Ok guys, I am a young woman just kicking into my 20s and it seems like I’m not getting this right! I’ve been diabetic for like 11yrs (I’ve been on the pump for 5yrs) and judging that time I should be like a pro at this. I have to admit that I’m not very lineant with my diabetes. I don’t know how to control it. I have very low self-motivation when it comes to it. I don’t check my BGs often (idk why). I want to know what I can do to get back with the flow. I’m a college student so it’s hard to stay focused and I need some options!! please… suggestions?
Unfortunately, I think the only way to develop “Flow” (good word, btw, there’s a psych book by the same name I’d read for martial arts classes that’s really good and useful for diabetes with the waves of waves) is to test a lot with focus.
If you can’t get into the routine of test often, have you considered getting a sensor? It might help you visualize what you blood sugar levels are doing
Except you need to test often to make the sensor work too?
hi J, glad you posted. I was reminded of another post here from a while back that contained some excellent suggestions to another type1 struggling with motivation.
I especially like Kristin’s suggestions about not letting the numbers rule your self-esteem. she really helped me on this. I used to not test very often too, because if I saw a “bad” number, it would make me feel BAD. now I don’t think of bg numbers as bad, I think WOW, I’m glad I caught that now instead of later.
I’d also say, start with a small step first, don’t try to change everything today. say, start with testing before meals and bed and keeping a log.
I’ve read that you only have to test twice a day (Medtronic pump)
Technically yes, you only need to calibrate it every 12 hours. However, I do find that I test more than that. I just like that I have the ability to see the output of the sensor info in graphs. It makes it easier to see if you have certain times of the day that are worse than others. You can see trends of how your body reacts to certain foods and the insulin you take. I don’t wear the sensor all the time, but when I feel like I am getting out of control I will wear it to get back on track.
Two things come to mind:
First , testing is the ONLY way you’ll really understand your trends and patterns. I don’t even find the CGM as helpful as good, ol’ fashioned finger pricking. You’ve gotta log those testing results and look at your patterns. With a pump this is actually pretty easy to do (as compared to the way we used to have to do it, which involved writing things down in those annoying log books). Use the features on your pump to help you with this. Use the meter the pump came with and let your pump record all that data. If you’re using a minimed pump, make sure to regularly upload your data onto Carelink. I’ve never been as consistent with logging my info as I have since I started using Carelink. It’s awesome.
Second, I know when I was your age, my body was still going through some wild hormonal fluctuations. College made things even worse because my schedule was constantly changing semester-to-semester (and I was CRAZY busy). I worked full time, went to school full time…I was a bit of a mess sometimes. Anyhoo, around the age of 22 (once I was finishing undergrad and heading into grad school) my body and schedule began to cooperate a bit more and I started to see more consistent patterns.
As a woman, you REALLY need to pay attention to the impact hormones have on your BGs. I think my patterns is fairly typical in that the week or so BEFORE my period, my BG gets crazy high, and then the day my period starts, I come crashing down. Once I figured out that pattern, I was able to proactively adjust my basal rates at these times and it has (more or less) done the trick.
Keep in mind that managing T1D is less science and more intuition/practice/dumbassluck.
Most importantly, you HAVE to start testing. Again, a CGM can help, but it’s not perfect and I have found I get better results from finger pricking and logging all those patterns.
Also, DON’T EXPECT PERFECTION. You really can’t achieve it with T1D and you should NEVER let the numbers determine your worth as a person. If you get a bad number, identify the cause, correct, and move on.
Thanks for the update
To clarify this, you “need” to “calibrate” the CGM twice a day, which means you tell the CGM what your meter reading is. It works a lot better if they are close. The CGM also will recommend that you test approx 2-4 hours after each bolus. In my experience, I’m doing the additional testing to make sure that the meter and CGM are close when I calibrate, if that makes sense?
Thanks for the push. I just want to get on this and be consistent enough.
I found out I had diabetes while in college. It is hard to focus on a disease when your young and just want to have fun like everyone else. I think your resenting your situation which is natural. I did the samething, I would NEVER test and would eat bad things all the time. I had two scared straight moments that kind of help change my behavior one was having this nurse who took it upon her self to yell at me about my numbers. She went off on how I am too young, too smart and too pretty to live like that and if I didnt get it together in 20 years I would have a limb cut off or in a coma…Dramatic, yes but I was thankful for her to verbally slap me up like that. The second thing was when I went into DKA and was in the ICU for 3 days…Also dramatic but when I got a hint what diabetes could if I dont try to get better control it changed me…I thought there are going to be many things I can not control in my life but if I dont do something about the things I can then its my fault of any outcome…If by chance in 20 years I have complications I know it wont be by my own doing.
What I did from that point was research EVERYTHING there is to know about diabetes, for me the better understanding the better control. I learned how my body reacts to different things (by testing) and learned how to be young without feeling like a burden. I learn thin pizza is better, wheat buns on bugers work, sweat potato fries or onion rings instead of fries, drink clear alcohol because it doesnt have as much sugar and it helps bring down your BG, shots are WAY better than fruity drinks. And I never missed a beat…These are just things that worked for me however I suggest you learn what works for you. I made all the substitution changes and my A1c is way lower than when I didnt take care of it which helped me focus more in school…
Thanks. Well I was diagnosed when I was 8yrs old and I come from a family that is very involved in the medical field. My father is a nurse, so were my grandparents. So I grew up with the dialisis and cut off limbs stories since I got into this. When I was 12yrs old, I was in ICU for a week and went through CT scans because they feared I might’ve had some sort of brain damage (which I didn’t). So it’s not that I don’t believe in them, it just that I grew so customed to these threats that they don’t really inspire me to go on. And as far as diet goes, I don’t have hard restraints because my pump works like magic. I just need to get in the habit of doing things. As far as the denial goes… Yeah, I think thats what it is but 11 yrs into Diabetes I should be over it.
Well maybe your just rebelling… I mean you seem to have lived and breathed medicine at a age where most people barely know how to put on a band-aid properly…I feel like your a smart girl and I think this whatever it is only a phase…
Thanks, and let’s hope it’s only a phase
Maybe you should just think of yourself as brand-new and start slow. Why not start by just checking your blood sugar before each and every meal and bolusing. When you get into the habit in a few weeks or a couple of months, you can start testing after meals and on and on. Just taking something close to the right amount of insulin with your meals should help you feel better in pretty short order.
I mostly rebelled by getting blasted all the time for several years, playing in rock bands, staring at strobe lights, etc. It was, in some ways, useful as I sort of kept an eye on diabetes so I wouldn’t miss the fun!
Well want some tough Love? Or hand holding?
-What’s been your A1c’s for the past Yr ( ave) assuming you got a BG test every 4-6 mos?
-What’s your Test meter say your past 30 day ave has been?
- You are a Very Lucky person… Why? You have a Insulin Pump- The a Million other would Love to have! And since your not using it? Maybe Donate it to someone that Will use it and you can go back to Sticking yourself 6-10x a day… wtih some nice LONG syringes in your Stomach ! Remember those days?
-And you know, it isn’t The Pump, it’s The person Controling and operating it…Don’t care if You use a Pump or Pens or Syrings… It’s all you doing the decsion process…
-Kind of a Sad thing that These “complications” take so long to develope… Be nice to give someone who is Out of Control some Neuropathy pains in the middle of the nite, to drive you insane and out out your bed ! They last for like 1-2 min…Like Sticking a Knife into the Calf of your leg or Foot…
-Or how about waking up and Not seeing anything with one of your eyes? Getting a Eye Hemmorage is alot of Fun! And it last for about a Month before you can even see Daylight comming in…
-Or Kiss your sex life good bye? youget all Dried up and It hurts! You get so Lathargic, have no energy, like trying to get thru the day on 3 hrs of Sleep…
-Or watch your Skin dry up like a Prune! The Skin even Peels like you had Sun Burn skin…
-And sorry, but you really don’t have Time for “Going thru a Rebelling Phase” – because if you do now? at this Late stage of the Game? You may never come back and recover… Things will just get worse and go downhill
-I bet you haven’t even got a copy of the Book, THINK LIKE A PANCREASE
or USING INSULIN ?
For your sure not following it!
This Disease Get s Worse! It wants to Destroy every Cell and Organ in your body… adn the higher your BG’s above 140? The More your helping it do that…
This Damn Disease Sucks! And you got a Raw deal…But, that’s the way it is…Like it or not… We can either Fight it and Yell at everyone to donate More $ to help us Find a Cure before it’s too late for you? Or Give in and give up! And Hang it up…
It’s really upto you…
Thanks Maurie, and I’ve been doing that ever since.
Those are really good points you brought out, that I’ve been aware of ever since I can remember. It’s always in the back of my mind. The thing is I’m not a quitter and series of events in my life can prove that.