Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chasing Gold Stars

My endocrinologist/diabetic education appointment is approaching fast and with that in mind we are always being more conscious of our blood sugar readings. For me, when I am trying really hard to prevent high blood sugars I often find myself falling into incredible lows in the middle of the night or during the day.  Unfortunately, there is something about being obsessive about insulin delivery that makes a diabetic go wild when trying to stay below, say a 9 mmol/l [162 mg/dl].  However, there is also something that I have found interesting about my mind set when trying to conquer the wrath of diabetes and I have found that I am not alone in this thought, as diabetics we much rather see lows than highs.

I have been thinking about this idea for awhile now and wondering why we are much happier to see a 3 [54] the odd time than see a 28 [504] the odd time.  I started to wonder if it comes from the pressure to have amazing a1c which are made possible with within range blood sugars or a good percentage of low blood sugars.   It seems that were are constantly being reminded that having within range blood sugars, or in words of other's mouths, "GOOD" blood sugars, that we are on the right path and we will receive that gold sticker and pat on the back because we managed to mange our diabetes all by ourselves.

As diabetics we feel extremely disappointed when we test our fingers and see a flashing 16 [288] it isn't like we were aiming for high blood sugar.  We are disappointed because we have the tools to stay within the range that doctor's want to see and that we want to see as well, but for some reason we aren't able to maintain it.   With insulin, I still fail to have a 'perfect' day.

When we go low, I know for myself, I feel like I did do something right despite the fact that going low is not a good feeling.   I feel like I managed to avoid snacking or that I am able to use my insulin in a way that covers all the food I have had, in reality, it isn't the fact that you are an amazing insulin distributor, it is that you may have taken too much insulin for your last meal (of course there are other circumstances such as alcohol consumption,  exercise or stress...) but in the realm of things, going low doesn't seem as shameful as going high.

Those perfect, good blood sugar, tighten a1c's and gold stars are hard to come by.  They are the myths and dreams of endocrinologists and diabetics alike. Chasing for the perfect 'diabetes' day is what keeps us checking - hoping that today is going to be the day you don't see anything higher than a 9 [162]. If only diabetes was as easy to control as it appears to be, insulin and blood sugar checking.


1 comment:

  1. I think the answer is that there's an inherent "reward" that comes with being low: the opportunity to eat stuff we'd ordinarily avoid. For the most part, it's much easier and more fun to treat a low than to treat a high. That it contributes to bringing a usually-too-high A1c down is just icing on the cake. (Mmmm... icing on cake).

    Thanks for including the mmol/l and mg/dl conversions. It really helps!