When you have diabetes, you obviously need to be careful and conscientious about your blood sugars, Hemoglobin A1c and other important measurable parameters. Meanwhile, your doctor will also certainly encourage you to “crunch the numbers” on a regular basis.
Having said that, we also need to recognize that living with diabetes can’t always just be about the numbers, as important as they are. Those numbers may tell us a great deal, but they can’t tell us everything, and men and women cannot live by numbers alone. A perfect A1c is nice, but if you’re miserable in your job or unhappy in your marriage, your quality of life won’t be satisfactorily sustained by your lab results.
Many of us are familiar with the term “quality control”, and whether we work in manufacturing, healthcare, food service or another industry, we can all probably relate to the notion that quality is important in many scenarios and situations, be they personal or professional.
Having said that, what about quality control within your life? Various aspects of your life require ongoing attention, and your analysis of your degree of satisfaction and/or success in those areas is important. Additionally, bear in mind that improving your satisfaction in most of these areas could have a direct or indirect relationship on your blood sugars and other physiological markers, so don’t be fooled if some sectors may seem rather “soft” or difficult to measure or quantify.
Some of the primary aspects or sectors of your life could include:
· Health, wellness and fitness
· Career and professional development
· Recreation, leisure and fun
· Relationships, friendships and family
· Personal development
· Spiritual well-being
· Emotional and psychological health and happiness
If you look at these aspects of your life, what is the qualitative energy that you would assign to each? What areas leap out as ones that are very satisfactory and solid, and which ones are literally begging for attention? Your ability to keep your finger on the pulse of your life is essential, and sometimes breaking it down into such categories can allow you to take stock, assess the “state of the nation”, devise a plan for improvement, take action, and then evaluate the outcome and revise your plan once again.
Life isn’t static—it’s a fluid and fickle beast. And just like your lab numbers, things can change on a dime. Stressors, unexpected changes and various surprises can throw you off your game, even if those changes are positive.
Have you ever seen that list of the most stressful experiences that a human being can go through? Some of them could be characterized as “negative” (ie: the death of a spouse or the loss of a job), while others could likewise be characterized as “positive” (ie: having a baby, being promoted, or getting married). Nonetheless, change can throw a wrench into the works, and we must recalibrate in order to get back on track and into equilibrium. This is where your vigilant attention comes in.
Sure, pay heed to your daily blood sugars and get your A1c checked on a regular basis as you monitor your cholesterol and triglycerides. Having said that, also keep an eye on your spiritual well-being, your levels of stress, your financial solvency, and the state of your marriage and family life.
Nothing happens in a vacuum, everything is connected, and while your spiritual health may not directly impact your fasting sugar, it will certainly impact your well-being, your stress levels, and your ability to cope. And when your ability to cope is compromised, all hell can break loose in any or all aspects of your life.
The term “holistic” may be overused at times, but taking a holistic view of your life can’t do you any harm, and it just might do you a world of good. Diabetes is a complex disease, but life itself is complex too. Just make sure that your diabetes doesn’t overpower your ability to pay attention to more than just the numbers.