I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since 1992. After 20 years I see 3 key areas in life that need regular attention: knowledge–an understanding of your condition; creativity–a right-brained pursuit; mindfulness–awareness of the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness is the foundation of everything.
I posted the 3 a while ago, but I’ll elaborate on each one separately over the next 2 weeks.
Knowledge refers to knowledge of the condition. When I was eating the prescribed diabetic diet and trying to do everything else the medical team told me to do, I wasn’t learning, as much as I was following directions. For weeks after the diagnosis I was, of course, in shock. Mostly I was thinking, Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!
But many people remain in passive mode long after they are diagnosed with a chronic condition. The depression and shock that follow diagnosis are normal, but they don’t have to last forever.
My ah-ha moment came when I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I didn’t want to eat. I was dealing with a low blood sugar and no one had really told me how to deal with a low so I just ate whatever I had at hand, and with 2 children under 6 I had plenty of PBJ.
But after this experience I became pro-active. I realized I had to learn about diabetes, about what to eat, how to exercise etc. Even though my medical team had my best interests at heart, they could never give me the amount of information I needed to be truly healthy. The US medical system isn’t set up to provide information–it’s much better at providing pills and surgery. It has a poor track record of empowering people.
Knowledge is power. Become an expert–get to know what ails you.