Defining Healthy In My Own Way

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Have you ever felt a little uncomfortable around sports growing up? That they are too much about winning, rather than having fun? You’re not alone.

Not a big fitness person? Well, neither am I…

Throw a diabetes diagnosis into the mix, and there’s a decent story to tell.

Today’s blog post is over at Beyond Type 1. Just follow the link here, and let me know what you think.

http://beyondtype1.org/defining-healthy-in-my-own-way/

Happy Monday!

Wake Up Call

Last week, the confirmation letter for my upcoming endo appointment arrived in the mail.

All of a sudden, I’m no longer eating junk food in the afternoons. I’m turning down offers of lollies and chips at the tennis. I’ve pulled my Insulinx meter out of it’s drawer, and I’m suddenly counting carbs more meticulously, logging my insulin doses and downloading my blood glucose reports on my laptop. I’m thinking more carefully about what I’m eating, and the insulin doses I’m giving. I’m working furiously hard towards getting those overnight levels stable once again.

As usual, it’s that wake up call to get my blood sugar levels back into the best possible position ahead of my hba1c result in 6 weeks time.

So why, oh why, does it take a confirmation letter for me to better manage my diabetes?

If I’m being honest here, my diabetes has been lacking that dedicated effort since my last endo appointment in August. My last appointment went very well and I pulled out a good hba1c result. As soon as I came home, it was very easy to breathe a sigh of relief and take my foot off the pedal. It was easy to justify this to myself, with my next appointment being 6 months away. The longer I kept coasting along, the easier it was to keep coasting.

This sentiment probably echoes true for the better part of the last five years with diabetes.

While I wouldn’t say that my management is terrible, I simply lack that dedicated effort that will give me the results that I would like to see. I still test regularly, but I don’t think carefully enough about the choices I make and the insulin doses I give. I know that I struggle to sustain my hba1c results after endo appointments. I’ve been avoiding every opportunity for a hba1c test in the last few months for this very reason. I know that if I went for one today, it would likely be half a point higher.

I’m resolving to make more of a consistent effort in 2016. I’ve set myself a more specific goal of stable overnight numbers, rather than all round improvement that never works. I’m striving to bring my mysteriously unknown hba1c result down by half a point. I’m going to have my hba1c level tested more than twice a year. I’m going to review my progress throughout the year here at Type 1 Writes.

I’m also going to see how well I can manage with Multiple Daily Injections before coming to a final decision on the pump next month (which will be left until the very last minute, in usual Frank fashion).

End Of Year Exhaustion

I was feeling absolutely exhausted before Christmas. It was a real struggle to do anything else other than silencing the awful bleh bleh bleh sound of my alarm that startles me awake at 5.50am in the morning. I so desperately wanted to close my eyes and fall back asleep. I didn’t feel human as I was trying to function in the morning. Getting dressed, making coffee, getting breakfast ready and preparing not to take any lunch to work. I was tired of the monotony of work, and each passing day showed no reprieve on our workload.

My exhaustion really shows. I was exhaling loudly. I was groaning. I was complaining (a lot). I was grumpy. I don’t think I was the best person to be around. “Frank, that’s the third day you’ve bought your lunch this week!” One of my work mates remarked in the lunch room.

For the past couple of years, I have felt this exhaustion. Every year, towards the end of the year, it happens without fail. Is it Christmas? Am I overworking myself? Am I not looking after myself well enough? Am I mentally giving up on my diabetes, and thinking of that “reset” button that comes with January? Probably. But, I believe that diabetes is a big culprit of this exhaustion in it’s own.

If I didn’t have diabetes, I reckon I could have just switched off the devices for 12 hours. I could have spent some time outdoors. I could have had an early night. I could have crashed in front of a good TV show, or read a book, and my exhaustion would have subsided.

But in the midst of all of this exhaustion, I still have my diabetes to manage. Finger pricks, carb counting, insulin injections, correcting highs, treating lows, back tracking, anticipating, and setting the alarm for a middle of the night check. Even when I’m ready to throw in the towel, diabetes doesn’t stop.

It wasn’t until I heard my teammates talking about leave a few weeks ago that I decided I needed a break. I can’t put my diabetes on hold, but I can certainly put other things on the back burner in order to make it easier to manage.

I was able to have some time off work inbetween Christmas and New Year, and I regret not scheduling it sooner. It was great to be able to hit the pause button and take each day as it comes, something you can’t exactly do when you’re travelling.

Sadly, it had to come to an end sometime. But silencing that morning alarm, and getting out of bed yesterday morning was the easiest it had been in weeks. I finally feel refreshed, and ready to hit that reset button that comes with a new year.

Diabetes, I’m ready for you in 2016. Hit me with your best shot.