2022 will be here in a few short days and the prospect makes my head spin. Where did 2021 go?!
As we approach the new year, I’m feeling several different emotions – the most prevalent one being gratitude.
Amid all the chaos of the past year that was filled with so many literal and figurative highs and lows, I can’t help but feel grateful for the many people and experiences that kept me calm in the storm. My family, my boyfriend, my friends, my dogs. The roof over my head. The opportunity to start a new job at a diabetes organization, which in turn reunited me with old friends and helped me make new ones. The chance to travel across the country and go on several weekend trips to closer-by destinations. And as often as I gripe about having so little time to myself, I’m also grateful to have such a jam-packed schedule that keeps my both my mind and body active and well.
With everything in the world feeling uncertain lately (oh, how unnervingly familiar it feels to merely say that), it’s helpful to remind myself of these things that make life so rich for me. I’m looking forward to carrying this reminder into 2022 with me and likewise, I can’t wait to continue connecting with the greater diabetes community in the coming year.
Happy New Year, Cactus Huggers – may you be healthy, well, and happy in 2022 and beyond!
When I think of January, the color gray comes to mind. This time of year is notorious for being a bit of a dull lull – a period in which everything abruptly slows down. The cold weather feels even colder and it can feel a bit like being trapped inside sometimes.
But we’re all pretty familiar with how that feels by now…
Anyways, that’s what I used to think of January. Now, I’m trying to shift my thinking and find the color and vibrancy in this month. After all, a new mindset – sort of like the one I touched on in Wednesday’s blog post but am still struggling to identify clearly – seems like it should just go together with a new year. If I keep the old mindset, I’ll get old results, and I don’t think I necessarily want old results (unless they pertain to the stretches of time in which my blood sugar levels have been spot-on, then I definitely want those results).
I’m rambling, I know. But this is my way of encouraging myself – and you – to do something that makes you happy today. Need some inspiration? I’ll share my plans: I’ll have a lovely homemade lasagna made by my mother, hang out at my parents’ house with our dogs, and text all of my loved ones to wish them a happy new year. If the weather cooperates, I’ll take a walk at some point to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Maybe I’ll even get to totally veg out for a few hours and shirk the responsibilities of adulthood, pretending that a new workweek isn’t just around the corner.
All that sounds like a pretty great way to ring in a new year, don’t you think?
Here’s to a new year, your good health, hope, and of course, fabulous blood sugar levels.
This blog post is NOT going to be a recap of how “unprecedented”, “historical”, “chaotic”, or “uncertain” this year was – we all know exactly what it was like and we most definitely don’t need a summary of it.
Instead, this post is going to be a short reflection on some of the cards I was dealt with this year…
What exactly did I do in 2020?
Well, for starters, I made one of the most heart-wrenching decisions of my life to move back home last January.
In February, I was trying to heal from the damage caused by this decision.
And then, well, March happened, and suddenly nothing was certain.
I stumbled through April and May along with the rest of the world, trying to adjust to this “new normal” (I promise I won’t be using that phrase again in this post).
I flailed into the summer months, a time in which it seemed like things might be getting better, only for a bout of depression and anxiety to darken the light at the end of the tunnel I thought I had seen.
In September and October, I chose to dip my toes back into adulthood. By November, I was moving into my new place and getting used to living on my own.
Now it’s the final few days of December and I’ve got a dog (more on that in a future post) that’s joined me in my home, making it a little less lonely.
I’m marveling how in all the changes, challenges, and emotional upheavals lead me to this place that I’m in – and I’m not referring to my dwelling.
I’m talking about this new mindset – one that I haven’t quite defined yet, but one that has developed because of my determination to get through all of the above and still somehow maintain a good grip on my diabetes (and regularly keep up with this blog, to boot).
Please don’t mistake all this self-reflecting as tooting my own horn; in fact, I struggled for weeks as to whether I should share any of this. (Funny how my diabetes is less personal to me than, well, my entire personal life.)
I guess the point of this post, though, is to finally catch my breath and let everything I’ve accomplished and survived this year to sink in…and you should allow yourself that moment of recognition, too.
I doubt there’s a single person on this earth who can truly say that they were untouched in some way by any of the events of this year…so now that we are about to put 2020 into the past, I say that we all deserve to take some time and think about how we’ve adapted to everything and find some sort of joy in that – especially if you’re someone who also deals with anything like diabetes on a daily basis.
I’m not naive enough to think that everything will go back to the way it was “before” the second the clock says 12:01 A.M. on New Year’s Day, but I am hopeful that 2021 will exceed 2020 in many ways. And hope is a good thing to hold onto in times like these.
Happy New Year to all my Cactus Huggers, online friends, and IRL loved ones alike.
I just wanted a nice dinner out on New Year’s Eve…but diabetes – or rather, my diabetes devices – had another plan in mind.
You see, that’s when my brand-new pod decided to stop working properly, leaving me no choice but to deliver insulin via syringe in the middle of a fancy restaurant.
Hence, my unamused expression in the following photo.
On the one hand, it was irritating to deal with, especially since my malfunctioning pod delivered high blood sugar to me in lieu of insulin. But on the other hand, what else could I do except roll with the punches? After all, it was New Year’s Eve – the final night of 2018. I was NOT about to allow diabetes to ruin it for me.
So I left my frustration and dismay at my high blood sugars at home, where I first realized there might be something wrong with my pod, and did my best to maintain an upbeat attitude throughout dinner. Yes, I was checking my CGM often, but I also remained engaged in conversation with my dinner companions (thanks for that meal, Mom and Dad). I took comfort in the knowledge that I was prepared with a vial of insulin and syringes should my blood sugar stay high in spite of my aggressive boluses. And when it did indeed climb into the 300s, I calmly set down my fork and knife, fished a syringe and my insulin from my backpack, drew up eight units, and rolled up my sleeve to inject right then and there. It felt kind of weird to “shoot up” in the middle of the dining establishment, but I didn’t have much of a choice. I could’ve gone to the restroom, but I knew that the lighting would be bad – at least I could have assistance from my parents by injecting at the table (again, thanks Mom and Dad, the cell phone lights came in clutch in this situation).
As I pushed down on the syringe’s plunger, I vaguely wondered whether any restaurant patrons were watching and wondering what the actual eff I was doing. I was self-conscious about it for a hot second, but I got over it because I knew I was doing what needed to be done.
I was rolling with the punches, high blood sugar and all, because it was the best thing to do for my body and my mind. Plus, I really got to stick it to my diabetes by refusing to let it spoil my night, and to me, that was much sweeter than the cheesecake my mom and I split for dessert.
Ahh, the holiday season…it’s been in full swing for just about a month now, and with that arrived a bevy of parties, potlucks, and poor dietary decisions. In a week, the new year will be here and it’ll bring a fresh start with it, but for now…I’m trying to find a way to make peace with all the indulgences I’ve enjoyed in the last several weeks.
Takeout Chinese food, pizza, homemade roasts, and baked goods galore are among the gamut of glutinous grub responsible for transforming me into a guilty gourmand over the course of the holidays. (Can I get a round of applause for that alliterative sentence?) I wish I could say that I had the willpower to resist the temptation of these foods that have been provided at the various holiday parties I’ve attended; alas, I couldn’t stop myself from noshing on them just as much as the other guests at these gatherings. A fair share of my fellow party attendees commiserated with me about diets flying out the window this time of year, but very few of them could understand that the fattening fare impacts more than just my waistline.
My blood sugars, of course, have been a victim of holiday feasting just as much as my size six jeans.
Truthfully, they’re not as terrible as they’ve been during past holiday seasons. But that doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with them, or okay with the fact that they tend to rise and crash at equally rapid paces when I eat too much of the carb-y stuff and correct accordingly with insulin. The roller coaster ride combined with the feeling that I’m turning into the Pillsbury dough girl is what I’m fed up with, and I’m trying to figure out a way to stop punishing myself for it. After all, a new year IS right around the corner, and like many others in the world, I can and should use it as a reason to start eating more mindfully and healthfully, leaving the dietary mistakes of 2018 in the past.
It’s definitely cliche, but I’ve got to get back into the routine and replace all the cookies and fancy chocolates I’ve been consuming with leafy veggies and lean proteins. It won’t be easy, but I know that it’ll be worth the improved blood sugars and looser pants that are bound to follow.
Happy 2018! I wanted to take a moment to wish you well. I hope the new year brings you health and happiness!
Like many others, I’ve come up with a few New Years resolutions that I’d like to fulfill in 2018. One revolves around this blog – I want to increase the variety of content featured here and, overall, improve it so it has a bigger impact on the diabetes community and beyond.
That’s where YOU enter the picture. Have a suggestion for me? Let me know! This blog isn’t just about me – it’s about you, too. That’s why I want to make sure I’m making good use of this site and offering content and insight that you care about. Thank you in advance for your ideas. I sincerely appreciate them!
Curious about my other goals for 2018? Look for a follow-up post about ’em sometime in the next couple of weeks. Sharing them will help keep me accountable, right?