I forgot my lunch in the car. By itself, not all that significant. In the midst of any day with diabetes, it has ramifications.
By the time this truth was realized, it was 11:55AM and morning classes were a wrap. On an aside, things like this have happened to me for most of my life. Due to the customary nature of the event, I’d already convinced myself that it was good for me to forget lunch in the car. It’s a chance to get in a few more steps. Maybe even get some vitamin D. So, I embarked on the 10 minute walk back out to the car.
As I left the school building, my strides meeting a classic Oklahoma gust head on, I stole a glance at the Medtronic CGM (continuous glucose monitor). I didn’t freak out when it read 87.
About 5 minutes later and halfway through the walk, my thought stream darted in a different direction. I hate how far we have to walk everyday. This is ridiculous. Forget getting any vitamin D with all these clouds. I’m so ready for spring to be here. Just for kicks, I glanced at the pump again: 68.
The tone of those thoughts fit nicely into the Parameters for “Low Thinking” (a set of guidelines developed over some years):
Parameter 1: A radical shift in attitude
(Minutes earlier I was excited to get in a nice walk)
Parameter 2: Saying things that don’t pass the ” true me” test
(For example, I love that winter walk and think about how much I love it almost every day.)
Parameter 3: They place me at the center of existence
(Good for self-preservation in a mad hunt for glucose. Not good for a mindful understanding of what’s really happening at the moment.)
The parameters were met. Basically, the walk served as a catalyst for a low blood sugar. During the walk, a curious moment in diabetes management happened: you know you’re low and can’t necessarily do anything about it right there. Having the CGM helps because I can see to what extent the low blood sugar is trending, so any panic never too hold. I just watched those thoughts, even laughed at a few as I got closer to the car.
I arrived at the car and sunk into the front seat. Ate my lunch to the continuous murmuring of hypoglycemia-fueled anxiety, all the while watching my CGM slowly creep back up, and knowing that normalcy would resume soon.