Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Numbers

on August 28, 2013

I love the TV show Numbers.  I realize it isn’t on anymore, but through the magic of re-runs and Netflix, I can still enjoy it.  I always liked the part at the beginning where they do the 3-D graph with various statistics related to the story in that episode.  It occurred to me recently that my life has become kinda like that.  A bunch of numbers that describe my life.  I’m not sure this is  a good thing, but it is reality.

IMG_1263It starts with the blood glucose numbers.  There’s the ever elusive “good” numbers, which vary depending on the time of day and other stuff.  100 is great sometimes, but not when I’m getting ready to swim, when I want something higher.  And what exactly IS a “good” number?  I try not to think of the numbers that pop up on my meter as good or bad, but really, it’s impossible not to.  These numbers crowd my life with data, and when I pull out my Dexcom to check the numbers it presents, I find myself doing quick calculations about where the number is going and if I am going to have to intervene to keep it from going too far up or down.  I’m plagued by numbers.

Then there’s the carbs. Always counting carbs.  When I look at a meal or a menu now, I’m thinking numbers.  What’s the best thing I can have within the range of what I think I should eat at this meal? Is it worth eating a really high carb item? Will I enjoy it enough to risk the awful numbers (there’s the judgment again) that will probably follow?

Exercising even enters the picture.  How long should I swim? Is my BG too low to swim and do I need to eat something before getting wet?  What happens if I don’t swim, but I haven’t changed the settings on my pump to account for that? The numbers will really be whacked out.  I find myself counting laps even though I don’t swim based on the number of laps.  And I get myself in trouble with those numbers when I am driven to complete a certain number of laps or minutes of swimming even though I can feel my BG dropping.

And of course there’s the hemoglobin A1C number – my report card every three months.  I don’t live in fear of that number so much anymore, but honestly, it really is in my mind when I spend hours with high BG numbers (as in “Rats, I was doing so well staying under 200 and now that’s going to ruin my A1C!”).

My insulin pump presents a whole new set of numbers – Insulin sensitivity number, Insulin:carbohydrate ratio, the amount of insulin on board, temporary basals to compensate for unusual circumstances – the list is really long and boring. Fortunately I don’t have to remember all of these, but they are not unchanging. Every once in a while they need tweaking because something in my body or about my life has changed, so I have to pay attention to them.

Numbers are a huge part of my life, but I’m trying hard not to let them rule my life.  But I do love data, I admit. I love having information about how I’m doing. I want to figure out why the numbers are what they are. I want them to behave the way I THINK they should behave. Right. The blood sugar fairy is laughing hysterically right now.  It’s hard to let numbers just be numbers without letting my feelings get all tied up in them.  I’m not sure I want to become completely disconnected from those feelings, since it seems that doing a better job of managing this disease depends on how I handle the numbers.

So numbers will continue to be a big part of my life.  And I’ll keep enjoying Numbers the show too.  I’ll never be a brilliant mathematician who solves crimes for the FBI. But maybe sometimes, I’ll get the numbers right for solving the day to day issues of diabetes.

 

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