Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Week 2: ACT
Thursday, November 11

Veteran’s Day – Veterans Day marks end of World War 1 in 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Is there something you do every day at the same time to help with your diabetes routine?

I apologize for not posting earlier in the day, but I had good reason--I promise!  From 9:00am-3:30pm today, I was in a Diabetes Education course learning about living with my disease.  Oh, and we had to leave town before 7:00, because we had a 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive to the city where the class was being held...So I had a long day!

Anyway, I first want to take the time to thank all of the veterans for their service in whatever war(s) they served in.  I truly appreciate what you all have done to protect and preserve our freedom.  I'm thankful to live in a country where I have a say in my Diabetes care, and a large part of that is due to that very freedom.  I'm proud to be the granddaughter of two veterans, one of World War II and one of the Korean War, and I feel that we are all indebted to veterans for their service.

As far as the subject at hand, I don't particularly have anything that I do at the exact same thing every day to help with my Diabetes management, mainly because my life is busy and I find it easier to "go with the flow" than to fight against it.  However, I do try to remember to test my blood glucose at least once as soon as I wake up in the morning and two hours after at least two meals during the day.  I also test whenver I feel a low coming on, or if I suspect I'm running high.

When I was diagnosed, the local doctor told me to test twice a day, in the morning and before bed.  As someone with Type 2, though, that really wasn't helpful in telling me anything I didn't already know...Yes, I have Diabetes; therefore, my BGs are going to be (hopefully only somewhat) higher than average during those times.  Upon reading more books on my own, I found out about the importance of testing your BG before and then two hours after meals--as I learned today, this is called "testing in pairs."  This type of testing gives me much more information about how I'm doing in my Diabetes care in a more real-time setting than if I were only to wait until it had a chance to return closer to normal (i.e., in the morning and late evening).

As the CDE teaching our class noted, there are no "good" or "bad" numbers, because they provide us with valuable information about how we're doing with managing our Diabetes.  Of course, I know this theoretically, but taking that to heart is much harder for me to do.  As I've told you before, I'm definitely a Type A perfectionist, and always have been.  Grades were always very important to me in school, which is how I ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude with a perfect 4.0 from Texas Tech University in August 2009--the only one of my fellow graduates to do so.  I bring this up to show you that while there are definitely situations in which my personality gives me an advantage, as far as Diabetes management goes, it can be a problem.

In the two and a half months since my diagnosis, I've dealt with the highs and lows of Diabetes with some trepidation.  First of all, I have to know everything I can about something before I feel comfortable dealing with it, and this was no exception...Hence the nine or ten books I've read on the subject in that time.  As I gained knowledge on my disease, I also gained confidence in my ability to deal with it.  However, in practice, it's much harder for me.  Due to my personality, I tend to regard my BG readings as "grades" of sort; if I fall within my range, I feel at peace with myself, but if I run high (especially if I'm much higher than my targets), I feel like I've failed myself, and inevitably end up feeling guilty for whatever it was that I ate that caused the high reading in the first place.

I know all of this, and I understand why I feel that way (I have a minor in Psychology)--high readings make me feel "out of control," and that's a feeling I definitely don't like.  After all, if we can't control what our own body is doing, what can we control?  I hate change, and I hate not having control of a situation...Two things I've had to deal with directly upon being diagnosed with this disease. 

After today, I'm going to try to focus on the things I can do to bring my high readings down, and be proactive in getting in touch with my doctor to modify my treatment.  I've started out with just diet and exercise, but as high as my readings have been lately (even when I eat my recommended # of carbs), I think it's time to try something else.  At first, I felt like the diet and exercise form of treatment was superior, a "badge of honor" of sorts (i.e., it made me feel like I could control this on my own, without the help of medications), but now I see that in order to keep my BG readings within range, I'm going to need some additional help--and I'm okay with that.  I've been leaning towards insulin, but one of the pharmacology students I talked to today reminded me that insulin can cause weight gain, so that's something I'll definitely have to take into consideration.  BUT I know that when we decide to have kids, I'll have to be on insulin anyway (oral medications are not approved for use during pregnancy), so I figure why not start now?

I suppose we'll have to see what happens, and you know I'll keep you updated! =)


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