Keeping my ADHD kid healthy, happy, and calm consumes so much brain- and body-power that I've neglected my own diet and exercise. Today's glucose reading was a grim reminder that Mom's health matters, too.
by Kay Marner
Parenting a child with special needs adds extra balls to juggle — occupational therapy appointments and at-home assignments, med-checks with the pediatrician, trips to the pharmacy, appointments with service providers… on top of high-alert, high-stress, high-energy parenting.
The biggest ball I’ve let drop for the last few months is taking care of my own physical health. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes (I’m old, fat, and lazy). When I was first diagnosed, I became a poster child for changing my life. My doctor actually called me that — her poster child — and asked if she could use me as an example for her other patients. I ate right — whole grains, no simple sugars, 6 small meals a day with a perfect balance of protein and carbs, lots of veggies. I exercised. I lost 15 pounds. My blood glucose readings were excellent.
Over time, I’ve dropped the ball -- let my good habits lapse. Gained back the weight. Stopped exercising. And made sneaking sugary foods into an art form. Hey, I have an excuse, right? All those balls I have to juggle? The stress of raising an ADHD child?
My New Year’s resolution is to get the diabetes-self-care ball back into the air. On New Year’s day I took out my glucose meter and dusted it off. Stuck in a test strip, and… nothing. The batteries were dead. To the drug store for batteries, and try again. This time, the meter worked. It showed that I last checked my blood glucose on Halloween. Fittingly, today’s result was scary. 308 — the highest reading I’ve ever had.
Time to see my own doctor, not only keep up with Nat’s medical and therapy appointments. Time to focus on my eating habits, not just try to get Nat to eat more when her meds suppress her appetite. I have to exercise off the carbs I eat, not just get Nat to burn of her excess energy.
I simply must juggle my diabetes-self-care ball back into the air.
What other balls will I drop to make this happen?