dPOLL: Where do you struggle with your diabetes care?

In my last several posts, I’ve discussed looking at your diabetes care as more than just a physical issue, but to consider it holistically. In my last post, I provided a simple five finger diagnotstic tool you can use to evaluarte how you are handling your diabetes care. Today I’d like to see which of these five aspects of our health we tend to struggle wioth most.

Please choose the issue you struggle with the most and then be sure to click the VOTE button. Thanks for your involvement!

Diagnose How Well You Are Handling Your Diabetes

Mike_Hand.jpgDo you feel like you’re losing your grip on your diabetes care or some other life circumstance?

In my last post, I discussed the idea that we can best deal with difficult life circumstances holistically. Today I want to make this as practical as I can. So the task at hand for you today is to use your fingers as a diagnostic and prognostic tool. Use this handy five-finger exercise regularly. For each one give yourself a score from 1 to 5, 1 being “totally missing,” that is, you are ignoring this aspect of your health, and 5 being “hitting on all cylinders,” that is you are doing great (not perfect) at this aspect.

  1. (Index Finger) How is my physical health? (Be sure you point at yourself, not others, throughout this assessment.) This of course is the most fundamental thing (everything else takes place in relation to your physical self). Am I testing? Am I eating right? Am I exercising? Don’t forget that the other components seriously affect this one.
  2. (Middle Finger)  How are my emotions? Am I feeling mad? Sad? Afraid? Joyful? Trusting? Sometimes this finger can get us into the biggest trouble. When life doesn’t go as we would like it to, we feel like giving this finger to everyone around us, and to ourselves, and even to God. But remember, your emotions are not in control! Emotions are pulled along the tracks by the engine of your mind. (That’s important.)
  3. (Ring Finger)  How am I doing mentally?  Perhaps I need to change the way I think, which has an effect not only on my emotions but everything else. As you evaluate your overall health, use this finger to consider your commitment to your health in each of the other areas. Put a ring on it.
  4. (Little Finger) Do I have healthy relationships—good friends and close family who support and encourage me and provide me some accountability? Don’t discount the little finger because it’s “little.” I’ve injured my little finger several times and I found it difficult to do much at all with my hands. It’s the same with your relationships. Positive, healthy relationships help you deal better with things emotionally, mentally, physically, and yes, even spiritually. Do you have a little group who will do that with you?
  5. (The Thumb) How is my spiritual life? Regardless of what your spiritual life consists of, this component has a substantial, perhaps even supreme, impact on everything else. I believe what the New Testament says about this one: that if I put this one first, all the other things line up as well (see Matthew 6:33). As I mentioned in my previous post, you can hold on for a short while with your four other fingers–that is, with your own power–but without the thumb, a higher power, you will eventually lose your grip.

I’m writing this blog because I hope to help people with all five of these vital components of life. Please follow my blog (either at the top or bottom of your screen) to keep up with my posts. I’ll touch on each of these “fingers” in other posts.

Hold on tight!

Diabetes: Enemy or Pure Joy?

It’s human nature. It’s intuitive. As human beings we look at the trials in our lives as the enemy. Trials like diabetes or cancer or marriage problems or, well, you name it; they are all uninvited antagonists that only want to make our lives miserable, and worse, to destroy our lives

In a previous post, “Successful Diabetics Own Their Diabetes,” I noted that some people with diabetes seem to view their condition as a kind of “Dr. Evil” (from the Austin Powers movie series)–a villain who is constantly scheming to terrorize their bodies.

Of course we look at trials this way. Like I said, it’s human nature. But that doesn’t mean our human nature is what’s best for us. Sometimes we have to fight against our human nature and look deeper within us to something that’s better, that’s healthier.

Part of my premise, my basic assumption about life, my guiding principle, is that life circumstances—the stuff of life like living with diabetes—is best dealt with holistically. That is, health is not just something that’s physical; it’s also mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.

Sometimes in order for us to deal better with something like diabetes, we must change the way we think about it, or feel about it. And perhaps to do that better, we need the relational support, encouragement, and accountability of friends and family. Or we need to put it all in the hands of a higher power; we need to trust God.

For me, the physical, mental, emotional, and social parts are like fingers. I need each one to hold on. But the spiritual component is the thumb; without God, I’m eventually going to lose my grip.

I enjoy reading the Bible. It provides guidance for me in how I think and feel and live life to the full. It provides quite a few … well, let’s just say counterintuitive ideas. Here’s one:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2–4).

Wait a minute. Consider dealing with my diabetes as “pure joy”? Are you kidding me? But look at why we should consider it a joy.  It develops really good things in us, including perseverance and maturity. See, having a positive, even joyful, attitude toward my diabetes is not just some pie-in-the-sky thing. I’m being totally realistic in the way I look at my diabetes.

Yeah, sometimes the highs and lows aren’t fun at all. They feel awful. They can bring lasting damage. But each one is also a learning experience. What did I do or not do that caused this high or low? What can I do better to avoid it?

Yes, these trials test me. They test my resolve. They test my strength. They even test my faith. And each one tests how I will respond. When I respond with a negative mindset, with unconstructive emotions (yes, I am in control of my own emotions), with unhealthy habits, without the support of others, and especially without the power of God (the one who created my body, brain, and emotions), it sends me into a destructive downward spiral. But when I chose to respond by considering my difficult trials with pure (not fake) joy, I can persevere through them.

That’s right: Considering it pure joy does not mean faking it. It simply means I decide with the free will I have how I will respond.

Read my next post on this topic. It’s very practical about how to live this out in your life. I’ll show you how to use all five “fingers” as a handy diagnostic and prognostic tool.

In the meantime, keep your grip!