April 1st, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Diabetes is a constant-feedback kind of disease.  It often leads to frustration, confusion, exhaustion, and can result in an intense desire to throw things across rooms.

I feel I know this very well today, since I woke at 12:45am at 451 (thanks for the warning at 175, CGM) and stayed awake until 3:50am until I felt I could fall asleep again (until 5am when I get up for bootcamp).  I was going to fall asleep earlier, but then the insulin hit and I was dropping and it was just feeling too complicated to sleep through.

I’m so lucky I had a good book to read.

But one of the tough things about living with type one diabetes is that I know if I say something to anyone who knows about diabetes they’ll start in with the questions and the suggestions.  (Probably not those living with type one ourselves, we’re busy questioning what’s going on in our own bodies!) While I know they are always intended to convey concern and caring, sometimes, on too little sleep, they come across as criticisms.

It can get tough to manage the advice and feedback, especially when we are the ones who feel the swings and the highs and sometimes all we really want to do is sleep at night!

I saw Carrie Cheadle’s blog post today on receiving feedback and using it to our mental advantage.  I think I’ll use some of her advice to review last night for myself. 

I doubt I’ll be open to suggestions from my doctor, but since I made my husband stay awake through some of the high and some of the low, I might run through this with him, just to share and hear what things are like from his side (and it’s a way to ask for help!).  I need to be running through these kinds of things more often for myself, so that I can better learn how to keep at this!

Carrie lists three questions that we should ask ourselves to discover constructive feedback after any event of significance.  For her, this is any athletic competitive event and for me, today, it happens to be my last 15 hours.

-What did I do well?

-What would I have done differently?

-What did I learn that I want to carry forward into the next event?

I think these thoughts are good for each of us to keep in mind as we deal with ups and downs of life with diabetes.  I particularly like the “what did I do well” question because it calls for a thoughtful compliment of the work we put into our health every day… something that we often forget when we find ourselves with a higher number than expected or desired. 

In case you aren’t feeling it, remind yourself that you ARE doing a good job taking care of yourself with a crazy mixed up disease.  Pat yourself on the back, answer the above questions constructively, ask for as many hugs as feel good, and keep at it.

You deserve it.

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