Last Friday evening, I checked my BGL. As the result flashed on the screen, I stopped for a minute, thinking.
I scrolled back through the results for the last two days. And found there were not many at all: I had four results from Thursday morning; nothing after that on Thursday; one on Friday morning (just before driving my daughter to school); and the one I had just done.
It had been a difficult couple of days. I was distracted, which had resulted in diabetes falling to the wayside.
I took a deep breath. This wasn’t something to worry about. It had been a relatively simple day, diabetes-wise. I hadn’t had any nasty hypos or felt myself going high. I’d barely eaten, which actually would have helped keep my BGLs steady. Nothing terrible had happened.
All in all, I wasn’t worried about the 36 hours of minimal self-care.
But I was worried at how easily I had slipped back into it.
I’ve been working really hard at getting my diabetes management back to a level that makes me feel content. I THINK about my diabetes more; I’ve given it more focus.
And because I truly believe that numbers are nothing more than a snapshot of what is going on at that exact moment in time, the actual results are not the aim of the game for me. The aim is to increase the number of checks and then to respond accordingly.
Out-of-target numbers don’t get me upset or angry. I just deal with them, pleased that I actually know what is going on!
This is progress. And it’s good.
What is not good is the ease in which I just stopped. Or at least, cut back and stopped thinking about diabetes. My mind was overly occupied with other things. Amongst all the background noise, diabetes slipped.
I have come to understand that the continuum of diabetes burnout does not start and end at the point where self-care slips or stops and then starts again. There is a slide towards burnout and coming out of it takes time. And if the burnout has been going on for a while – as in my case – habits need to be broken, or new ones need to be made.
The habits I had formed of minimal self-care come back very easily if I am distracted. Losing focus of diabetes happens effortlessly.
Managing diabetes is about so much more than the numbers and the checking and the self-care. It is about perspective and focus. The positive in this is that I quickly realised I’d started to lose focus. And even more positive is that I wanted to rein it back in.