"The feeling of health is there, the optimisim and hope are there. There's a real sense of personal connection and caring." NY Times, 12/15/05
I've been thinking about chronic illness and the fear that you live with along with all the rest of the stuff it brings to your life. The everyday stuff, like exercise, carries with it, a piece of fear and uneasiness. I want to do things well which is part of my character. But after 20 years of living with diabetes, I also want to avoid unnecessary struggle or mistakes with ramification, if at all possible. So I spend a fair amount of mental energy, walking through scenarios in the effort of trying to avoid undue difficulties. I try it with travel, with exercise, with food. If I do x, what will happen? If I try y, will I be paying for it tonight? It's a strategy. A mental exercise. It makes sense, but it also drives me crazy, because there is only so much planning you can do. At some point you just have to try and see what happens. You have to give it time to work through. You have to accept some discomfort sometimes in the pursuit of a better life.
Like with exercise. I want to do more exercise (beyond my everyday walking exercise) because it feels good and it makes me feel stronger which also feels good, because sometimes having diabetes makes me feel weak. Physically, I mean. So I want to do more exercise, but changing my routine always has ramifications on my blood sugar control. Yeah, yeah. What I'd love would be able to attend a yoga class with other people who have diabetes, with an instructor who understands the disease, in a class tailored to the needs of a diabetic, at a pace that makes sense. That would be dreamy. Minimal initial impact, strengthening, flexibility and positive relaxation, all in a safe, diabetes oriented environment...And then I found this article in the NY Times the other day called Chronically Ill Patients Turn to Yoga for Relief, and it was so confirming. "Because students exercise alongside others with their same medical problem, the classes also provide emotional support." Another quote that sums up the appeal of a possible class focused on diabetes: "Advocates of yoga therapy agree that it does not cure or treat disease. But they say it helps patients better tolerate their symptons and lessens the anxiety that an illness creates." Lessons the anxiety that illness creates. That's the goal. The idea of getting stronger, in a safe and supportive environment, while lessoning the anxiety chronic illness creates. I am going to see what I can do about arranging such a thing whether it's yoga or some other kind of workout class. It's another little adventure!
The artwork featured is echo, wow and flutter by Fred Tomaselli.