Diabetes Blog Week- Day 3 What Brings Me Down

“May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?”

For most things in my life, my level of effort has been indicative of the outcome. That is, when I try my best and put a lot of hard work in, I can usually expect favorable results. Of course this is not always true, but it has been true in many cases. For instance, my grades throughout school, events that I put a lot of effort into planning, projects at work, you get the idea. And if the results are not what I had hoped for, it’s usually not unexpected. I usually know that maybe I didn’t study enough, or put enough thought into something, or cut corners. So if I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results, I usually knew what was to blame.

One of the most difficult aspects of living with diabetes for me is the frustration that comes with trying to keep my blood sugars under control. There have been many times where I think that I’ve done everything “right” only to be disappointed. I counted my carbs (yes, I looked them up even), I checked my blood sugar, I gave my insulin before I ate, and I checked my blood sugar 2 hours later. But despite all of this, sometimes I still end up with a high blood sugar or a low blood sugar and I have no idea why.

It’s beyond frustrating to think you’re doing everything you’re suppose to but still don’t get the result that you want. There are a million reasons why that blood sugar could be off. Maybe my infusion set isn’t working, maybe the insulin isn’t good anymore, maybe the food was actually more or less carbs than I thought, maybe the low is a result of exercise I did hours earlier, maybe I’m getting sick, the list can go on and on.

So many times I’ll check my blood sugar and just be perplexed. The number is unexpected and not what I want to be seeing. 345?! Ugh!! Why?! I’ll shake my head, I’ll audibly sigh, I’ll mutter obscenities. As much as I try to dissociate emotions from these numbers, it’s not always possible. High numbers can put me in a bad mood. They make me angry and frustrated and can often feel like a personal failure.

I can always do better. I can be stricter, more vigilant, more attentive. I know that. Most of my high blood sugars I can point to something that I did or did not do that is most likely the cause. But those high or low blood sugar numbers that are unexpected are the ones that really get to me. Those are the one’s that I hate dealing with, but you know what? You just deal. You accept that once in awhile you might not have anything to blame, sometimes you don’t have an answer, things are out of your control. But dwelling on it isn’t going to raise that low blood sugar or lower that high one. So you do what you have to do, and you move on. Because pretty soon, there will be another number, and hopefully that one won’t be unexpected.


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