The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.
Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 12
Sometimes I am scared to eat. I know; a morbidly obese person is not expected to write those words. I am so overweight that it could kill me, and I certainly didn’t end up weighing this much by not eating, that is for sure. But there is this thing I have called type 2 diabetes.
Let’s get it straight. I am a person that has type 2 diabetes. The same way I am a person that has thyroid disease. The same way I am morbidly obese. The same way I have allergies. All of these descriptive phrases contribute to different parts of me, but they do not define me. I think that it is the time that we all take a look at that and really think about it. Because saying that someone is a diabetic is almost the same as saying they are not a person, because of how you say it. I am a person that has diabetes. I am a woman that has blue eyes. The colour of my eyes does not define me, but it is a part of many things that contribute to me, the person as a whole. In a world where people are way too quick to label people and judge them, I think it is time to stop doing this. The world is changing all the time, and people are trying to be more politically correct. If we all think of each other as people that have many adjectives to describe them, it is a good place to start. We all have our good qualities and we all have our issues. Mine are not the same as yours, but we all have issues and good qualities. That is the common ground we all have together.
Back to being scared to eat. I am learning how to treat blood sugar lows. I have learned to drink a juice box, and have a sucker or a candy, and wait. I then check my sugars again. If they are responding to the treatment, I stop panicking and move on with my day. If they don’t, I may go overboard and eat too much candy to get my sugars up, and then I have to figure out what to do to bring them down again. If I overreact and they are high, it means I am not panicking about them being too low anymore, but that means they are too high. This is one scenario similar to what I am writing about, except there is another time when I am really scared to eat. When my blood sugars are high, and I don’t know why.
I am starting to learn what I should eat to bring my blood sugars down. It is not an easy thing to figure out. I take insulin, and if you take too much, it is possible to die from an overdose. I am very scared that this could happen to me. So I am careful if I have to take more insulin than a regular dose when my sugars are higher than normal. But how much is too much? Some days I don’t even know how much I should take. On those days I either play it safe by not taking too much which is usually not enough, or I check my sugars every couple of hours to make sure I am not dropping if I take that larger than normal dose.
If my sugars are high and I am not able to get them to a normal level with insulin, that is uncharted territory. I am fighting with them a lot this week. I am worried that there is a reason behind them being so high, and for why it seems so hard to get them back under control. It can be a sign that something else is going on in my body like it is fighting an infection. I will be honest here, I have never seen them as high as they were this past Sunday night. I took insulin. Got up the next morning, and they were down, but still high. I took 2 doses of insulin that were quite high when I added them together, because of how close the doses were taken. Only after the second dose did I see a change, and it wasn’t drastic, and I didn’t crash with a blood sugar low. I went to Zumba Monday night, and they were almost within normal range. I have not had a spike in high blood sugar like that today, but I am STILL fighting to get them under control and keep them within normal range. (I am writing this on Tuesday evening).
When this is happening, I am scared to eat. I am scared that anything I put into my mouth will cause my sugars to go even higher. It is not a weight thing. I am worried that my blood sugars will just keep climbing and I won’t be able to get them back under control. I know I need to eat. I know that if I make healthy choices, things will have to change, it is just a matter of time. But delaying that meal can be detrimental to what could happen.
Let’s say I just don’t eat. My sugars might spike as my body tries to keep sugar in my bloodstream without the addition of food. Eventually, the sugars will drop. I then become a little desperate, hangry, and indecisive. That combination will eventually lead to my blood sugars dropping. This is not productive and does lead to a panic when I realize that my sugars are starting to drop. It is at that time that I reach for an easy meal or snack that may not be the healthiest thing for me to eat, and the roller coaster has fuel to continue.
What I have learned is that if I wake up with a pattern of high blood sugars, I do need to increase my long-acting insulin dose. A little at a time, until I have normal fasting blood sugars in the morning. Then I can ease it off. Protein is supposed to help with this also, and I am trying to find a bedtime snack that does more good than harm. Throughout the day I have to test frequently, to help sort out what is causing the blood sugars to be high and not normal. This may cause me to skip a snack because of the level I see when I test. It also may cause me to delay eating because I am scared that it is only going to make things worse.
And then it happens. The insulin starts working again, and I am not having blood sugar highs anymore because I am now fighting blood sugar lows. This is a byproduct of getting them back under control. When my body decides to accept the insulin, it does it suddenly, and I am scrambling again to get my sugars within normal levels. If I am not monitoring them constantly during this time, I risk them staying too high if I am not taking enough insulin, or having to lower my doses because my body is responding and I am taking too much insulin. It is difficult at times to try and outsmart this diabetes that I have, and that is why I am scared to eat sometimes.