Diabetes · Writing

Balancing Competing Demands

I didn’t actually want the following picture of scales here, it was supposed to be my featured image. However, I’m posting this on my iPod Touch, and it won’t let me delete it, so I really hope you love it in spite of its forced feature at this point.

And now, I’m not even sure it’s still displaying. If you can see scales below this, enjoy. If not, pretend you didn’t read this and the preceding paragraph. Deny their existence. Visit angry words upon those who acknowledge them. Now, on with the actual post!

NaNoWriMo’s been over for almost a week already. I’ll leave you to come up with analogies for the rapid passage of time.

Writing wise, November was a success for me. I won NaNoWriMo ahead of time, and I have a completed first draft of my novel, Generic Fantasy. I’ve already got a couple of people beta reading it for me, and come January, I’ll be jumping into editing mode.

But here’s the thing.

Writing is, at this point, a hobby for me. I do not have any work to sell, or a publishing contract on the horizon. Therefore, I have to keep the other parts of my life fed and watered.

I’m pleased to say that my music (which is what I get paid for) did not suffer during November. I kept up my practice regime, I learned new music to accompany six singing exams. I kept my repertoire for the four choirs I accompany up to scratch.

My love of video games took a big hit, which I have no problem with. I barely touched my Xbox during November, except when watching Netflix with my wife. I still spent time with my wife, although she did agree to lose me to typing occasionally.

So that’s all well and good, but I did make sacrifices to get the words out. Not all of them were smart.

First off, my sleep. I got a second hand Fitbit recently using store credit I had accumulated. In the first half of November, I was averaging 5 hours sleep according to it. I was stressed and exhausted for a lot of November.

However, I neglected an even more important aspect of my life.

My Diabetes.

I’m a type 1 diabetic, and I want to be here for the long haul. Truthfully, my control during November was not in keeping with that goal. I stopped keeping my diary of my blood sugars as rigorously as I should. Instead of measuring food precisely, I took guesses at nutritional values.

My control is much better than most type 1s, because I follow a low carbohydrate diet. No bread, fruit, rice, potatoes etc. However, my blood sugars can still go higher than they should if I don’t measure things, and I started getting more unacceptable blood sugars during November.

Diabetes needs to be my number one priority at all times. Thanks to my rebellious teenage years, I have scars on my retinas. My sight is unaffected at the moment. But I am in a lifelong fight to maintain my sight. My kidney function. My feet. That’s the start of a very long list of things that I could damage, break completely and/or have amputated.

It’s my hope that one day I’ll get to be published. I’ve achieved things with my music that I’m immensely proud of, and I hope to achieve a lot more. I have the most amazing wife. If I want to enjoy all of that to the full, I need to make my Diabetes the priority at all times.

That last part probably sounds a lot bleaker than I intended. But that’s the important thing. You don’t get to hide from diabetes in the long run. If you look it in the face, your health comes out on top. I’ve decided I won’t be the man dying in his forties or fifties, looking back and screaming that he should have done things differently.

I want to move back into positive sounding stuff. So, right now I’m in a warm cafe with a Diet Coke, and I’m feeling positive about life. I just need to note down my priorities every now and then, so I remember what I have to balance. Hopefully next time I do large amounts of writing, I can tick all the boxes.

Thanks for reading, and I hope your November treated you well :).


2 thoughts on “Balancing Competing Demands

  1. A) I’m so impressed that you were able to balance so many commitments and were able to sacrifice what was necessary in order to achieve the goals you set. You’re damn impressive. B) Generic Fantasy is a wonderful title. Goodness me. C) I’m also so impressed that you were able to be so aware and so honest about neglecting your Diabetes there for a bit. My brother is also Type 1 and I am trying *so hard* to get him to avoid the whole rebellious teenage years when it comes to that, but so far, not too much success. But your journey to conscientious and better health gives me hope for him and kuddos for you! Way to put yourself first and get back on track. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

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