I find it so hard to not judge my success by the numbers on my meter and now my CGM graphs. Logically, I know it’s the effort that counts. If I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing and making an honest effort, I’m probably going to have pretty good results a fair percentage of the time. The other percentage of the time when I’m not getting the results I’m aiming for, as long as I’m trying, it’s likely just diabetes being diabetes – sometimes you wake up at 350, or you spend a day battling just to get under the 200 mark, or you drink glasses of juice and eat peanut butter crackers until you could choke but your BG hovers at 60 for half a day. I take it personally though, as if the numbers I get are an accurate reflection of my effort and investment toward managing my diabetes well. Even though I shouldn’t allow those readings to inform my mood and my sense of competency and efficacy, I do.
I think most of us who had this as children likely grew up experiencing this. For me, it feels like just one piece of ‘betes baggage I’ve been hauling around for what feels like an eternity – this stuff gets heavy and cumbersome, doesn’t it? Back then, few doctors paid attention to the psychology of diabetes so few encouraged parents to not react to the numbers, to not accuse and blame their diabetic children. “What on earth did you have to eat at that slumber party?” “Didn’t you eat a snack like you were supposed to?” Not only did most doctors overlook advising parents of effectively encouraging diabetic children, but doctors themselves seemed completely oblivious to the impact of their own words. “You shouldn’t be having so many highs… you’ve got to do better!” “Look at these dinnertime numbers! What are you eating at school during the day?” “I see you haven’t been logging…*tsk tsk*.”
Most of this month and last, I’ve really been fighting my depression. I know the weather hasn’t helped because I hate the cold so I don’t go out if I can help it, and I pine for the days of late sunsets. The hours of daylight and the temperature on the thermometer haven’t been the only numbers affecting my state of mind though. I don’t know how much wonky BG’s have a true physiological effect on mood, but at least some of my bad mood has been from feeling angry, frustrated, and incompetent at not being able to make the proper adjustments to level out the wide swings.
Today, I’m relishing the beauty of a nice even line on my CGM. I used to get lines like this a few times a month, but lately I’d been feeling like I’d never see another one again. What I truly love are the straight lines, and this one isn’t quite there, but it’s close – far closer than the other roller-coaster lines I’ve nervously watched develop recently. Obviously, I feel good about it, and I’m happy. Seriously, wouldn’t any of us be delighted to have consistently hovered between 70 and 120 for 24 hours? I mean, I even ate ravioli, and yes, it was Lean Cuisine, and they are surprisingly delicious! Then I washed the ravioli down with a brownie! If it weren’t for all the awful numbers I’ve had recently, I’d say I don’t even deserve to have such a magically normal graph after lunching like that. So is it possible to feel the delight of maintaining non-diabetic numbers, but not feel the defeat of highs that won’t come down or nauseating roller-coaster rides at the BG Amusement Park of Hell? Or if you manage to not feel defeated, does that mean you also divorce yourself from feeling any sense of achievement for being in-range? Even though I make a conscious effort to not qualify the numbers as good or bad when I speak or write about them, will I ever be able to separate the good and bad feelings that accompany the meter numbers? Has anyone figured out how to detach themselves emotionally from their BG readings? If I could do that, then I’d definitely feel like a success.