Another post that first appeared on the Diabetes OC site when I was "Featured Blogger of the Week" over the holidays. This one kind of sums up what keeps me going, even on the worst D-days...
If I've learned anything about living with diabetes (see my previous post here), it's that attitude is everything.
When other people hear that I have diabetes, and they ask, "Oh, is it bad?" I can choose to get pissed off, or not. I can also start to think about it with the same negativity myself: "Yes, it is bad. It's hugely invasive, and the statistics say there are some pretty ugly diabetes complications in my future...."
Let's face it, I'm over 40, and I do not expect to see a cure for this illness in my lifetime. If I focus on all those things, I can get pretty darn depressed. And then it's hard to care about whether my post-breakfast BG was in range today. It's a viscous cycle.
For those who know my blog, clearly I am skeptical and often sarcastic about new treatments and findings. But don't mistake my offbeat humor and my use of sarcasm as a defense mechanism for fundamental pessimism. I remain full of hope for the future, which I believe is essential for living a healthy and productive life.
I've known Dr. Bill Polonsky of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute for quite a while now. He's been very inspirational, and has solidified for me the value of a can-do attitude: "The patients who do best are the optimistic ones -- not because they are by nature 'happy,' but because optimism is really a problem-solving approach. When a bad thing happens to an optimistic person, that person feels empowered to do something about it. Pessimists, on the other hand, do not feel empowered, and compound the problem by telling themselves: 'this will always happen to me.'"
To my mind, a can-do attitude can only spring from the belief that things can and will get better, despite whatever setbacks may occur.
In other words, Quality of Life with Diabetes is all about your attitude. And to have a positive, can-do attitude, you have to have hope. Hope is everything.
1: to cherish a desire with anticipation
2: to desire with expectation of obtainment
3: to expect with confidence