When diabetes doesn’t go your way….for 4 months.

Since I arrived back in Sydney almost 6 months ago my diabetes control seems to be persistent in providing me with a challenge.

My CGM looks like the latest ride at an American theme park.

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When this occurs I like to use the rule of elimination. Testing and eliminating all the variables that could be causing my BGLs to be running high.

These generally include:

  • Changing my infusion set
  • Buying a new batch of insulin
  • Fasting basal testing
  • Very accurate carb counting
  • Reducing my fat intake
  • Getting into a routine
  • Looking at my hormones
  • Trying to reduce any stress, especially diabetes-related stress
  • Working out exercise related high BGLs
  • Working out optimal pre-bolus for meals

This really forces me to go back to basics with my diabetes management.

In this instance, after ticking off the above I still couldn’t find the cause of my BGLs running above range for over 50% of my days.

This wasn’t what I was used to….or so I thought.

I got to a stage where I was working closely with my dietician and nothing was working. I was so burnt out.

I kept saying to myself, there must be something causing these fluctuations, I was adamant I’d get to the bottom of it. This consumed my thoughts every minute of every day for almost 4 months.

Then one afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I came home from a vegan festival exhausted physically and mentally, lay on my bed and cried. Cried because I didn’t know the answers and therefore had no solution.

I spent the afternoon trying to nap, trying to forget the frustrations and stress related to my diabetes.

Last weekend, I saw my dietician again.

My blood glucose levels had improved, I was feeling a lot more positive and I gotten my latest HbA1c – 6.1%.
This was the best since being back in Sydney.

I felt I was heading in the right direction.

I also came to the realisation that having the CGM gave me insight into my BGLs over a 24-hour period, 7 days a week.

I had never seen my BGLs consistently, only through intermittent blood testing with my glucose monitor providing me a 1 second snapshot of my control interspersed throughout the day.

I admitted to myself that maybe my control was not as tight as I had previously thought.

Grateful to have the opportunity to changes things.

My plan of attack:

  • Do basal fasting testing again (for the millionth time)
  • Only eat 3 meals a day with accurate carb counting
  • Test Insulin: Carbohydrate ratios
  • Only use rice syrup to treat hypos (I have a habit of treating with way too many carbs)

Results:

  • Having minimal BGLs over 12
  • Seeing patterns with my basal – fixing these made a huge difference
  • Not having huge post hypo spikes
  • Much smaller rollercoaster

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What I learnt:

  • Diabetes is never going to be 100% perfect
  • A good HbA1c does not reflect what your BGLs are 24/7
  • Expectations are good, but sometimes I set them too high for myself
  • There will always be room for improvement and that is a good thing
  • Diabetes has shown me that even some of the toughest challenges can be overcome

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I’m looking at the past 4 months as an insightful experience and the coming 4 months as an opportunity to dramatically improve my BGLs leading up to the Boston Marathon and my first ultra-marathon.

Above and beyond.

 

 

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