When Diabetes Management Feels Unmanageable

by | Apr 8, 2019 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes, Motivation | 0 comments

Some days, no matter what you do, diabetes feels unmanageable. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today and frustration explode! If only, it would stop changing! But that isn’t the way life works. Life moves.

Life Moves

On my walk this morning, I enjoyed watching a small stream meander through a subdivision. It reminded me that everything is constantly moving and that movement has a HUGE impact on our happiness. Sitting around is boring. Sure there are times where it’s nice to relax and lay low but in the grand scheme of things exploring, dancing, seeking new adventures, traveling to new places and playing games are the stuff that makes life worth living. Motion produces endorphins – our happy drug! Our bodies and minds need movement. It is healthy and part of the natural fabric of life. Life moves. And when it doesn’t more, still things get stinky….. (cue the stagnant water, dead animals and decaying plants)

BGs are not static

It is easy to forget that our blood glucose (sugar) is not a static number, but a constantly changing concentration in our blood. Our finger sticks only represent a small moment in time and the nanosecond we note the result, it has already changed. Just like the water in the stream – constantly moving.

In my nursing career, I monitored countless heart rates, respiratory rates, and blood pressures. Taken manually you get a good bit of information, but monitoring in real-time, you see a totally different picture. As you watch the waveforms on the monitor you notice them constantly changing – up a bit, down a bit. They fluctuate in response to movement, respiration, emotion and a myriad of other factors known only to the inner workings of the anatomy. The body is always adjusting, re-calculating and re-calibrating. Treatment plans chase those waves of numbers, trying to align perfectly with the rhythms of life, as well as disease, with differing levels of success. Blood glucose levels are no different – they are always moving.

Expect to adjust

What’s that saying?? “It’s hard to hit a moving target?” So true! There are days when the carbs, the boluses, and our best calculations don’t produce the BGs we expect. It is because we are always chasing movement. CGMs and pumps seek to replicate this moving target, but they can’t know all the variables. If we live a productive and fruitful life then we too are always changing, always moving, and always growing.

To keep up our diabetes management must be fluid as well. Like an oarsman rowing a boat must constantly adjust and adapt to the current, the wind and the water, we must constantly adjust to keep our glucose in range. Checking your BG tells you how close you are to either side of the stream, which is good to know, but you never get a true picture of all the moving parts. Sometimes there is an underwater current you can’t see or a gust of wind that alters your course. Sometimes you go high and sometimes you go low. The best we can do is to expect it. It WILL happen. And then adjust.

So be kind to yourself (or those you love) when a number on a screen (a snapshot of the concentration of a chemical in your body) doesn’t make sense or isn’t in range. Shame, blame, and guilt is not helpful navigators, just recalculate and keep moving. When you expect things to always be moving and they do, YOU win! And don’t stop exploring, dancing, growing and moving. Remember, still, stagnant things get stinky!

Not sure how to put it all together? I have options!

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