A Day In the Life...

You may recall from my preview post on Friday that dozens of us from the Diabetes Online Community are participating in what's now dubbed Diabetes Blog Week. Today is the first installment, and it's designed to take readers through a quick rundown of an average day with diabetes and all the ways in which this chronic condition touches our lives - blood tests, site changes, high and low blood sugars, meal planning, anything that comes along. This can be a log of an actual day, or a fictional compilation of pieces from many days.

I've written about this topic recently in a post entitled A Glimpse of Understanding. But in honor of today's topic, here's a spinoff of that issue based on a comment received on that post.

The comment: "I've been diabetic for 23 years, since I was 4 years old, and it has never been as complicated as this makes it seem... "

My short response: I'm envious. Particularly if that person does indeeed manage his or her diabetes as we're all supposed to.

Longer answer with a central message: Each person's diabetes varies. What may be complicated for this person, may not be complicated for you or another. We all have our differences and what works for one doesn't for others. That's a key. (Just ask Bennet at Your Diabetes May Vary)

But there's another aspect that should be acknowledged here: My D-Life with Type 1 wasn't always this complicated. We can talk about the Day in the Life for those of us pushing for good control, but so many of us have experienced times when we just rebelled and pretended The D didn't run our lives.

There was a time, mostly in my teens and early 20s, when I didn't take care of myself. That rebellion phase. Diabetes was ignored, denied, pretended to not exist. Yes, I still had to test every once in a while and take shots (before my pumping days began), but it wasn't as full a task as for someone who's actively trying to stay in Tight Control or improve their management. While the test strips and insulin might have lasted a little longer and I didn't "stand out" as much because of the avoidance of testing and shots as needed, my A1Cs hovered in Scary High places. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't worth it. Now, I am glad that each one of my day's does have diabetes in it and that it's a priority in my life. While it's a work in progress with a LONG way to go, I try... It's a constant state of mind.

Recent Example: The past week was a crazy one with a work conference, and being on deadline I was rushed to finish my newspaper stories and I fell behind on sleep. But no matter what's brewing at work, you take a minute and stop what you're doing every couple hours - whether at your desk or at a conference in Chicago - to test your blood. If there's a correction needed you either hit a couple insulin pump buttons or draw out the syringe, maybe finding your way to a rest-room so the U.S. Marshals watching you don't think you're trying to stab a federal judge with a needle. After doing what needed to be done during the week, Saturday rolled around and I decided to sleep in until 10 a.m. Of course, this throws off my Lantus Pen injections as my times to take them are 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.... So, not wanting to be that far off, I decided to cut the dose briefly by a couple units. However, knowing that I'd be at the first birthday party of a friend's daughter later that day, I kept it the same knowing that I'd be running higher anyhow because of likely snacking, beer-drinking, and sitting around.

It's all a balancing act. Every Day. You can see to the right there some of my daily tools, used to help manage my diabetes as best as possible. Some times can be frustrating and mind-numbing, others can be a blessing as you hit that groove and get it right. YDMV, because mine certainly does all the time.

But despite the daily hurdles, we do what we do to live and hopefully be as healthy as we can. To respond again to that person's original comment on my previous blog, I wish that I could be healthy and not have to worry about all of these things each and every day, and so many moments each day. I wish. But I do. And I'm proud that I'm able to take control and sidestep the desires to just slack.

(For Tuesday 5/11: Making the Lows Go Away)


Rachel said…
It's a different kind of complicated from my viewpoint - it's not that each single event of taking care of T1 is complicated, it's everything wrapped up in the package that is...
You go for tight control because you care - about yourself!
Meri said…
I'm sure if this person wrote down everything that went through his brain everyday...it would be just as lengthy. It is a blessing to be so comfortable with it all that it is simply second nature. I often feel like having 3 diabetic son's isn't so crazy..but when I leave for an overnight with my hubby, and I have to write it all down...my brain explodes. There is a lot stored in this brain of mine!
George said…
Here's a thought, do we make diabetes difficult and complicated now so it won't be later or does the opposite occur if we don't make it difficult now?

Good post dude.
Karen said…
That is so true!!! I also find that it SOUNDS complicated when you type it all out and read it back - but when you live it every day, it's all just second nature. I do a lot of my d-stuff without even thinking about it!!
It was me that said that. And what I meant by it was just that I still do all those things (except the stuff associated with pumping, which does sound complicated) but it just doesn't seem as complicated as it sounds when you write it down. Testing my blood sugar only takes 30 seconds and then it's done. Injecting insulin takes less than 30 seconds. But when it's written down like that it sounds like it all takes up the whole day.
Anonymous said…
This was a great post!! I know that since pursuing tighter control diabetes is on my mind a LOT more than it has been the last couple of years.

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