A routine, by definition, is something that is done over and over. With diabetes, repetition gives us an opportunity to fine tune all the calculations that go into life with diabetes.
Working with Ginger, I’ve come up with a good routine for the first half of my typical day. I wake up early and have two scrambled eggs with some corn grits for breakfast. I keep a measuring cup in the container of corn grits, so I know I’m getting an exact carb count.
I had that breakfast for about three weeks straight (during the weekdays), and of those 15 days, there was only ONE day where my blood sugar didn’t behave as I expected. 1 day of 15 days. I’m chalking that one day up to the fact that diabetes just does it’s own thing sometimes.
Being able to expect what my blood sugar was going to do made it easier to plan for my basketball time at the gym. I didn’t appreciate that fact until the Friday after Thanksgiving here in the US. My family didn’t have to get up and go to school or work, and I knew I was going to sleep in too.
That’s when the anxiety hit me; I realized that I wouldn’t be following the routine that gave me so much confidence at the gym. I knew I’d be waking up later than usual, and I had no idea what I should eat or do with my insulin. I need to fuel my body. I need insulin for that fuel to work. If I didn’t get that balance just right, my basketball would be so much harder and less fun.
I have lived with diabetes for over 30 years, and I have played basketball for a while too. People who don’t live with diabetes often think once you have a few years under your belt, that living with diabetes gets easier. Diabetes is hard every single day. It does not necessarily get easier with time.
Here’s the part of the story where I’m supposed to tell you what I did, and that basketball was amazing and fun. Honestly, I can’t remember what happened that Friday. I know I played basketball, and I don’t remember any tragedies. So, I did what we do. We find a way to get through the situation.
But what has stuck with me is the level of anxiety and worry I experienced Thursday night. I didn’t have my “Eggs & Grits” confidence, and it threw me off.