Welcome to all of my Moms who have T1D kiddos,
Today’s question is: Do you allow diabetes to put a limit on the goals you set?
Setting and achieving goals is an essential part of feeling accomplished. Having a child with diabetes changes the thought pattern of achieving goals, but it can also enhance the journey, if you let it.
I’ve always believed that diabetes allows us to set goals and achieve them with more conviction, with more power, and with more determination.
Last week my T1D son and I ventured to climb the highest mountain in NY, Mt. Marcy. It’s a mere 5,344’ which sounds doable, right? Well it’s a day that predicted -31 degrees at the summit with 40 mph winds, 7’ snow drifts and a 15+ mile hike.
Challenging to all, but the challenges increase with diabetes as your companion.
The question was, “How were we going to let diabetes influence our day?” We knew that diabetes was a major player – it always is when climbing – but we knew that meticulous planning would be the essential. Also that our mindset about anticipating the challenges was key.
Knowing we were going to have an adventure of a lifetime and memories to share forever was important. Our decisions had to be based on not reaching the summit but staying safe and proceeding forward with total awareness.
We broke trail beginning at 5:30 am and hiked with a great pace until tree line. The only issue we were having was that our water was freezing up. His CGM was working, we had heat packs on blood sugar machines, glucagon, and Gatorades.
We assessed our assent to the summit and started the last hour push. It was brutal.
It was nearly impossible to hear each other talk with the wind and blowing snow. I ran through a list of things I needed to keep track of – the time, the weather, our trail back down, etc. We reached the summit and he turned his back toward a rock formation.
Immediately he turned back around and all I could make out was, “Double arrows down. We have to leave.”
I understood that we needed to move but checked to see that he was taking in carbs. He took in three Gu (they had froze) and a Gatorade. We were both cold – it was -30 and our visibility had diminished.
He took the lead and we carefully followed our tracks back down to the tree line. We were still seven miles from nowhere. I ran through the “what ifs…” I did panic, for about one minute, and that included judging myself for venturing in the first place.
I then let the panic, the judgement, and the blame GO! They are never helpful!
I knew it was a choice to let them go, a mindset. I knew I could figure out how to get safely down the mountain. Panic, judgement and blame had no place to settle. They moved on and we moved forward. Three hours later we found ourselves at the car…it had been an eight hour trek. We were exhausted but had a sense of satisfaction.
We did accomplish our goal. We do have memories we will forever talk about and treasure. We did have an adventure that will live on and we will, for sure, continue to manage diabetes with planning and a clear mind.
Most importantly, I learned that all of the work I’ve done on controlling how diabetes affects my thoughts, might just have saved our lives. I focused without drama, without any negative thoughts! In the past the self-talk, the self-judgment, and the guilt over not being enough or planning enough had always tended to creep in but not that day on the mountain.
As I write this I am grateful for diabetes and the opportunity it gives us to overcome obstacles. Thankful that it allowed us to develop a resilience, persistence, and commitment to give 100% and knowing that’s always enough. Our best is always good enough.
I am incredible proud of my T1D who conquers every day without fear. Who has the ability to go out into the world (with diabetes) and conquer everything and anything he wants!
I listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms and Moira McCarthy and they mentioned allowing our T1D children to do things they want to do without worry and not to put the “seeds of fear” in them. Fear distracts us from goals. Use diabetes as an opportunity to empower yourself to turn on your mom power full throttle!
Let everyone be struck by your resolve to not let diabetes define you or your family!
Let me help show you what you are capable of…Join me in a FREE 30 minute Exploration Coaching Session! It’s confidential one-on-one coaching. Click here to schedule a free session by going to Book Now.