Diabetes Self-Management Blog

May I take a nap now? It’s been busy around here. Real busy.

First there was a colonoscopy last Tuesday, then cooking like mad beginning Wednesday, followed closely by Thanksgiving and Hanukkah all at the same time.

My granddaughter and her boyfriend were in from college and grandson dearest was hanging around annoying his little sister, with their mother — my daughter — looking on and giggling (thanks a lot). Did I mention the children’s friends coming and going?

Did you know college students really do bring their dirty laundry home?

My computer decided to glitch at the worst possible time: Right when I needed my recipes, which are stored on my computer. Thank goodness for friends! One needed her recipe for chicken bulgogi, which I had in an old-fashioned recipe box. (It’s a Korean dish.) She also had my recipe for pumpkin cake. So we traded. Sometimes it’s good to share your recipes.

A couple of other recipes I needed were printed out and the rest of the dishes could be made from memory. Good thing, because the computer wasn’t fixed until yesterday evening.

The December bulletin I do for the synagogue isn’t finished because absolutely everybody missed their deadline. By the time I had the content, I was out of town for a colonoscopy, then cooking and celebrating Thanksgivukkah and enjoying the children’s company.

This afternoon I get to go to the ophthalmologist — and I’m way behind on that. He broke his ankle, then I was in the hospital in another state, then I had a cold the day of my next appointment, complete with watery eyes. And nobody wanted my germs, anyway. The last time my eyes were checked, I had a tiny spot of background retinopathy in each eye. I hope that hasn’t gotten worse.

Finals week is upon us, so my husband is busy grading papers and preparing exams and isn’t around much. He is not going to be happy to take a break for a social function one evening next week. I’d be happy to skip it myself, except I’m in charge.

Where is all this leading? My blood glucose, which was running low last week, has now reversed itself and is running high. Yes, there were two holidays and the resultant traditional foods, but I don’t think it’s all food. I do enjoy myself on a holiday, but I’m also very good at getting back on track the next day.

However, if food were the only thing that affected our blood glucose, diabetes wouldn’t be any “fun” at all! Nope. Stress can also whack out your BGs.

Case in point: I’m afraid of heights and there is this toll road around Chicago called the Skyway. I do everything I can to avoid the Skyway. In Indiana (I think — it’s around the border between Indiana and Illinois), it begins with a climb up a bridge that does look as if you’re going into the sky. I know this because I accidentally got on the Skyway once. When I got a chance to check my glucose, it was in the 300’s.

Yep, stress.

I’m talking physical stress, such as an illness, and emotional stress — both good and bad — such as getting married or, at the other end of the spectrum, divorced.

What happens when you get stressed is that the “fight or flight” hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol kick in to raise your blood glucose to give you the energy you need at that time.

Longer-lasting stressors, such as having the flu or getting a divorce — or perhaps one thing after another that just keeps going and going and…well, just like the Energizer Bunny — wear you down and can wreak havoc with glucose levels.

Some have a tendency to stress eat, and I mean doughnuts and potato chips; not celery and reduced-fat cottage cheese. That doesn’t help. Or they forgo physical activity because of “no time,” or they’re just too stressed to get up and moving.

Speaking of physical activity, it’s a good way to get your blood glucose down. Check your BGs before and after taking a walk or roller skating or dancing or something and you’ll see for yourself.

The lesson? Next time your glucose goes high, don’t just blame it on the food, especially if you’ve been “good” in that department. Look around and see what else is going on in your life.

Oh, another stress buster — for me, at least — is to write it out. Now that I feel calmer, and my glucose is not all that bad…I think I’ll take a nap. After all, the ophthalmologist should have clear baby blues to look into, not the sleep-deprived ones I have now.

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Comments
  1. Walking, roller skating or dancing? Any suggestions for those of us who are handicapped and can’t walk more than a very short distance at a slow pace? The only running I have done is in my dreams and that doesn’t count.

    Posted by Ferne |
  2. Sorry, Ferne. Most people are able to do those things, so that’s what I went with.

    Truth is, I also do a lot more in my dreams than I can in real life. I had a below-the-knee amputation three years ago due to a bone infection following surgery to reattach a torn Achilles tendon.

    I was always a walker until osteoarthritis in my knees got to the point I was walking bone-on-bone. I used to roller skate with my grandchildren every weekend. I used to dance all night (OK, not literally — it just seemed that way).

    I can still dance — in my chair. There are chair-exercise and chair-dancing DVDs out there for those who are unable (for one reason or another) to keep up with the young’uns.

    A personal trainer can teach you some strength-training methods. If you don’t want to — or cannot — go to the gym, then just say you’d like to learn some exercises you can do at home.

    Please talk to your doctor first to ask about what you can do. Depending on any diabetic complications you may have, there are some you should not be doing because they can worsen your condition.

    Posted by Jan Chait |
  3. Oh, my, how gratifying to hear that stress blows up BS for others, too. Have had Type 2 for just over 13 yrs; very well controlled…until physical & emotional stress took over in fall 2012 through present. A1c shot up from 6.9 in May 2012 to 11.1 the following December. Could not regain control (& stress continues) so had to add 2 insulins (lantus & humalog) to metformin. Also appear to now have neuropathy in hands & feet. Frustrated that diet & exercise regimen do not help as much anymore. I knew this all would happen eventually; just didn’t expect so much at once. The stress of the new health concerns can’t be helping . . .

    Posted by Laurie |

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Emotional Health
Worried About Diabetes? (03/26/14)
Diabetes Takes Courage (02/19/14)
The Stress Formula (02/04/14)
It's Not All in Your Head (But Your Head Can Help) (01/16/14)

 

 

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