How are we? Still plugging away at getting all this right? Yeh, me too. Failing miserably of late, but isn’t it all such fun?!
Since we last spoke it’s fair to say things have been eventful. Life is soooo good (seriously – SO GOOD), but there’s a tendency for that to mean that my diabetes is not, and unfortunately I haven’t been the model pupil we all spend (mostly) every minute of every day trying to be. (I’m excluding those rare occasions when you just can’t be arsed with the disease you can’t get rid of. It happens).
As a result there have been a few occasions I’ve been feeling less than sparkly… in fact, ‘moody bitch’ is probably about how I would cover it. MB, if you will. Which is a glorious Catch 22 situation – rocky blood sugars make you physically sick, and then you feel psychologically sick because we (certainly I) feel guilt for what I interpret (wrongly) as being responsible for failing my body and the frustration of not getting it right after 16 years of practice. And for someone who can 100% say I’m happier in life than I’ve ever been, I sometimes take issue with this blaaady disease robbing me of the bits of my personality that I actually quite like. It’s a fair statement to say I’m not particularly shy (Two words, Dave and co… Chicken Impression), and mostly I just like to laugh for as much of the day as humanly possible. But lately the strops at myself for having slightly higher blood sugars have escaped from my silly little head and into the world around me. Which is fine in front of my mum, who tells me to get a grip (nothing like a dose of honesty, thanks Mrs G) or my dad, who’ll give me a hug and ask if I’m eating properly (yes dad. I’m eating more than is humanly possible for one human to eat as a human being on this human earth). But a lot of the people in the immediate world around me (that being work) are still getting to know me. So the days when I decide (probably wrongly) that it’s easier to let people think I’m just an MB rather than explaining that it’s kinda out of my control = everyone keep a one metre radius clear of the crazy lady. Ok gooooood.
Seeing that written down actually makes me sound like a crazy lady, in that firstly, seeing as I’m very aware of coming across as a MB I’m probably not. Oh wait, sorry, I am you say, dear housemate/colleague/person stood in the way on the tube? Awkward…
Also, it’s very rare for me to let a slightly dismal blood sugar *actually* get the better of me. Which is maybe why when it does, it bothers me even more, because I’m generally very blasé about the daily grind having diabetes entails. I know a lot of diabetics that are very self-deprecating – waaaay more than I am – about living with Type 1; just quietly carrying on regardless. We’re very British like that aren’t we? And lastly, it’s not giving enough credit to the very lovely new people around me who, as decent human beings, are concerned for all of their fellow colleagues’ wellbeing as opposed to writing one off as a certified MB and/or crazy lady. Or both. Although they’d probably have a point.
It’s not nice and it’s not true, but I still don’t ever think it sounds plausible to say you can’t quite be bothered because you’re currently running with a blood glucose of 15, despite doing everything you can to bring it down. In my head, it just sounds lazy, especially to anyone outside of the special club us Type 1s reside in, but again that’s not giving enough credit to people who are generally quite curious and would like to understand, which I think is just the loveliest thing. But I’m harsh on myself, and I know a lot of you out there are too, because more often than not a bad reading is a result of something I’VE done, have done many times before, and sadly will probably do many times again. Eaten too much, not taken enough insulin, said ‘yes’ to the cake when I should have said ‘no’… (this happens fairly frequently. Oink).
This is starting to sound very woe-is-me-the-lady-with-diabetes. It sounds like I’m on a proper downer; I’m really not. I just like to think there’s a few of you out there nodding along with what I’m saying, and feeling a little bit better for seeing someone out there waving the white flag on occasion too. (Actually, I’m picturing an Oprah style whooping ‘I hear ya! AMEN!’ but I’m pretty sure – and slightly sad – that’s NOT happening). But I DO think it’s important to get this stuff out there because there’s just SO much pressure to get it right (I’ve definitely said that before). Well-meaning but frustrated parents, understanding but disappointed DSNs, hell even your bloody scientific glucose meter with it’s screaming black and white readings, all with their sighs/warnings/results in double figures letting you know you’re getting it wrong. This + the fact you already KNOW you’re getting it wrong = BLLURRRGGGHHH.
But there’s one very decisive reason why I absolutely cannot in any way feel sorry for myself for a few elevated readings and the mood swings that follow. Because ironically and completely ridiculously it’s the aforementioned STOOOOOPID behaviour that’s put me here. I only have myself to blame… for trying to be an Olympian. Yes, really.
It all started out quite innocently… 16 friends getting into the spirit of the Olympics (HOW GOOD WAS IT!? HOW GOOD WILL THE PARAS BE!?) to hold their own sports day. There were teams, there were uniforms, there was equipment, medals, tactic-talk and (some) training. It was a glorious sunny Saturday in East London and it was all going so well until we discovered that we couldn’t do the hula-hoop round (before the wheelbarrow race but post egg and spoon, you understand) because the hula-hoops were too small. There was a last minute call for a crawl race. Which was fine, but the ground was dry as a bone and resembled astroturf off of scraping your knees as an 11-year-old David Beckham wannabe. Something I didn’t realize until I was crawling along the grass ripping the skin of the tops of my feet. Why? Because I was the fool who did the race without her trainers on. It’s fair to say I will NOT be in contention for Rio 2016.
Ok, so you’ve got a few grazes, but it happens to the best athletes (No Jen, it does not). But then, most ‘athletes’ don’t go to Ibiza four days later and allow them to get a ragingly infected on day two, which you then ignore for six more days because you’re too busy drinking/dancing/tanning/LOLing to admit it. Even when you get back and are being quite violently ill, you blame it on the change in climate. You don’t even CONSIDER that you might need some treatment until someone from work gives you a stern talking to and tells you that you need to go to A&E.
My reply: “Really?! Surely not?”
I COULDN’T WALK DOWN STAIRS AT THIS POINT.
What has this got to do with my slightly off the mark BG levels? Well, scabby feet mostly (absolutely) equals no exercise. It also equals quite a lot of pain, which then equals not a lot of sleep. I have long known that exercise is THE best thing I can do for my diabetes. It means I metabolise insulin better, I’m healthier in my food choices, I sleep better, and I’m generally a much happier person because of those things. When that is taken away I am thus
grumpy, lethargic and make shit choices with food because I’m already in a shit mood, knowing full well that a carb-fest is going to make me feel even worse. And so I’m also slowly expanding, which is nice. This, folks, does NOT a good diabetic make. In fact, it makes one massive MB.
The Feet Saga of Calamity Jen has been ongoing for approximately 31 days now (not that I’m counting), and I’m still
strapped up after another hospital visit today. That’s another thing – many people I have met have physically recoiled in horror at the spectacle that is my socially unacceptable tootsies. They go especially well with a golden Ibiza tan may I add, and are extremely attractive to the opposite sex. You’ve got to laugh haven’t you? I am laughing. Hysterically at my own stupidity, which I think has reached new levels with this one.
I’m fearful that you may think I’m spending my evenings sat rocking in the corner (with my feet elevated of course) crying into my currently redundant running playlist. So just a little disclaimer – I’m ridiculously happy with the state of my life right now. Work is brilliant – and sociable to the point of ridiculousness, I have a gorgeous new flat (although still no internet after 6 weeks, hence the very quiet blog), I have been to Ibiza which, septic feet aside (sorry), was absolutely amazingly ridiculous fun, I went to Reading festival (well, half of it) and randomly bumped into the lovely Joe Freeman, of Diabetes UK fame, as well as bopping to many bands in the middle of a thunderstorm and generally guffawing a lot with my home friends. I have also completely and utterly fallen in love with London more than I ever thought possible when I moved here, especially after my relatively tame stint as a village bumpkin and rather abrupt arrival in t’big bad city. I have had moments this summer that have felt like absolute surreal, amazing magic. I am so very very lucky.
So there we have it, fellow diabetics, it’s simple. Don’t graze your feet trying to win gold for the blue team then dance for eight hours in a sweatpit of a filthy super club then ignore the raging infection that makes you sick for six days and then only go to the doctors when coerced by colleagues that think you’re crackers. Got that? You should be fine.