Being on the blood sugar wagon is good, and easy to stay on once I’m settled in and wheeling along, whistling Dixie or maybe not because I can’t whistle so perhaps instead humming the theme song to The Facts of Life.  But holy moly, falling off the wagon hurts, because it’s usually a face-first plummet into mud, or some unmentionable.  Like full-sugar pudding.  Or a pile of cacti.  Or perhaps shit.

For over a year, diabetes was painted into the corner by being diligent about testing, correcting mild high blood sugars (bringing those 150’s back to 100’s, with less fear of hypoglycemia), and faithfully wearing/reacting to/being proactive about readings on the CGM graph.  Once I was in a good grove of those activities, things were solid, and I had the meter averages and A1C results that (finally) reflected the work I was putting in.

Unfortunately, when my husband was away for two months and I was both solo-parenting and finishing writing my book, I didn’t do very well staying on the wagon.  “Shut up; I tried” became a crappy mantra I hung on to while trying to keep things afloat until Chris came home.   And it became clear how quickly good habits can pull loose at the seams and unravel into some sloppy diabetes management.  (Yes, I’m on wagons and painting things into corners and working on some stitching, it seems.  Metaphors for breakfast!)

Chris has been home for two weeks, and the blood sugar part of climbing back on the wagon has improved.  Checking my blood sugar first thing in the morning, before doing anything else, is part of the routine again.  (I mentally picture my meter as a handcuff, holding me to the bed, and I can’t get out of bed until I test.  Which works, in theory, until the mental image starts to feel inappropriate, at which point I start to feel like a pervert.)  Reacting to blood sugar numbers is becoming easier again because the responsibility of house and child is shared again, freeing up some room in my brain for diabetes math.

What I’m having trouble with is the forcing of exercise.  Over the course of Chris being away, I wasn’t able to run much due to Bird-watching, and getting to the gym with regularity was tough due to the same issue.  Despite having an ellipmachine in the basement, I wasn’t feeling it by the time Birdy was asleep.  Most nights, I was asleep early, too, or up until embarrassing hours, working.  In the course of two months, stress and exhaustion ripped the fun out of working out, and my stamina and fitness and weight and general feeling of “healthy” went out the window.  Now that I’m trying to get back into the rhythm, it’s challenging to find that fun again because I feel like I’m jumping out from a sloth-ish starting point.  It’s the time, though.  Finding time for this stuff sounds so easy, in theory, but in practice, it’s tougher to pull off.

When I have time, I like going for a run.  (Shockingly enough, I actually enjoy running now, versus a year ago when running a mile made my lungs feel like they were going to fall out of my body and flop against the sidewalk like dying fish.)  My music mostly lives on Spotify, and making playlists for longer runs brings me weird joy.  I always feel accomplished when I finish, even though I usually hate everything about everything when I start.

As with everything else related to diabetes, once I climb back onto the wagon, it’s smooth sailing.  Making the effort for exercise is worth it, because even though it seems like a drop in the bucket, practice makes perfect.  I need to be the early bird, making hay while the sun shines and keeping my nose to the grindstone.  Rain or shine, I can do this until I’m blue in the face.

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