Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Aaaaannnndd, back to the real world…..

The diabetes vacation is over.  That was quick.  Now it’s back to reality and the ups and downs that come with exercise, work, busy-ness and, well, life.  I hadn’t been home from Florida for 6 hours when I hit a really lovely low (please note the irony in that word “lovely”).  And today was roller-coaster day.  Low after swimming, then an absurd high this afternoon that took several boluses to bring down.  No idea where it came from, unless I grabbed a regular Snapple instead of diet. Cruising along nicely now finally, but wow, what a rude re-entry.

In all of this, I have been trying to figure out what it was about the past week that made it so much easier to keep my blood sugars from going wild.  I’d really like to know, so that I could try to make some changes to bring that stability to everyday life.  I don’t think it was related to food or meal-times, since I didn’t eat all that differently than usual.  It can’t be just the difference in weather, since the change in seasons here doesn’t seem to affect my blood sugars. I didn’t exercise while I was gone. The pool at the hotel was outdoors, and while it sounds lovely to swim outside in Florida when it’s 88 degrees, the water was frigid.  And really, there just wasn’t time during the conference to exercise, other than a quick walk around the building (not a trivial thing) between sessions.  My worst low of the week was after we walked the beach however, which echoes what happens after I swim.  Hmmmmm.  A clue, perhaps?

I do know that I was much less stressed during the week.  I could literally feel my body relax.  I didn’t feel any pressure to get places exactly on time, I listened carefully to the talks but didn’t obsess over getting every detail down (I figure God made sure I heard and remember what He needs me to), and just generally enjoyed the time away.  Hmmmmmmmm. Another clue perhaps?

OK, so exercise makes me go low, and less stress helps even things out.  There are two things that really aren’t going to be easy to manipulate.  I know that exercise (swimming plus working out with weights) has improved my insulin sensitivity so that I am using less insulin. My cholesterol numbers are great, and I feel better all around. So, I’m not going to abandon exercise. I just need persevere in tweaking basals, snacks and doses to avoid the dreaded late morning drop.

Less stress.  Right.  Have you seen my calendar? To add to the usual clutter, I got called to jury duty starting next week.  No problem.  Just take two weeks of completely unpredictable scheduling and sync that with work and family obligations.

But I can control how I react to that stress. I loved how I felt last week.   I just relaxed about some things that I am usually much more concerned about.  I guess that’s the key.  There are several beanie-baby ducks floating (!) around our office. The secret meaning of them (well, secret no longer!) is to let things roll off our backs.  Criticism, complaints—just let them slide like water off of a duck’s back.  Maybe that should be my approach for BG numbers and crazy schedules.

And prayer. Always prayer.  I find it hard to pray for myself, but who better to pray for me? I’ll work on that. But I might start carrying that duck around too, just to remind me……..


My diabetes vacation

I’m in Florida.  It’s warm and sunny and I have tan lines already.  I came for a conference in Orlando for about four days, then a visit with my daughter in Miami for another three and a half days.  Without really deciding to do so, I have taken a bit of a diabetes vacation on this trip.  It has been wonderful.

Of course, I can’t ever REALLY take a vacation from diabetes, since it sticks closer to me than a brother (with apologies to the writer of Proverbs) all the time.  But I found that since my attention was completely soaked up by the speakers at the conference (who can concentrate on anything else when Alistair Begg or Ravi Zacharias or Sinclair Ferguson are speaking?), I paid far less attention to my numbers.  And interestingly, since I didn’t really care what happened, I was more likely to head off a low by eating something without worrying that I would bounce up to the stratosphere.  (Turns out, I didn’t go high, just settled into a nice comfortable level. Huh. Who knew?)  I did go pretty high a couple of times for no apparent reason, but just kind of shrugged my shoulders, dialed in a correction dose and went on my merry way.  My Dexcom must feel a bit neglected, since I haven’t been pushing the buttons nearly as much as I usually do.  This is weird for me.  I don’t usually have such a nonchalant attitude to dealing with highs and lows.

This continued to be the pattern while here in Miami.  My diet is wavering between really healthy and completely absurd (a lovely quinoa salad with wood-grilled shrimp for lunch, followed by something called a chai “soother” which is really code for “milkshake”).  Salad and pizza for dinner (while meeting and enjoying Sarah’s new friends from church).  Cookies to treat lows (lovely cranberry walnut creations).  Overall, my blood sugars have been good, but even when they go high, I can still just shrug and treat.  Without any real emotion.  I went pretty low after walking the beach yesterday, but found that it didn’t discourage me as much as a bad low often does.  Turns out that beach walking works off a milkshake much more quickly and completely than I anticipated.

Chalk it up to distraction? Wanting to make the most of my time with my daughter while I’m here without the distraction of diabetes?  Letting my mind focus on things that I love rather than on an endless series of numbers?  Certainly I’d rather think about God’s mercy and sovereignty than about A1C’s or insulin doses.

What does all of this mean for my return to the real world tomorrow? I’m seeing that I can lose myself in the things I love without diabetes interfering so much, at least emotionally. I still have to deal with testing and dosing and maintaining my robotic parts, which is not a trivial part of my life these days.  But it IS possible to put this disease into the background of my life.  That’s where I’d like it to stay.

1 Comment »

A little encouragement……

I have decided that a little encouragement goes a very long way for me.  Maybe this has always been true, but it is certainly true for diabetic me.  I had a great doctor visit today, where my doc called me a rockstar. That’s only because he thinks I rock the numbers that mean something to him and to me in managing my health.  And while I know I’m a long way from being perfect in managing my diabetes (even now my Dexcom is buzzing me that I’m low and should really DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT – I keep telling it I just ate, but you know how technology is….), it felt good to be told that I’m doing a lot of things right.  There’s a new book out about diabetes that has something like “I’m never going to get everything perfect in managing diabetes” in the title. I’m sure the author didn’t use those exact words, but you get the idea.  I will never do this perfectly. I will never do anything perfectly!    It’s a picture of God’s grace, this striving to get better and better.  Paul said it well, talking about becoming like Christ rather than managing diabetes:  “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  My A1c is good, my blood pressure and cholesterol are where we want them, and I’m exercising like crazy. That’ll have to do for now.  I’m pressing on and I am thankful for the incredible support to do so that I have from my doc, my amazing CDE,  my family and my friends.  But most of all I am thankful for the fact that Christ has indeed made me His own, and I can draw on His strength when mine fails.  A good way to start the Lenten season, I’d say.

Leave a comment »