I feel as if I’m the Jon Snow of Diabetes. I’ve had T1 for ten months now (has it really been that long?!) and I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I’m doing.
I realise I may be exaggerating to a point. I understand the basics of what I need to do: The carb to Insulin ratio, the morning and night basal injections, monitoring my blood glucose through the Libre app, watching the roller-coaster rise and fall, the surreptitious and casual insertion of a question asking how my blood sugars have been etc.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been one of the luckier ones when it came to my diagnosis; because I’ve not had “the fear”.
The way in which a lot of people seem to find out they have T1 is because they’ve accidentally ended up in DKA. This is where you have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine.
In case you’re wondering what ketones are:
Ketones are chemicals your liver makes. You produce them when you don’t have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. Your liver turns this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends them into your bloodstream. Your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel. If you don’t have diabetes, this process doesn’t become an issue. But if you do have diabetes, you can build up too many ketones in your blood — and that can become life-threateningThanks WebMD
Probably the most notable symptom of DKA before the nausea, vomiting and stomach pain is the passing out. Now I’ve felt the low-key nausea before, in the background consistently for weeks on end, but I’ve never, ever passed out for any reason (touch wood). I was lucky enough to catch the diagnosis early before things could get really bad. Even now when my blood sugar gets low, at the worst, I feel shakey and I mix up my words a little bit, but I’ve never been so bad that it’s warranted a hospital trip.
Now I’m wondering if this has had a detrimental effect on my approach to Diabetes. Sometimes I feel like I don’t take it as seriously as I should, carrying on with an “oopsie-daisy, I’ll try to stay within the lines tomorrow” attitude when really, I should be concerned right away if I see my bloods spiking.
I didn’t really think about it at first (because that’ the way I handle things, out of sight, out of mind…) but after sifting through the T1 subreddit and seeing how others were adjusting basal rates to match their specific food intake, changing this, that and the other in their routine, I had a weird realisation that made me finally put my phone down for the night: I have no idea what I’m doing.
My second realisation came about six hours later when I looked at the book I have tucked away under my bedside table where it still currently resides: I am not helping myself.
I’ve started reading this book twice, but I don’t think I’ve been able to get passed the 50th page. It’s got nothing to do with the content itself, but then again it’s all about its content. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m a very “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person, and having a book such as this is a very head-on approach to dealing with what I’ve got.
But that’s probably the crux of the matter. Maybe I’ve not been dealing with it to the extent I should be, which is why I find myself adding this to my DNF pile multiple times.
On a brighter note however, even though I’m in this weird space right now, I’m starting to feel myself gearing up to reading it again. Maybe this time I’ll get halfway through before I stop and maybe I’ll learn more about this condition.
I’m trying to be positive about the whole thing. I feel that if I continue to let the fear consume me, then I’ll continue letting myself get away with hiding.
Jon Snow famously knew nothing but he survived until the end of the show right? (He did right?)