The Price of Patience

These little bumps in the night are the cost of not consciously (or unconsciously) overtreating an overnight low. Rather than eat my entire pantry, I started with a couple of glucose tabs. Once that didn’t work, I had some juice. Eventually, as documented, all was well but the time spent nursing alarms and waiting for things to be “normal” is time spent not sleeping.

It’s not fun.

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Fleeting Moments of Control

I feel like I’ve been documenting 24-hour graphs of my Dexcom receiver to remind myself that control is still something in my grasp, even if I rarely remember what it looks or feels like.

Is there something between diabetes burnout and diabetes apathy? I certainly care about all of this stuff, but I’m still missing that extra kick that normally associates itself with reasonably managed diabetes.

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Not Featured

Not entirely featured among this carefully constructed array of test strips that were delivered today are my Lisinopril and Synthroid pills which I have been neglecting for…longer than I care to admit. But the only way to establish healthy, or healthier habits is to start somewhere. (Even if it’s starting over.)

Also not featured are my cats. Being the weekend, I should remedy that one.

That’s better.

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On the Neuroscience of Engagement

Last week I had the privilege of attending Dr. Larry Chu’s (of Medicine X) Engage and Empower Me course, serving as the moderator of the Tweetchat portion of the class. The topic was the “Neuroscience of Engagement”, featuring guest lecturer David Eagleman. I encourage you to watch the entire presentation if you have time, but I want to focus on the specific action items David mentions when talking about ways to improve our own engagement with our health.

  1. Minimize Temptation
  2. Risk Money
  3. Recruit Social Pressure
  4. Leverage Emotion
  5. Establish Habits

Proper diabetes management unfortunately has the potential to frequently brush up against diabetes burnout if I’m not careful. The harder I try to keep things “normal”, the more frustrated I become when I don’t see results. That frustration leads to more aggressive efforts to control my diabetes, which in turn leads to less control and more frustration. Eventually I have to take a step back and refocus my efforts, but not without taking a “break” from my typical on-the-nose diabetes care that I need to implement on a regular basis if I want to be as healthy as possible.

David’s presentation discusses some ways to help with taking control of our health and, in my case, ways to minimize the potential for diabetes burnout. These tips start around the 30 minute mark of the video above, if you’re curious. Of course this is all easier said than done, but the core concepts are enough to get me thinking about better ways to approach my own diabetes management.

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I’m not sure if it’s tunnel vision to my move, looking forward to the holiday break, or a general apathy toward my diabetes, but my self care has taken a tumble lately. For whatever reason, I am forgetting my mealtime bolus on a regular basis.

Actually, “forgetting” isn’t the right word for what this is. I simply don’t make time for it. I’m viewing eating as a roadblock on my path to whatever it is I need to do next rather than an opportunity to relax and enjoy a (potentially) good meal. Instead I test my blood sugar, think about the proper insulin dosage, eat, and then carry on with whatever I was doing.

Only after my Dexcom high alarm goes off…a second time after I’ve ignored the initial buzzing do I take my Humalog. Of course by now my meal has had a significant head start in the race to elevated blood sugar levels, so I have to take a larger-than-normal amount of insulin to try to get back to target numbers. The increased bolus means I’m likely to go low in the coming hours after my plateau, likely resulting in an overcorrection from the other side of things, sending me back above 250 mg/dL.

This has been my routine for at least a month now.

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