One of the diabetes things I complain about the most is the fact that it’s an unforgettable disease.
From the piles of used test strips in my purse to the CGM alarms and daily low blood sugars, I’d guess I think about diabetes about once every 30 minutes. At least.
Lately, though, I’m struggling to keep everything where it should be — especially my A1C — and I find that my biggest hurdle is the fact that I’m forgetting about my diabetes. Not that I have it. Just that I need to take care of it.
It’s funny, because I think a lot of people — myself included — have this idea in our heads of what a slack-ass diabetic* looks like. (Mostly because we’ve been there.) We envision poor control as something of a voluntary action, a decision that’s made.
“I should probably test before I fall asleep, but I’m tired and I feel okay, so screw it.”
“I know my blood sugar’s already high, but everyone else is eating pizza, so I’ll have some too and just SWAG the insulin dose.”
Then there’s me:
“I just had two pork tacos and a beer and I never unsuspended my pump from the low I had three hours ago. Oops.”
Sometimes there’s just too much happening. On this particular pork taco day, I was visiting the Zoo with my husband and my friend and my baby. We were at a special garden festival, surrounded by food trucks and live bands and exotic carnivorous plants. I didn’t make a conscious decision to leave my pump suspended while I explored the rows of potted bromeliads and Venus fly traps, I just happened to go, oh, 35 minutes without diabetes right at the forefront of my mind. And as a result, my blood sugar jumped into the 200s, just like that (I’m snapping here).
That’s the really sad part. I wasn’t at my own wedding or preparing to jump out of a plane. It was just plants! A few fancy succulents were enough to screw up my afternoon, blood-sugar-wise. And little distractions like that take over all the time now.
It’d be nice if I could point to a single thing that’s led me to this place, but I think I’m just over it, to use a highly sophisticated medical term. Correcting the lows makes me too high. Correcting the highs makes me too low. I’m never just coasting at a comfortable 104. I spend so much time thinking about it and wishing I didn’t have to think about it that I inevitably just forget about it.
I catch myself wishing for auto-pilot, for blood sugars that stay stable after I eat and while I’m sleeping, with minimal effort on my part. Sometimes I want to forget about it, and then not feel so guilty when I remember. And then I realize that what I’m actually wishing for is a cure for diabetes. At least for a day, or long enough to buy a potted plant.
*Slack-ass is used here as a self-deprecating term. I’d never describe anyone else that way, but I can beat myself up all day long. Negative-Self-Talk-Fest 2013!