Help Needed with Baby Steps

So how about some detailed instructions or a road map to show me how to get there from here? There being decent control, enough to give me some freedom at least, and here being, the pit of denial I am treading water in. I hear, what you wonderful OC peeps are saying about baby steps, but how? When I think of baby steps I get caught up in just how many baby steps it will take to get there. Which one do I start with? What do I do when I stumble and fall taking those first steps? How do I get back up again?

Please don’t think I am looking for an easy answer. I also realize that I will have to create my own mix of ways to do this. It’s just that I have tired, time and time again to make a fresh start, to take those first steps and I always seem to fail; never seem to make it very far. In my mind, I am perpeptually the kid with the skinned knees, scabs & scars from all failed attempts. I have no shame in admitting that I need help and lots of it.

What should be my first goal or step? When the emotional part of me is screaming “NO,” how do I trick my mind into thinking like a diabetic?

PS – Thanks for all the advice thus far & the support I know I will continue to get from the OC :)


Confession and Revelation

Some days

Some days I am disgusted with myself. I work for an organization that is all about diabetes. The mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. I am surrounded by the statistics the risk factors, I process donations made in memory of someone’s loved one who has died from complications associated to diabetes on a daily basis and I put together educational packets on diabetes. Both information on my disease and support too is right in front of me, yet….

Yet I still work very hard at ignoring my own diabetes. What the hell is the matter with me? Am I really that cocky that I think I can be the one to beat the odds? Am I just that lazy? What is my mental block? Days like today, I just think I am an idiot. I should ‘just do it’, just get over it. But for some messed up reason I can’t. I will sit there for hours with the nagging though that I should do a blood sugar, maybe bolus for that coffee and muffin (mind you, it’s a healthy muffin I made from a diabetes cookbook) I ate and the sickly sweet, sluggish feeling of a high coming over and yet I don’t. Instead, I have another cup of coffee, take some ibuprofen and get on with work.

Days like today, I am so fed up with being me. See, most days, as of late are like this in the aspect that I have done, maybe, a blood sugar a day, and bolused only after a meal and by guessing how much to give. To some this may scream ‘crisis’ but to me this is pretty much status quo.

Being this honest is hard; I’m not sure I will even post this. It’s not like I have hidden that I am not exactly a good diabetic, but I’m not sure I want to be this honest…with myself or with anyone else.

Later that same day…

The topic of fasting blood sugars came up with my co-worker who has gestational diabetes and she was shocked to hear that I almost never do a blood sugar (fasting or not) in the morning. I went on to tell her that in the past few weeks I have done hardly any blood sugars at all. She replied that she had seen me do some and admitted that those were probably the only ones I was doing. She says, “So you just don’t do blood sugars? Why?” I confessed that I didn’t really know why, that I would think about doing one then, just not do it…for hours. I told her about my theory of a mental block or a piece missing. I was able to just be totally honest with E and talk about how I simply don’t comply. I think I was ready to come clean.

Sheepishly I admitted that I had really been digging the Dixie Chicks song “Not Ready to Make Nice” lately. This is not my typical type of music but the lines:
"I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should"
These words have just really resonated with me lately and I have been playing the song over & over, singing at the top of my lungs inthe car. E told me I was in denial and I agreed, but countered with how can I have been in denial for nearly my whole adult life? Then she asked me a very pointed question: “Do you feel like that by not complying you are fighting diabetes and to comply would mean you were giving in?” I paused and told her that I know what I should say, but she wanted to know how I really felt. How I really feel (even though the logical part of me knows it’s crap and that by gaining control of my disease, I would really be setting myself free and fighting it), is that deep down I do believe that by being the good little diabetic I should be I am admitting defeat.

This is all still sinking in a day later but thanks to a wonderfully insightful co-worker, no, friend I think I am one step closer to understanding my twisted relationship I have with my diabetes.




perspective noun a way of regarding situations or topics etc.; 2. the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer

Perspective is a funny thing. You see things one way, I see them in another. There is no right or wrong perspective necessarily, just different ones. A couple of things a newer friend (who I see daily since I also work with her) said to me got me thinking about my own perspective on things.

“Melissa you are too hard on yourself”

I smirk and say “Yeah, I’ve heard that one before…”

It makes me feel good to hear this yet I still don’t believe it. In my mind, if I really were that hard on myself I would be better in the many areas that I am lacking in. I would be a good diabetic, I wouldn’t be fat, I would exercise, I would eat better, I would have finished school etc. I would be me, just without all the big flaws, mostly the ones that seem to relate to diabetes and that at times seem to cripple me.

“Melissa, I never knew you felt this way, you don’t really talk about it,” this after she saw that I had a whole blog about diabetes and had read some of my posts. Her surprise was an eye opener to me because I see myself as a person with a flashing neon sign on my forehead blinking: I have diabetes; I’m a mess. I mean, shit, this disease kicks my ass on a daily basis, so it is hard for me to imagine that someone who is around me all day does not see it.

When I broke down a few weeks ago and sobbed to my boss about how overwhelmed I was by the disease and how I was not in good control she said that she never knew; that I seemed so in control of it. Ha!

My perspective on my disease is very different from what those around me see. It is not nagging at their thoughts 24 hours a day. There is not the ever-present reminder of the disease in the pump attached to them all the time or the beeping of said pump at the most inopportune times. Yes, there view is quite different from my own but I’m hoping that with some more sharing on my part that they will gain more insight into the day-to-day protocol of this disease and that I will be able to see myself as so much more than my disease.


Shift, Game On, Crash, Broken Record


The holidays brought with them chaos, stress, tons of food and libations all around. In my world if felt like school, with its final exams and ten-page-papers due, were completed only minutes before Christmas. Diabetes care was an afterthought at best, but the guilt of noncompliance weighed heavily on my subconscious. There was simply too much going on, to much life to experience. I was not going to worry about this disease right then; I would do what I wanted, when I wanted.

Fast forward a few weeks. I was tired of feeling beaten down by this disease so I began a half-hearted effort at control. Two bad diabetes days in a row & I broke down. Day 1 highlights were a low in the middle of the night, then a rebound high accompanied by a viscous headache that Advil could not conquer, only 3 hours spent at work topped off by a blood sugar in the 500’s. I berated myself and promised that tomorrow I would do better. Day 2’s highlight was not having any insulin with me to fill my empty pump reservoir, ensuing in a nice long drive from and to work in which I got super-angry and frustrated at myself and diabetes too.

My little world was on a crash course to disaster and I needed to fix it NOW. I felt a shift in my thinking, really my whole state of mind. I turned my anger action. I even had a ‘talk’ (more like a collapse) with my boss about the trouble I was having dealing with my disease and I my concern that it was affecting my work and that I was on top of it. My boss was amazingly supportive and had no concerns about my performance. I was a guilty/lucky girl. Since said boss is wise in the ways of diabetes I opened myself up to some accountability on my part but I was ready for the challenge.

Game On.

First & foremost I needed to be able to see what the blood sugars I was doing looked like. Logging is not my forte and I don’t remember the last time I actually did it. I got the super-cool Excel logbook from Kevin and began. (Thank you Kevin!) I told myself that not matter what the numbers were I needed to log them. The first few days were brilliant: lots of tests and surprisingly decent blood sugars. The weekend was an a bit of an eye-opener in that I did not do as many tests as I thought, but that was okay, I could do more. I saw my therapist that Monday, and she was impressed with my efforts. I expressed to her my fear that it wouldn’t last and that I would be back to my old lazy ways soon. She gave me a pep talk about doing it for only me.

The next week I continued plugging in my numbers & watching the graphs, but slowly the novelty of the game of trying to watch the numbers and keep them in range was wearing off some but I was still in the game. I made an appt. with my Endo. for May and gotten blood work done. My A1C was better than I had expected, at 9.8. Not very good I know, but I was anticipating much worse. This was a workable number to bring down my May when I would get another done.

All in all, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. This time felt different. This time I would make some real, lasting changes.


The following week all my bets where off since I caught an awful cold that left me in bed for days. Later that same week, my husband’s grandfather died, the dog was sick, there arrangements to be made, wakes to attend, the dog to get to the vet, burying Grandpa, in the morning and then our dog in the afternoon and true to form I paid not attention to my disease.

The cold has turned into a sinus infection, I feel like crap and my blood sugars (the few I actually do) are crap and I’m back to my usual ways.

Broken Record

So I feel like a broken record, stuck in this endless cycle. This endless cycle of getting fed up with feeling like crap because I barely take care of my diabetes, vowing to do something about it, taking action, which invariably lasts only a short time, feeling like crap again, feeling guilty for all of this and then we are back to being fed up.

I find it really hard to blog about because who wants to hear about it all the time? I don’t feel as if I have the right to complain about a disease that (for the most part) I do the bare minimum to control. You get what you give, and I am giving little. Sometimes the desire to feel good, makes the finger sticks, the site changes, the logging and paying attention to it all seem possible. But more often than not it seems like I am just not able to deal with it on top of life itself. I am baffled by those of you who get frustrated about not blousing correctly for a meal or drink when I can’t manage to make myself even bolus for a meal? What piece am I missing? Am I just some crazy hypochondriac freak who makes herself sick (by not testing, blousing etc.) so she can be lazy and not accomplish more? I keep hoping for one of those “Eureka” moments during therapy where I am given the reason for my behavior but it hasn’t happened yet.