Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Challenges in My D-Life

Help! I'm on the D-Rollercoaster again and I can't get off...
The last couple of days have been pretty tough for me.  I've had some ups and downs with my numbers, and my after-breakfast BGs have still not improved.  It seems like no matter what I do, they're always in the 140-200 range while my lunch and supper postprandials are perfect.  It's frustrating simply because I've tried so many things in an effort to change the trend, but haven't succeeded yet.  Actually, I was following my CGM pretty closely yesterday morning and bolusing accordingly as my BG went up...and up, and up.  I bolused about 8.0 units to cover 24 grams of carbohydrate (a Glucerna mini snack bar and a SF Jello Pudding snack) and ended up at 119 at the two hour mark...so a success, but wow.  Will I really have to take that much insulin every morning?  Today I thought I did everything right--I ate a Jimmy Dean D-lights whole grain bagel w/turkey sausage, egg whites, and cheese.  31g carbohydrate, 18g protein, bolused with ~40% given immediately and the other 60% over 30 minutes (to accommodate the protein content), and no caffeine.  Then an hour and a half later, I was at 192.  Ugh...So. Incredibly. Frustrating.

In Other Not-So-Great D-News...
Other than those post-breakfast highs, I also had to deal with one of the other challenging aspects of diabetes again yesterday.  Over the course of conversations with people about my diabetes, I encounter a lot of frustrating ignorance about the disease.  The way a lot of people perceive those of us with diabetes is often hurtful, and leaves me feeling helpless as to how to correct them in a way that will change their way of thinking without pushing them away or letting my feelings get the best of me. 

I have a lot to say on the subject, so I've decided to break it down into a serious of posts focused on raising diabetes awareness and correcting the common myths and misperceptions associated with the disease.  I completely realize that most people don't mean to be hurtful with their comments, and that they simply come from a place of ignorance regarding the disease.  I'll be the first to admit that I had some of the same ideas before I was diagnosed, even though my sister had been diagnosed with type 1 about four years before me and my dad had had type 2 for a couple of years before.  I've been on both sides of the fence and know that the general public just has very little accurate information when it comes to diabetes, and it's natural for people to want to relate to one another.  For this reason, I think a lot of people are simply trying to empathyze with you and show you that they know there are things that are more difficult for a person with diabetes when they bring these things up in conversation...At least that's what the optimist in me wants to believe.  Some people, though, can be downright rude and mean when it comes down to it.

What is it about diabetes that makes people feel like it's their personal responsibility to make sure you know everything they think they know about your disease?  When people find out you have diabetes, they almost automatically tend to comment on, instruct you, or judge you when it comes to your disease, and they don't always have to use words to do it.  I've come to the conclusion that pregnant women and new mothers must feel the same way, because having that belly or baby somehow makes people believe that you're somehow public property open for comment.  (Not that I am or have been pregnant, but I've had plenty of friends that this has happened to!)  Whatever the reason for this, it happens; and it happens often.  I don't understand it, mainly because you wouldn't tell someone who has cancer or some other disease that they should just "____[insert genius medical advice here]" and all their problems would be solved, so why is it people feel they have the right to do this when it comes to diabetes?

In the end, the only solution is to raise awareness and educate people on the subject.  I'm tempted to create a brochure or booklet on diabetes that I can hand to the people I have these conversations with.  It would make things a lot simpler, and maybe then the information would stick.  I've also thought about writing a column for our local newspaper to raise awareness on a bigger scale and educate people that I may not reach otherwise.  Stay tuned for developments in that area, and for future posts in my awareness series!


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