Post #6: Transforming Diabetes/The Integrated System

  • We have oriented ourselves to the attitude of 100% acceptance and commitment.
  • We have established three goals/objectives/desired outcomes.
  • Adopted an attitude that goals are for planning and results are for pleasure.
  • Brainstormed and flushed out the component parts of the system we are tasked to re-create and monitor.

If you have completed the exercises in the prior post then you have:

  • Established your Insulin dosage requirements.  Basal, Insulin to Carb and ISF
  • Become consciously aware of the number of Carbohydrate and Fat grams you are ingesting and are getting better at knowing what you are eating.

 

  • Explored and investigated how other factors influence your blood sugar and insulin efficiency.  Factors like,  amount of carbs/fat per meal, jogging, yoga, meditation, going to the dentist, driving your car.
  • You are testing your blood sugar at least 10x/day.  You are beginning to understand spikes, peaks and trends.

Are you on track?

Ready to move forward?

If not then STOP.

Go back and review the three goals.   

Where or what is the resistance?  

Identify the resistance and apply what you have learned from this process so far to resolve it.  

Return to this point in the process when you are ready…

Our mission in this step is to put everything together into an integrated system we understand and can work with.  We are already 80% there as a result of the work we have done.  If you are a type 1 diabetic and came into this process with A1C’s above 7.0 you may be experiencing some frustration in some of the blood sugar results you may be getting.  This is normal.  I go high often.  Remember, our goal is not perfection.  Our goal is to average below 150 mg/dl.  This means that you will go above 150 often.  It is the nature of what we are dealing with right now.

Our process kind of looks like this so far:

3. Create Integrated and Optimally Functioning System

2.  Identify and Understand  component parts

1. Establish and commit to Goals/Objectives/Desired Outcomes

(I want to make this a cycle like image)

Yoga is a system with objectives and component parts.  These three “steps” in the process are what I call the lower three or the triple burner.  This is where the “work” and “practice” occurs.  The attitude in which we engage in these three steps will determine the results we experience and quality of feedback we can gleen.  The “seed” level is in step one.  Our attitude here must be one of acceptance, commitment and non attachment.  As we move to step two we begin  to see more clearly.  We add the characteristic of genuine interest and a desire to know and understand.  Moving to step 3 we unleash our creativity.  We are one step away from mastery.

There are many approaches one could take to creating an integrated, optimally functioning system for type 1 diabetes.  It depends on your strengths, your weaknesses, your wants, your expectations.  Whatever the case, the primary relationship in this system is the balancing of two seemingly polar components; Carb/fat intake and Insulin.  When we were diagnosed it is like we are sent to the circus to perform the high wire act.   We are given a five foot balancing stick in our hands.  On either side of the stick we have weights that hang down.  The high wire represents blood sugar level and the weights represent insulin injections on one side and carb/fat grams on the other side.  On the top of our head we need to account for and balance any change in physical exertion or exercise.  We are constantly having to negotiate strong and sudden gusts of wind represented by stress, the common cold, injection or insulin port site issues, quality of insulin, uncertainty in how much we are really eating, etc.  A fall to the right and we experience a low blood sugar episode.  A fall to the left and we experience high blood sugar.  Trending too fast down or too fast up makes for unique and interesting experiences and challenges.

The day we were diagnosed we were sent to the circus to perform.  Some of us never really accept this life circumstance that is suddenly cast upon us.  Instead we choose to deal with the grief, the sadness, the depression, the anger, the denial, the resentment, self-pity, the difficulty.  This is understandable and normal.  Those of us that are in this place are still required to “walk the wire” everyday but we tend to do it with eyes closed or stop when we fall and stay there as long as possible.

A yoga teacher of mine once said to me after I told her I was a type 1 diabetic, “Now that is a yoga pose!”  Confronting, understanding, creating and committing to a systems approach in response to type 1 diabetes is the same as being in Asana (A yoga pose).  Yoga means union.  The practice of yoga seeks to discover a method to experience and maintain union and balance between body, mind and spirit.  Transforming Diabetes takes the exact same approach to the task at hand.

Another yoga teacher once said during class, “falling out of a yoga posture means that you are normal.  Getting right back in means you are a yogi.”  Everyone falls off the wire.  Getting right back up is what leads to mastery.  It is a continual process of trial and error.  I fall off.  But I don’t fall off as often and I am not down as long as I use to be.  And the more I get back into posture the longer I am able to stay in posture.

Moving from the high wire metaphor to the plane analogy represents what happens when you have done the work in the triple burner sections of this process and made the shift in  perspective that Transforming Diabetes seeks to achieve.  You will know when you have made the shift when:

1.)  You want as much feedback as you can get.  You are testing 10X per day.  Perhaps you are using a CGM.  You want to know where you are at.  You understand that this is a challenging task and you have made it your number 1 priority in your life, whatever that takes for you.

2.)  You are confident that you know what your basal rate, Insulin to Carb Ratio and ISF are.  You test them constantly understanding that it is not an exact science but rather an art form.  You can see and feel the subtle influences that can affect blood sugar and insulin efficiency and are becoming more an more capable of making the appropriate corrections and adjustments.  You are on the insulin pump or you are looking into it because it is the best way to deliver insulin.

3.)  You know, with a reasonable degree of certainty, how many carbohydrate and fat grams you are ingesting and you focus on feeding yourself proper food with an attitude that less is better in this area.

4.)  Everyday you exercise.  You want your body (vehicle, plane) to be in optimal shape.  If you are going to be up there you might as well create and enhance your equipment.  You want to fly in the sleekest, fastest, stealthiest and most responsive vehicle you can put yourself in.  Transforming the physical is always good.

5.)  You are experiencing more peace, wellness and harmony.  You have achieved a sense of control over your condition and you feel good about it.  Everything in your life improves because your relationship to yourself has improved.  People close to you are proud of you and less worried about you.  You have reduced your suffering and theirs as well.

This is the system and these are the results.

Exercises:

1.)  Write at least one page beginning with the words…..In order to move from being on the high wire to flying my own plane I need to……………………

2.)  Go to Amazon.com and purchase “The Art of Living, Vipassana Meditation” by William Hart.  I attended a Vipassana Meditation retreat a few years ago.  While I was there my insulin requirement dropped by 45%.  Meditation is the “seed level” for yoga.  Yoga postures were created primarily so the monks and yogis could sit in meditation more comfortably and longer.  Finding one’s center is a critical component to being in balance.  I offer this book as a suggestion and not a requirement.  It has nothing to do with religion or spirituality.  It is a step by step process with the objective of eradicating suffering.  As such, it may serve as a mirror for the Transforming Diabetes process.

Yoga:

We are going to change it up a bit.  Choose a time during the day when you can practice your yoga for 30 minutes.  Try and start when you have little insulin on board.

Child pose to downward dog to forward bend to upright to chair pose to forward been to downward dog to child.  Cycle through 5 times.  Sit – deep breathing- two pranayama holds, sit in meditation for final 5 minutes.  (probably need to demonstrate this on video if you don’t know these)



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