Posted by on Friday 22 April 2011

Summertime Blues

Well not exactly... More 'Easter Anxiety' really, bit I'm a sucker for a snappy title, and we've been enjoying some fabulous sunshine over the last few weeks.

I've been really struggling with control for the past three or perhaps four weeks. It started getting wobbly for a week or so, at the end of which it became clear that the insulin stored in our increasingly dodgy fridge had not kept too well and had lost a lot of oomph. Almost immediately afterwards I had a sore throat/cold combo which (unusually for me) wreaked a little BG havoc. And around the same time the Easter holidays came along. As invididual events they would probably have passed with little comment, but in succession they have been very hard work.

My diabetes likes order. My diabetes likes stability. My diabetes likes things to stay the same day after day after day.

Holidays in particular are often a bit of a challenge. When the kids are at school their routine sets a rhythm in the house. We wake at a set time and are careful not to do too much on a 'school night'. It's easy to get to the gym three times a week. Evening meals slot into the regular pattern.

When holidays come along though the regular rhythm of the house changes. We begin to wake up later. Gym visits fall away. Beautiful sunny evenings beckon. Friends call to ask if we'd like to join them for a stroll around the docks, perhaps stopping for a pint at The Cottage on the waterfront. While we are there perhaps we'll decide to stop for some food (I'm sure to have brought my insulin pen). Friends come to visit, what a lovely evening! Let's have a barbecue! All of these events are lovely. They all form an important part of my enjoyment of life.

But they do not make it easy to maintain good control.

It's times like this when I can feel trapped between enthusiasm for these lovely events, and facing the consequences of the BG guesswork they inevitably involve. It's times like this when diabetes seems most in the way. When life is fast-moving and unpredictable. When meals are grabbed outside of the normal, 'old faithful', predictable choices. The choices that we rely on week by week to make life, grocery shopping and carb counting easier. It's times like this when diabetes feels like a weight grinding you down. When a pleasant afternoon stroll followed by a meal out makes you think, "Oh great, that's going to be tricky to count right". It's times like this when diabetes seems determined to suck the joy out of life.

Of course it is not really that bad. Usually with a little effort, and some decent guesswork it is possible to get into 'holiday mode' and make a reasonable attempt at guessing your way through the holiday maze. To reset basal for the lack of gym visits. To adapt to the new 'normal'.

What this last few weeks have shown me (again) though, is how easy it is for one week of uncertainty to roll into another. And before long it's easy to lose confidence in your ability to make good judgements. Even if you know there are good reasons for a string of errant readings, a few short weeks of chaotic BGs can really take the wind out of your sails.

Next time we have a holiday I'm going to make sure that the fridge it in tip top working order, and I'm NOT going to get ill!


  1. oy! i know the feeling! my easter weekend was full of eating out/eating things i don't normally eat. SWAGing, anyone?

    so i was pretty much over 200 all weekend. it was kinda nice to put D on the back burner for a few days, but it's time to get back on track in the morning...

  2. Thanks Jess. It only took 2 days of half decent numbers for me to begin to climb out of my sour pit of despondency. Worst thing is how having a string of bad weeks makes me so darned grumpy!

  3. I SO know how you feel. I'm feeling at the moment it's an impossibility to completely enjoy life while at the same time maintaining good control. Hope things are improving for you.

  4. Yep - know the feeling well! It's a pain in the backside!

  5. I've recently been ill too (also unusual for me) and BGs went sky high, made worse my my exercise routine going out of the window then. And yes, eating out and staying with friends is great, but also an extra challenge on the food front. I tend to take food with me or for close friends and family, give them some ideas of good food choices. The simplest options when I'm out is fish or meat with salad or other veges and no starchy carbs.

    I also have to deal with hormone changes - be thankful you're not a menstruating woman too!!

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Mike. I'm on a similar page as you, as far as the order and control in my D-Life. Actually, I really don't like "order" and I seem to run from D-stability at every chance it presents itself, but I do best when it's around. So, we do what we do. Best your way and hope it all balances out, my friend!