Tag Archives: T1D

Lessons From Yoga: Acceptance

 

Last night I went to my usual Bikram yoga class. Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve been to class; a longer break than usual for me. I like to go three times a week, but lately I’ve been lucky to squeeze in one class. There’s running back and forth to school, baseball practice, preparing (and cleaning up from) three meals a day, diabetes stuff, my ongoing and ever-present-in-my-mind job search, writing, well….you get it.

It was a tough class; I was sore, and weak, and inflexible. It may have been the relatively long lapse in my practice, or residual tightness from the long hike I went on last weekend. It could’ve been tenderness from the AcroYoga I practiced a few days ago. Dehydration? Too much sugar? Or maybe just the full moon, who knows.

Whatever the reason, my body was under-performing and my mind began to fill with anxiety and anger. I had to make a deliberate effort to stop that negative self-talk in its tracks, before I sabotaged my entire 90-minute class. By the time we got to dhanurasana (bow pose), I was wiped out. This pose is the culmination of the standing and floor spine strengthening series’ in Bikram yoga. It usually feels pretty sweet.

“Take a deep breath, and gently both legs kick up towards the ceiling (ow). Look up and kick up (ow ow). Head up more, wrists straight more (Ow!).”

“Kick back more. Kick harder” (OW OW OW…there may have been some tears at this point)

There’s no point in being angry at myself or my body. Yoga is accepting your body just how it Is, right at that moment. Accepting that it’s tight, or sore, or weaker than expected and doing the best with what you have right then.

Acceptance doesn’t mean acquiescence. It doesn’t mean giving up and becoming stagnant. I always use those feelings to make choices and adjustments for the future. Rough yoga classes motivate me to get to class more often, to drink more water, to get more sleep, to cut back on sugar, to do things that better my body so that hopefully I can bring strength, energy, and flexibility to my next class.

But in the moment, faced with tightness, and weakness, and a body that isn’t cooperating in the way that I want it to, I have to just Accept and do my best.

Acceptance helps me deal with other challenges in my life. Not enough time, not enough in the bank account, not enough emotional energy, not enough pancreas function….whatever. It Is What It Is. How can I live best with my current situation? What do I need to do to improve my situation for the future?

It’s a point-of-view I hope to pass on to my kids. Everybody has challenges. Diabetes is one of the challenges that our family faces right now. For Evie and Luke, that will be a permanent part of their lives. My role is to teach them to accept their bodies as they are, but to aim for the best health they can achieve.

Just like wishing I was stronger wasn’t going to help me get through that yoga class last night, It will do them absolutely no good to waste time and energy wishing that they had a different body. I want all of my children to accept and value the bodies that they have, marvel at what their bodies can do for them, and be ever mindful of protecting and nourishing those precious bodies. To do the best with what they have.

Conundrum: Available Technology vs. Insurance Coverage

A friend and I were talking the other day–brainstorming, really–about the gap in technology that exists for diabetes testing and pump therapy, verses, well, anything else electronic. Sure, there’s a touch-screen insulin pump that will be available at some point, but you still have to connect that fancy little box up to a computer with a good old-fashioned USB cable. Where’s the wireless capability?

Why can my phone sync wirelessly with every single other device I own, but I still have to manually download data from our meters and pumps? Data that would be a lot more useful in real-time rather than a month later, or however often I can squeak out enough time to dig out my USB transmitter, log in to Medtronic.com (what were those passwords again?) and lasso my kids so they can stand right next to the computer.

And forget collecting glucometer data…our meters don’t come with the cord connector, you have to order that separately. (To be fair, I am aware that Medtronic’s own One-Touch Ultra meter relays BG numbers to the Medtronic pump for future data collection, but we’ve chosen not to use that meter–just personal preference.)

We came up with some great ideas for practical and elegant technology we’d love to use. And then I ran across this video this morning and remembered some of the realities of Health Care, and more specifically, of Health Insurance.

Insurance companies don’t usually like to pay for New and Different. I’ve lost several hours of my life on the phone with the insurance company, trying to win even minimal coverage of the test strips for a micro-sample meter system whose technology is already over 4 years old. And I’ve had to go through it every time we’ve ordered new supplies.

It’s frustrating. Just as I’m sure it was frustrating for the young lady in this video to find a new technology that would SIMPLIFY (and don’t we T1D families deserve some simplification?)  her testing and data collection, only to find it financially out-of-the-stratosphere-impossible.

In the near future I hope to see a couple of new developments on the diabetes front:

  • A system that incorporates testing technology with Smartphone communication. Maybe even one that also communicates with a pump. And someday, a complete closed loop CGM-pump system ( iDiabetes? Apple, I would be a devoted customer for LIFE.)
  • Insurance coverage for diabetes that actually keeps up with the rapidly developing technology and tools of Type 1 management.

That’s it for now.

Family Camp – ConnecT1D

The Majors are going to Camp!

I happened upon a post a few weeks ago from a Seattle-area group called ConnecT1D for an upcoming Diabetes Family Camp the organization will be hosting next month. It sounded like so much fun! A weekend of family togetherness, campfires, mess hall dining and canoeing….all while connecting with other T1D families, and even learning some new things about living with Type 1:

ConnecT1D is founded on the simple principle that people with diabetes manage their disease better when they have connections to and support from others with diabetes. To live our mission to connect people with diabetes to each other and to disease management resources, ConnecT1D will host our first annual Family Camp, October 12-14th, 2012!

Our home for the weekend is Warm Beach Camp, about 50 miles north of Seattle. Families with children of all ages are welcome. The weekend’s agenda is packed full of presenters and breakout sessions covering a variety of key topics including: managing the emotional impact of diabetes, diabetes in your school, advanced pump and CGM use, and many more. The breakout sessions facilitate the sharing of tips, frustrations and encouragement.

While parents gain and share valuable insights into raising a family impacted by Type 1 Diabetes, the kids’ agenda is simple: FUN and FRIENDSHIP. Children (ages 0-12) will be paired up with energetic volunteers who are knowledgeable about Type 1 Diabetes. The kids programming and the Warm Beach facilities offer a wide-variety of age-appropriate activities to help kids meet other kids, just like them, who deal with diabetes every day. Teens ages 13 and up are eligible for junior camp counselor and camp counselor positions.

via Family Camp – ConnecT1D.

I filled out the scholarship application that night, but I waited to mention it to Evie, Will, and Luke until I knew if we were going to be able to go. A few days ago I received a phone call from a Camp Director with news that one of their generous donors will be sponsoring us for the weekend. I am absolutely thrilled, and grateful. And the kids’ eyes lit up when I told them all about it.

Let the Countdown To Camp begin….