Friday, 12 June 2015

Blurry days and blurry blood sugar levels

It's been a blurry year. Things have been all over the place - and I'm not just talking about  Diabetes management - there's also been big changes to my work and home life (both for the better) but it's cause havoc all round. Emotionally, physically and every other ally. 

I'm feeling a bit down at the moment but I think it's important to focus on the positive. I'm moved out to a new place on a farm with my fiance. It's bigger, warmer and the kitchen is amazing. I love it! Something about the peace and quiet keeps me sane. I also had my lowest A1c level in about 8 years, due to hard work as well as starting on the pump in Oct 2013. Work life has been all over the place due to a turnaround of staff but we have a lovely lady now on board for our team of three and it should be settled for the next 9 months and generally means my work load is lighter. 

What I'm struggling with is the forwards and backwards nature of diabetes management and generally lifestyle management. I had an appointment with my Diabetes Nurse Educator and my a1c had gone up 12 points (just over 1%) and since joining the gym in March my weight has also gone up. ARRRRRRRRGGGGH

I cried at my appointment. Not at the numbers themselves but at the backwards slant the numbers has taken. It's so bloody frustrating. It feels like one step forward three steps back. My DNE is great though, she took one look at my a1c and said "You are not getting enough insulin". Something about that statement made me okay with it. As if, it's not all my fault. We tweaked basal and carb ratio rates.

 I felt terrible leaving that appointment but I think it helped to build resilience. I'm pretty determined to up the gym sessions and increase the healthy foods. I don't necessarily think I'm doing anything too wrong but with moving house, sickness and general stress in the last three months has meant an unhealthier lifestyle. Then again, maybe I do need a heck of shake up in order to make the changes I need. We've also talked about me starting on some metformin and my DNE was very clear to say it's not to say that I've failed but that my body is generally insulin resistant. I'll try it because I trust my DNE but I hate the idea of being on more medication and I hate that I can't change my lifestyle in order to prevent this. 

I'm feeling determined but I've been in this place before and the stagnation of not having better management is soul destroying. I have spent years trying to get my a1c below 7.5% but I just struggle to break that barrier and simply, I have not had an a1c that low in about 9 years. I was diagnosed 11 years ago and don't have my a1c numbers from then so it's highly likely the last time I had an a1c that low was prediagnosis. It's a goal that's been in my mind for the last 3-4 years. This week I felt a huge sense of frustration and felt like the numbers/test results/levels were consuming me. I'm trying to ride this feeling for a bit instead of blocking it away. It's shit. But life can be like that. I think human nature can be too muffling to negative feelings. The response to having a bad day is usually one of solutions of how to fix it. Sometimes it's a shit day or shit week and that is just that. I'm trying to ride that feeling, I don't want to feel like that again and it's more likely that I won't if I remember that feeling and not hide it away. 

It's a long blog post for me tonight. I've had a few feelings and thoughts to sort through and writing helps. 

Just gotta keep on keeping on.  


Jonah said...

1a. Did the A1c represent a change in your meter numbers that you knew was coming? Was it a surprise?
1b. If the numbers were increasing on the meter, how often did you respond by changing any of the settings on the pump? Did you have many highs that were likely to have been due to pump malfunction?
2. Focusing on weight instead of fat vs muscle sometimes is the wrong thing- if there's no weight loss, but it's from that fat being muscle now, then you've still accomplished something positive for health. And actually, if you're capable of more things physically that's worthwhile too.
3. Metformin is actually a pretty amazing medication. It even lowers the risk of cancer in people with insulin resistance! However, unlike when you went on insulin for diabetes, this going on metformin isn't a lifetime commitment. If it doesn't help or if side effects are too bothersome, you can go off it. About 5% of type 1 diabetics take it and there's no clear evidence that it does much in terms of diabetes control for the average diabetic, however it does help with things like PCOS in women. It's also known to help with weight loss.
4. I would like to say: making it this long without complications after a teenage diagnosis puts you ahead of the curve. And as far as complications are concerned, it's not just about the A1c. It's also about blood sugar variability, blood pressure, not smoking, and probably exercise (also some factors you can't change such as your sex, age, and ethnicity). So keep in mind that bigger picture.

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