Why can't I keep my blood sugars under control?

So I am type 1 diabetic since I was 12 (8 years) and I have always had trouble taking proper care of my diabetes. My most recent A1C was 11.3 and that’s typical. Is there anyone here with them same problems or someone who could give me some advice to cure this carelessness. I can’t seem to motivate myself to test more than a couple times a week. Am I just in denial or is it pure laziness? I know the risks, and my parents are always showing me news reports and stories of people going blind, and losing limbs, and that doesn’t seem to affect me.

I eat pretty healthy, meaning no junk food or sugary drinks, why can’t I focus on blood sugars as much as I do with my diet.

Please share your story and/or advice.

I have no good answer for you. But it sounds like burnout. Or laziness. Or a combination of the two. I’m going through some laziness-related burnout at the moment and trying to get myself out of it too. For me, it comes in cycles. I will be really good for a few months and then, WHAM! I just get so overwhelmed and burned out that I don’t care. Yesterday was particularly bad for me. I was functioning on virtually no sleep after 3 nights of bad lows and I was barely able to get through work.

So, here’s what I do when this happens (it’s actually what I’m doing right now): I take a couple of days for me. I stay home and exercise and focus on the things that I need to do. I treat myself to something nice (a shopping trip, a day at the spa, whatever) if I am successful. I go for walks and I do the things that make me happy. I also think about all the GOOD things I’m doing to take care of my diabetes already (exercising, eating right, etc).

It sounds like you have a really good first step with your diet. There are so many people who have a tremendous problem controlling what they eat, so you’ve got one big issue addressed already!! Also, don’t think about your A1C so much. For me, I find that too overwhelming. Instead, think about each single day as one day to do things right. If that’s too much, just focus on doing things right before noon for one day and take it from there. Sometimes, I have to break things down like that to really be successful.

T1D is incredibly time-consuming and intensive to manage. So your feelings of burnout ARE NOT unwarranted. But no one can do this crap for you. Scare tactics don’t really work for me either, because they just make me depressed and care even less. Don’t think about that. Just think about today and what you can do TODAY to make yourself feel good.

I hope some of this helps.

And remember, there are lots of us who feel EXACTLY the way you do.

I would suspect that testing “a couple times a week” is the culprt. There is no way to get enough data to manage things testing that much.

Testing ten times a day is more like it. If you’re testing your blood sugar only two times a week, you might as well not test it at all. 11.3 is way too high. If you’re not testing frequently you don’t know what to do to keep yourself in control. Test more often and do something about what the numbers tell you to do.

I’m not 20 so I can’t relate to the types of problems you might be experiencing. However, what motivates me is when I look into the faces of my 4 grandchildren. I want to be there to see them get married, have children of their own, etc. So when I get in a “funk”, they motivate me. Maybe you need to think about what’s important in your life.


I was in the same place. Honestly, I don’t know what to tell you to motivate you. I was also unmotivated to do much for myself and knowing risks/etc wasn’t enough.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with proliferative diabetic retinopathy when I was 22 (3 years ago) that I realized what I was doing to myself. I faced the very real potential to go blind at one point - and that is more terrifying than you can imagine it being. That was my turning point.

I believe that the first step is identifying that there is a problem (sound self-helpy- kum-ba-ya enough? :slight_smile: ) and that you want something different. I too was a lot like you- I knew the risk, and ate pretty well, but figured that the blood sugars were the least of it, and as long as I had fairly normal blood sugars more often than not (between 100-250s) I would be fine…until I had a heart attack at 31. That was a pretty good wake up call…went on the pump thought I was doing pretty well…A1Cs between 7-8…then I had my second heart attack and 5 vessal bypass surgery at 33. The doctor told my husband as I was laying there comatose after the surger that this was completly due to my diabetes, and I needed to get in unter control ASAP. I have been on the straight and narrow for the past 3 months, and I am surprised with how well I have been feeling with keeping my blood sugars between 70-110. It takes a lot of testing (started out testing between 10-15 times a day) now have the CGMS (which is so much eaiser. Seriously look into the CGMS if you can.

I believe active participation in this forum can help with the motivation. Post questions and reply to others posts. This puts D into your thoughts where it needs to be, and helps you learn what you need to learn at a faster clip. We all would rather just live our lives without worrying about D, but the payoff of better control is worth it. Better control requires thought and effort, the more you put in the more you get out.

My A1cs used to be in the double digits and I think it had something to do with my pump. When I first started pumping, my A1cs were really good. Before long, I used the pump as an excuse to blow off checking my bloodsugar and felt comfortable guessing carbs because I could always bolus more if I felt like my bloodsugar was high later. I was lazy with the pump (it might have had something to do with being a teenager too). I wore one for about 5 years and then was simply tired of the pump. I didn’t like being attached to it and I didn’t like how lazy I became with it.

I went back to injections when I was 16 years old and now I’m 20. I do not for a second regret my decision. Injecting, for whatever reason, makes me more aware of how I’m doing. I’m still guilty of not always checking my bloodsugar enough and I still guess some carb counts, but my A1cs have improved tremendously over the past few years. I’ve still got work to do, but being in the 7.0 - 7.6 range is a huge improvement.

I’m not saying that opting for injections instead of the pump will necessarily motivate you to test more, but it helped me. So… it’s just something to think about. Best of Luck!

As someone who is more likely to test too often than very rarely, it’s hard to make suggestions on how to motivate yourself to test more often. But I’d say start small. “A couple of times a week” doesn’t sound like testing is a routine for you. Start with setting the goal to test every morning right after you get up and every night before you go to bed.
Test before main meals - try telling yourself that you need to know where you stand to feel good later the day. When you know where you start out, it is easier to find the right dose of insulin, and to have more energy afterwards.

It’ll take time, though.
With few data at hand and an average bg of >250 you’ll probably need a while to figure out how much of which insulin does what to your bg.

Yes I think the key is testing more often. Without taking that second step (you already took the first one) you won’t have much to build on. Try not to think of it too much as something that holds you off but make it a routine and take it as a step in the direction of feeling better, having more energy.

This is very good advice! Thanks!

Hi, I’m 23 years old, diabetic for over 2 years now, I test one or maybe two days a week. I know it’s not much, but I receive 50 or 100 test strips, that is if I’m lucky, for 3 months. I use an insulin pen for my shots, and here are other things that I do to manage my diabetes:

  • testing: the days I test I do it first thing before breakfast, then 2 hours after, and same thing for lunch and dinner. Always test before eating and 2 hours later.

    -counting carbohydrates: this is very important, I use a digital scale to measure all my food and count the carbohydrates according to that.

    -eating: same amounts of carbohydrates every day, almost at the same hours of the day.

    -insulin: giving proper units shots by the amount of carbohydrates.

    -exercising: this is important too, it really makes a difference in making you fell good and full of energy, and really reduces highs.

    I suggest that if you do have more test strips, use them, I know I would, but I only use what they give me, because they are pretty expensive.

    The most important thing is to figure out how many units of insulin you need for a specific amount of carbohydrates, and look out for this, the body needs more insulin in the morning, less at lunch, and even lesser at dinner.

    Take care, why feel bad when you can turn it around and feel good or why not great!

From an old American 85 a naval veteran of WW@ I read your response and you are doing it just right…good common sense. You will do well. Good luck to you. I was a high school Principal of a large high school 8 miles from Boston. I now live in Florida. Reed

You said it best yourself. “I know the risks, and my parents are always showing me news reports and stories of people going blind, and losing limbs, and that doesn’t seem to affect me.”

If that will not motivate you, I’m not sure anything will except a desire to live a long and healthy life.

The best advice I ever got was “You can either control your diabetes or it will control you!”. It’s not about motivating yourself so much as it is making a choice as to what kind of life you want for yourself. I’ve been diabetic for 17 years, I got my degree, had a good career, traveled the world and am now pregnant with my second child…diabetes does not own me and it never has! What dreams do you have or are you going to let diabetes take them from you?

That’s awesome!! Way to go!!

Hi, I’m not sure if you were aware but there is a diabetes research centre in Winnipeg where you can get special treatment and participate in studies. If you are interested the website address is www.winnipegdiabetesresearchgroup.com and it is based at the Health Sciences Centre.

Hi, I’m not sure if you were aware but there is a diabetes research centre in Winnipeg where you can get special treatment and participate in studies. If you are interested the website address is www.winnipegdiabetesresearchgroup.com and it is based at the Health Sciences Centre.

Wow. A couple times a WEEK? That’s the answer to your question right there – you can’t keep your blood sugars under control without testing at least 6 or 7 times a day. How on earth would you know how much insulin you need without testing?

I don’t know if you realize it but having your sugar out of control as much as you seem to may well be affecting your ability to actually function mentally – this might not be a failure of motivation so much as a failure of actual brain functioning. But I also wonder, given how hostile your post is toward yourself, whether you’re suffering from a form of depression. I know of very few people who would call themselves careless, lazy, and in denial all in the same paragraph!

However, I find it fairly encouraging that you’ve actually come to this forum and publicly asked for help in figuring out what’s wrong. Let me offer you an article to read – it’s written for a site that is trying to motivate middle-aged women to change their dietary and exercise habits, so you may not think it applies to you, but the article itself is all about how people go through various stages on the way to lasting life changes, so the concepts are pretty well universal. You might find it helpful. (You appear to be in the “contemplation” stage and perhaps knowing what the next stage is will help you get there faster). http://www.womentowomen.com/womenshealth/howtomakelifechanges.aspx

Hey, saw this after I put my post up. Congratulations!! Testing 4 times today is GREAT, a vast improvement over where you were. You did it, and you should be proud that you took this first, important step. Now your goal should be to do it again tomorrow, and keep doing it till it becomes a habit. If you falter, don’t beat yourself up – just set your mind to getting yourself back on track. I’m working with a personal trainer to create a habit of exercising at least 5 days a week, and she tells me exactly that – there are days when our motivation fails us, because we forget that we have to re-motivate ourselves EVERY day. Just don’t let the failures derail you from your goal altogether. Persevere!! I believe you can do it!