Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Diabetes: It Drives Me Bat Sh!t Cray Sometimes

Follow along this week as I participate in Diabetes Blog Week!! Today's post topic explores the emotional side of living with Diabetes. 
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If I can be completely honest here: I struggle with the mental side effects of Type 1 Diabetes every.single.day. 

I still haven't found the best way to express the constant anxiety, Diabetes is not a disease that "flairs up" every now and then, it isn't benign, and it doesn't take a single day off - it's relentless. Every day that I choose to eat anything, or move any muscle, is a day that I struggle with Diabetes. 


But instead of overwhelming you with all of the mental health issues related to Diabetes, I thought I would focus on just one area. 


Lately I've been trying to lose weight. I have no idea if my weight gain can be attributed to Diabetes or not, but for me its better to not place blame - the fact is, I'm overweight. I've seen the scale creep up little by little for the last 5 years or so, and I have finally decided to tackle it. Losing weight is hard, it's so hard, even for someone without Diabetes, but for me its heartbreaking. I'm ok with the eating part, I love veggies and bringing my lunch to work, but its the exercise that is killer. Half of my problem is a crappy case of low motivation (a.k.a. fear), and the other half is Diabetes. 


You see, I can have the greatest intentions, "I'm going to run after work today and check out that new part of the neighborhood." Then I get home and see a down arrow on the Dexcom. "No problem," I think, "I will just have an early dinner of slim fast shake, not bolus and take my pump off. Perfect." So I drink the shake, get changed, and head out. But about half way through I'm feeling more thirsty than normal. Check Dexcom. He buzzed a few minutes ago as I rose above my 150 threshold, but I didn't feel him while running. Crap: blood sugar now at 175 and rising. I tell myself to just push a little harder, run a little faster, maybe that will offset the inclined sugar reading. Nope. Finally make it home and Dex reads well over 200, finger stick confirms. It's an all-night baby sitting fest to make sure my number finally gets back in line. 


Or the opposite happens. Pre-run blood test shows a steady 150, place a temporary basal rate and head out. Start to feel weird, pull out Dex and see a down arrow and 68. It's time to cut the run short, head home, and eat the calories I probably just burnt off (not really helpful when trying to lose weight). 


There have only been a few Goldilocks days, where my number stays in range and steady throughout my exercise period. I've managed to eat the right amount of carbs, protein and fat, have set the right temp basals, the stars align and I actually feel positive when I am done. It really is an incredible feeling, especially for my mental well being. I know, in those moments, that there is nothing better I could be doing for myself. I want to lose this weight so bad, I need to lose it...and to finally feel like I planned the day perfectly is such an accomplishment. 


But its short lived, because there is always tomorrow for everything to go to shit. 


I don't mean to sound so "Debbie Downer", but I think its important to realize that some days when my temper is short and I am struggling to focus on what you are saying, be kind....it's likely I have a few dozen equations in my head that I am trying to balance perfectly and its just not working out today.