Diabetes: An Emotional Rollercoaster

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As I sit here at my desk, there are remnants of glucose tablet dust coating my fingers, tissues strewn about my desk, and used test strips littering my bedspread. Instead of blood, the tissues are used to wipe my tears. Tears of relief, frustration, gratitude, and anxiety.

What exactly brought this on? Today started out like any other. An ordinary Thursday with a few obligations here and there. My roommate and I spent a good portion of the afternoon complaining to each other about how much we miss our mothers’ home cooking, so she made a trip to the store and we slaved over preparing a meal together. It was fabulous: rich, creamy macaroni and cheese, corn bread, and snap peas. I consulted the nutrition facts panels on all the boxes as we went along to calculate how much insulin I would need to take for this high-carbohydrate feast. I gave myself a little room in case I wanted to indulge on an extra scoop of pasta. I took the shot at 5:15 P.M., ate and chatted with my roommate until about 6:00, and then everything descended into a downward spiral.

All it took was a glance at my CGM screen. My blood sugar was 130 and had one arrow pointing down. This was odd to me, considering my blood sugar at 5 was 195. Usually, it takes longer for it to drop to that degree, and it was even stranger considering I had just finished a full meal.

Fifteen minutes later, I was on the phone with my parents, asking them for advice as I watched my CGM report my blood sugar going down at a faster pace than normal. A few finger stick pokes confirmed the accuracy of my CGM, which made me all the more concerned. I stuffed a few glucose tablets into my mouth and talked to my mom about our days, in order to shift my focus away from my blood sugar while I gave it a chance to come up. We were on the phone for nearly half an hour before I noticed my blood sugar was stabilizing at 77. Mom and I decided I should go about with my evening routine and just monitor how I was feeling up until it was time for bed.

Which brings me to this present moment, where I am sitting here being overly emotional about my diabetes. I cried because I was relieved to know I was going up, slowly but surely. I cried out of frustration because a good diabetes day was quickly tainted by my fear and miscalculations. I cried because I was grateful for my parents who have, yet again, proven their patience with me during a mini panic attack. I cried because I’m anxious as to how my blood sugar will be for the next several hours, seeing as it might go up much higher than I’d like or it could go down again. And I’m feeling all those emotions – relief, frustration, gratitude, anxiety – towards my CGM, which seems to do more harm than good these days because of how paranoid it makes me.

When my roommate and I sat down to enjoy our meal a couple hours ago, she watched as I injected myself and asked if anything was being done to find a cure for diabetes. It’s times like these where my answer to her becomes all the more prominent: With each passing day, I really hope we come closer and closer to the cure.

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***The opinions and views expressed in this blog belong to the individual contributor and not to ASweetLife or its editors. All information contained on this blog is intended for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.