Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life Stages With Diabetes-DSMA Blog Carnival Post

Here is the topic for this month's DSMA Blog Carnival:
This month we are going to revisit the DSMA chat from March 16th – Life Stages with Diabetes.
Living with diabetes can be tough and we never get a break.  It’s quite easy to feel burnt out from everything we have to do to stay healthy.  When that happens, it can help to focus on the things, and the people, who make all our hard work worth it.  So this month, tell us:
How did relationships with other people help inspire you to take care of yourself?
First, some background.  When I was diagnosed in August 2010, one of the first worries and questions I had for my endocrinologist was about the possibility of having children in the near-ish future. He reassured me that I'd be "fine", and not to worry about it.  Of course, anyone who knows me is well aware that I can't just stand idly by waiting on things to happen, so I had to do something about it.  As soon as I was diagnosed, I ordered a bunch of books on diabetes; however, I had a harder time finding (accurate) information about diabetes as it relates to pregnancy.  Cheryl Akron's book "Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby" was a Godsend.  As one of two books I bought on the subject (the other being the ADA's out of print "101 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy with Diabetes"), Cheryl's book was current (published in 2010) and thorough, covering everything from preconception to birth and beyond.  I felt much better about my ability to have a healthy pregnancy and baby after reading her book, and was then able to get on the ball and work toward becoming the healthiest I can be before we decide to start our family.  My CDE recommended I shoot for an A1C of 6.0% or less preconception, so I made the decision to start insulin and get on the pump (my endo would have been content to leave me on Janumet until our next appt, but I knew my control wasn't good enough with it and I had to try to stay ahead of the curve since I was coming out of my honeymoon period).  I've been using the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm Real-Time Revel 523 since January, and started the CGM last month.  Since then, my average has come down significantly, and I'm hoping (*fingers crossed*) that I'll hit my target when I go for my next A1C on May 16th.
Now, back to the subject at hand...My relationship with our future children has inspired me to take the best care of myself possible.  Don't get me wrong-my husband is wonderful and I don't know what I'd do without him, but my health doesn't have the same immediate, tangible impact on him that it will on our children.  If there is anything I can do to ensure they have a long, healthy life beginning at conception, I'm all in.  Since scientists now believe that our children's future health starts in the womb, I made the commitment months ago to do everything I can to have the healthiest pregnancy/baby/me possible.

It definitely hasn't been easy, though.  It's been an emotional roller coaster waiting around to start our family while I get my health in order because all of our friends already have one or two kids by now, and we're around them almost every weekend.  I love our friends dearly and adore their babies, but that's not to say it isn't difficult when I find myself twiddling my thumbs while everyone around me is holding/feeding/playing with their little ones.  A lot of times, it just downright sucks.  The holidays make it even harder because although my husband and I are included in the festivities, it's hard to be around everyone's little families while it's still just the two of us.  It's like we're always on the outside of a club we haven't earned membership to just yet.  Watching the babies "exchange" gifts and open their presents at our Christmas gathering was absolutely heartbreaking because all I could do was sit there with a smile plastered on my face when all I really wanted to do was go home and cry.  And that was after I was asked to take everyone's family pictures, only to have them forget about my husband and I...I ended up having to ask them to take our picture.

For that reason and others that I'll leave unmentioned (immediate family drama), it's been hard to get excited about starting our family recently.  It seems like every time I allow myself to get excited about it, I end up heartbroken again for one reason or another...It's no surprise, then, that it's easier to not feel at all rather than to feel the pain.  I'm super good at self-analyzing (I do have a minor in Psychology), but not so great at following my own advice.  I try to get past all of the mental hurdles and focus on the positives and our future, but it's hard to do when it seems like so many things aren't going your way.  I'm generally a very positive, optimistic person, but I'm human...I'm human and I have lots of feelings, both positive and negative. 

I didn't intend for this to be such a downer of a post, but sometimes that's what happens when you really open up.  In all of my blog posts, I strive to be honest about my feelings and thoughts, and they're not always peachy-keen...but then again, such is life, and especially life with diabetes.  It's full of ups and downs (and sometimes you end up sideways without knowing how you got there), but the thing that remains constant is that it's always changing.  In my 22 years of life thus far, the biggest thing I've learned is that all you can do is do the best with what you're given.  When life hands you diabetes, sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and deal with it, even on the days you don't want to...and those days are always the hardest.  I'll echo what I said in my first DSMA blog carnival post on exercise: just do it.  Even when you don't want to, no excuses.  If for nothing else, do it because the decisions we make every day (even/especially the "little" ones) shape our future.  On the days when my emotions are getting the best of me, I go for a run. By the time I get back, I always feel better about life.  That's the thing about having diabetes...you just have to take things as they come, deal with them the best you can, and hope you're doing enough to secure a healthy, happy, long future.  And you know what?  Even on the sucky "poor me" days, the future still looks pretty stinkin' good, because I can't wait until we have a cute, drooly little one of our own, and that keeps me going. =)

This post is my April 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/april-dsma-blog-carnival/

3 comments:

Karen G said...

Don't worry about the post being a downer - I don't think it was at all. I love that a huge inspiration to strive for better health is your future children. Can't think of a much better reason!!

Cherise said...

Your post is not a downer at all. You made me think about a lot of things and all most made me cry! I love your just do it motto and I know you'll be an awesome Mom. hugs.

Cherise

Ashley said...

Thank y'all so much! I really appreciate the support and encouragement. Hugs to you too =)

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