Just Keep Swimming

This week has been really difficult for me. Not only am I constantly thinking about and worrying about my blood sugar, what I’m eating, how much insulin I need, or whether or not I have time to exercise, I’ve also been stressed to the max with my job. And to top it all off, even though I called Dexcom to order more sensors almost a month ago, I finished my last sensor this week and am still waiting for new ones to be delivered. It really feels like everything is going wrong, or that I’m doing everything wrong, and I’m trying really hard not to get discouraged. Running helps, but with work as crazy as it has been, I’m finding it harder to make time for that.

What I really want, and what I truly think I need, is a vacation. A whole week off where I don’t need to think about work, or grocery shopping or cleaning my apartment or counting carbs or remembering to give myself insulin and I can just relax. Preferably on a beach. I’m so lucky to have Sean, because I’d feel twice as overwhelmed if he wasn’t always there to calm me down.

I need to try to stay positive. While that’s easier said than done, I realized today that I can only do my best. I’m not perfect, and even though I might mess up, I know 100% that I’m doing better than I was a year ago. I know that my husband, my parents, my doctors and my friends are proud of my progress and that they’re all behind me while I figure out how to manage everything. I’m not going to see results overnight. Diabetes control doesn’t work like that. I have to make smart and healthy choices to stay ahead and continue to improve.

In the meantime, I’m going to stare at this picture I took from the last time I was in Cancun, almost 5 years ago. I will keep staring at it and imagine I’m still there.
sunsetcancun

My first steps

I started my journey at the beginning of this year.  My first appointment with my new, fantastic endocrinologist was on January 6th, 2014.  I had heard wonderful things about Dr. Peters from other doctors, diabetics and parents of diabetics.  So after some online research I prayed that she was still taking on new patients and made an appointment.  Just walking into her office made me feel better.  It doesn’t feel like a regular waiting room.  There’s nothing extraordinarily different about this one.  It’s actually smaller than most waiting rooms and has the same pamphlets, generic artwork and family photos you’d see in any doctor’s waiting room, but everybody who works there is just so positive and wonderful I couldn’t help but feel comforted.  She has the friendliest nurses and is the nicest, most comforting doctor I have ever met with.  As is my nature I completely broke down and just started crying buckets during our initial meeting.  She assured me that cases like mine are her specialty and that she will safely bring my numbers down and help me feel better, because after all, that’s why I was there in the first place.  I was sick of feeling sick and completely over waking up every morning with my sugars over 400.  I was ready for a change.

We’d take baby steps, Dr. Peters told me.  The first job I had to master was checking my blood three times a day and giving myself a correction before each meal.  I didn’t have to count carbs, I didn’t have to drastically change my diet, I didn’t have to start wearing my Continuous Glucose Monitor, I didn’t even have to lower my basal rate that much……yet. I would be doing all those things soon; however, for the next month my only job was to gather data for Dr. Peters.  I haven’t had an actual logbook in at least 10 years, but I was able to use my insulin pump to log my blood sugars that whole month.  I felt hopeful and capable of staying on track.

At my next appointment we discovered that my sugars are consistently between 300 and 400, with just correction boluses and a high basal rate.  I was frustrated, but I knew it would be a long and difficult journey to see my numbers where I want them to be.  I started meeting with Meg, a wonderful and dedicated dietician.  Together, we came up with meals and snacks that are not only easy to make, but absolutely delicious.  She answered all my texts and emails. How many carbs are in an acai bowl? How nutritious are those diabetic shakes really? How many carbs do I need to eat everyday? Do I need to give myself a full bolus if I eat a meal after I workout?  I discovered that avocados are ‘free foods’ and I don’t need to give myself any insulin for them- which is incredible because I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of my life. She is teaching me how to calculate the carbs in the foods that I eat, and she is showing me quality foods that don’t leave me feeling guilty for enjoying.

Since then, my blood sugars are consistently hovering between 250 and 350…for now.  I’m working really hard to do whatever Dr. Peters and Meg tell me to do. They still shoot up to 400+, but those readings are becoming less common.