More than seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, meaning I’m dependent on insulin to maintain “normal” blood sugar levels. I take one kind of insulin each night and I take another kind with each meal. I check my blood sugar with a little finger stick at least six times day.
And most days it doesn’t bother me.
But, lately, this chronic condition of mine has been making me crazy. My blood sugar levels have been up and down, often without obvious explanation. Not only is this frustrating to my perfectionist tendencies, but it also makes me feel lethargic and irritable when it’s high and shaky and absent-minded when it’s low. And the fluctuation leaves me with a headache.
So I went to my new-to-me doctor for help. And help he was. We had an informative, encouraging conversation about how quick-acting insulin peaks, how fat slows the digestion of food, my dosage of long-acting insulin and about many other variables, including physical stress from the fluctuating numbers and how my body protects itself during the lows.
It was information overload, in a good way.
Part of his help was gathering information in that little plastic contraption. With just a tiny, tiny catheter in my stomach, it automatically monitored my blood sugar a few times each hour I was wearing it. This means while I was exercise, while I was parenting my small, busy children, while I was eating and while I was sleeping. All of that information will be downloaded to my nurse’s computer and the information overload will continue. In a good way.
There will be a line graph of what my blood sugar did over those three days. We’ll be able to see if there are trends at certain times of the day, even though I already know my blood sugar tends to run high in the afternoons. We’ll be able to make adjustments in insulin doses, possibly the amount but more likely the timing of the injections. We’ll be able to talk more.
And maybe, hopefully, I’ll get back to having diabetes management be just part of my life and not overshadow everything I’m trying to do as a wife, momma, friend, daughter, aunt and sister. I’d prefer to be consumed by these other parts of who I am.
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