Why can’t I take care of myself?
It’s 02.45am and I’m lying in bed at 33mmol drinking as much water as I can manage without puking…
For those of you who aren’t diabetic 33mmol is DANGEROUSLY high.
So why am I this level? Pretty much my fault. This is something I find hard to say and tend to avoid. I can usually make up excuses like “I don’t know my insulin ratios yet”, “I give myself insulin and still go high” etc etc. And both these things are true. But 33? Neither of these excuses equate to a crazy level like that. I had a lovely meal last night with my friends which was carb heavy and ended with brownie and ice cream.
Now I’m all for advocating the fact that type 1s are allowed to eat what they like and this is true. But for this to work I need to get over my fear of giving myself more than 12 units of insulin at a time. This fear goes back years and stems from an awful consultant I had back at my children’s clinic at home. When I was around 16 was when I think my HbA1c first started running high. This woman didn’t handle it well and I think that’s where all my problems started. She used to ask me if I was skipping injections on purpose, if I was doing it to lose weight. I wasn’t at all and I didn’t need this blame for something I was already struggling with. I was also told that the amounts of insulin I said I was giving myself were huge. Since then I’ve tried never to go above this as it’s just stuck with me. Only last year, at 20 years old, did an HCP say to me, “If you’re high, you need to take more insulin. The amounts you’re taking aren’t that much.” This shocked me and it definitely shouldn’t have.
Aside from the fear of over medicating, I also lack motivation. This comes from years and years of trying with no result. Every 6 months or so, I get a huge surge of motivation from somewhere and think “Right, I’m going to sort this, once and for all.” Then I begin the rigorous demanding process of keeping a food diary, monitoring BGs every 2 hours, weighing all my food, tweaking insulin, looking for patterns, sending diaries to nurses and dietitians and so on. This will go on for a few weeks and is completely exhausting. I’ve figured out, with help, that my insulin:carb ratios are different at different times of day, which makes medication difficult, but not impossible. Plenty of people do it. My problem is that after this intense process for weeks, which is very difficult at the same time as working or studying and also just trying to lead a normal life, I still don’t see the perfect 4-10mmol results I’m looking for. And although, I know that it takes a long time, this is hard to deal with and makes me feel as though all my effort is going to waste. Then somewhere along the line, I’ll let it slip a bit and stop putting in so much effort.
Now, I don’t skip injections and I do my blood sugar tests. I try to get the correct amount of insulin. But I don’t keep my control as tight as I could. For example, last night after the carby meal I spoke of, I didn’t take a correction dose before bed. In hindsight this is just ridiculous but I can’t explain how this happens. It’s not like I consciously think, I’m not going to sort this. It just happens.
I definitely need more help that I’m getting, in coming to terms with, and controlling my diabetes more rigidly. I feel like it completely controls me, rather than me controlling it and although it’s been 12 years, I still haven’t fully come to terms with the life changing condition.
For now, after this incredibly honest post, I need to monitor my BG closely and keep drinking water, so that hopefully this won’t turn to DKA. In the close future, I need to reach out for further help and try again with the food diaries etc, but hopefully with more guidance along the way.