Right from the very start I have taken pride in keeping my diabetes tightly controlled. While I won’t let it stop me from doing, or eating, the things I want to (I’m chomping on a delicious chocolate orange brownie as I write this), I take care to make sure I calculate the best way to do it to give minimal impact. From regular basal testing, pre-bolusing for high carb meals and regular testing – you name it I’ve tried it. My instance on using an insulin pump is all part of that.
I am well known within my clinic for this. My consultants joke that I’m their star patient. I usually spend far more time in the waiting room than I do actually speaking to a doctor. Not because they don’t have time for me, but because there is very little to be said.
I had my yearly clinic appointment with my consultant last week, and for the first time he was critical of my blood test results. Now to an outsider they would have looked like damn good results. My hbA1c was within target for most people (51 or 6.9% if you’re interested), in fact it is within a safe range to have another baby right now if I wanted. I don’t want that – but most women have to do a bit of ground work before they’re given the green light. In short, there is nothing overly wrong with my results other than the simple fact that they are not quite as good as they usually are.
After over 5 years of diabetes this is the first time that I can really say things have not been going 100% to plan. JJ is only 7 months old, and he has been unwell for the last 3 months. Piglet has been…….. challenging for the last 6 months, although thankfully he seems to be coming out the other side of that. While I have been trying to keep my head in the game with my diabetes, it has had to take a back seat occasionally.
I have never claimed to be perfect, nor do I spend my days moaning about what I have to do in order to keep myself alive. However, after 5 years of being as close to perfection as I could get it has been time for the smile to slip a bit. My doctors have come to expect a certain level of control from me, and falling short of their expectation has left them, and myself, a little confused.
Outside of the direct medical field, my friends and family don’t question my life with diabetes much. I am lucky that I don’t have any complications so far, but that means it is a pretty invisible illness. My irritability when my blood sugars are high, or forgetfulness and inability to concentrate when they are low are easy to be labelled as character traits rather than thinking of the underlying cause.
It does leave me wondering whether I have gone about things the wrong way from the start. I don’t mean medically – of course I always want the absolute best when it comes to my health – but by not ensuring that those around me understand the struggle to keep things stable at that level. Should I have been more open about it from the start, even though I prefer not to dwell on the negatives. It’s hard to know!
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