Intangibles, Frustrations, and Justifications

They say that you are already dehydrated by the time you are thirsty.

Leaning over the water fountain at the YMCA, trying to slurp up the water faster than it was shooting out of the nozzle, I realized that I was probably very dehydrated. Damn Diet Coke.

And then the intangibles swarmed in smacking me with the potential source(s) of my frustrations with my blood sugars lately.

My blood sugars have sucked donkey butt lately. Readings all over the place, but mostly high – at least until I get so pissed off that I rage bolus or serial bolus and end up crashing later. Then over treat the low and there we go again.

Many more intangibles exist than the ones we often suspect as the main culprits. In this case the first to come to mind was a state of dehydration. Nothing serious or requiring medical attention – but it certainly deserved some of MY attention.

As that vague cause of stubborn high BG’s floated through my brain, I also had to acknowledge that I have been stressed to the max at work lately. It’s been said that stress can also play games with blood sugars.

Dehydration and Stress. Dehstrydressation.

These intangibles are tricky things – things we can’t easily measure (like blood sugar or carbohydrate grams (though I’ll argue against that last one being “easy”)). We can’t quantify them. It usually takes a lifetime of trial and error before you can figure out a “magic formula” of insulin and timing that only eases the vigorous smashing and dragging that these things do to us and our blood sugars.

And then your magic formula is only potent 10% of the time. The rest of the time you are dragged viciously over the coals despite your best efforts to stop the bleeding.

I’m also much less resilient to things when my blood sugars are high. It’s like some kind of crippling blanket of justification that gets thrown over me.

“Well, if my blood sugars are high anyway I might as well eat something I’ve been wanting”

“If Diet Coke is the worst thing that I’m addicted to then I’m doing alright”

“It’s my guilty pleasure” – like drinking diet coke (caffeinated) is being naughty or something.

“If I haven’t lost any weight after a WHOLE DAY of eating ‘right’ then I might as well eat and enjoy myself”

C’mon now. I know better.

It’s the last point that really makes me appreciate the patience and planning that Reflux Guy shows on his journey to rebuild himself after a broken tibia. Me? I want overnight results and can’t seem to keep my shit together when it doesn’t happen.

But see – it’s that crippling blanket of justification! I can justify the hell out of any of my unhealthy behaviours when I’m in this state.

It’s also the frustrations that come from not seeing the results you expect. Take insulin, blood sugar go down. When that doesn’t happen I get frustrated. The frustration builds and builds until I hit a “fuck it” point. If my efforts are not working, why waste the energy?

Oh yeah, those complications that invisibly threaten to jeopardize our quality of life. Those invisible threats are tricky. Sneaky bastards. More on that later.

Confucius says - Just because it's invisible does not mean it can't hurt you


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13 thoughts on “Intangibles, Frustrations, and Justifications

  1. when I’m thirsty, I usually think my blood sugar is high first.. And when I’m feeling weak or hungry I assume food will fix it, since that’s what happens when I’m low. But sometimes I’m just dehydrated and hungry! Diabetes definitely messes with your brain sometimes, especially when high/low. When I’m high, I sometimes go down the pity path, “Why do I even try… It’s not worth it…” and when I’m low everything just seems impossible.

    Those feelings usually disappear when I get back into semi-normal BG range. I really think that, for me, high BGs do something physiological to make me feel really discouraged (more than me just being frustrated to have a high BG). The change I notice when my BG improves has been significant at times.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. We just do what we can do, and sometime it works better than others. I hope you can get some relief from your work stress.

    Take care,

  2. Scott-
    Your line is close to mine…only I say “Dam diet mountain dew.” When I’m in the BWCA in the summer, I have to really think about drinking to stay hydrated. Because if I don’t, I have blood sugar problems.

  3. Scott your are so funny. I’m just dx and finding my way around the diabetic world. I am not feeling those frustrations yet; BUT I’m in a sweet honeymoon period and also haven’t had it for 20 years. I’m sure those times will come. 🙁

  4. Scott, ever since day one I have thought that “you’re high already, so what difference does another cookie make” has been a most logical excuse…………..

  5. Scott

    Sorry things have been so bad. I know exactly what you mean. For me, the Dexcom sometimes makes it worse.

    If I’m high, bolus, and the curve isn’t dropping fast enough, I’m tempted to bolus again. Then when it does start to drop, it’s like falling off a cliff, except I can watch it happen.

    Darn disease. I want an insulin that starts working in 5 minutes and is completely gone within an hour. Can you whip something like that up for me?

  6. “Dehstrydressation.” Makes PERFECT sense to me.

    I’m with you on the intangibles. And stress is the bane of my little diabetic existence, so let me know if you come across something that helps.

    Sneaky bastards, indeed.

  7. Scott,

    So sorry your sugars have been “sucking donkey butt” lately.

    I’m with Shannon, writing all this down will probably help sort it out a little better.

    I know I don’t have D, but when I feel particularly stressed or upset I tend to snack more. If this is something that you have going on too, it makes it even harder for you.

    It’s almost a catch-22 situation. high sugars=frustration; frustration=eating bad things; eating bad things=high blood sugars.

    The hard part is trying to figure out how to stop the cycle. I wish I had some insight to lend you but I don’t.

    So, instead I’ll just send you a (((hug)))

  8. Diet Coke, in my humble opinion, is the greatest beverage on the planet. I can’t imagine what my sweet tooth would do to me with out Diet Coke to help keep it in check.

    You hit on a topic that I think we’ve discussed before: the constant conflict between instant (and psychologically very powerful) gratification and a slow and steady (and healthy) approach to things related to diet and diabetes control.

    It’s SO DAMN HARD not to give in to the instant gratifications!