my numbers have been shit, I know this, also I was traveling which rained crap all over my routine… nevertheless I am determined to keep the travel in my routine, so I’m adjusting my diabetes around my life and not the other way around. That being said… my numbers really were shit and I did really say “fuck it” a couple times… I mean I was 300+ or under 70 pretty much the whole time I was in NYC, in Denver I mistook a sugar drop as altitude adjustment and very nearly passed out (40)… there were some learning opportunities… on the whole it was an amazing trip, a testament to the fact that I can be away if and when I need to be… that it’s okay to ask for help, and there are creative solutions for when living on my own is sub-optimal, other than hiring a nanny for myself… go me! But really my numbers are shit, so I’m getting back on that now… back to paleo light… and “remember to eat” alarms, if that’s what it takes, then there it is… today is a positive day, there was a lot of swearing about this yesterday, my lap time to sanity is getting shorter — big improvement, xo
People ask “How are you doing?” all the time, usually I answer with “fine”… well here’s a more comprehensive and Illustrative answer…
This is my latest take on something that could help me to better understand my diabetes and how to manage it. For right now I’m really just reporting findings, but as I get a better sense as to what I can pull out of my devices, I will switch gears into focusing on insights that I can pull out of the information.
Let me start by saying that I used professional tools to get to this point — I could have stuck to excel, but it would have taken me a lot longer and wouldn’t have been a repeatable process. My goal is to hone this process, so I can get as close to real time as possible — based on the level of effort required, I think that the most practical estimate for this is probably a weekly report, but the process is going to need work to even get to that point.
How did I get here? [the geeky stuff] Dexcom reports out two sets of numbers — the meter values that you input to the receiver (calibrating it), and the reported values that show on the screen every five minutes, these two sets of data are reported separately, but in the same worksheet. To add to this, when I updated the software on my Dexcom receiver it archived my file to date and created a new file, so I have to files one from when I started with the Dexcom to the software update, and then one from the software update to present day. What I needed to do was split and clean two data files, and then add together the corresponding parts, from there, I added an additional field identifying each of the data points as either being a “Meter Value” or a “Dexcom Reading” — which then enabled me to join the two tables back together as a single table with the fields of Time, Blood Glucose, and Type. This is the data set that I pulled into TableauPublic to build the visualization below. There were around 65k records, so we have a good bit of time in TableauPublic before we will have to think about filtering the data set down in anyway.
I’m 27. I’m sober. on psych meds. on insulin… oh yeah, because I’m diabetic. living in Hermosa Beach, working out of my apt for the most part. some people believe I’m smart and/or competent. both could be debated depending on the day. that imposter syndrome thing… it’s real, sometimes I even shock myself when I know what I’m doing. how fucked up is that? how did I get here? more like where the fuck am I? where am I going? that’s an even more outlandish question. who the fuck knows. do I care? I must if I’m writing this. this thought keeps popping up — who is reading this? do I need to be concerned about this? everything I put out here could definitely be used to question my sanity… I mean, fuck, I question my own sanity on here… I questioned it about two sentences back. I am one person, true, there is no separating the sobriety from the diabetes, from any other aspect of my life. Maybe I could be more polite about things, but let’s be real that’s not authentic to me either… haha. authentic, there’s a loaded word, blatantly misused by so many — if you have to state it over and over, did you ever really have it to begin with? anyway, I’ve never been one to mince words, so I guess why would I start here — the place I started writing just for the purpose of not having to filter myself. not filtering while also expressing those thoughts in open forum for the rest of the world to read, interesting concept. I guess I didn’t give that contradiction all that much thought before I started. too late to stop now. and let’s be real it feels good to get this off my chest, dropping the rock as my sponsor told me. somehow this is different than just writing in my journal, or typing in an empty document — I hope someone reads this and for whatever reason it causes them to pause, even if they just laugh at me because they think I’m ridiculous, it it could help someone who feels some of the same things I feel that would be great too, but let’s be real I am a bit ridiculous, so at least if someone gets a laugh out of it, I guess it’s not all for naught. who the fuck knows.
So I knew I was having trouble with my sugars, I figured my dexcom read out wouldn’t be great, but I wasn’t prepared for this… my A1c went from 6.9 to 8.0 over 4 months. Now, relatively I guess it’s not terrible, but my doctor’s reaction was the thing that blew me away… you would have thought my A1c had doubled, and she’s making me come into see another PA (not my normal one) next month… so every month, instead of every three… I objectively accept that this makes sense, my A1c jumped so they want to keep a closer eye on me… but I’m not pleased. I’m not pleased with myself, with being monitored more closely, with being treated as a petulant child, with acting like a petulant child, with feeling like an idiot, with feeling exposed, and alone. Objectively, I can see this for what it is, I was away from home, my numbers haven’t been great, my doctor is on my side, she’s there to help me — but it doesn’t feel like that, I don’t want to be told what to do. Coming out of that appointment I resolved to do better, I don’t want to be told off again — I’m a fucking adult, but now away from home once more, I just had half a bagel… I know it’s not terrible, but I didn’t really want it, I was just working in the kitchen and my sister had brought them in from NYC, I mean they are good bagels, but I wasn’t even really hungry, they were just there and that’s 40-ish carbs that I didn’t need, didn’t really want, and now will be paying for the next couple hours, if not longer than that. And guess what’s for dinner, fucking pizza… self-control at night, I think not. This blows, I want to go back to LA, at least when I’m home I control the food that is in my apt. Oh yeah, did I mention my weakness for christmas cookies? #fml
I start everyday with the best of intentions… and then there are some biscuits, and a few crisps, and I just don’t feel like checking my blood sugar… and then that happens again, and again. I would say “oops” — but let’s be real, no one is making me eat these things, I make a choice each time I eat something, both about what I’m eating and about whether or not I check my bg and/or give insulin for it… in the back of my mind I know that if I give insulin for the amount I’m eating I’m going to rise and then crash, big time… probably over night… and who really wants to be woken up by their CGM, not me. 1) I’ll probably ignore it anyway, I know that’s dangerous, and I’d rather not die — 2) I’d rather sleep in and not be bothered — 3) It’s annoying and I resent the whole thing
So there it is… all in all a very mature reaction /not. and to be honest I really have no inclination to change. I know I’ll have to/will get back on track when I’m home, but I’m also aware that each moment/hour/day I spend high it damaging my body — I know that that might seem extreme, but I treasure my health and I don’t want to deal with the potential long term consequences that are brought on with this type of behaviour.
Ugh. I know better, and I’m doing the opposite anyway. I woke up today feeling like shit, a mild headache and terrible nausea, it felt like a hangover, despite the fact that I haven’t had a drink in almost two years now. And how did I address this nausea… a giant cookie #fail / #win … even my reaction to that statement is telling of my current mindset. I love being here, I’ve been away almost two weeks now, visiting friends and family in the UK, but if I’m going to survive my trip — and be able to establish a behaviour standard for future trips away, I need to get this shit under control.
I know how to defeat this, I need to make the healthy choice the easy choice, drink enough water, get rid of the junk food, just don’t buy it in the first place — look at my CGM record, take in my reality and fast-forward to think about what will happen if I keep up this behaviour.
Dear god (or whatever is out there), please help. Thanks.
Do you ever feel like this is what your body is saying to you?
I haven’t figured this out yet, but I’m trying. Sometimes I’m really depressed and emotional about this and then other times I’m completely well adjusted about it and am looking to make a plan to move forward. I’m not sure how to keep myself on track or even if I want to. I know I want to feel better, I know from an aesthetics point of view I’d like to drop some weight, lower my body fat %, but really I just want to feel better. I want to have the energy I feel like I am supposed to have (there’s that pesky “supposed to” again…). Everything seems to set me back — the last couple days I’ve been sleeping 8-9 hours and waking up still exhausted. I’m trying to listen to my body, I listen and then I yell at it for not cooperating and doing what I need it to do. I need to meet myself where I’m at… so many things that I know logically, that I need to apply emotionally. I suppose that is the dilemma… now what?! fuck you diabetes. and the rest of the shit too. it feels like everytime I think I might have a handle on things, something else goes wrong… when is this shit supposed to get easier. ugh. I just have to remember to enjoy the time in between these times. the sunset — everyday, over the water — being able to get to the beach any time I want… people vacation where I live for god’s sake. yes. positive. I’m going to end on that. xo
I reread this and it’s funny and not funny all at the same time… the dictation #SiriFails make it that much better. I figured other diabetics would get it…
Yeah… this is the text chain between me and a very supportive friend…
Seriously, god bless her… I am making no sense. taking no advice. barely “hearing” anything. also my stomach still feels like shit.
So I hate having to wear a pump. I hate the process of putting on a new one, but the other day I managed to put on a new omnipod by myself without having an emotional meltdown. This is a delayed reaction, but I am proud of myself. I was supposed to go to my friend’s house so I’d have support , but as I was waiting to leave, I thought to myself “this is stupid, I should just do it now so I don’t have to worry about it later…” and so I did it. fairly quickly, but still slower than I know I’ll be soon enough… I just keep thinking how slow and timid I was with the dexcom at first. I remembered to pinch the skin around the site, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as the first time. I even tried a new site, I have it on my upper arm right now — I think it helps that I have more fat there, but I’ve also caught it on door frames a few times… who knew I cut my corners so hard. Another thing down. I can’t help but hold my breath a little bit — every time I think I’ve got something down, a whole new pile of shit lands in my lap. I just don’t think I can take on any more.