Part of the reason I’ve been gone so long has been because I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy on losing weight and getting fit, and I’ve been blogging about that over on tumblr. But I kind of accidentally wrote a rare long tumblr post today that fits better over here, with diabetes. So I’m copypasta-ing it over here so that more people who actually find it relevant will see and read and hopefully gain something from it.
I REALLY hope my new Endocrinologist can help me tomorrow!
This is a really long post, and it’s about an issue most of you fitness gurus don’t even have to deal with, but it’s relatable to other problems you may have if you suffer from depression, asthma, anxiety, or any other chronic illness that makes you feel awful a good part of the time.
(An endocrinologist specializes in hormone related illnesses, which include diabetes, which I have, type 1).
Let me tell you guys a little bit about how I feel when my blood sugar is out of whack.
Lately I have been running way too high, higher than normal. A normal blood glucose range is 80-120, or 80-140 if you have type 1 diabetes.
My particular blood sugars have been running about 160-400.
This makes you feel all kinds of different ways, but the majority of the ways are exausted, lathargic, irritated, sore, pissed, angry, sleepy, heavy, headachey, bleh, hit by a truck, can I please just go to sleep now, get the fuck out of my way i need some water, why do I have to pee so much, why won’t this goddamn headache go away, why do my legs hurt I haven’t worked out in days, where is the saltiest snack I can find, where is the sweetest snack I can find, why am I so fucking thirsty, why did I just go through two liters of diet coke and a gallon of water, where the fuck is the milk? Oh yeah I don’t eat dairy, so I’ll go out and buy some milk ways.
And yes. Sorry mom, grandma, dad, aunt, whoever is reading this, but when your blood sugar is 300 when you wake up at 6:30 am, after having an excellent reading of 84 when you went to sleep, then it makes you curse. It makes you say the F word and not give to f words about who hears you or what they think of you.
I am not exactly sure how it got to this point. I’m sure it was a combination of going off my insulin pump, of constantly running out of and not being able to afford insulin and the stress that comes with that, followed by an ER visit which no, I did not tell my parents or facebook or even my friends about because I didn’t want anyone to worry about me.
Diabetes is similar to obesity in that everyone everywhere, your family, your doctors, medical science in general, tells you that it is YOUR FAULT YOU GOT THIS WAY. HOW COULD YOU HAVE DONE THIS TO YOURSELF. YOU ARE NOW GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK, LOSE A LEG, GO BLIND, AND LOSE A KIDNEY SIMULTANEOUSLY. And you feel shame and grief and if you are a perfectionist like I am, you give up.
Yep, in a lot of ways my diabetes struggles have been similar to my weight struggles. Up and down. Good and bad. Get the A1C (a test that shows an average of your blood sugars over the last 3 months) under 8 and then it pops back up to 9 before you know it. Throw in the added bonus that because of changing insurance I haven’t seen an endo in over a year, and voila! My A1C is nearly 10 (it should be under 8, for those non-diabetic knowing people who might have taken the time to read this long and ranty post. Thanks, btw).
So if not feeling like doing ANYTHING (including get out of bed to find my meter and insulin and actually treat myself) and feeling like this is all my own fault and not knowing what else to do to fix it is any indicator of my level of anxiety going into this appointment with a new doctor tomorrow, well, take that level and multiply it by at least 5.
It’s kind of strange though, to be anxious for an actual reason. It’s not an empty feeling of anxiety for no reason like it is when I suffer from attacks. It’s just a general feeling of, I really want to get this over with and I better either feel confident in myself and my doctor when I come out, or be prepared to find another doctor because God knows I am not tolerating anyone who makes me feel worse about my self care or myself. I’ve been working really hard to eat right and exercise and test my blood sugar more often and I will not let those accomplishments get thrown out the window for whatever this lady has to say about me. (I have no indication that this will even occur, but it is what I am terrified of: a long lecture about how I’m destroying my body and if I could just do better everything will be alright. Save it. I am fully aware).
I guess in the end I know that around 10:30 tomorrow morning I will either have some sort of plan of action to go from here. Because in spite of what may happen in the long term, I know I can’t go on living like this in the present. I need to feel good and be myself for my job. I can legitimately blame some of my struggles there on how I feel, especially early in the morning. I need to feel good in order to continue to work out and meet my goals of running a 5k in less than a month and riding 150 miles on a bike in less than six months. And I need to feel better just to feel better about myself. I know I can do this. I also know I need support. I need to not let my attitudes about the american health care system, or doctors in general, or the way diabetics are treated get in the way of having an open mind and of ultimately helping myself.
Because I Can Do This. And I know I can, and giving up is not an option.
Not now, not ever.