“How long until you get her blood sugar under control? “
“Boy, you sure seem to check her blood sugar a lot. Is she having troubles?”
“My friend said it took awhile to learn how to manage but once you have it down everything goes back to normal.”
“Isn’t pumping supposed to make controlling diabetes a lot easier? What is going on? Have you talked to the doctor about this?”
I get asked these questions and hear comments similar to this all the time, especially during the extra challenging moments. It’s rather annoying because I am busting my buns to try to keep Naomi in her target every hour of my life. I don’t get upset, really it’s just a reminder of how little the rest of the world actually knows about life with Type 1 Diabetes. If I am tired (when am I not) then I usually just respond with a “yeah or uh, huh” and sometimes I take the time to educate those who I actually think might want to know how it really is.
Managing and controlling Type 1 Diabetes is a 24/7/365 day job if you want to avoid complications and live a healthy life, or simply live to see the next day for that matter. Managing and controlling Type 1 Diabetes requires dedication in order for a person to live. A person controls and manages Type 1 Diabetes by doing whatever is necessary to keep the blood sugar levels in their target zone. A target zone varies depending on a persons age, current health condition or even upcoming activity level changes. It is not unheard of to test blood sugar levels 10-15 times per day to make sure that the blood sugar levels are within the zone you want them to be or at least headed in the correct direction of that zone. Taking the time to confirm or work to get a blood sugar level within the target zone is controlling and managing diabetes. A person who does not regularly test their blood sugar probably does not have great “control”. You see while it might seem like they are in “control” or have “good management” of their disease how really do you know? Is that an assumption because the person appears to live like the rest of the general population of diabetes free people? Well, Type 1 Diabetes is an internal autoimmune disease, it’s not something you see on the outside. People with Type 1 Diabetes usually work with their medical doctors and teams so that they can have guidance on appropriate insulin adjustments as necessary. All sorts of things can change a persons needs within one day, heck within one hour! Exercise, weather, illness, hormones (growth, puberty, pregnancy), long drives, low-fat foods, high fat foods, high protein foods, low protein foods, high sugar foods with no fat or lots of fat or lots of protein, excitement for a party or game etc.. all of that plays into the amount of insulin necessary to keep a person’s blood sugar “in zone”. So next time you see a person with Type 1 Diabetes who is drinking a juice or eating sugar tablets because of a low or if they are drinking a lot of water, possibly taking a shot when not eating or messing with their pump it might be because they are actively “managing and controlling” diabetes – In fact – give the person a smile because they are working really hard just to keep on keepin’ on.