Living Well With Diabetes: Health Priorities

After considering the big picture and clarifying my life priorities, I narrowed my attention to my health concerns.

I asked myself, my doctor, dietitian and family a whole new set of questions.

What does being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mean? What’s not working in my body? How do we “fix” that?

What do I need to do differently? Take medication? Exercise? Change how I eat? Stop smoking? Manage my stress level? Make other lifestyle changes?

Is anything non-negotiable? These are the things that would cause my health to get worse and cannot be reversed in the future.

What changes do we need to make to our family’s routine? Can we buy only diet soda and limit the sweet stuff we have in the house? When can we go for a walk on the beach?

Which changes have the most potential to improve my health and quality of life? What should I focus on right now? What can I save for later?

In short: “What are my health priorities?”

This is where I started taking action and making changes. This is the point that where quarterly labs and check-ups got pencilled in my calendar. I bought a pill tray and a cosmetic bag so that I can easily carry my daily dosage and blood testing kit with me. I looked at my tired jogging shoes, threw them away and bought new ones.

I didn’t work through this strategy alone. I enlisted the help of my doctor, dietitian, husband, daughters, co-workers, friends, etc. Some were able to offer medical knowledge and others personal experience, still others offered moral support. Believe me when I say the “atta boys” are just as valuable as the MD or CDE.

Figuring out my health priorities brought order to the chaos of being diagnosed. Instead of feeling like I had to fix everything right now I focused my efforts and  made reasonable changes and got measurable improvements in my health.