Days with Diabetes
Some days are just tougher than others
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
February 2008 —Life is good for me. I enjoy the lifestyle my husband and I have created for ourselves. While I would prefer to not have diabetes, it is not an option, so I try to live with it the best I can. I am happy and content, most days. But, like everyone else, I occasionally have a difficult day - what I call a "diabetes day." Today is one of them!
Today is the day to change my infusion set. While it is not usually a big deal, I can't seem to find an area of skin not dotted with proof of prior infusion sets. At four feet, eleven inches tall, there isn't a lot of real estate with which to begin. Finally, I find a small clear patch of skin. The set goes in. Set changes are usually pretty painless, but today - of course not.
It is now time for a blood sugar check. The most difficult part of the process is trying to find a fingertip not covered with thick calluses. I'm not sure what my record is for the most times I've had to stick myself for a drop of blood, but today's count must be close to the record. Multiply that by at least eight to ten times a day. I dare a blood glucose maker to call me personally and tell me their meters make testing painless. On a "diabetes day," they wouldn't stand a chance!
Shall we attempt preparation for lunch? My CDE recommends that occasionally I figure all calculations mentally without the help of my pump. This way, should a pump failure arise, I can still quickly do the calculations on my own. First, I need to add up how many carbs I'll consume, keeping in mind I need to keep meals low in carbohydrates. I usually go by the information on the packaging, but portion suggestions aren't always the amount I want. This leads to more figuring. Apply my insulin-to-carb ratio. I can't forget to take into account a blood sugar correction, if needed. There's always the list of foods that affect my blood sugar differently that I need to consider. I also need to take into account the time of day my insulin-to-carb ratio changes. These calculations are necessary every time I eat.
Oh, to just chew and swallow! On a day like today I especially appreciate my insulin pump and it's ability to do calculations.
Living with diabetes is an every day job. There are countless issues and decisions involved daily. Sometimes the list seems endless. Like most all diabetics, I perform the tasks I need to do and make choices I need to make in order to move on with my day. But when I have a "diabetes day," the job seems more difficult than usual. Should you see me having such a day - and trust me you'll know - give me a smile, or better yet, a hug. Or you might want to listen to my husband's voice of experience. His advice? "Run!"
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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