Things I’ve learned about myself the past 20 years…

Uh oh, here it comes, the ‘timeless’ wisdom of yet another diabetics’ past failings laid bare. I mean, seriously, who needs another confession, after all this isn’t church right? However, there seems to be some major angst when it comes to regulating blood sugars on many of the posts I have read. My heart goes out to all that struggle with regulating either their own blood sugars or those little ones who are most vulnerable. It compels me to share a few things I have discovered over the past 19 years of running the numbers every single day!

First: There are going to be days I am unable to control my sugars. Seriously, this was one of the hardest truths I had to wrap my brain around the first decade of managing T1D. There are going to be days, yes I said days, where I do everything right, I count every carb….correctly, I give the correct amount of insulin dosage, I eat the right foods…all of you know what I am talking about, and my blood sugars register anywhere from 250 (13.9) to 400 (22.2). It is terribly frustrating and worrisome and I have to not flog myself for not doing things right. Often times I do everything right, but my body just doesn’t cooperate. The thing I had to learn was to continue to do the right things and treat the readings consistently. What I found out was if I panicked and over treated my high sugar readings during these few days, I was on a blood sugar roller coaster that caused even greater problems and side effects. I learned to stay the course and my sugars would, eventually, settle down.

Second: I learned that temporary high blood sugars do not mean, automatically, ketone production. This was a hard thing for me to learn. I was scared, initially, with how my sugars would fluctuate wildly, thinking I was damaging my kidneys in the process. However, after 19 years, I have no signs of kidney damage or neuropathy at all. My creatinine is in the normal range and even though I had high readings, my over all Ha1c’s have been consistently in the low 7’s over the past 19 years. And I have managed to stay out of the hospital’s emergency room since December 4, 1996…when I was initially diagnosed.

Lastly: I had to learn that I am in a super marathon, not a 100 meter dash. I learned, for me, there will be times I hit a wall, much like a marathon runner, but I have to push through it. Recognize we train for the hard times by consistently managing our blood sugars during the good times.  I am a survivor, just because I have had to manage a disease most people in the world have no clue about. I believe all of us who have T1D are survivors and have to learn to be mentally and emotionally tough. I have to place a disclaimer here, I have not had to watch my child go through this terrible disease, it is much different when it comes managing a child’s disease. I am just sharing what I have learned about my disease and my experiences.

I have to control what I can control and manage what I am unable to control. What I am learning as I continue to age…I mean mature, is I really do not control very much in my life. I have to continue to relax and not exascerbate the disease any more than it is already exascerbated…fight on my friends!


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