Disclaimer: This is a longer post, but stick with it! You may understand me a bit better after.
Last week I went to a routine diabetes education appointment. First off, let me say how awesome my CDE (certified diabetes educator) is. I’m ultra hard on myself when it comes to diabetes and Janice always brings me back to reality with some perspective.
My A1C was 8.3. For those of you who don’t know, that is higher than the recommended range for blood glucose control. As I mentioned before, the A1C is a measure of your blood glucose control over the past 3 months. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends an A1C less than 7. Honestly, I haven’t been less than 7 since high school. Let me tell you, this is not for any lack of trying.
I find it hard as a health care professional myself to divulge that my A1C is not picture perfect. It’s hard to reveal to anyone who reads this blog that my A1C is not stellar. I’m laying it all out in the open! Janice reiterated the importance in not worrying so much about what others think of me in relation to my diabetes. I’m pretty sure I could use this advice in other aspects of my life, not just in relation to the diabetes.
Our convo went from serious to funny, and back again. Man! a diabetic appointment is a bit like a cheesy romantic comedy; I laughed…..I cried. Honestly, I come close to tears in a lot of my diabetic appointments, but this one was the first that the river flowed freely. I was a bit embarrassed, but couldn’t really help myself. Thank god for Janice though. She calmly reminded me:
“Ciara it’s just a number.”
“There are so many factors.”
“It’s obvious how much effort you put into this.”
Hmmm.. could she be referring to the 10-14 somewhat obsessive blood glucose checks a day
Janice empathized with my frustration about high and low blood glucose levels after exercise. All I’m trying to do is workout to be healthy and in turn my sugars are out of whack! Ugh. We are trying a few new things and hopefully these will help with my control during workout sessions.
I also declared that maybe I really just don’t eat healthy enough? Maybe I have too many little indulgences here and there? Maybe my carb counting sucks?
She offered up the point that really,as long as I can count the carbs in the food, I can eat it. Technically speaking, I don’t need to be eating any differently than a non-diabetic, but I need to be more careful. Both types of people should be following Canada’s Food guide. Next time you want to ask a diabetic “oh I see your eating ______, are you cheating?” think to yourself “am I following the recommended guidelines myself?”
Janice stated “Ciara, the difference is that your pancreas is on your hip and more difficult to control.” Good point Janice But I still think I could do better .
Exhibit A and B- A Pancreas located on hip. B Pancreas located within, somewhere around the posterior abdominal wall.
If I wake up at night, I check my sugar. It’s a security thing. If it’s a bit up I treat it. I have had nights where I wake up 3 or 4 times checking and treating. These nights involve little sleep. Again, Janice pointed out the necessity of quality of life: “It’s ok if your sugars are 10 or 9 sometimes at night, you need to sleep too.” She makes many a good point. Reggie also needs to sleep instead of hearing the constant robot beep from my pump!!
This post could go on for a while, but I think I will summarize with some of the things I am taking away from this appointment.
Diabetes IS a disease, there IS a reason why glycemic control is difficult for me compared to people with regular functioning pancreai . Damn you ! (not sure about the plural form of pancreas).
I am trying to do better. Maybe too much sometimes.
I am doing a good job.
Quality of life is important too.
Sleep is important. Do it!
Shift work does influence my glycemic control. I don’t want to accept the fact, and I won’t let it stop me. I do need to acknowledge it though.
I will figure out how to exercise and avoid the ups and downs.
I have too many low blood sugars. I don’t worry as much about them as I do my highs. This is bad. Lows can go south a lot faster than a high can take you there.
On positive notes, there is no sign of diabetes related damage to my eyes and kidneys. Although I think my psyche has taken a hit.
It has been 12 years that I have had the ‘betes. It’s difficult to stave off complications forever. I’m going to fight hard against it though. Always.