Skip to main content

Diabetes Chicken and Egg(s)

Lately I've been in a groove with Diabetes. I do my things, he does his (not sure why I associate Diabetes as a male personality, but anyway), and we meet back together for blood checks and insulin dosing. In general, our groove has been working out fairly well - we are never too far apart from each other, yet he's been giving me space to live life a bit more free willed (for which I am eternally grateful). I've explored the topic before, but I think its worth revisiting, namely the idea of Diabetes and stress and how they work in relationship with one another. NPR has been doing a series on stress lately and some of their conclusions fit perfectly with the way I approach Diabetes and the consequences or contributing factors which determine how we both get along.

In one part of their series, NPR explored stress caused by major life events vs. "everyday stress". It's funny, because Diabetes fits in both categories: (1) a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis is, in every sense of the phrase, a "major life event" and (2) the constant struggle and day-to-day operations to maintain tight control contribute to every diabetic's "everyday stress" levels. It's a one-two-punch of disease related stress that includes short term worries (I only have 10 units left in my pump, where did that 208 come from?), and long term ones (will my leg be amputated? or can I have a healthy pregnancy?). And when all these questions pop up at once it can be completely overwhelming. 

But lately I haven't been overwhelmed. Diabetes has given my stress levels a break - at least temporarily. And, as I think more and more about it, I can't figure out who's the chicken and who's the egg. Is stress the chicken that produces bad Diabetes "egg-speriences"? Or, is stress the egg born from the Diabetes chicken? Either way, it seems clear that spending exorbitant amounts of time stressing about Diabetes only works to decrease control, and decreased control leads to greater stress - a viscous circle. 


So, what can we do about all this stress, relentless worry, and constant disease management? Honestly, I don't have any magic cures for the constant disease management bit. But, NPR suggests exercise as the number one "prescription" for constant worriers...which is a novel idea, since I have recently added more exercise into my daily routine. So naturally, I now have more chickens and more eggs (exercise, diabetes, stress, etc.). The bottom line? The increased exercise makes me generally feel better and I'm not going to spend time worrying about chickens, eggs, or which came first ;-)

PS: for my D friends out there...why would we worry about chickens or eggs anyway? They're free foods right?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…

Type 1 Diabetes - IT life.

Nine years ago (9 years ago?!), I was still waiting for the black-box-doctors at the FAA to clear my Class III medical certificate - a requirement for my then-job flying on experimental Army helicopters. To 'pump' up my diabetes-dejected ego (ha), Dave let me tag along with him for his MH-47G proficiency simulator runs. That tiny taste into helicopter flight dynamics gave me so much appreciation for him - hovering is literally the.hardest.thing, I was tense the entire time and constantly felt like I was one small cyclic movement away from losing control. Even though I knew in the back of my mind we were in a (moving) simulator, my senses got lost in the weight of the flight controls, the movement on the screens, and the hard thumps when I hovered right into the ground.

At the end of the runs I asked him how he has the stamina to pilot this monster of a helicopter for literally 15 hours straight (these special ops versions can mid-air refuel). He sort of laughed, but his answer…
01 09 10