Tag Archives: Day of Diabetes

A Day in the Life.

Earlier in the week, I sat down for an interview with a person doing research on patient perspectives regarding continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs. It wasn’t as dull as that might sound; in fact, it was a great conversation and the time flew by.

Among the questions I was asked were things like “How much do you think about diabetes throughout the day”, and “Describe a typical day managing your diabetes”. I believe many of us bloggers did a “day of diabetes” or some sort a few years ago, and to be honest, I haven’t really written anything like it since.

But, since I was asked, now I’m thinking about it a lot. Here’s how yesterday went for me and my diabetes:

Wake up.
My alarm went off like it does most every morning at 4:30 a.m. Yeah, I hit the snooze and turned over for another 15 minutes, but before I did, I checked my phone to see what Dexcom had to say about my morning glucose level.

I’ve been experiencing some wicked dawn phenomenon lately, sometimes waking up between 60 mg/dL and 80 mg/dL, and 45 minutes later being between 180 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL. Before breakfast. So I checked my phone to make sure I wasn’t already at 150 or above.

I got up, I showered, got dressed, the usual. I went downstairs and fed Max the Cat, took my daily medications and vitamins, and made a cup of coffee. I checked my BG using my glucose monitor to calibrate my CGM, which I have to do every 12 hours. And I pre-bolused for breakfast. There were about 35 grams of carbs in it.

Go to work.
You might think, hey, get in the car and go to work? That’s no big deal! But I only drive about a mile before getting on a commuter train for 20 minutes or so. Then I have a half mile walk to the office.

That means making sure my BG is high enough to sustain me while I make that commute. It also means I need to have fast-acting glucose (in my case, candy) in my pocket just in case I dip low somewhere along the way.

Blood Donation.
It just happened that yesterday was our semi-annual blood drive at work, so I sat down and opened up a vein to do a double red cell donation. I’ve already written about what that’s like. Some People With Diabetes in the USA are eligible to donate blood. I am happy and honored to be one of those people.

Diabetes didn’t really play into this donation, except that I kept checking my phone in the hour before my donation to make sure I wouldn’t have to worry about a low during the bloodletting process.

Work. Advocate.
If I’m not working from home, I sit at a desk all day in the office. I have to make sure I have juice and candy in my desk. I also need to have access to water, and have a chance to get up and walk if my BG gets too high during the day.

Yesterday, I also fired off an e-mail to a colleague in charge of real estate and workplace design for the company. They’re involved in a project right now to transform the way our teams work, and the space we work in. My e-mail mentioned my needs as a Person With Diabetes, and also a reminder that I’m probably not the only one at my company living with a chronic condition that might need attention or special accommodation.

Head home.
About 4:15 p.m., I headed home. Another half mile walk, to the train station, a ride back to the neighborhood, and a quick ride the rest of the way home.

Except my blood sugar dropped dramatically by the time I reached the station. I went through the candy in my pocket, and I was still low. The train was packed, and I stood all the way. I was unsteady, but I’ve done it before, and in that moment, I really didn’t have a choice in the matter. I made it home okay.

I had a little leftover chicken and pasta salad for dinner. I made a quick run for necessities at the grocery store. I sat down to write most of this blog post.

And I participated in the wonderful #DSMA Twitter chat that happens every Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time in the USA.

For all of the extra tasks, the worry, the highs, the lows that I experience in a given day or a given week, the #DSMA chats are just what I need, reminding me that I have support out there, and no matter how hard my day might have been, there are others who have to work just as hard or harder to live their lives with diabetes.

I would add sleep here as a final entry, but c’mon, you took that as a given, right? Yeah, I deal with diabetes a lot every day. When you live with a condition that’s with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you tend to think about it almost that much.

That’s why reducing burden is such a big deal with us. If you can’t give us a cure, give us less work and less worry. That’s my day of diabetes. Just one day. Tomorrow, it all starts over again. The next day, the same. Forever.

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