Constant Vigilance, or, Being Tethered

I’ve spent the past week or so fighting with some darned persistent high blood sugars. Waking up to the jarring vibration of my Dexcom has become almost ritualistic: 1am, after over treating for that low before bed; 3am, when I’m still 260; 5am, when the second correction bolus only brought me to 230; and 7am, when all the insulin from the night decides to kick in at once and I need a juice box. And the juice box, coupled with the dawn phenomenon, will send me soaring again, so there’s another alarm by 8:30.

I don’t wake up in the morning feeling well rested, needless to say. I’m awake and alert when my Dexcom goes off in the middle of the night; because I HAVE to be. Being groggy while trying to treat a low/high can lead to some questionable decisions (see: eating the entire kitchen when your blood sugar is actually 90).

These highs have left me feeling sick- so sick I don’t even want to touch the water my body needs to replenish. I can barely drag myself out of bed; if I have someplace to be first thing in the morning, it’s a struggle to get going.

This image has stuck in my head for quite a while, and this finally seems like the post to use it in.


THIS sums up how diabetes can feel sometimes: like being imprisoned, knowing what you could be doing or how you could be feeling without a disease that requires your brain to do the job of your pancreas. The brain does a lot of wonderful things, but it just wasn’t meant to calculate insulin doses that account for EVERY¬†possible blood sugar-affecting variable. Even with all of the devices we have, we are imperfect at best.

This image speaks of being tethered. We are tethered (in a mostly literal sense) to our meters, our pumps, our CGMs, in the name of- I can’t think of a better way to say it, so thanks Mad-Eye Moody- CONSTANT VIGILANCE. We can’t leave the house without a meter, we can’t be more than 20 feet away from a CGM, and we are very literally attached to our pumps- you can’t go anywhere without a visual reminder of diabetes. Even to sleep. I’m very thankful for my Dexcom at night, but sometimes I feel overloaded and overwhelmed with the reminders that for all my vigilance, sometimes things still don’t go my way.

This image speaks to the fact that as much as we may not like it sometimes, this is our reality- being constantly surrounded by medical devices, waking up every night, intensely planning our days around diabetes. But research is bringing us closer to an un-tethered experience of having diabetes; therapies to regrow and preserve insulin-producing cells are being created and tested, and are showing a lot of promise.

One day, we may not be tethered anymore. And what a day that will be.


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