Molly Johannes was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997 at the age of four. Molly controls her diabetes with a combination of insulin shots, daily exercise, and a healthy diet. She utilizes a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to remain aware of her blood sugars throughout her busy days at school. Molly is a sophomore English major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Read full bio

Trivia Night

“Why not take a *shot* and *test* your knowledge at team trivia tonight at The Harp to benefit the College Diabetes Network? I’m pretty *pump*ed about it!

…all terrible diabetes puns aside, really, you should go.”

I posted this cheesy, “punny” status on the College Diabetes Network: UMASS Amherst page on Facebook mere hours before our trivia night started. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for coming up with a tacky status that may or may not convince people to attend the UMass Amherst CDN chapter’s first-ever event under my leadership.

My nerves were all over the place on Tuesday, April 1st. I was jittery all throughout my classes that morning and afternoon, so I decided to do some yoga in the evening so I could arrive to the event cool, calm, and collected.

It sort of worked – I felt relaxed after yoga. But when I got back to my apartment and realized that I only had an hour to eat dinner, shower, and get ready, I started to get a little panicky. This feeling worsened when I found out my blood sugar was a bit too high for comfort.

Luckily, I was distracted by the pressing need to get my butt in gear. I was able to do so in a timely manner, and I was smart by making sure I took my insulin a good 45 minutes before I started eating. That way, it would have a little time to start kicking in by the time I got my hands on some food. I was finished eating by 8, which was perfect seeing as I was going to leave my apartment at 8:15.

I made my way to the parking lot to get my car when Crisis #1 happened: my car wouldn’t start! My heart sank as I realized I accidentally left my lights on when I last drove over the weekend. In five years of being a licensed driver, this had never happened to me, and of course it finally would when I urgently had to be somewhere.

I knew I didn’t have time to go into full freak-out mode, so I made a phone call to the UMass Amherst CDN chapter’s Vice President, who offered to pick me and the two other members in need of a ride up at my apartment. I was glad to have a back-up plan, but I decided to call my parents to let them know the situation and so they could calm me down a bit.

I called home and my brother answered the phone. “Patrick, I need to talk to Mom and Dad, right now!” I shrieked into the phone. “Uhh…they aren’t here,” my brother said. “They’re on their way.”

“What?!” I yelled into my phone. “Yeah, they’re surprising you and showing up to your thing tonight! But wait, don’t tell them I told you!” said Patrick.

Immediately, I hung up and called my mother’s phone. Sure enough, Mom and Dad were in Amherst, and they weren’t too pleased my brother spoiled the surprise. When they heard about my car issue, though, they were understanding and wanted to come pick me and the other two girls up.

A couple of hasty phone calls later, my VP was informed of the situation and I found myself with the other two girls in the back of my parents car. Things were looking up as we drove to the Irish pub that was hosting trivia night. Until Crisis #2 happened.

My parents had the wrong address! The GPS guided us to Sunderland, and the bar was in Amherst. My dad handled the situation by swinging the car around and getting us to The Harp with ten minutes to spare.

I was thrilled when we walked in and saw there were easily 90 or so people in attendance, and relieved when I found a table occupied by my fellow UMass Amherst chapter CDN members and friends they brought with them. I was enjoying the conversation and the lively atmosphere when I was disrupted by Crisis #3: the owner forgot that the UMass Amherst CDN chapter was booked for the night.

It turns out that an engineering honor society also contacted The Harp. I was dismayed to find out that they called a mere week ago, whereas I had showed up in person three weeks ago and delivered paperwork to the owner himself that contained information about the UMass Amherst CDN chapter. I could tell he was embarrassed about the situation, because it was clear that he had forgotten about my visit. After a short conversation, though, we resolved it and the owner graciously offered to donate to both groups at the end of the night.

At long last, I was able to sit without any further problems emerging and enjoy a rousing game of trivia. Out of 30 or so teams, my team of five placed 5th and earned a cash prize back. In addition, we received $150 for the UMass Amherst chapter of CDN due to the generosity of the owner.

I guess it was somewhat naïve for me to think the night would go off without a hitch. In hindsight, though, these snags we hit along the way taught me valuable lessons about how to go about planning future events. And of course, I felt fortunate enough that we had so many people supporting us that night, including my parents who drove a long way just to cheer me on for a couple of hours. The most important piece of advice I could give any other CDN leader putting on an event is to RELAX! Everything will be okay. Plan the event as best as you can and stay optimistic. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s about having fun and doing something proactive with your group that will result in a positive experience, no matter what.

The College Diabetes Network chapter at UMass Amherst was created in 2009 and is the first established CDN chapter.

The College Diabetes Network (CDN) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting college students with diabetes through peer support and access to information and resources. For more information, please visit the website at www.collegediabetesnetwork.org

 

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Trivia Night for College Diabetes Network

When I was in high school, I was kept busy with a loaded schedule. Between field hockey, yearbook committee, National Honor Society, AP coursework, and work at the movie theater on weekends, I barely had time for myself. But I thrived amidst the chaos, and I knew it was something that would help me flourish in college, as well.

That’s why I got involved with the College Diabetes Network my freshman year. I started out attending the meetings as a mere member, and enjoyed the experience of opening up to other people my age with diabetes for the first time in my life. By sophomore year, the unexpected happened and I found myself in the role of president of the organization. Around this time, membership was dwindling and I was determined to breathe new life into the group.

I’m proud to say that this year, my junior year, there are about a dozen of us who regularly attend meetings. We are a registered group on campus, which grants us access to resources that we did not have before.

We meet about once each month, and every meeting we have is filled with excited chatter about visions for our group as well as any individual struggles or successes we are having with our diabetes. Thanks to the ideas that all the members have generated over the course of this year, we will be holding our first real event next month.

We are calling it “Trivia Night for Diabetes”, and it will be taking place at The Harp, an Irish pub located in Amherst. The venue was initially thought of by the vice president of our chapter, and a quick search online as well as a phone call made it the perfect setting for a first event. It turns out that The Harp conducts Trivia Tuesdays each week. It costs $5 per person to play, and all participants get a free buffet at midnight. As I learned these details, I thought this would be a fun way to gain some publicity for our group in addition to breaking up the school week a little bit.

College Diabetes Network Trivia Night Flyer

At the end of the evening, The Harp is generously sharing a portion of the night’s proceeds to our organization. In the meantime, we are advertising the event like crazy around campus and we are eager to see how many people attend.

I strongly encourage anyone else who is in college and looking to do an event to consult any local businesses to coordinate something akin to this. Not only is it convenient for anyone from your college to attend, but it is also something that brings your campus and your community together in a meaningful way.

And, if you find yourself in the Amherst area on Tuesday, April 1st at 9 P.M. – stop by The Harp for a fun night of Trivia! You’d be a fool not to attend! (Yes, I know that’s a terrible pun, but I couldn’t resist!)

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Double Dose

I don’t know what it is about this winter in particular, but I’ve been served up with yet another nasty illness that hit my diabetes harder than my laryngitis. And in a period of storm and stress, it was the last thing I needed.

It all started around two weeks ago. I was home for a long weekend that evolved into the longest week of my life when my family experienced the loss of my grandfather. Suddenly, my priorities shifted from schoolwork to my relatives, who – like me – were deeply saddened by this news. My house became a meeting hub for everyone to make arrangements accordingly, and I soon found myself surrounded by exhausted and mourning people.

The week leading up to the wake and funeral, I was trying to keep a brave face on and help out my parents as much as I could during this stressful time. I even wound up going back to school for a day to ensure I didn’t fall behind with my homework too much. However, I wrongly assumed that this would keep me on the right track. Within a twelve-hour period, I found myself feeling positively icky.

I woke up on that Thursday at 5:28 in the morning. By 6 A.M., I was on the road to Amherst and sitting in my first class by 8. I endured my four classes and was greatly relieved when they were over, this meant that I could go home to be with my family. But when I got home around 4:45, I wasn’t feeling so great. I felt a little nauseous and dizzy, and blamed this on potential dehydration.

Even after I had some fresh water and home cooking in me, I was feeling rotten. I knew an early bedtime was necessary; unfortunately, I was beyond early intervention. The next day, I was sluggish and experiencing alternating heat waves and chills. It was brutal, and I had trouble fathoming how I could possibly handle attending the wake later that evening.

Even worse were the super high blood sugars that my meter kept reporting. Granted, I wasn’t eating very healthy and I found myself having to do a lot of guessing as far as my insulin dosages were concerned. But I knew that it was more serious beyond faulty carbohydrate counting when I noticed that double doses of insulin barely budged my blood sugar. On my worst day, I tested a total of 16 times. After all those finger pricks, my meter reported a blood sugar in the 100s one time.

It was infuriating beyond words. How could I be expected to deal with my grief and my diabetes and my cold and my family and my schoolwork all at the same time? It simply wasn’t fair. I found myself resenting my diabetes in a way that I never had before.

It was wearisome, but I’m slowly getting back on track. A few days after returning to school, my blood sugars leveled out and I’ve recovered from the sudden sickness. But I keep thinking of how amazing my parents were the entire time I was home and dealing with this cold. They went out of their ways to take care of me by bringing me extra water and blankets, checking my temperature, and even running out to the drugstore for remedies early one morning. I’ve always known how much they love me, but at times like this it resonates with me even more. They had a million things on their to-do lists and their own sadness to deal with, but I was a top priority.

So if there has been anything good that has come out of the past couple of weeks, it has been the strength I’ve felt through my support system – my family. I was nervous about going back to school and being alone, but I know that I’m not. I’m thankful for the unconditional tolerance, advice, and love that my family, boyfriend, and friends provide me on a daily basis that helps make diabetes and the complications associated with it something I can handle.

And I’m thankful for every minute I was able to spend with my grandfather. Nearly three weeks later it feels so fresh and I miss him very much. But I hope I can make him proud and keep his happy-go-lucky spirit alive in my actions and thoughts. He was the kind of man who refused to let anyone or anything stand in his way, and I’m determined to channel that attitude, especially where my diabetes is concerned.

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Disruptive CGM Sounds

Beep! Buzz, buzz. Beep!

No, this sequence of sounds is not describing a car alarm or a cell phone going off. Rather, this is what my CGM does whenever I have a low alert, and it’s extraordinarily disruptive – especially when I am in class.

I use a Dexcom Seven Plus CGM, which is an older model compared to the sleeker, prettier, and backlit ones that I know is used by other people with diabetes. Before I continue, I must say that I feel very lucky to have a CGM in the first place. I was first introduced to it about four years ago during a one-week trial period that my endocrinologist coordinated. I was amazed by the technology and appreciated the consistent knowledge it gave me concerning my blood sugar. A year later, just as I was starting college, I got my very own CGM. While I still love it, I have realized that sometimes it is more of a nuisance than anything else.

Dexcome 7 - Vibe and Beep Disable

For instance, I was scared away from yoga during my freshman year when my CGM began going off in the middle of a class. I was mortified. One moment I was in downward dog, the next I was scrambling to silence my CGM. I remember turning bright red as I saw the other people in class looking all around the room, trying to figure out where that annoying beeping and buzzing was coming from. I was further humiliated when the yoga instructor acknowledged the “disturbance” and how everyone in the class ought to try to focus and forget the rude interruption. Shamefully, I wolfed down four glucose tablets to fix my low and laid in child’s pose (a very fitting position) for a few minutes to collect myself. Once the class was over, I considered explaining to the yoga instructor what had happened, that I had a medical issue and couldn’t control when my device would go off. Instead, I practically ran out of the room and didn’t return to yoga until recently.

Before you tell me that my CGM can be silenced by adjusting a few settings, let me assure you that I discovered that a long time ago and disabled high and low alerts. However, there is no way to silence my CGM senses that my blood sugar is 50 mg/dL or lower. I am grateful for this in the middle of the night, when the combination of loud beeping and vibrating successfully wakes me up from a deep sleep so I can correct the low. But what about when I am in social settings, like in a classroom? Fortunately, I’ve never dealt with the horrifying situation of my CGM going off in the middle of a lecture hall. But it’s not fair that I have to check my CGM every 15 minutes or so just to make sure I’m staying on track and not hovering to a low blood sugar. It distracts me from taking notes, and I am always worried that my professor will see me checking the CGM and assume it’s a cell phone. I have one professor who is particularly strict about electronic devices, so I am just waiting for the day when she scolds me in front of 100+ people.

As I reflect on all this, today is the day I tell myself that I shouldn’t feel shame or embarrassment in trying to be proactive with my diabetes management. So what if I get called out on glancing down at my CGM? If I continue to do it, the worst that could happen is that I have to have a conversation with the professor or instructor after class that will probably embarrass them more than me. And if I don’t continue to do it, there’s the potential that I could put myself at risk of having a really bad low that I can’t fix immediately because I’m too worried about what other people are thinking of my beeping and buzzing CGM. It sucks that my CGM isn’t always conducive to my learning, but the combination of adapting to it and feeling no shame regardless of what happens will make it an obstacle that is easier to overcome as a person with diabetes.

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So… I Have Diabetes: The Roommate Discussion

“Hi! I’m your new roommate, Molly. Oh yeah, I have diabetes!”

“So, just one minor thing you ought to know… I have diabetes…”

“If you like, ever see me shooting up, it’s not drugs. I mean it is, but not the bad kind.”

Telling someone that you’re going to live with that you have diabetes is not always the easiest conversation. How do you bring it up in a way that is casual, but still lets the person know that this is something that should be taken seriously? For the first time in two years, I had to deal with telling a brand-new roommate this not-so minor detail.

You might be wondering why I have a new roommate halfway through the school year. My apartment, which is designed to be occupied by four people, had three open spots for the spring semester. My roommates from the fall, who I had known since the start of college, moved out at the end of last semester. I know what you’re thinking – I scared them all away! But luckily that’s not the case at all and it was a decision made on good terms.

Since the beginning of January, I’ve been anxiously checking to see whether or not I had been assigned a new roommate – or roommates. I didn’t know if all three spots would be filled or if I would end up living alone. The prospect of being the sole occupant of my apartment was both exciting and scary. I liked the idea of having a large space to myself and getting a true taste of independence, but then I remembered that I’m a naturally social person. I don’t love being alone for extended periods of time. Normally, any loneliness that I faced last semester was fixed by the presence of my closest friends in college, who lived just up the hill from me. Unfortunately for me, those same friends are studying abroad this semester. The only friends I have known since freshman year of college live off-campus, so the cure for loneliness is now a bus or car ride away.

Forget my need for company, there’s also the issue of my health and safety. What would happen if I had a severe low blood sugar and needed help? What if, for some reason, I couldn’t leave my apartment or make it to my cell phone? As I pondered the seriousness of this problem, I realized it would probably be best if someone new moved in.

In mid-January, I learned that one person would be moving in. I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t confident in my ability to share the apartment with three strangers, but I was certain that I could manage one. And I knew that I should make it a priority to be open about my diabetes right off the bat by simply telling her about it, instead of surprising her by sticking myself with needles sans explanation.

So, I had the “I-have-diabetes” conversation with her the first night back at school. She was totally cool with it, and I didn’t even have to delve into much detail. I told her that diabetes has been a part of my life for many years, and that I have good control over it. I also made a couple of jokes, just to lighten the mood. We still don’t know each other very well, but I have the impression that she’s aware of my ability to handle it yet wary of any possible emergencies that could crop up.

My advice to anyone concerned about the roommate/diabetes discussion is to not fret about it. Let it be a conversation that is natural, but don’t put it off for long. It is best to talk about it sooner than later in order to mentally prepare your roommate for the sight of you injecting yourself or changing your pump site when they walk into the room. I promise it’s not as scary as it seems, and it’s a huge relief when it’s over because it’s one less thing you have to worry about where your diabetes management is concerned.

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What’s Worse than Diabetes? Diabetes and Laryngitis

What’s worse than having diabetes? I would have to say that having diabetes and battling laryngitis.

It couldn’t have hit me at a more inconvenient time. Granted, I managed to enjoy the Christmas holiday in relatively good health. But this year, Christmas represented not only a joyful time spent with my family but also the beginning of a crazy work schedule for me.

I spent the next several days working odd hours at the movie theater. One night I would be there from 5 to 11, and then I’d have to be awake about 8 hours later to get ready for a 9:30 to 6 o’clock shift. This inconsistent schedule combined with the constant need to talk in order to help customers did me in and I saw my immune system suffer. The Friday after Christmas found me completely mute. If I tried to speak, a pathetic squeak would utter out instead. I was miserable enough between that, congestion, and a cough. Throw diabetes into the mix and it was a complete disaster.

That whole weekend, I saw my numbers fly higher than I would have liked. It was incredibly stressful trying to manage my diabetes along with my work schedule and nursing myself back to health. My appetite was bizarre, as well: sometimes I was ravenous, other times I was completely uninterested in food. This made it nearly impossible to predict how much insulin I should give myself, and so my good blood sugar streak suffered.

diabetes and laryngitis

This was very discouraging, considering mere weeks ago I received the exciting news that my A1c dropped nearly a whole point. So I stepped up my efforts to test frequently and bolus for any highs whether or not I was eating a snack or a meal at the same time. I was sure to have extra water with me at all times to serve the dual purpose of flushing extra sugar from my system and drowning those germs.

Thankfully, I’m feeling much better. It’s been about two weeks since the illness tackled me full force, and the only remnants now are a slight cough and residual congestion. If anything, my first major sickness in over a year reminded me how important it is to be so diligent with my diabetes at all times. And now that it’s a new year, I think this lesson is more valuable than ever. Here’s to this year being my time to make serious and positive changes to my diabetes and my overall health! 

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My Blood Sugar Is None of Your Business

Sometimes, I find myself getting angry and annoyed when others look at my blood sugar.

“256? Is that good or bad?”

“Oh man, you’re 61? You need to take some insulin right now!”

By making these seemingly innocent comments, people manage to simultaneously violate my privacy as well as sound ignorant.

My Blood Sugar Is None of Your Business

I don’t have these feelings because I am ashamed of my diabetes. I don’t know what life is like without it, so I’ve had many years to come to terms with the impact it has on me on a daily basis.

Rather, I think it’s more of a defense mechanism. When I see my friends or family craning their necks to look at the number on my meter, I tend to prevent them from seeing by cradling my hands around the meter or lifting it up so I am the only one who can read it. That way, I can react to my blood sugar on my own terms without having to worry about how someone else feels about it. I appreciate that I’m surrounded by people who genuinely care about my health, but just because my loved ones are aware of my diabetes doesn’t make them experts. In some instances, my friends have been so concerned about a slightly hypoglycemic blood sugar that they kept a closer monitor on my sugars than I did for the next couple hours. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful for their support, but my goodness, it’s tiring to have to deal with multiple reactions to my own blood sugars. I’m the one who has to deal with them, and that’s enough for me to handle at any given time.

On that note, I think that my defensive nature applies to myself, not just others. I am protective of myself because I like to test my blood sugar and analyze my feelings and what actions I should take once I know the number. When I can focus on this on my own, I have a greater understanding of how my body reacts in certain situations and what kinds of preventive or corrective measures I need to take in the future.

I guess what I’m wondering here is whether or not any other people with diabetes also feel this compulsion to keep their numbers private. Am I being too sensitive? Is it natural for me to want to tell others that my blood sugars are none of their business?

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Is It Weird To Be Thankful For Diabetes?

Each year around Thanksgiving, I think about the things that I am thankful for in life. Some obvious answers come to mind: my parents. My brother, my boyfriend, my dog. The fact that I am able to attend an amazing college. The roof over my head and the food on my plate. The list could go on and on. I’m sure most of my answers are unsurprising.

But is it weird that I’m thankful for diabetes, too?

Don’t get me wrong here. Oftentimes, I resent that I have to deal with the burden that is diabetes on a daily basis. I cry about it, I get angry about it, I curse about it. I wish that it didn’t impact me or my loved ones the way that it does. I’m all too aware, however, that I cannot change the role diabetes plays in my life. All I can do is accept it. When I did that and truly thought about what acceptance means, I began to think of why I might feel blessed in some bizarre way to have diabetes.

For starters, my diabetes has brought me closer to my family. My mom and I are able to relate to each other on a different level because of it. My dad and my brother show concern and unrelenting support for us that might not be the same if Mom and I did not have diabetes.

Sometimes, I think about how even though my diabetes seems to have a mind of its own, it adds a certain degree of control regarding some aspects of my daily life. It helps me get into a routine that is pretty static. It relies on what I choose to feed myself; in this way, it motivates me to make the right choices when it comes to my diet.

And it has brought some amazing opportunities my way. Without diabetes, I would not have become president of the UMass Amherst chapter of the College Diabetes Network. I would not have discovered the Children with Diabetes: Friends for Life conference that I attended in Disney this past summer, where I made some awesome friends who keep in touch with me. And I certainly would not have begun blogging for ASweetLife.org. This experience itself has allowed me to get in touch with my feelings regarding diabetes to a greater extent. I have been able to explore my interests as an individual who loves to write. I have the pleasure of speaking with a wider variety of people within the diabetic community and hearing individual stories that I might not have ever heard.

That’s why I’m seeing diabetes as something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I long for the day where diabetes is cured and I no longer have to think about it. But for now, I want to make the best out of something that could be perceived as the worst.

 

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A Diabetes Adventure in New York City

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking my very first trip to New York City to attend the New York City Horror Film Festival. I’m a major wimp when it comes to scary movies, but as a diabetic, I was more concerned about whether or not it would be a good weekend for my blood sugar.

Tribeca Cinemas - New York

 

Let me back up and provide some background information. The trip came together last minute, as I learned that my boyfriend’s oldest brother was coming to NYC to show his short film, Killer Kart, at the festival. I didn’t think that I would be able to go, because of schoolwork and all the time it would consume to travel to NYC. Upon consulting my schedule, I was delighted to realize that I could afford to go, seeing as any upcoming assignments weren’t due until later this week.

So after my last class on Friday, I started the journey home. And thus began my weekend of wild blood sugars.

I was fine during the hour and a half drive from Amherst to home. I made a pit-stop at my house to say hello to my mom and my dog before I drove off to my boyfriend’s. We ate a quick meal and drove for three hours to Connecticut to spend time at his other brother’s house with their family. Halfway through our drive, we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and my blood sugar was on the decline. I knew we would be eating pizza when we reached our destination, so I had a small snack to boost my blood sugar. Much to my surprise, I barely saw the number on my CGM change from 70 to 80 throughout the remainder of the drive. I shrugged it off and enjoyed a couple of slices of pizza, with my sugar lingering in the 150s into the night. It was nice to be able to relax and hear entertaining family stories by the fire.

Saturday came around and the whole family and I took a two-hour train ride to the city. When we finally got there, I was immediately blown away by the utter chaos. There were so many people, so many buildings, so much to look at! It was all a blur as we walked in a group to find a place to eat. We settled on the Brooklyn diner, where I had a delicious Cobb salad for lunch. I was hesitant to bolus for it, because my blood sugar reading was somewhere in the low 100s. I knew we had much more walking to do, so in a rare move, I did not take insulin at lunch.

Luckily, I made the right call. We walked all around Times Square and I kept a close watch on my CGM. It was very steady in the 120s, so I felt more confident about my decision to refrain from bolusing. But then the tell-tale signs of a low began to hit me.

Low blood sugars are never fun. But when you’re in an unfamiliar place surrounded by strangers, they’re positively dreadful. I was looking all around me at the tall buildings and bright lights and people and I felt disoriented and panicky.  Even though my CGM said I was doing fine, I decided to follow my instincts and eat three glucose tablets, which again proved to be a smart choice. By the time we hailed down a taxi to get to the theater, I felt a hundred times better. Before long, we had made it to Tribeca Cinemas and settled down to watch Killer Kart (check out the trailer!) along with another short and then a feature movie. By then, my blood sugar was doing just fine and I was able to relax and enjoy the event.

YouTube Preview Image

After a dizzying six-and-a-half hours more of travel, I found myself back at school writing this piece. It’s a good reminder that my blood sugar isn’t always going to be perfect when I want it to be, but as long as I trust how I’m feeling, then I can have fun instead of letting my diabetes get to me. 

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Good Blood Sugar Causes Bad Mood

I never thought I’d complain about a good blood sugar. But as I write this, I’m fuming a bit over my current reading of 132 mg/dL.

Why? It’s a Sunday afternoon, which translates to the prime time for this college student to go to the gym for a weekend workout. It’s a nice distraction from homework that doesn’t make me feel guilty because I’m doing something good for my body. Plus, I try to get in an hour of exercise daily to help control my blood sugars.

However, it seems like my blood sugar has a mind of its own today. I woke up around 9:30 this morning at 77. I fixed myself a breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, and some fresh mixed berries. I gave myself 5 units of insulin to compensate for this. Normally, I might’ve given myself 6 or 7 units, but exercise was in my plan for the morning and I didn’t want to have a terrible low mid-workout.

I kept an eye on my CGM as I went through my morning routine. I went up to 193 and stayed there. I figured I should test my blood sugar again to confirm this, and was slightly surprised to see that it was 140. In the past, my endocrinologist and I have discussed when I should and should not have a snack pre-workout. We determined that if I am 150 mg/dL or lower, I should have at least 15 grams of carbohydrate to stabilize my blood sugar for a moderate intensity workout. I ate a banana, thinking it would be more than sufficient.

Over the course of the next hour, my blood sugar did not budge. I stayed right in between 130 and 150, which isn’t bad at all. I’m just annoyed, because I know that if I try to exercise any time soon then I will start to plummet. And I really don’t want to eat or drink anything else, because I feel as though that’s almost defeating the purpose. I’m trying to be more health-conscious by maintaining an exercise routine and balanced diet, so when uncontrollable things regarding my diabetes happens, I get frustrated.

At a time like this, I have to take the good with the bad. At least I have a steady blood sugar reading at the moment. My CGM is now displaying a line that has far fewer zigzags than it did yesterday. And it’s still relatively early in the day, so maybe I can have a chance to get my exercise in later. Living a busy life with diabetes will be full of these ups and downs, so I think it’s important to reflect on instances like these and turn the negatives into positives.

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