Type 1 diabetes is a condition that requires our attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It never stops, and things can pop up when we really don’t need or want them to happen. To minimise the incidences of diabetes hitting us on the head when we do not want it to do so, we have to plan ahead and prepare by taking actions to avoid unwanted blood sugars. However, there is a very fine line between planning your diabetes around your life, and planning your life around diabetes.
We all know that diabetes loves routine, and it is definitely much easier to keep blood sugars in range when we are in our regular activity and eating patterns. We it is easier to do things at similar times, as consistency is what makes us learn how to bolus for foods and prepare for activities, and we almost don't have to put much thought to it anymore. Yes, we do need some sort of structure in our lives.
It is very important to recognise when we start to get afraid of getting out of our routines. Covid and lockdowns have definitely not helped with being flexible around diabetes, as we are literally living Groundhog Day over and over again. A lot of us have much more spare time on our hands, so where do we invest that time? Yes, you got that right: into perfecting our diabetes and aiming for perfect blood sugar graphs every day.
Don’t know about you, but I got used to perfect blood sugars and developed a fear of screwing up my numbers! But lockdown is not real life! We will not be in this forever. We cannot have a precise routine every day, we can't do the exact same things over and over again just to achieve perfect blood sugars. We cannot live in an obsession over perfect numbers!
The purpose of all said above, is to show that blood sugars are not the one and only measure of success, health or happiness. We cannot structure our lives around managing our diabetes, but we very much should structure our diabetes around living our life to the full. The best way to do this, is to approach diabetes with a curiosity mind-set and be a bit more flexible with our routines.
I do not mean to go full-blown out of routine, as that will absolutely screw all your basal and bolus ratios, but have one or two days a week where you do something differently. This will help you keep that flexible approach, but also stay in range most of the time. Remember, that you will most likely be in range even outside of a routine, if you know how to use insulin correctly, but it will take a more effort.
Love yourself, respect your diabetes and remember that it is ok to screw your blood sugars up sometimes.