My name is Lorraine and I am an extreme caretaker to the detriment of myself. I’m ready to put on the oxygen mask because it’s clear no one is going to do it for me. I tend to redirect my frustration at my husband, and I now realize that I’m going to have to take full responsibility for the predicament I find myself in.
It’s not a matter of “IF” it will happen Lorraine, it is a matter of “WHEN.” Those were the words my doctor spoke to me seven years ago regarding my predisposition for diabetes. During the birth of my third child I had gestational diabetes and was diagnosed pre diabetic for one year after Max’s birth. I have diabetes on both sides of my family. For three years after those diagnoses my blood work was normal, I was as healthy as could be. I refused to take medication and lost 17 pounds through exercising five times a week and cutting down carbs to a severe minimum. My doctor told me I had no choice, I was a person who needed to exercise five time a week to stay on track. I was never so healthy and happy. My doctor was thrilled and jokingly said “can you speak with the rest of my patients so they can handle this in the right way as well?”
Then for some reason I put down my oxygen mask and misplaced it. I pretended I was normal like some of my other friends. By normal I mean that I could slip up, I could drink more than one glass of vino, have the poison sugars, breads and pastas that my body can’t handle. I so badly wanted to be normal. I have aged and have added not only the weight but additional challenges to my health as a result of my simple “phase’ of life. I haven’t been back to the doctor in years. I’ve been hiding the fact that I’ve felt sick, weak, tired, jittery and depressed. It has now reached a critical point.
My turning point happened in the last three weeks. I visited my 90-year-old grandmother who literally bent down in a squat position to pick up a piece of dirt off of her floor when I entered the room. After picking up that piece of lint she bounced back up as if she was twenty. I have an Italian grandmother, there are no filters in my family. She looked at me and said “YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT I HAVE LOTS OF ARTICLES ON DIABETES FOR YOU!”
The second turning point was putting myself on the scale for the first time in six months. Enough about that.
The third turning point was the flu. The flu attacked me with a vengeance and I was literally bedridden for over a week. I am still recovering and have never felt so blah.
Today I found my oxygen mask and put it on. There are some mental and physical challenges ahead of me. I have to find the strength to care “more” about myself than I usually do. I have to admit to my friends that I can’t have that piece of cake, and it is not OK for me to have the rice. I’m not doing this to make them feel guilty about weight loss, I’m doing this to save myself. It is difficult for someone like me to put that mask on first. I am a caretaker to the extreme. I care and love my children desperately, adore my extended family, sacrifice for my husband and friends and then I have nothing left. I have now reached my bottom.
So today I woke up at 4am. Before you get any ideas I did NOT get up to exercise. I stayed in bed reflecting on how I felt and realized that today was the day. I put on the oxygen mask, I took a 3.5 mile walk and I made my healthy breakfast. I then proceeded to make my doctor appointments. Time to face the music.
Day 1. I choose me. There are many others who don’t have my choice. For those that do have a choice, It is not too late. If you have felt down, unhealthy and blah…..put on the oxygen mask. It’s time.