Why don't I take better care of myself?

I have been type 1 for 44 years and have much more knowledge about diabetes than in the dark ages. I test my bloodsugar every two hours and have a so so A1C of 6.8, but I know I can do better.

With all my knowledge and new gadgets and the fear of complications, why don’t I do better?

Why don’t I exercise more, eat better, simple things I have control over.

I am fairly intelligent so why don’t I do all that I can do to gain even better control?

Why am I not scared into taking better care of myself?

A little bit of this and a little bit of that:) Your Human and you have had this a long time…so I am helping you with reasons, not sure if thats a good thing.
But you can only make changes one day at a time. So take a walk tomorrow am, your body and your blood flow will thank you, with a happier feeling. Then look at your frig, and make the decision to make something healthy one meal at a time, and your BS will light up and thats your body thanking you:) it will all blend together and you can have control:) you just have to reach for it:) one day at a time:)

make ONE change…

i am in the midst of taking my insulin before i eat. not when i sit to eat, but when im preparing my food. its a hard adjustment.

but, i figure i will do one thing at a time. i know my trouble spots. i’ll pick them all off eventually.

and, with a 6.8 you can take your time in doing them <3

Hi Karen, there is a dietitian I know who has a message board for diabetics. There is a small group of regulars there who make “Jump start pledges” for the week. A small and doable task is chosen and success posted as the week progresses. If the weeks does not go well, the pledge is renewed the following week. Then the next week a new pledge is made and added to the task already accomplished. Each week a new task/pledge is added. This set of building blocks can lead a diabetic to a gradual improvement in control. This has worked well for some who choose to participate.

Because you don’t want to? If you are where you want to be in life, maybe you don’t think that it’s worth it to bother doing whatever you would need to do to get a 6.2 or 5.8 or whatever? It’s not like anyone will give you a prize for it? Once my GP gave me a little < 7.0 thing he got from some sales dude but I was like ‘wtf, I was 5.6, I should get a more substantial prize!’. Given that there’s no evidence that running in the 5s is a huge advantage to the 6s, perhaps a why bother approach makes sense?

BTW, if you want to hang out and look at stuff, let me know! This weekend, I’m gonna run tomorrow though and am going to get hammered, eat junk food and watch the Bears/ Packers on Sunday!! Maybe dinner or something some time? I can’t guarantee low carbs though, heh heh heh…

hi there,
I have had type 1 for almost 30 years, and I hear you, I ask myself those same questions. For me my diabetes seems lately to be last on my list. I have two type 1 kids out of 5 and I educate others as a Nurse Educator to deal with diabetes and other chronic diseases. Frankly(as I take a sip of my rye and diet-ginger), I am tired…I elaborate about the mind game I play daily with my diabetes motivation on my blog at http://three2treat.blogspot.com I too wish I could do better. I wish you the best! Cheers.


Please stop beating your self up. You got to a 6.8. three years ago I spent a year ( one that was very stressful due to job and personal issues) hovering between 7.2 and 8.5. My doctor did not beat me up and said when I retired that it would be better. I was 7.4 in November after a round of steroid injections, but looking at my CGMS data , it should be under 7 by February.

I am not “sweating it”!!! My goal for the year is 6.5 or slighlty under. I have been at 5.7 and 5.9, with a lot of effort . It feels emotionally great to be in the fives, but I personally cannot tell if I feel better at a 5.8 or a 6.6. I really physically feel ok there , too. I know that lower is to be “better” in avoiding/reversing complications, so I do have goals for lower a1c’s without the roller coaster rides. Is that why you are so down on the 6.8, because you know about the ups and downs and wide variances that do not show up with the a1c? I have had similar concerns.

But my self-esteem does not rely on a number. I repeat: my self-esteem does not rely on a number.

Take it one step at a time. Today I am actually going to wear the CGMS. I took a vacation from it last week( was busy and did n ot want to take the time to fit the calibrations into my lifestyle. I have not found a way to not have the MM CGMS rule my life schedule). Yet, I did have way too many " annoyance" lows and blood sugar swings. Was I a" bad diabetic " because I did not do everything I should have done 24/7 to get towards that goal of 6.5 or under? I think not.

Keep on keeping on, Karen. It will be ok.

God Bless,


Type one 43 years

Nice catch Brunetta! :wink:

I am so addicted to the #s from the CGMS that I can’t imagine taking a break from it. I had a period where the MM “Freddy Kruger” needles were kind of making me blanch but that seems to have gone away. I am fortunate enough that my commute is very copacetic with the CGM schedule too. Occasionally I’ve run into situations where I’m testing and driving, etc. but not too much? I totally agree that I don’t base my self-esteem on a number.

Research tells us that fear is one of the least effective motivators to making behavior change.

People tend to be more apt to make changes when they percieve that the benefit of the change outweighs the cost.

I don’t mind putting time and energy into physical activity or fixing healthier meals because I know that energy is paid back at least two fold. When I’m in my “diabetes sweet spot” (no pun intended) I have more energy to do other things. For me, high sugars are a energy and time suck.

Like you, my A1c is in the mid-6 range (6.6) which I know is not awful…but could be better. I know what it takes to keep it there. I’m moving towards the idea of putting a little more time and energy into it and seeing what it takes to get to the low 6 range and what it takes to maintain that. I have no doubt I would reap the rewards of tighter control…more energy, better skin and hair, etc. And if I am strategic about it I think I can get there without the downside of hard lows (BG).

My definition of “good diabetes control” has morphed as I get older. It is now more about keeping the BG out of the gutters and not just the lower A1c.

Great response boedica! I totally agree. I’m also trying the bolus well in advance fo the meal. I’ve been surprised the difference it makes. But it is hard to get used to and I often fall short (but LESS than I used to!!).

Hey, you’re my role model (as is anyone who has lived with diabetes for more years than I have or simply anyone who has ever lived even one day with diabetes)!

Most people would do well to eat more healthfully, exercise more, reduce stress, yada yada. Of course, most of them do not also have the role of being an artificial pancreas 24/7.

Scare tactics just aren’t very effective–when others use them or we try to use them on ourselves.

If you want to make a change and set your mind to it, I know you can do it.

Otherwise, you gotta ask yourself if it will really make that much difference in the balance of your life. We may have to act like a pancreas 24/7, but we’re so much more at the same time. Looking forward to your gold-medal day!

I don’t feel like I am beating myself up about it, but I just want to know why I don’t use my knowledge to avoid highs, I know if I eat a ton of carbs I am screwed, so why do I do it, and I know that I want to be around to see my nieces and nephews get married so why don’t I avoid highs at all cost? Frustrating to me.

Thanks guys for the replys, I think part of it is missing my outside walks due to the zubzero temps.

Did you run today Acid in the freezing, snowing Chicago day?

Nope, I am gonna go watch basketball on the treadmill. I got a fancy phone and d/l an app for keeping track of stuff so I’m gonna see what I can do w/ that, in terms of having a record of things too. Of course, tomorrow during the game, I am projecting at 80-100G of carbs depending on whether or not there’s some sort of Ultra Light beer around?

My aunt got me some running cleat things for xmas but they are a shade too small and wouldn’t stay on my shoes shoveling the snow and I was too chicken to go running around town in them. Part of me is still XL.

Hey Karen - as your twin in years - try not to beat yourself up. I’m no perfectionist in dealing with this disease - like others - we just do our best - with what we have at hand. BTW, what is wrong with an HbA1C of 6.8%?

I hear you on the carbs thing - and I’ve been trying to reduce my amount I consume (especially with my recent 10 lb weight gain -crikey). Due to another hormonal issue that hits us gals as we get older - darn menopause - my lovely body wants to retain it’s fat content Emotions - are another factor of that bit (have you hit menopause yet?)! As if I’m not a freak out when I go hypo - now I have this other emotional (and sweating like a sexy Miss Piggy) thing to deal with - happy one minute - crying next (I really should be on stage like my Mum used to tell me as a youngster when I didn’t get my way). BTW, hypos for me now are pretty well nonexistant - since going on the pump - have retaught myself on how to deal with insulin coverage.

Main question - you/we have the tools at hand - and try to use them to your best advantage. If you’re willing to be a test guinea pig like I am with myself - you can improve things to make your diabetes not manage you - but the other way around.

Anna aka FatCatAnna
The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes - Whoo! Whoo!

I think you should stop beating yourself up!

I’ve only been diabetic for 5 years and i honestly work as hard as i can at it and still get a1c between 7 and 8.
Everyone has room for improvement.

I’ve been a Type 1 for 37 years and STILL I take the 1st bite then give myself insulin after checking my bs. Old habits die hard I guess! LOL! Now I pump 23 years ago I just took my shot after eating. Oh well…

Karen, I so agree with the “Do not beat yourself up”. We are all humans and there is no such thing as “perfect” control as much as we may strive…or not at times. Remember too that not all highs are going to only be carb related. Stress, hormones and things that are completely out of our control will cause fluctuations in blood sugars. Okay, a big one is to much carbs and not enough insulin of course BUT you are human and need to forgive yourself. I have been in your shoes many times over the almost 25 years with Type 1 Diabetes, but 44 years and an A1C of 6.8…a lot of us might kill for that. It sounds like you are doing well. Try to think more about all that you have done over the years to keep healthy. It will all come together. Although it is not always easy when we feel that we are not doing all we “should” be practice some loving kindness to yourself because you really deserve it for managing as well as you have for 44 years!!!
Okay…now time for me to go listen to my advice that I am giving you :slight_smile:

I managed to maintain HbA1c of 6 or 5.8 both times I was pregnant, ONLY by being hypo or borderline a lot of the time. It was an unsustainable regime that I only adhered to because I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I had caused congenital problems in my children.

You CANNOT have the results of a nondiabetic, because they have not produced an artificial pancreas yet. And when they do produce a closed loop, affordable (hahaha), small one, it will still lag behind the natural pancreas’ response. But it would be so much better than guessing and MDI.

I’ve only been Type 1 for about 16 months but I already know I’m not going to go low just to get a lower A1c. Those lows feel awful and are life threatening. I’m staying below 7 and that’s good enough for me. Having frequent hypos just to say wow look at my 5.5 doesn’t make a lot of sense. We know sustained highs are damaging but lows take away brain cells and I don’t have any extra to spare.

Make a top 5 list of possible improvements. Then you order these improvements on their impact on your glucose control (highest to lowest). You just realize the point number one and that very consistent. Maybe this is a good compromise without being confronted with too many options. Later you can think of point number two but only if you are really convinced that this can be incooperated with your life.