the Diabetes Blues

2 Dec

You don’t see as much talk about the mood/emotional side of type 2.

I think the most obvious manifestation of my blood sugar levels is my mood.  My family has an established history for mood disorders and while I don’t have any formal diagnosis, I know I deal with the symptoms of depression.  When my glucose levels are at least steady (even if they’re just consistently high) my mood is smooth and consistent, when they’re low and steady is when I tend to be the most extroverted.  When I can’t manage to keep my glucose level from going WAY high, then crashing WAY down, I’m an emotional wreck.  Mostly “cranky” but also I get really morose.

This past week was really rough emotionally.  I had the stress from holiday travel and the unusual routine.  I tried not to burst into tears every time I thought about not getting to see my mom after this visit for awhile.  I wasn’t eating like I usually do – less carbs, a bit more “grazing” – so I had some dips in my glucose levels because my body wasn’t used to it.  I felt “happy”,  but I couldn’t feel confident with my appearance.  I started feeling angry at myself for not having a reading of less than 88 in the morning.  And I kept having weird dreams.  I wanted to twist my poor husband’s neck into a knot.  Since I got back home, I’ve mostly felt like crap.  I’ve had some sinus-allergy problems and I haven’t been getting enough sleep.

And then yesterday and today, I just completely could not control my BG.  I guess that today’s morning is because I had a horrible (nutrition- and carb-wise) meal last night and I hadn’t been very cautious the rest of the day either.  I ended the day at 279 – not good.  This morning I had a half-cup of quick oats cooked in water with a sprinkling of dried cranberries and yellow raisins with a few almonds thrown in for salt and protein.  My fasting sugar had been 124 – not good, but not scary, especially considering how sugar laden my dinner had been.  Well, 90 minutes later, my blood sugar was 190; 2 hours, 186; 3, finally 124 (I ate some more almonds here).  So I will admit, I was feeling compulsive and I needed “control” so when my BG at lunch read 93, I decided not go to the cafeteria for lunch where temptations abound but I went with some chicken bouillon and Ritz crackers.  Dinner is going to probably be the buffet at Souper Salad because I have an awesome coupon and  because dammit! I’m not going to let my mood-blood sugar cycle rule my life…

This thought scares me.  I know I am an “emotional eater” – I eat when I’m bored and I love to celebrate with food and I tend to have the worst cravings that I “have” to satisfy when I’m feeling depressed.  But I’ve always felt this pull towards disordered eating because when I feel “depressed” or when my blood sugars are bottoming out and I’m in the fucking 50s, all I want is control.  I mentally convince myself that I’m not hungry and I’m a wimp for feeling shaky or that I need to keep eating long after I’m full to make sure I don’t feel weak again.

Having diabetes is acknowledging that you don’t have complete control over your body.  You can learn about how to control it properly and many try with varying degrees of success, but so many more shrug and say, oh well Doc… but my point is that while I feel like I steer my body, I don’t always avoid the currents.  It’s a feeling that makes me feel very small sometimes.  And I’m trying to work with it this week.  I’m trying to dress up and feel “pretty”.  I’m trying to think about my meals for the next few days.  I’m trying to make sure I test each and every single time I’m supposed to.  I’m trying to not hold it in.  And I guess that’s all I can do.

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One Response to “the Diabetes Blues”

  1. Nicole V December 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I know that having Gestational Diabetes isn’t quite the same as what you’re dealing with, but maybe my experiences will help you. My sugars were WAY out of wack. Luckily, I had a nutritionist give me a diet plan which laid out how many servings of each food group I could have for each meal & snack. I was supposed to eat 3 meals & 3 snacks. I spaced everything out to every 3 hours & made sure I ate on time (I set an alarm on my phone to ring at those times to make sure I didn’t miss eating, otherwise my sugars would be drastically low).

    Because I was busy & tired from working on my feet almost every day, I would cook a couple of meals (following the diet plan & serving sizes of each ingredient) on my day(s) off, then measure out each portion & put them in the fridge or freezer, labeled. The night before a scheduled work day, I would pack all my meals & snacks into a lunch bag.

    For instance – snack was 1 bread/grain, 1 protein, 1 fruit, 1 dairy. This came out to 1 slice of bread, 1 TBSP Peanut Butter, 3oz grapes, 4oz milk. I would take 2 slices of whole wheat bread spread with 2 TBSP Peanut Butter and cut in half. I put each half in a snack baggie & labeled them as AM snack & PM snack. I’d take the whole bag of grapes & measure out 3oz servings, put each serving in a snack baggie & label them. I’d also measure out the milk & put it in a bottle. That way, when I packed my lunch bag, I could easily grab what I needed out of the fridge.

    For lunch & dinner, I cooked a lot of pasta with meat sauce & plenty of veggies in it, because it was just easier. I’d measure out the 1 cup of pasta, 1 cup of sauce w/ meat & veggies and put each serving in a tupperware container. I’d end up with a lot of tupperware containers in the fridge, but it was so much easier to just grab a container out of the fridge & heat it up, instead of having to cook & measure something when I was hungry & needed to eat. I also kept the list of servings per meal/snack on the fridge for easy reference when grabbing something to eat or packing my bag.

    By measuring each meal/snack, and eating every 3 hours, I was able to keep my sugars relatively under control most of the time. As long as I stuck to the diet & timeline, things were pretty ok. If I didn’t eat on time, or didn’t eat the proper amount of each food group, my sugars would be incredibly low or way too high.

    I won’t lie to you and say it was easy, especially with cravings (and I craved burgers through my whole pregnancy), but planning ahead (cooking specific meals once or twice a week, then measuring everything out, packaging & labeling), it makes things a lot easier.

    Hopefully this might help you a bit. Remember I’m here to help or give advice anytime you need me. Just call, text, or email me!

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