You know that place–the simple longing for normalcy after a long bout with high and low blood sugars. All you want is to feel like yourself again; balanced, centered, in control. In the midst of the roller coaster ride, it’s difficult to remember that you will eventually make it back. You always do.
Before making it back to that normal zone of self-awareness, we’re different–not ourselves but not entirely not ourselves. I think that was a triple negative but you get the point, ultimately the one understanding to sane with diabetes:
We must understand who we are to recognize when we are not being that person because of varying blood sugars.
This is a simplified story to illustrate and the first one that comes to mind. In the middle of a round of golf with my grandpa (who happened to play the round of his life that day) last week, I noticed my attitude shift into unfamiliar territory. Over a fifteen minute stretch between the 7th and 9th holes, my thought pattern changed from “Man, this is an awesome summer evening and a precious opportunity to enjoy with Gramps” to “I don’t even know why I play golf. Why didn’t I go to the range before this.” My CGM said 118 but I felt off. The meter said 72. I chugged half a gatorade, ate an orange, and salvaged a par on 9. The former thought pattern reestablished itself.
That attitude, I didn’t take personally. I knew it wasn’t normal for me. It just wasn’t me. That knowing deflects personal responsibility. Yes, we should be responsible for our blood sugars, but we should cut ourselves a break in those moments. If not, that’s a tough pill to swallow consistently. Most days, there’s a good chance I will not be myself for a period of time due to blood sugar.
Really it all comes down to knowing who we are and the ability to settle down into us. If this part of the understanding is troubling, start observing your personality, character, and attitude when in the zone (whatever your comfortable blood sugar range happens to be). If you tend to be upbeat, make a note. If you tend to be filled with anxiety, make a note of when you feel even more anxious. As we get older and our physiological symptoms of low and high blood sugars fade, knowing when we’re not us is probably the best bet (even with a CGM) to predict a trend in blood sugar.
==Are you high? This is where Ryan turns, right to John Kabat-Zinn. Read it anywhere, anytime.==