Forgetting About It

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).

The highly distracting Lemon Ball plant I bought at the Zoo.

The highly distracting Lemon Ball plant I bought at the Zoo.

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!

18 comments on “Forgetting About It

  1. Debra says:

    Those are my favorite moments of my day. When I’m so wrapped up in what I’m doing, enjoying life that I forget about for a while.

  2. kelly2k says:

    Spot on, sista!!!

  3. Christopher says:

    I’m currently suffering from my own bout of slack-ass-ness. I’d like to blame the beach, but I think it’s been lingering long before, and after my 2.5 days of sun and sand. Hopefully we can find a way to turn our own slack-ass-dom into move-your-ass-itude real soon.

  4. theperfectd says:

    Living this blog post, except the 261 crept up on me and I’m like: “But whhhhyy? I just ate a few pieces of Pirate Booty…. Oh and a couple of spoonfuls of… Ooohh. Oops.” Wonder Slackers- activate!

  5. Kerri. says:

    Does the lemon ball plant make lemons or smell like lemons? Or at least smell like lemon Pledge?

  6. Ed Cederberg says:

    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.” What is SWAG?

  7. I am ALWAYS looking for that balance between decent diabetes management and good quality of life. I think there is a balance there, but the problem is that it is constantly moving. Some days (weeks? months?) I just don’t have the energy to chase it.

  8. Kristin says:

    As a pancreant, I actually love the moments I forget and realize I’ve been seeing my kid as just a kid for – oh, 30 min (you hit that spot on)! Cruise control can’t come soon enough – go, AP, go!

  9. Layne says:

    “Correcting the lows makes me too high. Correcting the highs makes me too low. I’m never just coasting. . ” A-freaking-men! I am ALWAYS assuming that once my numbers are good they will, I dunno, just STAY THERE?!?! As long as I don’t eat/drink/bolus why isn’t that a safe assumption?? But apparently it’s not. I wish I could hit that sweet spot but I guess I’m not that lucky.

    Do you ever feel like that old arcade game where you constantly have to use those long rods on either side of the screen to bat your bloodsugars back into the middle of the screen? (Pong, maybe??) I feel like even if I do nothing my bloodsugars will always float one way or another and never just stay put! And after just coming off of a pregnancy I’ve got a bit of diabetes-burnout and I’m really dying to slack off a bit but the breastfeeding is constantly making me low. ;-( This thing just feels like too much WORK sometimes, ya know?

  10. natalie cardon says:

    Me and my son who is 10 and has type 1, just read this this and chuckled together. Talk about a day in the life…

  11. Katy says:

    For diabetes blog week 2014, maybe we could all use “On this particular pork taco day…” as the opener for a post. On This Particular Pork Taco Day. Rolls off the tongue!

  12. Turk says:

    I’m not trying to state the obvious, but having T1D is a discipline. I will share this with all of you: I am eating very differently than I have before–though I have had T1D for 26 years. I eat five small, protein packed meals a day. I am getting ALL my carbs from veggies–very few starchy carbs a week and a cheat treat once a week. DO NOT DRINK alcohol! I used to drink excessively. Now, I rarely drink. When I do, my BG drops… dramatically. I feel amazing. Tons of energy and BGs always in and around 80-120. I’m not trying to preach and it has taken me a long time to get here, but if any of you are interested, get in touch with me and I’ll help you out…
    I have a questions for those using a Minimed insulin pump. In the summer, when I spend a ton of time in the ocean or in pools, or if I am riding my bike and simply sweating, I find that the adhesive at the insertion loses its stickiness. I’ve used waterproof tape, but I was wondering if anyone has used something easier with which to work…

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