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.


Ottoette said...

I have written nearly the same things about my efforts to lose weight/eat right. I am not much better but I am finding some help in the fake it til you make it approach. My therapist tells me there is no burning bush, no epiphany that will make me start working out but if I JUST DO IT every day for a while it will eventually feel normal and even good and necessary.
Can you get yourself to fake caring about your blood sugars? Maybe give yourself a break on how many tests a day - like shoot for half what your endo would like to see so you don't get burned out. Vow to bolus for at least dinner every single day. See if in 2 weeks you feel a little better physically and if that has helped your motivation?
I am no expert, just some thoughts that might help, I hope.

LindsayS said...

What you went through these past few weeks some people don't go through in a lifetime. You are one of the most caring and passionate people I know and dealing with the loss of Rich's grandfather and Angel, I believe made you switch you energies in making sure Rich and every one else around was okay. Even 6 weeks after my father passed I keep thinking that g-d only gives us as much as we handle and you can handle life..especially this disease that you are so knowledgable about! We are all hear to support you and keep you healthy!

Scott K. Johnson said...

You know, that "crash" week was pretty crazy (my condolences on your loss).

I find that it is a game of momentum. Picture it like a big snowball on a huge hill.

When it's rolling down the "bad" side, it is slowly getting bigger and bigger, and harder to stop and push up the other way. Sometimes it feels like you are even in danger of being flattened by it.

But on the other hand, once you get it moving up hill, and eventually to the top and back down the other way, it will keep going with more and more gusto down the "good" side.

Don't let the crash keep you down. Take your time, rest, recover, cope. Then pick up and get moving again. You can do this.

The momentum will shift, but it feels like a lot of work to turn it around. Don't let that work scare you off. You're bigger and stronger than that.

You can do this.

Minnesota Nice said...

Been there, done it, more than I can say. And, I'm not even brave enough to have an AlC done - I keep moving my appt further out. Right now my dawn phenomenon is very strong and when I wake up at 230, after being at 110 at 1 a.m., I am tempted to use it as an excuse to blow the entire day. But, it's just a portion of time when things are in chaos and I don't need to compound it by disordered eating.........sigh.....hope better days lie ahead for you.