What Is YOUR Quality of Life?

We test our sugar. We stay focused on what we can eat. We check our feet and give ourselves shots and take our pills. We follow all the rules.

So what is the quality of our lives?

We can all acknowledge that managing diabetes takes focus. You can’t take your eye off the ball; you can't take a vacation from checking your sugar or taking your medicine.

Does that mean how we live our lives has to be negatively impacted by our disease?

Enhancing Quality of Life with Diabetes

Well-managed diabetes includes dietary control, of course. You have to stay away from carbs and alcohol and dessert. You can still, however, visit a nice restaurant and treat yourself to the occasional special meal, a healthy meal that includes proteins, non-starchy vegetables and fruits and low-glycemic carbs. Skip the bread, drink something other than alcohol and enjoy yourself. It might take a little ingenuity, it might take a few requests of the waiter, but a quality restaurant wants its patrons happy, and a smart chef will go out of his way to see to it that they are.

Glucose testers are tiny, and so are insulin bottles and needles. A trip to the beach or to the other side of the world might mean packing a shoebox full of these items, a box which should be more than large enough to bring along the necessary supply. Take them in your carryon and you won't have to worry about being without them.

Touring a museum or an historical site might be taxing in the hottest weather, so time the trip to a cooler season if possible. Keep to your testing and treating schedule, and work your visits around your meals. The exercise is beneficial, and the memories will stay with you long after you leave.

Maybe you get pleasure from an afternoon at the movies or an outing with friends. Diabetes is not a sufficient reason to hide yourself away from living your life. See your friends, have some laughs and relax.

Few of us with diabetes are so impaired that we are confined to our homes. Even those who are can have friends and family in to visit, or spend time on the computer Skyping or e-mailing. There is always Facebook!

Many illnesses used to be death sentences. Cancer, emphysema, diabetes – all were diseases that quickly ended lives. Modern medicine has turned all of these into chronic diseases, allowing us to live to a normal or near-normal lifespan. Having a chronic illness means learning to manage it and live with it, not preparing to die from it. Staying home, living like an invalid, does not make diabetes better and it does not make it disappear.

Living one's life to the fullest is what we owe ourselves, and diabetes should not stop us. Celebrate what so many researchers and doctors have accomplished and love the life they have given you!

Put on a smile, pack your bags and go enjoy yourself!

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

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