Posted by on Thursday 31 January 2013

The Einstein Principle

Pick your cliché...

"I had it coming"... "Pride comes before a fall"... "Sod's Law"... "I brought it on myself"...

So hands up who thinks they know what has happened just as I posted something about how well things have been going recently. Right. So that's pretty everyone with diabetes reading this, every parent of a child with D, or anyone who lives with someone 'pancreatically challenged' then. Thought so. OK you can put your hands down now. Don't want your arms getting tired.

Yup. As you would all expect, immediately after I allowed myself a little glimmer of diabetic self-satisfaction the other day, things have well and truly gone 'off the rails'. In no small part self inflicted (a family birthday celebration with not quite enough self-control on my part). Partly stupidity - I forgot to press the final 'confirm' to administer a lunchtime bolus, cue stratospheric BG mid afternoon. A suspected big fat tubing bubble overnight (I know!). And also partly a little basal-tweaking needed as my half marathon training has started to kick in. What was looking to be a pretty decent set of figures for the month are suddenly looking decidedly ropey.

It's like that moment when [insert the name of your favourite sports star or team here] has put in all the hard work throughout the [season/game] and looks on course for glorious victory only to throw it all away with an errant putt on the 18th green, a missed double 16, by spinning out on the corner, conceding a sloppy goal in the 89th minute, or double-faulting the set away with a catastrophic loss of concentration.

It hasn't helped that I had a letter today from the fine folks at the mobile eye screening service today to say that they had spotted some 'background changes' in my eyes again. They said that once before a few years back, but I have to confess I far prefer the letters since then where they had been saying, "Nope, nothing to see here matey". No treatment needed, just another 12 month check. But not ideal news in a week where on-target readings have been a bit thin on the ground.

And of course (crassly stupid mistakes aside) those days when the wind is behind me and my pancreas-impersonating-guesses all come together with effortless perfection rarely 'feel' that different to the days when every reading seems determined to skip over that ever-so narrow target range that we all try to aim for. Days when meter and pump are constantly warbling warnings of imminent doom for being too high or too low. This is particularly the case when, like now, my basal profile needs a little tweaking. Tried and tested approaches, ratios and meal choices lose all reliability. Corrections and doses either seem to disappear entirely or hit home like a sledgehammer. And all the time I'm trying to just do the 'normal' things that I know work.

Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Well I don't know about insanity, but that's a pretty darned good description of living with type 1 diabetes.


  1. I think diabetes insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting the same results.

    We do our best. And that is all we can do.

  2. Mike, great post as usual. We are rooting hard for you in the US of A!

    Using an American baseball analogy, this disease is always throwing curve balls at you. You have to become a master tactician, and even then, the batting average only gets so high, never higher. I took a long walk in the snow today after lunch, confident that I was getting good exercise for the heart and the blood sugar. The meter humbled me upon my return with an ugly 213 mg (is that around a 12 for you?) so either I under dosed and ate too many carbs at lunch, or I was walking and got too low and my liver kicked in to save me. Too many carbs, too few carbs? Today the answer is one way, tomorrow another. But we're here, and we're walking and hugging our kids and wife. You take the good with the bad. Even if you can't look at it that way, we have no other choice. Keep sharing! Russ in NYC