Rafed English

Coping with the ups and downs of managing diabetes

How does one, day in and day out, cope and continue to cope with a chronic disease such as diabetes? Is there ever a halcyon time? "Halcyon" comes from a bird identified with the kingfisher, and in an ancient legend it nested at sea during winter solstice and just by its very presence calmed the waves during incubation. Does it seem that there are periods when managing your diabetes is easier than usual, and other times it seems like no matter what you do the blood sugars are out of control?

I see in my practice some people who never find a halcyon period in coping with their diabetes. We all know that everyone has different coping skills, and I've seen individuals with diabetes who have great coping skills. To them, diabetes is little more than an inconvenience.

What are good coping skills and how do we develop them? Try these tips:

  • Avoid negative thinking — "It doesn't matter what I do, I'll get diabetes complications anyway (not true)."
  • Self talk — It's OK to talk to yourself, you'll feel better.
  • Play music — I play the drums and there are times they really vibrate.
  • Do something — Walk, dance, clean the house, wash the car.
  • Call someone — Friends are good.
  • Pray — Someone who always listens.
  • Ride it out — Experience the wave of emotion and let it go.
  • Take a bath and add candlelight
  • Help someone else — Take the focus off yourself (poor you).
  • Write a blog — Sometimes this can be a helpful coping skill.

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