“People with diabetes have an increased risk of…”
“Diabetics are ten times more likely to…”
“Those who take insulin have to pay extra attention to…”
– – –
Want to get me to stop reading something? Include one of those three phrases, and you’ve lost your audience. Even make a subtle suggestion of added risks or statistics or additional chores and I’m gone – faster than a speeding bolus. Turn the page. Close the window. Scroll to the next article. Go for a walk.
All of these phrases do nothing but agitate me. They mostly don’t teach me anything new, they never teach me anything useful, and they certainly don’t get me to change my ways.
Because I’m already taking care of my diabetes.
I do my best.
My best may not be the absolute-best-possible, but it’s the best I can do at any given time, given my state of mind, my willpower, my location, the contents of my pantry, and the contents of my wallet. At that moment. I’m balancing the options presented to me, and making the best decision for me, right then and there.
(In other words, there can be “better than best”, but that involves sacrifices which aren’t very good, so I’m sticking with my own version of “best”.)
Sometimes I resist temptation to make me feel powerful. And sometimes I give in to temptation to make me feel better. Sometimes it’s best to be strong, and sometimes it’s best to feel comfortable.
“My best” varies from day to day, hour to hour. Depending on the circumstance. But whatever my best may turn out to be, I’m doing it.
I don’t need incentives or fear or threats to motivate me.
I’m already doing my best.
A new list of ten potential complications won’t lead me to do any better.
I’m already doing my best.
Warning me of the consequences of high (or low) blood sugar won’t change anything; I’m doing my best.
Telling me that my eyes are more vulnerable doesn’t make me try harder. I’m already doing my best.
Telling me that my teeth may decay faster doesn’t make me choose better. I’m already doing my best.
Telling me that I may die ten years sooner doesn’t motivate me to fight harder. I’m already doing my best.
None of it means anything to me.
None of it.
So please stop it with the morbid statistics and added fears. Just stop.
It doesn’t change what I do every day of my life.
I’m still on the same mission: to keep my blood sugars in control as best I can, while living a life worth living. That makes it less likely for bad things to happen. We don’t need to go into more detail.
Regardless of the reasons, the justifications, the threats, the risks, the statistics. That’s my job.
That’s what I do.
I do my best.
Whatever happens after that is up to fate — it’s out of my hands.
And I have no regrets, because I did my best.
I am guilty of a scary borderline-serious low this evening.
I say borderline-serious because I was still fully aware of what was happening around me, and because I never reached that confusing haze, also known as Telltale Sign Number One.
I say borderline-serious because my CGM was, at one point, showing a 54 mg/dl with double-down arrows.
I say scary because I felt fine – I had no idea I was so low (and going lower, with a full unit of insulin on-board from an earlier high correction). I would not have known if not for my CGM alert, and even then, I thought it was a false reading until my meter confirmed it.
Then the sweat caused my shirt to stick to my back, and my hand to constantly wipe my oversized (thanks, receding hairline) forehead. Then I really believed it.
Though I’ve been doing a really good job of keeping by blood sugars on the lower-but-normal side in the eight weeks or so leading up to Thanksgiving (I’m targeting a monumental A1c improvement), I’ve pretty much fallen off the wagon since Thanksgiving, so much to the point that I’m feeling lows when they aren’t really low, which has led me to trust my feelings more.
Sometimes, trusting one’s feelings is a good thing. When it comes to hypoglycemia awareness, it is not
Over the past few weeks, diabetes has been putting some unusual thoughts in my mind. I have been…
– – –
…feeling justified, when the kinked sensor wire confirmed that I made the right choice in yanking it:
…feeling victorious, when a quick response to a CGM’s “Predicted Low” alert prevented off a subsequent “Low”.
…feeling curious about the story of the person who left the pizza box labeled “Gluten Free” in the office fridge for a week:
…feeling wasteful, after burning 25 glucose tablets over one weekend while attempting to assemble a backyard ice-skating rink:
…feeling addicted, when replacing a CGM sensor in a public restroom was more enticing than going without one.
When I think of an advocate (outside of the diabetes-realm), I think of someone who steps up to bat for the little guy. Not quite a lawyer, not quite a lobbyist. But someone with the know-how, the connections, and (hopefully) the influence to make sure somebody gets that to which he or she is entitled. An advocate is someone who brings the qualities to empower someone else who may feel they are at a disadvantage. Or, maybe, they bring the time and effort to fight the necessary battles on behalf of the person whose time is too consumed with the very thing that necessitates the battle. It’s often a one-on-one sort of thing.
For a student who is unable to climb a flight of stairs, an advocate may pressure a school to install ADA-compliant ramps, as opposed to shuttling the student to a different school in another town that already them.
For a parent who cannot transport their disabled child to doctor’s appointments, an advocate may help solicit donations for a wheelchair-lift-equipped vehicle.
For the victim of a crime, an advocate may help to deal with the logistical difficulties of working through the legal system, obtaining emotional counseling, or finding peer-support.
There are many types of advocates. They are often affiliated with nonprofits, some are volunteers. But generally, they tend to work with the best interests of the individual they are supporting in mind.
In the spirit of the Ten Things I posted last month, I’ve decided to follow the same path and write about a few more other things that are going on in quick, digestible paragraphs. It’s easy to read, and – to be honest – easy to write.
Each could probably merit a post of its own, but I just haven’t got the time to do it, so I present you with the Cliffs Notes.
~~ UN ~~
I’ve mentioned this before — my weight has never really been a problem for me. But now I’m starting to notice a bit of a change. My belt is moving to the next notch. When showering, I feel a bit more roundness, and my site inserters are rocking a bit more when placed on the non-flat surface. And at my last endo appointment, the scale crossed over to the next decade, causing the big weight on the bottom rail to slide over one more notch. That hasn’t happened for as long as I can remember. This must be what happens when you turn 40. I want to reverse this trend before it becomes noticeable – but having never done it before in my life, it’s tough to figure out how. But at least I now feel a bit more “normal”.
~~ DEUX ~~
While at the supermarket on Monday night, I felt a low coming on, so I bought this. (it’s not every day that I get to eat TastyKakes, and at $2.50 it’s a bargain!). It’s now Wednesday evening, and I’ve eaten 5 of the 6 packs. All because of lows. I wonder if this type of behavior is what’s leading to the item above. (Also, I’ve been keeping the box underneath the passenger seat of my car, because I’m ashamed to bring the treat inside of the house — do you think something’s wrong with me?)