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Practice makes near perfect at bedtime

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October 24, 2016
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High, Higher, Highest

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Today was not an ideal day diabetes-wise. With a 261 mg/dl in the middle of the night, a 39 mg/dl upon waking and three completely unexplained bloodsugars higher than 340 mg/dl this afternoon, diabetes kicked my butt with a vengeance. I am thankful that days like these are few and far between, but man, the rollercoaster is not fun and I feel like hell tonight.
Although having low bloodsugars is by no means a walk in the park, I have to say - I would prefer a day filled with lows to a day spent in two-hundred plus land. My mouth feeling like a desert in the middle of a sandstorm, my eyes aching, my legs alternating between cramping and stinging, and my stomach lurching and turning. But the absolute worst part of having repeated high bloodsugars is the emotional upheaval and the fear.
As my body calls desperately for more insulin, kicking my thirst into high gear and forcing into my breath the smell of fruit, it is as if I can feel the cellular destruction that's happening in my body. The symptoms drawing a clear picture of the breakdown of the blood vessels in my eyes and the nerves in my feet and my hands and the cells in my heart. I can see it all, the slow demolition of my body, when they come one after another - those numbers above 200. And the more upset, the more afraid I get, the higher the numbers climb. Insulin seems a slow and clumsy weapon against an enemy that's made its home inside of me and that has an arsenal of sneak-attack weapons and spot-on snipers.
I was once advised, that I should think of diabetes not as an enemy soldier, but as a puzzlemaster. "The Ultimate Riddler" that serves up repeated challenges and constantly forces us to think on our feet. It is tremendously difficult to keep that in mind, when you are in the middle of one of those mazes that the disease has laid out for you. When your mind is consumed by what feels like a vicious battle. But it is sound advice. For me, anyway. Because, if I focus on the solution, if I react in the moment - and then plan to prevent the next or make notes to deal better when another surprise is thrown my way - I am less inclined to think about what this disease could or will do to me - and more inclined to think about how I can remain in control of this disease.
And in the end, that is what will matter the most. Not so much how fierce I can be, how angry - but how agile and smart I am, how cool I can stay in the face of a challenge, and how determined I am to be the ultimate puzzle-solver.

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