mobiling, bobsledding, and trapezing. I’ve run half marathons and a completed triathlon (well it was just a sprint but still!).
As much as I want my interests to be separate from diabetes, they are 100% intertwined. Training for a half marathon takes a lot of effort in managing diabetes. Traveling often requires an extra piece of luggage to transport my diabetes supplies and when I’m exploring the land, I have to pay attention to all of the extra walking I am doing and how it will affect my blood sugars. Even something relatively quick like bobsledding (90 second course) can spike my blood sugar because of adrenaline. On the flip side, staying in bed and watching TV all day can also affect my blood sugar!
I also really love photography and have taken a photography class. Photography is one hobby that doesn’t affect my diabetes!
Lately, however, I would say I hardly have any time for my interests because my kids keep me busy. Having a baby and a toddler leaves me so exhausted that I barely have time for myself. My TV watching now consists of Dora the Explorer and Curious George and I read Goodnight Moon way too many times to count instead of the latest read on Oprah’s book club. My traveling consists of driving 45 minutes to Busch Gardens and riding a kiddie roller coaster instead of my big, fast roller coasters.
Having kids relates to diabetes because I barely have time to pay attention to my diabetes! I rarely look at my CGM data to make changes and I check my blood sugar less often than I probably should (thank goodness for my CGM so I can keep tabs on my blood sugar). I don’t change my infusion set as often as I should and I eat worse than I probably should. However, planning for a kid and being pregnant was the best I have ever been health wise. I achieved my best A1Cs and had the best blood sugars when I was pregnant and it has motivated me to try and get back to that point so in that sense, having kids has helped with my diabetes.
My kids are my life, my interest, my hobby, my passion right now. The days are long but the years are short and I’m trying to savor every minute of it. I do look forward to the days when I can go skiing again or read a good book without interruptions but I don’t want to hurry away the snuggles from my babies.