Archive for the ‘Emotional Health’ category

Discipline(d) breakdown

March 11, 2011

It’s Friday – my favorite day of the week because I get to spend it with my little guy. I usually take advantage of my day off by doing all of those little things around the house that just keep needing to be done … laundry, dishes, bathrooms,  kitchen … the list goes on forever.

But today I have been especially undisciplined. Lukas has been sleeping for a record-breaking two and a half hours now and I’ve spent the majority of that time reading blogs, watching TV, and listening to the never-ending rain. I even took a nap (gasp).

My diabetes care gets a little sloppy on days like this, too. This morning, I absent-mindedly munched away at a half a box of Dots while watching meaningless TV before I realized what I’d done. Afterwards, I quickly over-bolused, which resulted in a 219 an hour later and a 40 just a half hour ago.

I realize it’s not the end of the world that this happens every now and then, but I struggle to allow myself such luxuries. Because I fear that one day of indulgence will lead to a downward spiral of sloppy eating habits, poor testing routines, piles of dirty laundry, toothpaste-spattered bathrooms, and crusty kitchen countertops.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a more productive day. But in the meantime,  what do you do to stay motivated in the face of never-ending BG checks … or mounds of dirty laundry? I could use some advice.

I might go wash the dishes now. Or watch Ellen. We’ll just have to see how it goes.


The remnants

February 10, 2011

I’ve been having one of those nights now for about a week. You see, I changed my birth control pill about a month ago, and this has wreaked havoc on my BGs. The ebb and flow of insulin resistance that this new balance of hormones has brought to my life, frankly, sucks. By day, I am living on temporary basal rates of 150% to 200%. And by night, it’s just me and the late night talk shows, stalking low blood sugars with juice, cereal, and cookies.

I was dreaming that my company had restructured and I’d been moved from my home in the development department to a new home in the marketing department. And my new officemates, marketing and sales people, could not understand what I did or how I brought value to the company. So I kept trying to explain why technical writing is important, and what, exactly, I did all day. And they kept saying, “Oh, so you do this?” and I would say, “No, it’s more like this.” And back and forth we went. And the more frustrated I became, the harder it became to explain my worth to them. I woke up sweating, near tears, and dizzy. This low was hard to identify because I have been struggling with similar issues at work. Feeling underappreciated and misunderstood, and struggling to find some like-minded co-workers. But when I finally got that meter case open and the strip in the meter, it turned out that my sugar was down to 35. Wow.

A glass of juice and a bowl of raisin bran later, I was creeping up on 70, so I thought it was safe to turn out the light. But the BG fairies were not in agreement. An hour later I was 52. Another glass of juice, and I was back in bed.

Another hour later and Lukas was crying. He was teething and needed some comfort. I did another test for good measure, and saw a 56 winking back at me. Son of a bitch. I slurped down another glass of juice and set a temp basal of 0% for two hours before running up stairs to comfort Lukas, juice sloshing uncomfortably at the top of my stomach.

Back in bed, I couldn’t believe it when the alarm went off just two hours later. And wouldn’t you know it, my sugar was 187. I corrected and set a temp basal of 200% because I knew that those morning hormones were going to send this number through the roof. Tired, and fighting a low-induced hangover, I tried to swallow that sticky, low aftertaste from my mouth. I jumped in the shower to get ready for another day of roller coasters.

But it’s not until I was on my way out of the house, in the kitchen, that I really stopped and thought about how trying these last couple of nights have been. I’d been on autopilot, testing and treating and testing again. It wasn’t until I saw the remnants that I realize just what I’d been through: an open box of raisin bran spilled on the counter. A trail of juice on the floor from the refrigerator to the cupboard (where I must have spilled it in my 35 mg/dL stupor.) Rings of milk on the counter from the measuring cup where I (tried to) carefully measure out a cup for my raisin bran. Cookie crumbs and plastic wrappers piled high near the sink (where did those come from? I don’t even remember eating those!)

I sighed, grabbed my laptop, and headed out the door. Maybe today will be better.


January 11, 2011

Life is all about balance. That’s one of the little pearls of wisdom that a therapist managed to imprint on my stubborn brain once. And I try to live by that pearl. But it’s hard, especially when you live with diabetes.

It’s hard enough to balance work with life, fun with responsibility, motherhood with career, alone time with together time. But it’s even harder when you also have to balance food with insulin. And exercise with food. And stress with diet. And, and, and …

It’s like walking a tightrope. On your hands. Any little deviation from the expected, and you lose your balance, tip to one side, legs in the air, waving. If you’re lucky, you’re able to recover. You might over compensate and swing in the opposite direction, but eventually, you find your core again, and settle into that uneasy calm at your center. There is relief, because you’ve found your equilibrium again. And you’re starting to feel better. But there’s tension, too. Because you know that a stiff breeze (or a harder-than-normal workout, or a delayed meal) could (will) upset everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Leaving you flailing and reeling from side to side (from high to low) all over again.

And when you fall off the rope completely (because we all do), there is disappointment. Because you’ve worked so hard. Or because you haven’t.

Luckily, we have a safety net of sorts here in the DOC. The descent still takes our breath away, and the collision with the ground still hurts, but the community is here to pick us up, brush us off, and help us climb back onto the tightrope again.

I’ve been unbalanced lately. With all of the changes in my life over the course of the last year, my center of gravity has shifted. No longer sure which way I will sway when I make a choice, I am unsure which direction to go. After a year of carefully avoiding risk — testing, measuring, counting, and testing again — I’ve finally relaxed. And with that relaxation comes a bit of sloppiness. Wobbly food choices and uneven BGs. Increased A1Cs and higher averages.  Perhaps even more interesting, though, my interests are expanding, too. I have long had a passion for technical communication (my career), but I’ve also long had a passion for medicine, especially diabetes. Until I started this blog, though, I had little way to express that passion. Of course, I’ve also developed a surprising passion for motherhood. I always thought I was a “career girl” and I think I still am, but I am struggling to find a way to fit all of my many passions into my life. I guess you could say that I am at a fork in the tightrope. Is there a way to balance my many interests? If not, which way will I go? And how long will it be before I find my uneasy center again?