Have you ever gotten to a point in your life, where you just sit down and wonder how in the heck you got to where you are in life? Whether it’s wondering how you fell away from your brilliant workout plan, how you cave into those delicious treats in life, or how you got so far off track financially, have you ever just wondered……How did I get here?
I had one of those clarifying moments the week before Christmas. I had an appointment with my new doctor to discuss my labs from the week before, and to make a game plan. You see, I am blessed with four autoimmune diseases, which constantly battle one another inside my body on a daily basis. Some days are better than others, and some, well, let’s just not talk about those. 😉
I had been off my meds for quite some time, not due to any doctor telling me to be, but because I got tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of medicine. Tired of tracking. Tired of watching what I ate, ALL….THE….TIME. I got tired of following workout schedules. I was just TIRED. And I didn’t want to fight anymore. I didn’t want to take my meds anymore. I didn’t want to track my food, my meds, or workouts. To be honest, there was a point in this period of time where my depression was so bad, that I just didn’t want to be here. Because I was just tired.
So on that day of my appointment, with my new doctor that took me nine months to see since arriving here in Georgia, I succumbed. My doctor in Germany for the previous 5 years had talked about many different paths we could take with my illnesses, but I was stubborn. I didn’t want to do any of it, and the way I kept him from moving me in a forward motion with my diseases was by telling him that I have a hard time remembering, or wanting, to take my pills on a regular basis, and that anything outside that spectrum would be just as difficult for me. I didn’t want it. I think a part of me still thought that none of my illnesses would ever catch up to me in a bad way, even though I knew, if nothing else was, they would be the death of me. Literally.
I walked in knowing I had a lot to answer for. And that was okay. The day before the appointment, I said a prayer, and asked for my stubbornness to dissipate so that I could see the end game, the goal, the big plan. I asked for patience, knowing what was ahead, knowing what the doctor was going to say, knowing that things were going to change, that things had to change. After all, it was life at stake. And I have two beautiful reasons to keep trucking on, even on those days where I just don’t want to. So I went in, I answered all the questions honestly, and when the nurse and doctor asked me how long I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I answered, “Twelve years.” “So you should know better,” they said. “Yes,” I replied. “I do know better. I know I should be taking my pills, I know I should be eating better, and I know I should be exercising more. But I’m not, I don’t, and I haven’t. And that’s why I’m here.”
When the doctor first walked in, after a plethora of questions by the nurse, she introduced herself, and then said to me, “So, you’ve been here for nine months. You haven’t seen me. You haven’t refilled your prescriptions. Has anyone ever told you what happens if your diabetes goes uncontrolled? What the side effects are of not taking care of your illness?” “Yes,” I said. “I could use my limbs, eyesight, or die.” The doctor just looked at me, and I could see that she had the did you just hear what you said look on her face. “I know,” I said, “that’s why I’m here.”
After about an hour in the appointment, and learning some new things about my new med plan, it took everything in me to not walk out in tears. But what I did walk out with, was this….
About a quarter of the amount of pills I was taking before, a promise to take my blood sugar at least once a day, and insulin, the beast I was trying to stay away from since I was diagnosed, and finally gave in to on this last visit. You see, my doctor in Germany mentioned that we may have to eventually give insulin a shot, no pun intended. That with the way my disease was progressing, at some point, that will be my only option to keep things under control. So I viewed insulin as a last chance to make it, and I tried everything to keep from that happening. I was earnest in my efforts. I tracked what I ate, watched what I ate, had a steady workout plan, and lost a little weight, but not enough to make a difference in my diabetes numbers, despite all my hard efforts. But because of everything my body was going through, nothing made a significant amount of difference. And when you try so hard for so long, and nothing is working, well, that’s what leads to bouts of depression and wanting to throw in the towel.
I came home that night and knew things had to change. I knew I had fallen off track. I had new meds, a new plan, and made promises. I was scared. I was broken. I felt defeated. And then I looked at our daughter. And my husband held me in his arms and told me we would fight this together, just like we always had. And even though he had to give me my shot those first few days, I knew this time would be different. Because I was reminded that I have a reason to fight. I remembered what all the effort was for. It was so I could spend the rest of my life with the man I love. It was so I could watch our beautiful daughter grow up and begin a life of her own. It was so that I could, someday, hold my own grandchildren. It was because I have so much left to do on this earth, and I wasn’t about to let that go.
That first night, I attempted to give myself my insulin shot. I prepped the pen, cleaned the injection area, and when I went to give myself my shot, I couldn’t hold it back anymore. The tears just started rolling down my face, my hand started shaking so badly, the emotions just poured out of me. I looked up into the mirror, face red from crying, tears streaming down my cheeks, and the saddest look on my face. And all I could ask myself as I sat there trying not to move as my husband gave me my insulin shot was, how did I get here? How did I get to this point in my disease? How did I get to the point of wanting to just give up on life?
The path is not always easy. The effort is sometimes daunting. The lack of positive steps despite your hardest efforts can sometimes take the wind from your sails. But that is when we must not give up. That is when we have to remind ourselves what we are fighting for. That is when we have to rally the hardest. Because if we don’t, we’re done. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to be done yet. And if you feel that you are, contact me. So I can remind you that you have something to fight for. That you have a reason to keep moving forward.