Sunday, June 29, 2014

Budgeting Diabetes

I've been struggling lately with keeping my glucose numbers where I like them. I've said before that my goal is non-diabetic numbers. I want my fasting below 100 and two hours after meals under 120. It's hard to control the fasting value, but I can usually control my numbers during the day through diet and exercise.

Is this easy? NO WAY!

Think of a family on a tight budget saving up their cash for a family vacation. Their goal is to have a really nice cash only vacation without the use a credit cards. They know how much they need to save and initiate their plan with perfect timing for their trip. This plan involves the family forgoing fast food and convenient foods which are often felt needed for their busy family. Although they know they can do it, this savings plan does become somewhat stressful. They enjoy going out for burgers and fries now and then. (I guess I shouldn't have started writing this right before dinner. Now I'm hungry!) However they know that to have the money they want for their trip, they need to drive past that drive-thru and make dinner at home.

Ok, this may sound like a lame comparison to many, but for me this hit home. I do like fast food. However to keep my glucose "budget" in line, I need to keep driving. But wait. I have five children who need carbs, so there are lots of carbs waiting for me at home, too. Bread, fruit, chips, juice, french fries, granola bars, tater tots...

However, like the family saving for vacation, priorities need to be re-examined now and then. They may want to go see a movie as a family. Depending on the size of the family, this could be an expensive outing. Do they stick to the budget and forgo this family time or do they lessen their vacation plan expectations in order to allow themselves these things they enjoy? Maybe instead of a trip to Disney World find a less expensive trip in their own state. Although it's not ideal, the time spent together as a family on a regular basis is more important than saving up for that one dream vacation.

Sometimes we need to budget our diabetes. Yes, I can obtain tight control during the day by watching my carb intake and exercising. However there are times I want a burger (with the bun) and fries as a local fast food place. Maybe I want to eat a candy bar (Snickers anyone?). Yes, my ideal is to continue to manage my diabetes with diet and exercise alone. But what if the only way to avoid medication is to avoid those food treats I enjoy or to have a lazy day here and there without exercise? Am I willing to change my "dream vacation" management and consider medication if needed to allow myself to have those "quality time" treats?


I don't know when/if I'll wind up on medication. My ideal is to continue to maintain with diet and exercise. I've come to the determination that if I need medication, whether oral or injectable, in order to live the lifestyle that makes me happy, then I'll do what I need to stay healthy.

Each family's financial budget in personal and unique. In the same way, we all need to decide what our diabetes budget will be.

1 comment:

  1. I already jumped that shark. The meds make control much easier; but diet and exercise is still ultimately important. I don't feel bad that I started meds. I'm just glad that I used diet and exercise as long as I did. It keeps me from feeling like I can just pop this little pill a couple of times a day and everything will be alright.