Sunday, November 11, 2007

Long time

It has been a long time since I've posted. I took a little break from the internet due to some health issues as well as some busy life events. I hope to post often now and look forward to giving regular updates.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Coping With Anger

We all experience anger at times and often it is when we are facing adversity that our anger rears its ugly head the most.

Why do I feel so angry?
First of all allow yourself the right to feel as you do. Trying to force yourself to feel differently or punishing yourself psychologically for feeling as you do is not going to benefit you and probably frustrate you further. Society trains us to avoid angry feelings and thus when we become angry we often try to suppress that emotion or we make ourselves feel that we are wrong to feel that way. The act of denying anger when we feel angry can lead to depression. We deny how we feel, paste on a smile and pretend everything is ok when it truly isn't. The truth is that we've only displaced the emotion. Anger is like boiling water in a tea kettle building up steam. If the valve is not open it will blow the lid eventually.

We've all felt angry at times. Sometimes the anger falls more in the category of being annoyed but then again every human being has at some time or another experienced the full rage of anger. Anger is a natural emotion that if you feel it, you can try to control it, learn to tame it, and redirect it but you may still get angry when you are faced with a difficult task. You must first find out what it is you are angry at. Write it down. Just let go and write a long list of what it is that you are angry at or about. Anger is a part of any grieving process and we do grieve at times of adversity such as when we feel a disease has taken the life we planned on living away from us or we lose someone special in our life, among other things. So the thing to do is not to try and ignore or rid ourselves of ever getting angry but to find ways to redirect it, put it to good use, etc.

I've had many emotions over the years that have shocked me. The most shocking one was how angry I was when I lost a special person in my life and how quickly that anger turned into deep, deep depression. Actually I didn't even realize the change from one emotion to the other because it happened so quickly. That leaves me to think that there is a fine line between anger and depression.

When I was angry I wanted to pretend that the thing I was angry at didn't exist and go on as if nothing had changed in my life. This didn't work long for me because soon I was forced to face reality. When that time came where I had no choice but to realize that I had to face my new life, this unwavering, relentless anger quickly engulfed me. It controlled every fiber of my being. It was so strong that the rest of my emotions seemed to pack up and say "see ya later". The anger chased happiness, joy, love and peace away.

I was angry at everything and on some days just about every body. The one thing that I felt I should have been the most angry at was gone from my life and I was trying to pretend the pain from that loss didn't exist. Because of this denial it didn't allow me to focus my anger where it belonged so I misplaced it onto other things and sadly, other people. The truth is that the person I was angry at was as innocent as I was and I was still alive while his life had ended.

I've come to realize that this is just part of coping with loss of any kind. We go through a multitude of emotions before reaching a level where we can accept the changes it has brought to our life. Once we reach that level we then begin to redirect emotions such as anger to more positive uses. We don't ridicule ourselves for feeling that way we just use it for positive purposes or do something to alleviate the emotion.

A serious danger with anger is when we hold onto it. We get angry, vent it but we don't let go of it. We must find a way to express it appropriately and then to discard it so we can move on with our life in a positive manner. Some people use anger as if it is a security blanket because it will block out all other emotions. It numbs them against reality. They rely on the fuel from their anger to get them through life. The key is to face the anger, identify what it is we are angry about and then to address those issues and find a way to put the anger to rest.

Why do I get angry because others are so happy?

A person may be the type who enjoys seeing someone happy and would never begrudge someone of having a good, prosperous and healthy life. So when they begin to get angry at the fact that their friends, family members or just people they see out in the world are going on with their life, this confuses them. Seeing others our own age running with their children, functioning in the normal busy world, taking part in sports and other activities can remind us of the things we no longer feel like taking part in. Some people may feel rejected when their friends begin going out with other friends who are more active then we are and this can make us have a lot of different emotions including anger. This reaction is not stemmed from some deep seated selfishness we didn't know existed. In actuality we are grieving over what we've lost. The people living normally just remind us of how our life has changed and the anger we then feel is the way we've chosen emotionally to express that.

Am I a bad person because I'm so angry?

The simple answer is NO. Emotions you feel does not make you a bad person. Don't ever beat yourself up because of the feelings you are experiencing. You've been hit hard and it is understandable that you'd have a wide range of emotions, including anger. The key is to identify the anger and find ways to use it in a positive way or to alleviate the angry feelings.

How can I control my anger?

Some people have more angry tendencies than others but we all can learn ways to control it. One way to control it is to calm ourselves down. Calm down by perhaps trying to take a deep breath, go to a silent place and practice deep breathing. Sit and control your breathing to a specific rhythm and then imagine yourself in a calm place.

It is important to control anger because scientists have reported that when a person is feeling the emotion of anger their heart beats faster and they experience a rise in their blood pressure. In other words anger can affect your health.

Changing the way we think can help with controlling anger. Anger never fixes a problem and it can cause more complications because often we say things we shouldn't say or things we don't truly mean when we are angry.

How can I communicate with others when I'm so angry?

When we are angry we tend to curse or speak in tones that are very offensive and even hurtful to others. We also use stronger words in our vocabulary such as "Never" or "always" when describing our thoughts and others actions. Have you ever said something like "Never speak to me again" and didn't mean it? This is probably the out of control anger speaking. Speaking to others in this way will alienate them and the sad truth is that oftentimes these are people who care for us and would be willing to help us and be there for us.

When you are very angry it is a good idea to take a deep breath and not communicate with others until you are thinking clearly. We may believe that we are thinking logically but most of the time when we are at our most angry stage we are thinking irrational. This is when we must slow down our breathing and repeat in our minds thoughts that help us to calm down.

How can I redirect my anger?

I'd like to share my own experiences in this area. I know I may seem like such a chipper gal to you all now but boy oh boy have I come a long way baby :-) I went through a period where anger was my middle name. I was angry at me, everyone and everything. It isn't anyone's fault, not even my own what had happened in my life.

First you must identify the anger. Once you identify what it is you are angry at then you can make positive changes or steps to a solution or at least to help ease the feelings. One way I use my anger is to fuel my determination to fight and have a happy life at all odds. One way to cope with tough emotions such as anger is to occupy yourself. For me I found hobbies that I could do, I have now got involved online and have really poured my heart into it. I volunteered when I could at places that needed my help. I made friends and went to lunch with them. Did special things, however small they may be for my family and that made me feel useful. I write in my journal and express my emotions. I write poetry. Read a good book. Do crafts if I can and find others if I can't do the ones I used to now. You just have to look inside of yourself and let your creative juices flow and find what you can do and would want to do.

Trying to make yourself feel better and feel that you still have a purpose in life will make a world of difference in helping you deal with anger, sadness and the grieving process. Yes your life is not and may never be what it was before but you can still have a wonderful, happy, prosperous and meaningful life. I know this because I am living that wonderful new life. Do I still get angry at times, frustrated at times, fed up at times. Of course I do and I give myself permission to have those days because those days of trouble are a way for me to cleanse my emotions and vent how I feel so I can have more positive days just around the corner.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Coping With Life

I can understand how people may abandon their ideals, what they believe deep within and then lapse into despair. When they are hit over and over by hardships, when they peek out into the real world and see such chaos it is no wonder that their spirits are broken. Their pure and good ideals seem somewhat absurd when put up against the uncertainties that this world we live in represents. Not only uncertainties but this world we live in holds some horrible realities. Yet, in spite of it all, taking everything bad into consideration, this world we live in is wonderful and there are a lot of good, moral, loving and caring people in it.

When we are facing our most difficult days, the ones that feel as though the earth is going to open up and swallow us. The days when the chaos that surrounds us makes us feel that it is impossible to build enough of a foundation to stand and get through what life has in store for us. The moments when not only our own life seems too heavy to carry but when we sense the suffering of so many others and cannot find in our soul the strength to go on. These are the times when we must look up into the heavens and behold the beauty and find in our heart the courage to put one foot in front of the other and walk toward the light in front of us that represents hope for a better tomorrow.

At moments like this we may begin to not care about our future. Whether we live or die seems irrelevant because suddenly it doesn't seem possible to get through today. The fact is that this world will go on no matter if we live or die but it will not be the same without us in it. We made a difference in this world simply by being a part of it. History would not be what it is without our birth and the life we have lived. We have a hand in shaping the future and we should take that responsibility serious.

The choices we make each day will shape our life and the life of those around us. We can choose to live our life to the fullest and not concentrate so much on the bad things and allow things to just fall into place as they happen and not dwell so much on the what-if's. We can also choose to dwell only on the bad things and while we are doing this we'll miss out on all the good that our future holds. These sound like brave words but they aren't. When I'm alone, I cry and I realize how tough things are and may be in the future. I fail many times at being strong, and always looking at the good and not dwelling on the bad. The key though is to pick yourself up after those bad days and brush yourself off and gird yourself with every measure of happiness you can grasp and move on to the next day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Lil Mishap

Well I had a little mishap with my insulin. I was suffering with high bg in the evenings so my doctor felt that splitting my dose of lantus into two shots daily may help. Well then I began having serious lows in the afternoon and early evenings. Then my doctor said that I may be having my lantus lasting longer than the twelve hour interval and be seeing a overlap in working insulin causing the lows. So we returned to one shot at night. Well I then began seeing a steady rise from about 3 to 11 pm and over a few days my bg got totally out of control. The night of the 11th I checked my bg and it just read "HI". I tried to correct and it came down to 481 and then 362 but shortly afterwards read "HI" again. I couldn't get it down and got so ill that I couldn't hardly sit up and my vision was really blurry. Soooooo I called my doctor and she wanted me to meet her at the hospital, I then called my sister and she comes over and takes me in. My bg was 723 and I was promptly admitted.

They hooked me up to an insulin drip and we got the numbers down. My doctor adjusted my bolus Novolog doses where I'm now taking the same for breakfast but a little higher dose for lunch and dinner and bolusing for my evening snack. They also added a small dose of Lantus at noon since they think my lantus is only lasting about 16 hours. I normally take my Lantus around 9:30 at night so it was only lasting till around noon the following day. The theory was that if I took a small dose around noon that it would control me until I took the larger dose at night. Well that didn't work so well and I was having serioius night time lows so my doc said lets try Levemir at noon and Lantus for my basal nighttime dose and continue the novolog for meals and snack. This seems to be working great. Levemir is also a long acting insulin so I couldn't understand why I could tolerate an additional dose of it at noon and not Lantus but hey it works. She said that she had seen this in a few other patients and thought it was worth a try. She said some people can't tolerate a multiple dose of Lantus or even a large dose but if you do one of Lantus and one of Levemir it is well tolerated and also that for some Levemir doesn't last nearly as long as Lantus. My insurance was going to give me a headache about paying for two different long acting insulins but my doctor faxed them a letter and they said ok. Thankfully I was given samples of the Levemir until the insurance can get the approval into their system.

Soooooooo I now take 10 units of Levemir at noon and 30 units of Lantus at 9:30 PM and then Novolog 8 Units for breakfast and 10 units for lunch and dinner and bolus 2 units for bedtime snack of 15 g carbs. My numbers today have been good with not having to do any correction shots so hopefully we solved the problem, well at least for now . I got to come home this afternoon and I'm glad to be home and feeling better.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Power Of Forgiving Ourselves

There are times when faced with tough situations in life that I felt a sense of guilt as if somehow it was my fault. I reflected back on everything in my life that I had done wrong and immediately saw it as the reason for the adversity I was presently experiencing. In times such as this we tend to hold ourselves to harsher judgment then we do others. Suddenly those little things we did that seemed so small before are now these glooming bright blemishes on our lives and we see them as unforgivable and the possible cause for all that is wrong in our lives now. I suppose this is similar to the feelings of guilt that can be experienced by someone who has a family member pass away. All we can think of is 'What if I had done...?', 'If only I had been there...' or 'I wish I had told them....'

Some people linger at the stage of blaming themselves for a brief time and some much longer. There are no rules regarding how long it takes to cope with emotions as strong as these. However, I had to realize that I must face these feelings of guilt to put them to rest. I couldn't ignore it hoping it would go away because then the emotions would have only eaten away at me. One of my favorite sayings is 'the only way to get past something is through it'. We must travel through it to get to the other side. We can't side-step it or jump over it.

I had to begin this road to forgiveness by taking a look at the situation at hand. I had to look at what the facts were concerning the tough situation I was in the middle of. Was it something I had control over? Did I do what I thought was right? I had to learn to not focus on the "what ifs" and "if onlys" because they didn't exist for me since those are things you do not have control over and cannot change. I had to remind myself that forgiving is not something that I've never done before. Although forgiving myself was a whole new ballgame. I thought about the fact that I had forgiven my child of a mistake or for breaking something? I remembered the gentleness I felt toward my child or perhaps a parent or sibling over mistakes they had made. I thought about the forgiveness I have held in your heart for those who had wronged me. It's funny that we can readily forgive those around us, yet we can not seem to find compassion in our hearts for ourselves.

I came to the realization that I must try feeling some compassion for myself. I had to accept that those who love me have such compassion for me and if I could find a way to feel that for myself then I was well on the road to dealing with this. I knew that realization would allow me to see clearly the situation at hand and to see the potential blessing that had been bestowed on me. That's right blessing. This kindness and generosity to me would be the groundbreaking event which would lead to moving forward and getting past this tough time in my life.

I was raised that forgiveness is something to be sought after. We must search ourselves in-depth for the goodness we hold in our hearts so we can see the whole purpose of our lives. We must know that even though we make mistakes, we have problems, or we get off base in our journey through life instead of punishing ourselves in our thoughts and actions we should accept that we all make mistakes. We have an obligation to honor that goodness inside of us and the good qualities we have and the heart of compassion we have been given.

I personally played the blame game for a time and that kept me from forgiveness initially. I questioned my creator, the adversity and the situation I was in, I began the "Why me" syndrome? However, the important question I finally asked myself was "Don't you think it is time you offer forgiveness to yourself." Know this…, bad things happen in this sinful world and I could write a whole other story on the reasons they do but I'll save that for another day. What I grasped from all I experienced is this, that pain and suffering that we all bear can be turned around to do many good things. People who have met great challenges have done tremendous things and used it to bring blessings upon their own lives and the lives of others. Tough times can teach us so much about life.

We are often touched by the stories from people who show what seems as such courage and strength to overcome adversity. We must learn to look past the bad part of our situation and see the good that can come from it. Perhaps there is a hidden purpose for our life. Whatever life brings our way we should look for direction as to where this situation should lead us.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Older When Diagnosed With Type I

Type I diabetes was previously referred to as "Juvenile diabetes". Even with the change in the identification many still view Type I as being something you get when you are a child or a very young adult. It is fairly rare for someone my age (44 when diagnosed) to be diagnosed with that form of the disease but it does happen and I'm proof. I was misdiagnosed based solely on my age for a couple of days with type II before they realized I was not responding to oral treatments and they got all the test results. A friend was at the hospital visiting me the night that they changed my diagnosis to Type I and she made a gasp and said "oh no you have the serious kind you poor thing". First of all any type of diabetes is the "serious" kind. Second, I view myself very fortunate after reading from so many online who have had this since childhood. I was spared all the heartache of being a youth and growing up in this cruel world while battling this disease.

However getting diagnosed at this age has its own hurdles and social issues because when I share that I am newly diagnosed with type I often I get the look of disbelief. I've even had someone say to me that the doctors must be wrong because only children get that type. If I just share that I have type I then they usually ask how young was I when diagnosed and then comes the explanation and the look of confusion. Just as children are now being diagnosed with Type II there are adults who can and do get diagnosed with Type I.

In my opinion there needs to be a widespread effort to enhance public awareness of the new terms used for these forms of the disease as well as the changing data of those who are diagnosed. Technology has came a long way as far as media is concerned and we need to use it to our benefit so those children who are diagnosed with type II and those adults who get diagnosed with Type I don't have to suffer in the social realm from the old stereotypes.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Emerging in Life

When we are faced with obstacles in our life or serious trials and tribulations we may feel as though we've been stopped dead in our tracks. Not knowing which way is up and definitely not which way is out. At first where ever we are stuck is the place where we go around in circles emotionally. Some people get stuck in a denial stage while others may be stuck in a mood of anger or sadness. Everyone reacts differently and there is no right or wrong way to respond to difficult circumstances. We have so many different thoughts going through our minds and as a result we are confused and often very frightened. However the time we spend lost in this emotional wilderness help us to dig deep within our souls and find our true self. We get in touch with who we are and we get in touch with our strength. I've came to the conclusion that this chaotic adventure is necessary in order for us to get through whatever it is we are facing. I believe that this is what gets us on the road to hope. We soon 'emerge' from this emotional wilderness into the full light that brings us hope and we 'emerge' as a stronger person with an attitude of acceptance and the determination to push on and get to the next level in store for our lives. It is just the road we must travel in order to reach the beginning of our new life.