The word ‘hectic’ is probably an adequate summary of my last few weeks. I’m at the tail end of my Masters degree, which means attending placement full-time amongst a pile of assignments while keeping an eye out on the job market. Not to mention all the other things outside of study! Maybe that’s why I wasn’t surprised when I came to the realisation that my diabetes care has fallen behind.
Since being on the pump, a few people have been asking how things are going. A fair question. To be honest, I have been so caught up with everything else, that I just make sure to get the basics down of testing, entering my BGL and carbs into the pump, test two hours after, rise and repeat. Once that’s established in my routine, I never gave it a second thought. I had also stopped logging my BGLs because I got lazy. After all, the pump recorded everything. Over the weeks, I did notice my BGLs creeping slightly higher despite doing everything right. I put it down to stress and made a mental note to email my educator about it. But of course, something always came up that took precedence over downloading my pump data to email it.
Another important aspect of my diabetes management that had been put on the back burner was exercise. During the first few weeks of placement, I made it a point to walk to my primary placement site, which was just over 2.5km each way. I was walking at least three times a week and absolutely enjoyed it the first few weeks. My gym sessions also started dwindling down while I was walking. But as daylight got shorter with the end of daylight savings, the days felt longer. I found myself dreading the walk home as I was exhausted by the end of the day. Soon, the weather joined the rebellion and torrential rain made it impossible to walk while the motivation to hit the gym again was sub zero.
A catalyst that made me realise I needed to pick my game up was a simple message from a friend in the DOC. They noticed I hadn’t been walking as much thanks to those damn automatic Twitter Fitbit updates I forgot to disable. But having someone ask if everything was okay made me stop to realise that I am burning out. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to my health, which was probably why I was feeling like rubbish. Around then, my boyfriend started going back to the gym, which also motivated me. If I ever needed a sign, this was it.
My first step was going back to basics and finding things I enjoyed. I hated the downloaded pump data that stared back at me on my computer screen. It was boring and meaningless to me, which made me realise how much I loved using the mySugr app. I’m lucky enough to be alpha testing this app and there is no doubt I have fallen in love with it. Data is colourfully presented, making it easy on the eyes. Reports the app spits out are equally impressive and well-liked by my diabetes team. So I decided to keep logging my BGLs for a week to spot any obvious patterns before getting my educator to look through it.
Another aspect of my health I’m keen to kick start again is exercise. While my knee is still undergoing more investigations, there’s no reason I can’t do simple and easy things. Already this week, I surprised myself by doing two decent gym workouts after a hiatus of five weeks. It’s nowhere near what I was doing before but it’s definitely a start that I’m determined to keep working on.
I will get out of this rut and prioritise my health. I will get my diabetes routine back. I will get my exercise regime back. I will do this!