Monday, August 22, 2011

My writing week: Issue 34, year 4

Hi all,

I have been debating whether to post anything about my latest health concern. People who still read my blog – which is supposed to be about writing - must be getting sick of me telling them about my latest illness. I know I am. But I have previously felt obliged to mention the illnesses because of the effect they had on my writing, especially my motivation.

Another reason for not mentioning this latest illness is the stigma of it being a lifestyle illness that can be avoided getting off your fat lazy bum. For the past twelve years I have swum three kilometres, three times a week. I lift weights three times a week. I have a set of exercises (push-ups, sit-ups and dumbbell exercises) that I do four times a week. I walk everywhere, including to the main shopping area of Wangaratta (a 5km round trip) four times a week. I also spend a lot of time gardening. But I still was diagnosed as a diabetic a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately exercise couldn’t change my genes; diabetes runs through my family.

An initial blood test a year and a half ago showed my blood sugar was up. At the time I was more concerned with my father’s failing health and my cataract surgery. I made a few changes to my diet and hoped the blood sugar would fall, but the pessimist (realist) in me knew I probably had diabetes. I finally got around to a second blood test a couple of weeks ago.

The unfairness of the illness and its implications only hit home last Monday when I endured a diabetes education session at the local hospital. Since then I have had to test my blood sugar four times a day. My mood has changed according to the rises, plateaus and falls of my blood sugar. I have been experiencing a lot of anger: I really reckon ulcerative colitis and asthma were enough to cope with.

The diagnosis does explain why I have been so tired over the past months. My writing motivation has been shot for months. In other aspects of life I have just seemed to be going through the motions. And the pessimist in me continues to whisper: what next?
So I did absolutely no writing last week.

My challenge now is to try rise above my blood sugar count, outrun my dashes to the toilet and inhale some motivation to write.

Graham Clements.

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