Ever have one of those days when your blood sugars are just way off track? Not because you’ve eaten a big meal, gotten sick, or been overly active… but, for some unknown reason, what has been working for you all along just suddenly is not producing the same results. This is what I have been dealing with for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been trying to figure out just what exactly changed so that I can figure out how to get back on track, but I’ve realized that might be a waste of energy. Sometimes with diabetes there just isn’t a clear answer.
Recently, in a group counseling program I am enrolled in called Make Peace with Food (more on this in a future post), our leader asked us to consider, “How is the struggle here to serve you?” I want to pass this question on to all of you- diabetic and non-diabetic readers alike can benefit from thinking about this. For T1Ds, have you ever considered the idea that the daily struggle with diabetes is actually here to serve you? I know it might seem baffling and really difficult to imagine, especially on a tough day when blood sugars JUST. AREN’T. MAKING. ANY. SENSE (!!!!!) However, I encourage you to sit with that and give it some thought.
I will share with you how I think my current diabetes struggle is here to serve me. As I mentioned earlier, my usual routine suddenly just isn’t working for me. Exercise is making me high (which it never did before), I seem to have to double up on boluses, and I am just not feeling great overall. I’ve been kind of stumbling around with all of this, uncertain of how to proceed. I started to notice that it was more than my blood sugars that were changing. The food I usually eat is no longer appealing and running, which I always find so rejuvenating, is the absolute last thing I feel like doing. I generally jump right out of bed in the morning, but I’ve been snoozing past my alarm for up to 30 minutes before finally dragging myself out of bed. I’ve even been feeling less inspired to write on the blog!
So, while my blood sugars are there to tell me that I need to reassess my diabetes care, I think they are also alerting me to the fact that other aspects of my life are ready for some change, too. I would be the first one to tell you that I am not exactly the same person I was a year or two ago- because I have grown and evolved- so how can I expect the same routine that satisfied that version of me to serve the current version of me? I have a new job, I am recently single, I am living in a new town… so many pieces of my life have changed. In going through these significant transitions, I have been clinging on to my old ways, that have always worked, instead of making the full leap and discovering new ways to be my best self. If something has always worked in the past, why would I want to change it? But that is what my blood sugars are here to show me. I had been managing my diabetes a certain way for a while, but that is no longer as effective as it was, for whatever reason. Since I have not been eating or exercising in a way that would trigger a change, I know that I do not need to get “back on track,” but rather, I need to get on a different track. I know the first thing I will do is talk to my doctors about changing my basal rates. In the non-diabetes realm, I will be reconsidering some of my feel good go-tos. Maybe running has always made me feel great, but now it’s not, so instead of continuing to force it, I am going to try doing more yoga and hiking.
Without these unexplainably higher blood sugars that I have been experiencing lately, would I have realized that I am just going through the motions of life? How is your diabetes here to serve you? Are you going through any changes right now?