Monday, December 31, 2012

Attention to detail

One of the things that I do when I’m attempting to get back on track with my diabetes management is to test more often.  If you’re like me, then you tend to slack off on testing when your control has been good for a while and/or when you’ve been less than stellar in your food choices.  It’s so easy to avoid testing when I’ve eaten too much of a good thing, when that’s exactly the time I should be testing!  Here’s a prime example of what I’m talking about. (I can’t believe I’m about to admit to this…)

Four days ago I knew that I’d been eating way too many goodies and not paying attention to my glucose.  In fact, other than my fasting readings, I hadn’t been testing at all.  So, in an effort to get a handle on what I was doing to myself, I did a random test in the middle of the afternoon.  177.  Not 177 after eating a meal with more carbs than I should eat, or a 177 because I was ill.  No, a 177 in the freakin middle of the afternoon!  The next day I was afraid to go near my meter, but I girded my loins (what exactly does that mean?  I don’t think I want to know.) and did another mid-afternoon random check.  179.  I didn’t feel so great (big surprise) but I managed to ride my stationary bike for 15 min. then took a short nap.  Tested again:  191.  Yikes!  This had to stop!

I’ve been doing much better in the snacking department over the last couple of days.  This is either due to the fact that I’m pissed at myself and am trying to get back on track…or…it’s because I’ve already eaten all the bad stuff that was in the house.  (I choose the first, since there are still a few bits of chocolate and my beloved pumpkin bread lying around.)  Yesterday I began testing frequently once again.  Testing before I eat gives me a good reminder of how many carbs I can eat.  Testing after shows me if I’m on track or not.  Yesterday:  101 before lunch and 143 1 ½ hours after.  I probably should have limited the amount of toast I ate, but compared to the 179 of the other day, I’ll take it.

I know I can do this because I’ve done it before.  I’m not beating myself up over my “indiscretions” but taking charge and regaining my control.  I feel pretty good about that.  (my post, circles and loops explains how I feel about this subject.)  Another trick that I use in situations like these is to be sure that I’m eating foods that are rich in flavor.  I’m careful to add avocado and tomato to a sandwich or feta cheese to a salad.  I choose foods that taste yummy and that makes it easier to stay on track.

This is in no way a New Year’s resolution because I don’t fall into that trap.  Instead, it’s an opportunity to remember why I do what I do, each and every day, to maintain the best health I can.  I’m in charge and I intend to do everything I can to stay on top.  You can do the same.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Circles and Loops

There are moments when moving in circles and loops can feel like a waste of time.  Going over and over the same route can seem fruitless.  When I think back over 2012 in regards to my diabetes, it seems as if I’ve been going in circles and loops.  I make some progress and then something changes or I give into temptations, then I’m looping back to start over again. 

I really felt prepared for the holidays this year.  I felt as if I’ve learned enough lessons and have a decent plan for dealing with blood sugar issues.  However, nothing can prepare you for everything; nothing can guarantee that you will follow your plan and not cave into temptation.  Christmas day found a confident Kate who paid attention and didn’t splurge on things she shouldn’t.  Despite being “good”, I saw a 188 on my meter before we even started eating our Christmas dinner.  Where the heck did that come from?  So instead of chowing down, I sat at the table sipping wine and visiting with my wonderful family.  I ate later when my glucose was happier.  I was pleased with my ability to handle the situation and not let it ruin my day.

Then came the days after Christmas.

Suffice it to say that I’ve been less than “good”.  There were too many goodies left around and I caved.  I could waste a lot of time berating myself but I don’t see the point.  It’s time to circle back around and begin again.

Life isn’t a straight road.  There are many bumps and curves and detours.  Life with diabetes is just the same.  It’s silly to think that we can live our lives with diabetes in a straight line, never looking back, never repeating previous “mistakes”.  I feel pretty good about the fact that I can circle back to a time when I was in better control.  I feel confident that I have learned some valuable lessons along the way and, when I do loop around again, I have the tools I need to move forward.

I had a wonderful Christmas with all my kids here at home.  My brother and girlfriend were here as well as our mom.  We had a full house with lots of noise, laughter and love.  I won’t remember that I splurged too much or that my glucose didn’t play well even when I behaved.  I will remember the happy times and that’s what counts.

I accomplished a lot of things this past year in regards to advocacy and my own diabetes management.  I’m proud of a lot of what I’ve done.  I look forward to a new year and hope that this time next year I can be just as happy looking back.  My circles and loops aren’t good or bad, they’re just party of my journey.

This is my contribution the the DSMA Blog Carnival for December.  You can read other great posts here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Channel surfing with diabetes

When I was a young girl we didn’t have remote controls.  We had a tv that had a dial that you turned; no buttons, just knobs.  When you wanted to watch something on the boob tube (my father’s name for it), you looked in the TV Guide, chose your show and turned the dial to the proper channel.  We didn’t surf around looking for something to watch, we picked something and watched it, commercials and all.  We didn’t need over 800 channels to choose from.  Our phones were different too.  They didn’t look like this: 

(I’m not THAT old!) but they did have a dial.  No speed dial, you had to know someone’s complete number!  Don’t get me wrong; I love today’s technology but I sometimes think it causes us to be unfocused and a bit discontent.

Dealing with type 2 diabetes can be that way too.

There is so much advice about how we should be eating.  There are different “diets” and numerous supplements that we hear will help us control our diabetes better.  Just do this and you’re diabetes will reverse!  Eat low carb, eat no carb, eat 60 grams of carbs per meal, but be sure they are “healthier” carbs!  It’s ok to eat sweets, you shouldn’t eat sugar, it’s ok to indulge as long as you can control it!  Eat that extra helping because you can just walk it off!  NO!  You should never eat that again!  Sigh…there are so many channels to choose from, aren’t there?

Sometimes I think way too hard.  Sometimes I over analyze things to the point of inertia.  I bet you do that too.  I think we need to stop looking for the speed dial that will connect us to the best way to deal with our diabetes.  It’s better to look up the number and dial it ourselves.  Throw away your diabetes remote control.  Get up off the couch and turn that dial!  Use your “Diabetes Guide” and look up what will work best for you and dial in on that plan.  Then, stick with that plan and live it.  Don’t use that remote to turn the channel just because you’re bored or want something different.  Be content with what you’re doing and quit thinking about the other options that are out there.  Follow your plan and throw away the remote.  Adjust your plan as needed along the way but quit fretting over whether or not there is something better.  Listen to your meter and live your life, despite diabetes.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2013!