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Lessons on Diabetes Management

Jaime managing her diabetes

 

Last year’s lessons on diabetes management

 

Happy New Year! My name is Jaime. I wanted to share a couple lessons on diabetes management that I learned over the last year.  I feel like the learning curve for diabetes is life-long and, even though I’ve had diabetes for 38 years, I still am learning new things every day!

 

Lesson #1: Ask for support when you need it

 

I’ve always been very independent, but last year I challenged myself to ask for help more often.  Diabetes can feel very isolating at times, and I’ve realized that I don’t have to do it alone.  I’ve gotten better at asking for help from friends and family when I feel overwhelmed emotionally.  I have become more active online and found some amazing resources on social media.  Simply finding a community that understands the daily challenges of managing a disease like diabetes has been such a blessing—I can ask questions, get encouragement when needed, and it helps me not feel quite so alone. 

 

Lesson #2: Exercise is a game changer

 

I’ve always been active, but I’m definitely not a superstar athlete.  I used to work out more as a way to look a certain way and be able to fit comfortably into my jeans. Now, I work out to feel a certain way. I use exercise to improve my mood, help manage my blood sugars, improve my insulin sensitivity, lower my stress, and improve my longevity.

I’ve transitioned from worrying about how many calories I burn each workout to simply setting a goal to move my body for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.  That might look like a Sunday yoga class or incorporating long walks with our new rescue dog, Jack, to help mitigate the sometimes rough after-dinner blood glucose spikes. 

It shows up as a dance party in our living room with my daughter or a hike through the Texas Hill Country with my husband. 

Movement has become a great tool for my overall health AND my diabetes management.

 

Lesson #3: Do what works best for you

 

Everyone manages their diabetes differently. There is no “one-way” that’s best to deal with diabetes.  I’m a huge advocate in doing what works for you as far as your diet, insulin delivery management, medications, exercise routine, and all of the other complicated things we have to juggle living with type 1 diabetes

Do you love your current pump and it’s working well for you?  Excellent, stick with that! 

Do you love your low carb diet?  Perfect, don’t feel pressured by someone on the internet to switch to the latest diet trend because it’s working for them.

Do you love your fruit snacks as your go to low blood sugar snack?  Great!  You don’t need to use the fancy glucose tabs the person you work with told you about if you don’t want to. 

Do you love going on long walks with your neighbor for your exercise routine?  Awesome! You don’t need to join the gym that your aunt told you about at the last family dinner. 

You know your body best, you know what works, and you know what you are comfortable with! I’ve gotten much more comfortable over the last year advocating for myself and feeling confident with my decisions regarding my unique diabetes management. 

 

What are some lessons you learned this year regarding your diabetes management?  Drop them below in the comments so we call can learn from each other! 

 

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