Today is the first day of Diabetes Blessings Week – a week in which we count the blessings that have come to our lives because of diabetes. And one of the biggest blessings that has come my way since diagnosis is a healthier life.
Now, I realize that it may sound strange for me to say that I have a healthier life considering that I live with type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure, so let me explain.
There are three things that are key to my management of these conditions: eating well, getting as much exercise as my heart will allow, and taking my medications. And I do all three of those religiously. I generally eat between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day, walk 5 to 10 miles a week, and take about 12 medications each day. That regimen has led to a stronger heart, lower A1c numbers, and significant weight loss. All of which contribute to a healthier me. And that’s just the physical side of the coin.
I’ve said it many times that being diagnosed with diabetes and congestive heart failure has helped me to better understand just how short and precious life really is, and the importance of slowing down enough to enjoy the little things and living each day to the fullest. The joy of spending time with family and friends, going on dates with my special someone, and just having fun in general are all important to a mentally healthier me.
Essentially, my diagnoses led me to start taking better care of myself. And they serve as a constant reminder of the fact that it really is OK to stop and think about what I need.
Better physical health + better mental health = a healthier me. And that really is a blessing!