by Amelia Rehrman
Hi TOT fam!! Amelia here. We all know those days—the ones where you didn’t sleep because you were up with a cgm alarm, or a pump failure right as you’re about to eat breakfast, or a bad blood sugar during a busy day. Sometimes we just have to push through, but I wanted to share a few things that I have found helpful when diabetes starts to feel really heavy!
Reach out to your diabuddies. A little bit of support from someone who can say “I get it”, or can show you that their cgm graph looks the same as yours can make a HUGE difference!
Do something you enjoy! Call a friend, take a walk, read a book, listen to music. This can help take your mind off of diabetes for a little while so you don’t overreact to a blood sugar that may level out, and can help to better your mindset around diabetes for the day even if it doesn’t directly help your blood sugar.
Try to take the burden off of yourself for a few minutes. Diabetes can be exhausting. If possible, I will sometimes ask a family member to watch my dexcom for a little while so I can take a nap without worrying about missing an alarm. Although I’ve only done this once or twice, I’ve found it makes a big difference, especially if I’ve been up all night with alarms or been dealing with crazy blood sugars all day. Even this little break from diabetes can help so much!
Vent. Write in a journal, talk to a friend or family member, or text a diabuddy! Talking or writing about your frustrations can help get them out of your head and help you calm down, even in the midst of a hard day.
Look at diabetes accounts on social media (or don’t!). When I’m feeling discouraged by diabetes, I find it sometimes helps to look at t1d-focused instagram accounts, just for the reassurance that I’m not alone in dealing with this. However, since I do follow so many diabetes accounts on social media, sometimes I need to take a step back and not look at what other people are doing with their diabetes, especially if I’m already overwhelmed by my own!
Pause for a minute. I often get most frustrated by diabetes when I am constantly chasing highs and lows. A lot of these out of range blood sugars usually come from overreacting (too many carbs to treat a low, and then too much insulin to chase the inevitable high blood sugar). One thing I like to do is set a timer for 30 minutes and not look at my CGM until the timer is done. This gives my blood sugar a chance to level out before I decide what to do next, and will sometimes slow down the blood sugar rollercoaster.
Start to integrate simple habits back into your diabetes management. For me, getting my diabetes management back when it feels out of control often comes down to prebolusing. I know my blood sugar is so much better when I prebolus, and when I start to neglect that I see a change in my blood sugars! Figure out what makes a big difference in your t1d management and come back to that when things start to feel hard!
These are some of the things I try to remind myself of when I’m having a rough diabetes day. I hope you can come back to some of these tips to help you when you’re having one of those exhausting days. We’ve all been there!
We’d love to hear what your best tips are for dealing with frustrating diabetes days in the comments, and connect with us more at @typeonetogether on Instagram and Facebook!