It’s time to draw on my super powers, to delve into my toolbox of tricks and to learn even more lessons!
Last month I was diagnosed with insulin dependent Type 1 diabetes. Yep that’s right! Totally out of left field for one who promotes and practices health and wellbeing as a priority in life. My diabetes educator (yes, there is such a thing) told me that if I fail to manage diabetes I will die early, have a heart attack, lose my eyesight or my kidneys, have a stroke or a leg amputated. Now that got my attention! Holy crap!
Let me share my story so far, along with the lessons I have learnt – lessons which I hope will encourage you to check in and consider how you might take a more proactive approach to taking care of your health.
Lesson 1: Outliers exist and flourish outside of the norms – not all is as it seems.
I presented with Blood Glucose Levels (BGLs) of 32 – levels should be between 4 and 8. In the words of my endocrinologist – “you’re one ice cream away from a coma!”.
Lesson 2: An endocrinologist specialises in endocrine system – which includes the pancreas which produces insulin which helps manage glucose levels, storage, usage and other very important stuff. And some of this species have a sense of humour.
Lesson 3: Don’t ignore changes in the way you are feeling, particularly when there are heaps of crazy things going on.
Pretending not to notice is not a healthy choice. Tests show that I have been living with crazy high BGLs for at least six months with glucose running rampant via my blood stream through my internal organs creating mayhem. I did notice symptoms and I did ignore them – my response – “Suck it up sweetheart we have stuff to do!”
Living life big and being healthy are co-dependant. Living big without practicing self-care is a recipe for disaster. And yes, to know it and not do it, is very poor form.
Lesson 4: Take the advice of those who actually know stuff at least until you have done your own research.
Last time I checked, I had no medical qualifications to self-diagnose. Oh and Dr Google doesn’t count!
After a week in a wonderful resort (aka hospital) where the sport of choice was extracting copious amounts of blood, and where there was a total absence of green stuff on my dinner plates, and having learned a whole new language filled with acronyms – I was a released with needles, pens, prickers, carb counters and hugs accompanied by quiet words of encouragement. “Now take it easy, walk don’t run, don’t drive below 5, eat well and often, don’t forget your jelly beans and can you give the gym a miss for a while.”
So I signed up for a 10km run in August – six months lead-time should be ok!
Apparently, according to Dr Endo (his real name has 12 letters in it) dangerously high BGLs cause one to be confused and lack focus and be somewhat scattered – any wonder I didn’t see it coming – this is my normal state of being! I explained that I wrote a book during this time so it couldn’t have been too severe. Dr Endo replied – “Have you read your book?”
Lesson 5: Maybe I should read my book for evidence of confusion!
Well the chapter on “How to get the most out of this book” begins with a pre-frame…
“A book with an instruction manual – what does that say? On first appearance and compared to a text book it may appear a little random and somewhat unstructured – and it is and for a reason. The content is a response to real world challenges and issues faced by real businesses. The business world does not turn up in the form of a perfectly structured progression – it never stops evolving, delivering surprises from every which way. It keeps life very interesting! So the book is a reflection of that reality and hence the following suggestions are designed to maximise your return. It is a work book and that means there is wok to be done.”
There is no confusion. You should read it!
So here I am, one month on, feeling curious about diabetes and how I will manage this new challenge without compromising the extraordinary life I aspire to live. There is no doubt it can and will be done. I am learning to become very aware of how my body is being, to listen more intently for warning signals and to embrace this vessel which will carry my soul around with way more respect than before. This awareness requires constant practice, it must be more than habitual, and it cannot be diluted by nonchalance. I have revisited my health plan to ensure that it will enable me to live life big for the rest of my years – I have stuff to do!
Lesson 6: Being innovative is not confined to business – it is critical to life and living.
This curved ball has brought big creative responses to the fore, which will amplify my potential and activate my expansion in a very powerful way. Yes, I have engaged my super powers and I am super excited about what is coming.
I wonder if I would have been this innovative, this brave, without this diagnosis??
Is there anything you’re pretending not to notice?