Often, when I see a number like that, I think, “Oh, it’s okay. It doesn’t define me. It’s not an assessment of my self-worth. I’m still a decent person despite an out-of-range blood sugar.”
And that’s true. I’ve written about how true that is a pile of times*. These numbers aren’t ME.
… but they’re still mine.
The problem with those statements, for me, is that they can lull me into a false sense of security. They make me complacent. “Meh. 200 mg/dL isn’t a big deal.”
The emotional load that diabetes brings to the table, daily, is tremendous. I’m a little envious of people who seem (are?) able to remove the emotions from their data points and who can forgive themselves for extreme blood sugar excursions**. I’m also a little envious of people who are able to look at their own data and go, “Nope. No more excuses,” without a shred of self-loathing. I carry some real guilt when it comes to blood sugar management because in a lot of circumstances, my actions influence my numbers. Am I high right now? Yes, because I had some breakfast and forgot to prebolus for it. While my pancreases refusal to make insulin isn’t in my control, the day-to-day of my blood sugars are in my control. I need to remember that, and act on that fact.
There are several dozen factors in play that influence blood sugars – the team at diaTribe put together this awesome analysis – and I can point fingers accurately at hormones, stress, and other “not me!” moments, but I need to give myself some tough love when it comes to blood sugars. Part of what I am trying to work on lately is to be forgiving to a point. Like I’ve forgiven myself for not prebolusing for breakfast, and also for being high. But I don’t look at the number and shrug. I’m trying to replace diabetes apathy with agency, holding myself accountable without buckling under the pressure.
I can do that. It’s not cryabetes, after all.
* You can pick up a copy of Balancing Diabetes here.
** Blood sugar excursions sound FUN like my BGs are on a white water rafting trip through Maine, but they aren’t cute or fun or any kind of party whatsoever.