The topic for this month's Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Blog Carnival is: “The most awesome thing I have done in spite of diabetes is ...."
I've been thinking about this inaugural topic for the Carnival all month. I don't think I has a good answer for it when it came up during DSMA's "Fill in the Blank" night, I know I didn't have a good answer for it when I was the featured guest on the following evening's "DSMA Live" webcast, and for most of this month I've assumed I wouldn't be contributing a carnival post this month at all.
See, at the current stage of my diabetes, my disease isn't what's going to stop me from doing awesome things. I've got plenty of barriers, but right now diabetes isn't a problem in that way. I thought of some responses that were close, but just didn't quite fit.
In spite of diabetes, I am getting healthier. That's right: I have a chronic disease, but I'm getting healthier.
Even though diabetes is not a huge interference in my daily life at this stage, the fact remains that my metabolism is broken. Hunger and fullness, food and digestion, energy to do all the things I'd like to do, even my ability to maintain my body at a comfortable temperature: none of these work as well as they did a few years ago.
Yet, despite these and other challenges, I'm markedly healthier than I was at the time of diagnosis. My blood pressure stays comfortably in the target range. Most of my cholesterol numbers are well within the target range: my "good cholesterol" is still somewhat low but is climbing. My A1c has been steady in a good place for almost a year. And, I rarely experience the tingling in my feet that I had almost continually for months.
My increasing health is not just in these results, it's also in what I do. Though there's a lot of improvement, I've made very significant changes since diagnosis. I walk for half an hour almost every work day. I eat far fewer carbs than I did even two years ago, I eat much less fat, and I consume much more whole grain and vegetables. I've put considerable effort into increasing my ability to cook healthy and tasty food for myself, resulting in many fewer restaurant meals and much less processed food. I also feel that my active participation in the Diabetes Online Community enhances my health care. Additionally, I've made significant advances in my ability to manage my emotional health.
Because I failed so badly the make the big, immediate lifestyle changes I felt were expected of my when I was diagnosed, I have a little trouble taking credit for the small changes I've made. But these small changes, taken together, have become awesome. And I've done them despite diabetes.
This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/introducing-the-dsma-blog-carnival/.