Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Diabetic Teacher

At the end of the day.
Tired but happy!
I've been teaching full-time for a little over a month now. I will say that I love it more each day! I know I'm doing what I was called to do. My students are amazing and my colleagues are helpful and supportive. Honestly I couldn't be happier. At least with my job.

My diabetes management has taken a back burner lately. With my previous job, I was able to plan out when to test. I did reading intervention which meant working with small groups of kids throughout the day. I knew that between certain groups I'd test in the morning and another time between groups is when I'd test after lunch. With my new position, I'm still trying to figure that out.

I'm also needing to figure out a new exercise schedule. I went from a five minute commute to 35 minutes, which cuts into my previous workout schedule. Thankfully I've been able to maintain at my goal weight, but I still need to find the time... umm... make the time... to exercise.

It's definitely a juggling act when trying to live a normal life with diabetes. This isn't normal for most of the population. Most teachers don't have glucose tablets in their desk in case of a possible low while teaching a lesson with energetic children. Most teachers don't have to figure out in their schedule when they can test or get a snack.

It's not easy, but it's totally worth it!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Following a Dream

Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be a teacher. When we'd play school, I was always the teacher. I played with the idea of being a lawyer. (Anyone remember The Paper Chase on Showtime? ) I even thought about being an author at one time. However, I kept coming back to becoming a teacher.

I did major in elementary education and graduated. Hubby and I got married before I had completed my student teaching, which I did shortly after we were married. Our oldest child was born two months later. That's when my career plans took a drastic change. I decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

Well, fast forward 17 years. Our fifth child started kindergarten and I started my time as a substitute teacher. Those years and motherhood helped to build up my confidence. I went from the student teacher who needed to work on classroom management to the substitute that was requested based on being "a strong sub." Last year I was hired as a program assistant (aka teacher's aide or paraprofessional) doing reading intervention and helping with sixth grade choir.

Recently, I interviewed for a second grade teacher position in a neighboring district. A job I wasn't sure about because of the half hour drive through the country. However, getting to know those on the interview committee got me excited about the prospect. I was offered the position which I started this week.

I am following my dream!

My parents sent me flowers and my brother sent me dry erase markers as well as self-inking teacher stamps. Their acts of support and encouragement meant more to me than I can describe here. 

The class is wonderful. A great group of students! The teacher I'm replacing is moving into another position within the school, so we were able to work together to gradually transition the class. The other teachers have been extremely friendly and helpful. The drive has been a great time for reflection and decompression. 

My children are excited for me and proud of their mother. Hubby is extremely supportive. I love my job! That is the dream!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is It Worth It?

I have Type 2 diabetes. I am diet and exercise controlled.

Is it worth it?

This morning I went for a two mile walk.

Is it worth it?

Today, my family had breaded ravioli for lunch. I had a salad, a protein shake, and two raviolis without sauce.

Is it worth it?

While my family had burgers and fries, I had another salad with grilled chicken for dinner.

Is it worth it?

Although I've told my doctor that I have no problem with being on medication or even insulin if needed for my diabetes management, knowing that with healthy eating and exercise I can keep my glucose levels under control (for the most part) makes me happy. When the day comes where I wind up on medication and/or insulin that helps me manage my diabetes, I'll still be happy.

Is it worth it?

I have a husband and five children that depend on me.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 2 Day 2

Wow! I honestly can't believe I'm still doing this! Week 2 Day 2 of getting up at 5 am to work out. Something that was an impulsive thought filled with much self-doubt has turned into a successful routine.

So far. 

The real test starts tomorrow. School starts tomorrow which means getting kids out the door in the morning. Which means I'm back to work.
Image found here.

 My classes start next week which will be another test.

I think the biggest thing that keeps me going is not to think too much. Don't debate in my mind whether I want to do this. Don't complain. Don't feel that I have a choice.

In the words of Yoda,  "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

This is my health. I'm not getting up at 5 am to impress anyone or to win any prize. I'm doing this to be healthy. I'm doing this so I'm around for my husband and children. I'm doing this for me!

If I turn off that 5 am alarm clock and go back to sleep, I can't say, "Well I tried. It's not my fault that 5 am is so early. I'm tiiiiiiiiiiired!"

I chose whether to get up or not. I do or do not. 

I chose DO!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You Inspire Me!

Heading to the treadmill at 5:35 am
Three words. Those three words spoken to me yesterday meant the world to me. "You inspire me!"

I have to admit that I'm getting choked up as I write this. These words were spoken by a woman I respect. She's always dressed sharply and appears to have her world well-organized. To be told by someone like this that I inspire her... well that's very humbling.

She said that she was impressed with my early morning exercise routine that I have recently taken on. School is starting soon. It's hard for me to imagine scheduling exercise in the afternoon/evening with after school activities, grad school, homework, and other family responsibilities.

As a result, I'm getting up at 5 am during the week. Yes, it's still somewhat dark when I leave the house just before 5:30 am. My goal is to be done with my workout by 6:30 am at which time my husband will wake up the kids and start their morning routine. After a shower and getting dressed, I'm home by 7 am to finish our morning routine and head to school at 7:30 am.

School starts next week, so I'm trying to get into this new routine now so it becomes habit. So far so good! Today is Wednesday and I've done this for three days. I've walked on the treadmill 2.25-2.61 miles for 40-50 minutes each day. Yes, it's hard to get up at 5 am. During the summer, I've slept until 7-8 am. During the school year, I typically get up around 6-6:30 am. This morning I told a friend, "I found that if I don't think about whether or not I want to get up and just do it without thought, it's a lot easier."

Being told that I inspire someone makes my sharing feel a lot less like rambling. She told me that she had a membership at the Y, but wasn't using it. She said that if I could do it with all of my commitments, she could do it, too. "You inspire me!" Wow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Loving #dblogcheck

I've loved reading blogs today and checking in with a comment. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to very many due to a hectic schedule today. Maybe we should have a #dblogcheck week?

I'm making this blog post from my phone, so I'm not able to link back to the person who organized this right now. Please search via Google or look on Twitter for the hashtag #dblogcheck.

I plan to read and comment more during the week as I discover some more amazing diabetes blogs!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Exercise and My Type 2

Let me begin by saying I am not a medical professional. The experiences I am about to share are my own and in no way are to be taken as medical advice. Before starting any exercise program, please consult your own personal medical team. Thank you!

Recently I started seriously walking for exercise. My glucose levels, especially fasting, have not been where I want them to be. I have adjusted my carb intake, but I knew I needed to step it up a notch. I live in a walkable community, so I am working on getting myself into a regular walking routine.

As a person with Type 2 diabetes, however, exercise takes planning. Honestly more planning than I'd like, but it is what it is. In order to go for a walk, I need more than a good pair of shoes. However I don't want to bring a big clunky purse with me either.

Here are some of the things I bring with me:

  • cell phone
  • water bottle
  • glucose meter
  • fruit snacks or glucose tablets
  • Road ID
Cell phone: Not only do I have it if I need to contact someone (or if my family needs to contact me), but I also use two apps while I walk. Road ID now has an app that will allow me to notify up to five people automatically that I am going out for a walk. This app will also allow them to track my location in real time on a computer. I can even set up an alert to be sent if I'm in the same spot for five minutes. Another app I use is RunKeeper. This app will help keep track of my stats (distance, time, rate, etc). They also have training programs for fitness, weigh loss, distance, etc. programmed into the app.

Water bottle: Hydration is a good thing whether you have diabetes or not.

Glucose meter: Although I've learned that I need to eat before exercise regardless of my starting glucose (more on that mistake a couple years ago in another post), I still have the possibility of going low. I rarely go anywhere without a meter!

Fruit snacks: Honestly I can't stand them, but it's an easy way to carry some quick carbs if I need them.

Glucose tablets: I just recently go some glucose tabs from GlucoLift. I like that they're easy to chew (some are too hard to start with) and aren't gritty tasting. 

Road ID: Normally I wear a very basic medical bracelet that I got from the pharmacy counter. All it says on it is "diabetic". However when I'm out walking, I like to wear something with more information. My Road ID has my name, birth year, town and state, husband's number, home number, and Type 2 diabetes engraved. It's a great way to share that information if something happens and help is needed.

If I'm wearing shorts or pants with good pockets, I'll use them. Otherwise I use a fanny pack (yes, they still make them) or a cinch bag to carry what I need.

On that note, it's time for me to get out and do this morning's walk before things get too busy. I admit it's going to be a challenge once school starts again, but I'm up for it.

What things do you find you need to keep with you while you're exercising?