Sometimes I Worry That I Am Just Not That Great at Diabetes Self Management
I watch all these friends with diabetes who own their diabetes. They appear to master it. They have gadgets and gizmos, and they know how to use them. The lines on their blood sugar graphs look amazingly steady. I’m unsure if they master it or are just posting a series of good days. I feel like a bit of a failure as I test every few hours and watch the maddening roller coaster ride that would make up my graph lines.
After 21 years of this, why the heck am I so bad at diabetes? I want to say, “Alright, already; I’m just not good at this constant taking care of myself thing. Sorry diabetes, you’ll have to move along (if only!).” Maybe it is burnout. Maybe it’s the holiday season when it comes upon us and the retail world of craziness that I work in that contributes to the overwhelming pressure.
To be fair, my A1c is not horrible. It’s been much worse over the years, but it’s never quite where I want it to be. It’s never as flawless as many others in the diabetes online community seem to share.
Sure, I make it look easy. A friend with diabetes recently said to me, “I’m sure you don’t have this problem,” as he remarked about his difficulties. Still, the truth is I think that many of us struggle with diabetes. We aren’t alone, despite those flawless-looking social media posts. It’s probably because it is a continual work in progress. You are never done trying. You simply do well on one A1c test, and then maybe you falter, you do awesome again, and then perhaps you see another decline. It is a frustrating cycle.
As autumn and then the holiday season approaches, I realize there are several things I can do to help my cause and keep me from being so harsh on myself:
1. I need to test like a maniac. I need to love the click of the lancet and to use the number to correct my blood sugar levels, not to beat myself up and feel more stressed.
2. I need to keep exercising and not skip days as my retail management job gets insane this time of year.
3. I need to watch my portions of the holiday food, even though it is delicious and only comes once a year. I don’t want to wake up in January, with the 20 lbs, I lost this year, back on my midsection.
4. I need to make that endo appointment that I’ve been putting off. I need to make a lot of appointments. I need to space them out a little. I’ll take a few vacation days to do them, so I’m not as stressed and overwhelmed with work and appointments on my days off.
5. I need to give myself some credit. Seriously, I need a dry-erase board where I can write down something good I’ve done each day or week to remind myself how hard I work. I hope you are all doing well this part of the year. I hope you see gorgeously flat lines on your CGM graphs. I am genuinely thrilled for those of you who do so well with managing your diabetes. I know that you have bad days, too. Maybe you don’t always share them. I know deep down that diabetes isn’t easy for any of us. I wish I were better at it.