From Abby: Lab Freak.
Diabetes and stress seem to go hand-in-hand (or white-knuckled fist in white-knuckled fist?). Today, Abby is tackling the stress of dealing with labwork results that are - what? - normal?
I'm a nurse, right? So says my name tag at work. When other people call me with their questions and concerns, I'm quite level headed. I can think through things, and tell people what they need to hear. I can see a potassium of 6.4 and not freak out (well, I do freak out, but I keep my cool at the same time). I can talk to a patient who took 5 units of Humalog for "funsies" before bed and had to be glucagoned that night and calmly explain to them why that was a bad idea. I can also talk to patients who call freaking out because they are having "extreme highs" after seeing one number of 178 mg/dL. I keep my cool.
Until I'm the patient. And then I'm a freak just like everyone else does. I Google and click and over-think and call and tell everyone and FUHREAK out.
So today when I got my yearly routine labs back and they were all perfectly normal, I had to find something to stress about. I mean, I just had to. Except there was nothing. And that lack of something stressed me out.
The problem we have is that with diabetes, the numbers we see always cause stress. Even if we're always 100 mg/dL - that's stressful because what if my meter is broken? What if my blood is tainted? What if my strips are expired? Diabetes wires us for high levels of stress. Add a nursing degree (which may also known as "hypochondria") and I'm screwed.
I'm stressed because my thyroid labs are exactly the same as last time even though I increased my levothyroxine dose. Except they're normal. And I feel fine. So there's no reason to stress about this.
I'm stressed that my triglycerides might be TOO low. Is that even possible? Why am I worried about this?
My BUN is one point below normal. HOLY CRAP MY KIDNEYS ARE IN TROUBLE. except that's not what that means. Also, I'M FINE.
By tomorrow, I'll have forgotten about this. I'll go on with my day knowing I'm doing a great job with my health with the tools and knowledge I have to work with. I'm healthy, and I feel good. I'm able to do the things I want to do. For that, I am thankful.
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Stressing about the absence of stress? Have you been there?