Sunday, November 3, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month

Last September I wrote down a few random thoughts about diabetes for a D is for Diabetes post.

Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, I'm again taking advantage of the D is for Diabetes theme and recording a few more random thoughts about being an adult with diabetes.

I check my blood sugar at least six to eight times per day. After a few "favorite" fingertips started getting calloused, I came up with a way to rotate them more evenly. At the risk of sounding a bit OCD about my diabetes routines, I'll share my plan. I've mentally numbered my fingers from one to ten. On the first day of the month, I test my left thumb and work my way from left to right, switching fingers each day. It means that a single finger gets poked multiple times in one day, but it'll have a chance to heal for the next nine days.

I have a love/hate relationship with my continuous glucose monitor (cgm). If it's working correctly, I love that I can find out my approximate blood sugar simply by looking at the screen on my insulin pump. Unfortunately, the continuous monitor does not replace finger sticks. I still have to do a regular blood sugar check before meals to accurately dose insulin and sometimes another time or two each day to make sure the continuous sensor is calibrated. Lately, I'm becoming increasingly annoyed by cgm readings are not nearly as accurate as I'd like. On some days (and often in the middle of the night), they're so far off that I wonder why I even wear the stupid thing.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about diabetes is that it's so unpredictable. I've always been a fan of math or science homework because the answers always follow predictable rules. Diabetes doesn't like to play by rules. I dose my insulin based on the amount of carbs I eat. Sometimes my calculations are perfect and my blood sugar stays in a nice stable range. At other times, my calculations are still accurate, but my blood sugar does something totally unexpected. Sometimes I can explain the discrepancy by looking at the fat content of the meal, the amount I've exercised in the past day or two, or perhaps even my stress level. Other times, there really isn't any explanation to be found.

I normally don't talk much about my diabetes. I wear an insulin pump on my waist, carry a glucose meter in my purse, and try to live a life that's not consumed by thoughts of blood sugars, carbs, and insulin. For diabetes awareness month, I'm sharing some of my thoughts so that more people can truly understand.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

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