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We are not perfect. But in the diabetes world, there is extreme (I would say mostly internal) pressure to be.
Lately, I have been testing fewer than five times a day on average, and I haven’t done a basal test in over a year. The last time I tried basal testing, I failed miserably. My meter average is 192 mg/dl. These are not my proudest diabetes days.
I’m struggling. And I don’t want to be struggling.
Though I eat well and exercise, I know that I’m just not paying enough attention and that is resulting in out of range bloodsugars. Too many of them.
In the past, when in this position, I’ve had a plan and I’ve followed through and pulled myself out of the down-spin. But my stress levels are high in other areas of my life and that’s making coming up with a diabetes plan very challenging, let alone following through on such a plan.
I’m feeling a little hopeless in some ways. I guess I’m allowed to feel that way here and there, since it’s a rarity. And at least it’s not complete hopelessness. Deep down, I know that I can do this, because I have done it. For more than thirty years, I’ve lived with diabetes and I’ve pulled out of other ruts.
In the past few days, I’ve started trying to remind myself of the things I HAVE done. I have triumphed over challenges. I have learned to temper my relationship with food and therefore gotten over topsy turvy, disordered eating and exercise habits. I’ve learned that I don’t need to restrict nor overeat to control my weight or feel better, I don’t need to run until I’m sick or exercise until I see stars. I’ve lived on my own for over two years, without any assistance with rent or anything else. I’ve got a great career and I work hard. I write, I make beautiful things, I can learn almost anything with relative ease. I am a good friend, I can be counted on to do what I say I’m going to do.
I can do this. I can do this diabetes thing. I can fix this. I just have to dig deep. I have to stop focusing on how I might fail, and start paying more attention. I need to better celebrate my successes, congratulate myself when things are going well. And I have to do it now.
I must also face that I am not perfect. That there are going to be difficult minutes, hours, maybe even days. But I must not lose hope altogether.
I’m looking forward tonight. To lower meter average. To making a real effort at testing basal rates and not letting myself get to frustrated that I quit. Mostly, I’m looking forward to better days.
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)