I started this post back in May and never finished it. Not sure why but, after rereading it I felt like it needed to be finished and posted.
Many times I have been asked by very caring people “How is your diabetes?” or “Is it is still really bad?” This is honestly one of the hardest questions to answer. I typically smile and say “Thank you for asking, it’s been pretty good lately.” and then I try to rapidly change the subject.
These people mean well, they really do and because of their good intentions I spare them the longer, more honest answer.
Today however I feel the need to share the real answer to these questions by sharing how the answer to this question can change in one day or even one finger poke.
Curious how my life with Type 1 Diabetes began? Take a peek at this link about the day it started “We Think You Have Diabetes”: What That Really Meant and please don’t forget to share this post using the social buttons on the left.
(Written in May 2019)
Not so Good: Last week my cold turned into a sinus infection which made my blood sugars harder to predict and control. I felt horrible so I couldn’t workout so that also made my blood sugars harder to control. Finally, I needed an antibiotic which typically raises my blood sugars.
Good: I finally found an antibiotic that didn’t raise my sugars. So I guess you could say that this was a good discovery.
Good: I got back to working out and I had a great workout. Went to see a movie with the kids afterward and my sugars stayed in control the whole time.
Not so Good: This was then followed by a rapid low from running to the store and unpacking groceries.
Good: This past weekend started out really great with an 8 mile run completed without a low (this did however include an unexpected bone soaking downpour). That run felt so empowering despite being a very wet.
Not So Good: Started spring yard clean up. Over winter I always forget the sugar dropping power of gardening. I swear it has something to do with the bending over…or maybe it’s the worms plotting to make me go back in the house. Regardless, my sugars tank in a matter of 30 minutes no matter what wonderful meal I just consumed. Combine this yard work with the first sunny, hot day and I was operating on a steady stream of apple juice and granola bars.
Not So Good: I made it to Culver’s for dinner riding a steady low as I waited for our food to come. Thanks to this steady low I didn’t bolus right away. I have yet to discover the best way to handle this situation as my steady low quickly turned into a rapid rise as the cheese curds and custard hit my system. The battle against this high lasted until bedtime as the high fat of the meal slowed my metabolism and caused a delayed blood sugar rise.
Diabetes has taught me more about the biology experiment that is the human body than I ever really wanted to know.
Not So Good: Woke up at 176, not exactly how I wanted to start my day. I had a hunch that trouble was a brewing and that this was likely going to be a pattern for next day or two.
Good: Waking up with a higher blood sugar allows me to go for a morning run without eating anything.
And then we come to the hot mess of Tuesday. It is fairly safe to file the entire day in the Not So Good category.
After waking up five times in the middle of the night to my high blood sugar alarm the morning came all too quickly.
I went to the gym and despite my workout my sugars seemed to have settled over 200 and didn’t feel like coming down. No matter how much insulin I threw at my body or how much I moved around the numbers would not budge.
Lunchtime came and I was hungry but my blood sugars still had not come below 200. To eat or not to eat, that is the hungry diabetic’s question. Blood sugars you’re going to have to get your act together because mama’s hungry and I’m tired of waiting around for you.
Lunch was as low carb as I could manage and was followed up by a long walk. Finally, at long last I was starting to see a very welcomed down arrow on my pump indicating that my blood sugars were beginning to decrease.
What may I ask was that all about? Was it really necessary to consume all of my time and energy today? I didn’t do anything different today than I do any other day. I didn’t binge on a huge piece of chocolate cake that would have at least made some of this craziness worth it. This is just one of the standard features of this disease.
As I reread this post I remember the week that I was originally writing about. Things improved after that week and I settled back into a routine for a bit until the next unexplained day. This was followed by a few weeks of something resembling normal, only to find myself in the midst of another blood sugar swing a few weeks later. Anyone sensing a pattern here?
Overall, my diabetes has been behaving itself quite well from May when I started this post to now as I finish writing. Having said that, the definition of well cannot be defined by one particular day but rather by looking at my overall health and well-being.
Do I still think about my diabetes every single moment of the day? Yes, but it is not as all consuming as it once was.
Do I still have high blood sugar days that seem to come on with no reason? Yes, but I am slowly learning to trust that these days will pass and things will even out once again.
Do I still have the occasional activity that I need to sit out or delay because my blood sugars are too low? Yes, but again I am learning to grant myself grace and have patience knowing that in time I will be able to get back to what I want to do.
And most importantly…Do I still allow myself to take a minute every day to realize how strong this disease has made me and all of us living this life? Yes, yes and yes again.
The Routine Absence of Consistency
Thanks to the need to care for my diabetes every single minute of every single day, it is easy to forget just how much it takes to make it through each day. It can feel commonplace and routine when truly it is just the opposite.
One of the most frustrating things about this disease is that there is no routine. Everything you do effects your diabetes. Getting sick, exercise, eating, stress, temperature, age of your medicine, location of your injection site, and then there’s the days when you can think of no plausible reason for things to go haywire. For that reason, I will allow myself to realize, at least once a day, that I am part superhero because I can still do the things I love and need to do from sun up to sun down.
So how is my diabetes? I am not sure I will ever know exactly how to answer that question but I do know this, I am content and I am confident. I am strong enough to rise above the fear that this disease brings and I am humbled by people living with struggles much larger than mine. I am grateful for the friends and family who support me and are ready to step in if every I need help. Most of all I am who I want to be regardless of my condition.
Thank you as always for reading and for your support. Please continue to share this blog using the social buttons on the screen and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Thanks!!!
Want to read more? Check out Maisy’s Lemon Broccoli Pasta for a quick summer meal!