Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guest Host/Post From Ophir - Thriving With Diabetes

Today's guest Host/Blogger is Ophir from The Conscious Diabetic. OK, true story, Ophir and I actually grew up in the same small beach town in South Jersey, but never knew one another - turns out we new a lot of the same people though. A few months ago we connected via diabetes blogging and a mutual friend.

A few weeks ago we actually met face to face at our friend's house - post on that d-meet to follow soon.

Anyway, I like to say it took two NJ hometown girls with diabetes to start blogging and become friends with Lori A to become aware that the other existed! Enjoy Ophir's post, and if you haven't visited her blog The Conscious Diabetic - YOU NEED TO!

I woke up with a 234 blood sugar reading today. I know why. My husband and I went out to dinner last night, a spontaneous date inspired more by laziness than romance. We sat and ordered our meal: For me, gluten-free Singapore rice noodles with chicken and veggies at P.F. Chang’s. I bolused insulin to compensate for the meal. But not a long-acting dual wave bolus, as the little voice inside of me told me to do.
A nice long dual wave filled with lustrous Humalog probably would have done the trick of offsetting the sugars released in a fatty meal. But I didn’t do that. I thought about it. But when the time came, when the opportunity arose, I didn’t hit those extra buttons on my insulin pump. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for over 35 years, have been to tons of doctors, nurses, and diabetes educators, and I keep up with all of the latest and greatest technologies and studies. And so, a high that results from a “I knew better” can be a bit exacerbating. I do know better. And typically after a “I know better” high blood sugar, I feel guilty.
Not today though, and I’ll tell you why: I’ve chosen to focus on self-growth instead of on what I did or didn’t do. I’m going to figure out why I didn’t set a dual wave when I know I should. What happened in that subconscious instant when I made that choice not to do what’s best for me and my health?
I remember at the time, I was feeling hot, tired, anxious from a long week of work, and I just wanted to let go of all of stress. Drink a glass of wine, eat some yummy noodles, and enjoy being out and about. I wanted to enjoy the moment and be happy. But is that real happiness? Does having a great time mean not taking care of blood sugars? All I’m really doing is hurting myself. A moment of pleasure followed by hours of blood sugar highs and lows – and emotional ones as well.
I have found some enlightenment reading Women, Food, and God in which author Geneen Roth talks about the perils of weight loss, going on diets, and never really reaching that state of pure bliss with one’s body. She explains that many of us go through life setting a goal, such as losing 10 or 20 pounds, but not allowing ourselves to ever reach it. Boy, did I ever relate to that. I’ve wanted to lose those 10 or 20 pounds since freshman year in college, and not to give too much away, but that’s been a while. And then she says it, the line that got me: Because without that goal, we’d be lost. Reaching that goal has becomes our identity.
I realized that her statement not only applies to weight loss, but it applies to all goals in life. It can apply to reaching that perfect weight and also that perfect 6.5 A1C or blood sugar reading – or how about projects around the house, creative pursuits, education and career, love, and so on.
And as Roth says, we tell ourselves that once we reach that goal, our lives will be better. We’ll be happy. I’ll be happy. This seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Because then, when it comes time to really making it happen, that moment of truth, I didn’t set that dual wave bolus so that my sugars will turn out great. I didn’t order the steamed veggie platter. Nor did I exercise for an hour afterward. Because perhaps a part of me thinks that if I reach my goals, well then what will I do with my life? Who will I be? I’ll feel lost, alone, without a purpose. And all I really want is to be happy. Geneen Roth explains: That person aiming for those goals, the person who will only be happy once reaching them, was never who I really am, who any of us are. The real goal, the way to live life to the fullest and thrive with diabetes, is to live life as our authentic selves through being – where you live each moment as it is whether it you are happy or sad, angry or hurt, or inspired.
Many of us try to push away what we are really feeling and sensing because we are so focused on being “happy”. Many of us, including myself, suppress our feelings through food. But by being with whatever we are feeling, whether it be good or bad, we can live more fully and more authentically – and in essence, it makes us even happier. You can bring those moments of being into as many moments of the day as possible. Feeling, sensing, tasting, smelling, touching, and listening to wherever you are physically and emotionally at every moment of every day.
Last night, I heard that soft, little voice telling me to set a dual wave bolus, but I didn’t act because that voice was drowned by the noise of my ranting thoughts. Trying to think of how I could be happier, instead of just being.
Possible link: Women, Food and God:


Penny said...

Wonderful post Ophir! Lots to think about. This Geneen Roth book is on my reading list to get to. It's sounds wonderful. Thanks for being so honest and insightful.

Laura said...

Wow...that is just fabulous. I'm going to have to read that book. Great post!

Ophir said...

Thanks, Penny and Laura. I really recommend the Geneen Roth book. I'm having one "aha" moment after the other.

Lindsay said...

I read the book a couple months ago and there are so many aha moments! Great read that makes you really think about so many things in life.
Great post!!!!

Scott K. Johnson said...

What a great post Ophir, and thank you Kelly, for bringing this great work to us. :-)