Wednesday, May 16, 2012
One of Many
Today's Diabetes Blog Week Prompt: Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!
There are many things I could try to do better when it comes to taking care of my chronic illness, so I won't mention the custard filled croissants at Carrefour bakery that are my weakness, or the many times I wake up to my Dexcom low blood sugar alarm during the night, look at the number, and tell myself that it isn't all that low (or "that can't be right"), because I really don't want to go all the way downstairs to confirm the BG with my meter and drink some orange juice. I will pick just one of the many areas of improvement and that is regular physical activity.
I really want to be better at having a daily working out. I am ashamed to say that I have allowed all the legitimate diabetic "excuses" to keep me from moving my body every day in some way. Six years ago I was working out for an hour or more six days a week. I had lost 40 pounds by dieting but mostly from consistent physical activity. I wasn't what you would call athletic by any stretch of the imagination, but I could walk up my stairs without breathing heavily, I could get up from a sitting position without exertion, and I even participated in a 5K run/walk. I could play with Abbey and my grandson on the floor to without feeling like a stiff grandma. But things have changed dramatically since then. Moving to the Middle East in 2008 threw a wrench into my workout norms as well even though I have sporadically used the compound gym, exercise DVDs, and gone to yoga.
I think I can pinpoint the biggest change to May of 2009 when Abbey and I got salmonella and landed in the hospital for a week. My body just hasn't been the same since. "They" say that diabetes complicates every illness, especially as one ages, but I found this especially true after getting salmonella. Then there was the time I fell on the marble stairs in our villa and cracked a rib. And speaking of falling, there are the numerous times I have twisted my ankles, broken toes, and pulled muscles. I'm not graceful at all and my injury list proves it. I've had carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, trigger fingers, and tennis elbow; all ailments you would expect to see on a very athletic person, but alas, diabetics are prone to joint issues too. Then I developed plantar fasciitis in my feet and now have pain in my feet every minute of the day. And the pounds have come back with new friends to add to my general flab.
So moving my body regularly is what I most need to challenge myself to do. I have made a lot of what I call "false starts" to this new goal, but then I always have some other physical issue come up: a sinus infection, the flu, swollen feet and ankles, numerous low blood sugars, a chronic cough, etc. Yeah, the excuse list is out the door, but somehow I have to ignore that list and push through the exercise anyway. A nagging, somewhat whiny voice inside my head tells me that I should just accept the "new normal" of limited expectations, but another voice, the stubborn one, doesn't want to give in to that. I want to be fit and feel alive again, instead of just existing with low expectations because I have diabetes. I might not impress anyone else but I want to impress myself with what my body can do. Here's to new normal of daily physical activity that contributes to a new and improved Dianna!