I’m in the middle of reading the novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. I picked it up randomly a few weeks ago when the lady behind the counter of a local bookstore said it was one of her all-time favourite books. I don’t usually buy books, especially not spur-of-the-moment ones like this, but I bought it. It’s fantastic. I can’t put it down.
It talks a lot about racing. I don’t know anything about racing since I can’t even drive, so I’m getting a bit of an education while reading it. It talks a lot about how drivers have to anticipate what’s going to come up next on the track, because they’re going so fast that they don’t have time to just react. But they have to react, too, to unexpected things that happen such as things other drivers do. And they have to plan. Prepare. Anticipate. Learn.
I’ve found my mind drifting to diabetes more than once while reading it. Much of what the book talks about is stuff I try and do every day.
This evening before dinner I walked to the mall and back. It’s a 20-minute walk that rarely has an impact on my blood sugar. I had tested at 7.2 (130 mg/dl) not long before leaving, and I ate a few Skittles before I left just to be on the safe side.
When I got back I tested at 3.5 (63 mg/dl). I ate some Skittles but twenty minutes later was 3.3 (59 mg/dl). I ate some more Skittles, and fifteen minutes later I was still 3.3 (59 mg/dl). I ate a few more Skittles, but by this point I’d eaten a ridiculous number and decided not to push it. Another ten minutes later I was 4.2 (76 mg/dl). Barely in range, but good enough for me. Ten minutes after that I was 7.2 (130 mg/dl) before dinner. I bolused and waited some minutes before eating to give the insulin time to start working against my likely-still-rising blood sugar.
An hour and a half after dinner I test at 15.8 (284 mg/dl).
And the cycle starts over again. I’m planning on exercising tonight—this time real exercise—so I have to re-consider all the variables and hope I get things right this time.
So I do a site change (as my pump only has one unit left), bolus half my usual correction (because that normally works well for exercise), and honestly expect that I’ll still be high when I’m done, since it’s only 30 minutes.
Nope. I’m 4.7 (85 mg/dl) with a correction bolus that hasn’t hardly even begun to kick in yet. And so, again, I’ll probably have to eat again.
I often wish there was some way of conveying the kind of work that goes into this disease to people who don’t have it. Even friends and family close to me don’t really see it, because they can’t see the mental energy that goes into trying to anticipate where my blood sugar will go, and react to where it does go, and logging and studying and learning, every minute of every day. And that even with all this, I still don’t get it right all the time.