It seems like the more I learn, the stupider I feel.
That goes for National Geographic specials about the origins of the universe, the mechanics of the Internet, and — of course — diabetes gobbledeegook.
No one knows everything about diabetes management, of course, and none of us is perfect. But when I signed up for a few classes with Type 1 University, I thought I’d just be brushing up on a few of the main points and tactics that I’ve been incorporating into my daily life for the past 20 years. The remote classes are free throughout the month of January, so I didn’t see any harm in spending a few more hours soaking up some of the d-genius of Gary Scheiner.
It’s been two weeks, and I’ve taken two classes, and it turns out I am way dumber than I thought.
The first class I sat in on was Mastering Pump Therapy. It was great; I received a PDF of the slides for the class earlier in the day, along with a link and a password for the online presentation. Then, I sat and listened and followed along. My husband sat in the next room, where he could hear the audio part of the presentation.
Every once in a while he’d say something like, “I didn’t know that! Did you know that?”
“Well duh,” I’d respond. “Yeah. I mean, no. No, I didn’t.”
I have a dog-eared copy of Gary Scheiner’s wonderful little book, Think Like a Pancreas, so there were lots of familiar points: how to test basal rates, adjusting insulin to carb ratios, etc., but there was so much more to learn. Like how to use temporary basal rates to cover PMS and exercise, and the advantages of dual and square boluses — tools that I’d never really employed before.
This week’s class, Making the Most of Continuous Glucose Monitoring, was even more enlightening, in part because I’ve only worn the CGM for about a year and a half.
It’s not necessarily that I’ve never gotten this information before, it’s just that I haven’t absorbed it all, I think. I’m so used to viewing diabetes education as boring and useless and largely terrifying. Part of my brain is still stuck in the old days, when it was all about remembering to eat a protein exchange before bed and promising to never wear sandals.
Type 1 University is all about strategy, though. I feel like, instead of being confused or frustrated by a slew of information, I’m learning how to pimp my diabetes — or at least my CGM.
Not surprisingly, all the classes for January are full, but I’m totally paying for a few more in the months to come. It’s a stupidly empowering feeling.
*No, no one paid me to write this. But the crate of baby sloths and lifetime supply of white cheddar popcorn I received certainly didn’t hurt.