I think there are very few people in the U.S. that haven’t experienced some shocking winter weather lately – I know I have. I found it interesting that a recently diagnosed diabetes patient described her diagnoses to me in much the same terms as I’ve felt about the weather; shocked, frightened, things coming to a standstill, and overwhelmed by the challenge ahead. In fact, the temptation with horrible winter weather, and with diabetes, is to just hunker down and let it pass.
Since we know the weather will soon change for the better, hunkering down might be a reasonable strategy for winter. But no matter how badly we’d wish it so, diabetes won’t pass if you hunker down and wait. If fact, it’s just the opposite approach that can put diabetes in its rightful place as something that’s a manageable part of your life – you must take diabetes head on.
If that seems impossible to reconcile, think again. There’s a lot you can do in the middle of a blizzard or a “polar vortex” to minimize the effects – keep your windows closed, let your faucets drip, have firewood accessible. There’s also a lot you can’t do until the crisis passes- clear the drive or travel freely. Trying to accomplish everything simply isn’t possible in the middle of a crisis.
It’s the same with diabetes. But, just because you can’t accomplish everything right now doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish anything. Even though diabetes is definitely going to last longer than a blizzard or polar vortex, it won’t always be a crisis. In fact, it’s important to relax and let the crisis pass so that you can clearly focus on thriving in the months and years ahead. Even with a type 1 diagnosis, usually a genuine crisis, it’s important to prioritize what’s essential against what can be absorbed more effectively after the storm.
There is definitely sunshine and warmth ahead weather-wise, and with your diabetes. Just don’t get so hunkered down that you fail to notice Spring is here.