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Shifting.

June 30, 2008

I have been managing diabetes for more than fourteen years. Over time, I’ve learned that taking care of diabetes isn’t usually that hard – the actual act of finger pricks and pressing buttons isn’t a challenge – but juggling of numbers is just excruciatingly frustrating. Numbers are not my friends. I haven’t taken math since my junior year in high school and even then my grades were less than stellar. The fact I have diabetes, which requires a life of numbers, is a cruel joke. My saving grace is the bolus wizard calculator in my insulin pump.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, I don’t enjoy making modifications to my insulin pump. I suffer through days of ridiculous blood sugars and obvious patterns before finally giving in. I don’t know why it takes such effort to make these changes. But once I do, once I raise or lower my basal or bolus ratio a notch, suddenly, everything falls back into place and it’s like I’m a whole new diabetic.

Lately, my life seems to come in sweeping changes. First, new school, new classes and new friends. Then, when that was a done, I did a completely 180-degree turn and went to the other side of the country and into a profession I had absolutely no intention of pursuing. With that came a new city, a new apartment, more new friends and new doctors. Now I’m about to make another huge change by moving into an apartment with a girl I’ve known for two weeks.

Big changes have obviously had a huge impact on my life, both physically and emotionally. I’ve noticed that with diabetes, even small changes can have a huge impact. Whether it’s a half a unit more of basal, a half an hour of exercise, or a few less carbohydrates a day, the results show almost immediately in my blood sugar readings. Suddenly the anxiety from my blood sugar readings dissipates and I’m more relaxed throughout the day. Although the changes need to happen more often than I wish, the positive – or in some cases negative – results are encouraging.

So why is it, despite my obvious willingness to take such risks in uprooting my life, that I am so stubborn in making minor changes in something that has such an immediate positive impact on my health? I don’t know the answer, but I know it needs to change.

Another change. So many changes. Makes me dizzy, sometimes, and I wonder if I’ll fall down from all the shifting.

5 Comments
  1. June 30, 2008 10:27 PM

    I am sometimes ridiculously stubborn. One of my recent “revelations” is that, when my BG is high all the time, I need more insulin. Earth-shattering advice, no?

  2. July 1, 2008 7:26 AM

    As frustrating it is, it sounds as if you really know what you need to do. I think that when things drastically change, having to change just one more thing, like your diabetes management, becomes a daunting chore. Change can be good or bad, but it is usually not easy.

    I’m found out last week, I’m moving to a new office at work, and to say that I am less than thrilled was an understatement. I am not a fan of change when things are really good, but I had no idea the impact it had on me physically until I struggled all weekend with numbers ranging from 356-579. Stress stinks!

    Honestly, I pretty amazed you are taking on that much at once, but I know you’ll pull through with flying colors. Just remember to BREATHE every now and then.

    Two weeks? Wow. You’re brave!

  3. July 1, 2008 1:12 PM

    Anne: Haha. I know, right? I’m always like, “No, no, it’s temporary! It’ll fix itself!” I suppose my life is so chaotic the thought of paying attention to something like numbers send me over the edge!

    Mandy: You’re absolutely right. I do know what I need to do, but that for some reason doesn’t make it any easier. I’m sorry about the stress of moving taking a toll on your numbers. That stinks! And yes, I am brave. Or nuts. One of the two, I haven’t quite figured out which one.

  4. July 14, 2008 2:35 PM

    I’m a math doof and I blame it on the fact that diabetes force fed me numbers before I was ready.

  5. July 28, 2008 6:47 PM

    I have the same problem and will put off making any basal rate changes until it’s excruciatingly obvious that I need too. I’m not sure why it’s so difficult!

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