1.22.15

Never Trust a Low Thought

Never Trust A Low Thought

Lunch is over. You just scarfed down your kale, blueberry, chia seed, sprouted black bean, and quinoa salad. Yay you. After leaving the break room, feeling quite proud of your lunch choice in comparison to your coworkers’ chicken fingers, you take some insulin. This does happen to be your first time packing and eating this meal, after breaking the chicken finger habit, yesterday.

Anyway, emails popping up in the corner of your computer monitor catch your attention. You answer a few. Feeling good. Then, you begin to feel overwhelmed. Here come the thoughts sneaking into your consciousness:  “How can I possibly answer all of these emails? Why don’t these people take care of their own $hit? I hate this job. I’m not very good at this. I’m going to get fired. It’s over.”

What just happened? Well, your blood sugar started to trend low. You entered the low blood sugar, cloudy, doomsday weather pattern of the mind.

Let’s be clear. If I followed through on every thought, from every low, I’d be in prison, clinically depressed. That’s why we have to recognize the thoughts, because we can’t always rely on the physical symptoms. NEVER TRUST THESE THOUGHTS!. THEY ARE NOT YOU!

This is where I use the “Thought Test”. The test is tough to apply when low but I find that it works. When I recognize negativity, poor self-esteem, general malaise, and motivation similar to “The Dude’s”,  I run myself through the following test to determine if a blood sugar test is needed:

Step 1: I start by asking myself, “Is this  a normal thought?” If the answer is no, I move on to the next prompt.

Step 2: Then I think back quickly and ponder, “How was my energy an hour ago?” If there’s a stark difference between that place and the current place I occupy, time to move forward in the questioning.

Step 3: Now I mindfully bring attention to my level of hunger by simply asking, “If you had a banana in front of you, would you want to eat it?” Alright, if I answer yes here, especially if I just ate, then it’s time to test the blood sugar.

Step 4: If you need further confirmation, consider whether  you have been trying to do 15 different things in the last 30 minutes, while not completed any of those tasks. If this is the case, go get something to eat.

Here’s the bottomline–If you have an inkling of doubt regarding whether or not your blood sugar is in a good place, just test it. I know this sounds simple. Do not talk yourself out of testing your blood sugar. Intuition always knows. Let your mind be your security system. Well, most of the time it knows. In a completely non-scientific, retrospective study of my biased recollections regarding low blood sugar, just about every time I’ve checked to see where my glucose is after answering those questions, 93.4% of the time it is low. If you have a CGM, continuous glucose monitor, pull it out of your pocket.

Now you know, in fact, that you are indeed low. Wait 30 minutes. Let the topic resurface. Distract yourself in the meantime, then, reappraise. Perspective is a difficult place to discover when low, even in the middle zone.

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Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

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