Whispering in my Ear

It’s hard to explain how badly my confidence was shaken after that bad low on Christmas Eve.

I went from a lifetime low A1C of 6.9 in November, to a two-year high of 8.0 in February. Scared? Yeah. Running high? You bet.

That low totally rocked my world, and it’s going to take some time to recover from it.

It didn’t catch me off-guard. It didn’t happen while I was travelling or dealing with some other unusual circumstance. It hit me smack-dab in the middle of my normal routine. That’s the part that stings the most. That I can’t explain it away. That I have to know it could happen again at any time.

LambertFive years ago I wrote that diabetes was like carrying a football player on my back. I still feel that way. But it’s worse now.

He’s whispering in my ear. Planting seeds of self-doubt, fear, and worry. He’s telling me that I can’t do what I need to do. That I’m not strong enough or prepared enough, or careful enough. That he’s going to take me down over and over again until I don’t have it in me to get back up again.

I don’t listen to him. I take his whispered threats for what they are; words coming out of a guy trapped on my back going wherever I decide to take him.

But I’d be lying if I said those words never penetrated. Especially when I’m tired of diabetes, or when I’m frustrated, or burned out, or scared.

It happens to all of us from time to time, right?

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28 thoughts on “Whispering in my Ear

  1. Hang in there Scott.. you’re an amazing person and you happen to have diabetes. Some days are truly a pain in the b$$t, but I’m sure you do whatever you can to keep on track.

  2. Scott, I can totally relate to you. I am always scared of getting low, which is why I usually my A1C has never been under 7 :(. I haven’t had an experience like you had on Christmas Eve but I hate the feeling of being low so I always tend to run a little higher. But I’m slowly trying (19 years of trying) to be comfortable at a lower level. Stay strong and you will get back to the 6.9!

  3. I think this is the first time I’ve posted a comment on your blog, Scott … you post on mine frequently! Sorry to hear about the A1C setback but I’m confident you’ll be back in synch soon. In my case, I’m working my fanny off with low-carb recipes, new low-carb products and fastidious carb-counting to stay on the right track. My A1C in January was 6.2 and my doctor was so excited she called me personally at home (squealing) with the lab results. (Four months earlier my A1C was 9.9.) I have “lows” often, maybe once or twice a week, with my glucose dropping to 48 or 50. Not low enough to pass out but certainly low enough to be lightheaded, clammy, shaky and freaked-out. I blame it on trying to regulate my mealtime insulin and not knowing for sure how many carbs I plan to eat. Diabetes is weird and repulsive 24/7, even when you think it’s under control. Stay strong. Tomorrow will be better!

  4. Scott – I love these words: “I don’t listen to him. I take his whispered threats for what they are; words coming out of a guy trapped on my back going wherever I decide to take him.” What a beautiful image. You are strong, and you are in charge!

  5. Scott, I think of “him” as a bad-vibed, swarthy man standing on the street, wearing a trench coat and smoking. Now, we know he wants to be invited in for a nice cup of tea and some gingerbread so he can fill my mind with a bunch of half-truths.
    I lock the door, say “not tonight, buddy”, and walk away. Nobody messes with my head without an invitation.

  6. Scott, thanks for writing this. It’s reassurance for the rest of us that we aren’t alone! Your Christmas Eve low sounds so scary! I am glad that everything turned out ok. I also know how incidences like that can shake your confidence going forward. Hang in there – and know you are not alone. We are all in this together!

  7. I feel your pain dude. This is one reason why I hate working out. Even though I used to be an “athlete” even with diabetes. The stress and feet of lows keeps me from taking care of myself. My husband recently freaked out on me when I chose to take a break from my sensor for a few days when we all started on the Snap. He is usually not a worrier, so it really made me feel more worried. However, I met this diabetes service dog on the flight out here to Asante. They are based out of Charlottesville Virginia but they deliver dogs all over the country. I think I might look into that because my sensor can fail but as long as that dog is around I am covered and my husband can feel secure.

  8. I know every time not matter how many times it has happened to me I feel the same way. Even with having Duchess with me I still am shaken. I know we both have had it for years and sometimes it can take longer than others to get back up and shake off the feeling. I know it will happen soon hang in there, Hugs from Duchess and I.

  9. Sure it happens, but keep it in perspective. Even my own endo has suggested making changes which, by his admission, might cause my A1C to go up by .1 or .2, but could also avoid those bad lows I get in late-morning. Lower isn’t always better. (I’ve yet to FULLY embrace his advice… that’s a story for another day).

    Also, don’t let the whole numbers get to you; it looks like a bigger jump than it is. If A1Cs played games with decimals (like gas-prices), and you actually went from a 6.89 to a 7.99, it wouldn’t look so bad, would it?

  10. You’re completely justified in being shaken by what you went through. Doubt whispers because it’s weak. Your hope is louder. Your strength is louder. I hope you hear those instead. *hugs*

  11. Scott,
    Its alright to feel frustration and fear from an adversary who doesn’t play by the rules. Your incredible strength will get you through this. And as the quarterback in this game, you have a vast and worthy D-line in front of you.

  12. Yep. Right now. Trying to convince myself that the low from earlier this week (which, like you, was in the middle of the routine) was an anomaly and that I CAN bolus for breakfast like I should. It’s rough

  13. My worst lows are usually in the wee hours of the morning when I am awakened by a rapid heartbeat and hot/cold sweats.
    It scares the crap out of me sometimes, because I can hardly remember my name before I down the glucose.
    So, I usually O.D. a bit on food before bedtime, which sets me higher than I should be during my sleeping hours.
    I honestly would rather have a slightly off A1c than those awful lows.
    I think all of us with insulin dependent D hear voices from time to time.
    That’s why we need each other, to drown out those D emon whispers.
    You are loved, Scott !
    hang in there

  14. Scott… If you need some extra courage you can have some of mine. You have a whole community of people who love you and care how you feel. You can draw strength from us until you find your own strength again. You can do this. I believe in you.

  15. I can only imagine. The voices in my head are not so much about diabetes, but they’re very hard to resist. You sound like you have a decent handle on that football player and know him for who and what he is.

  16. Yes, it happens to all of us. Yet, it’s important to remember that the effort this takes is worth it, both for what it brings to your circle of influence (love that term), and for YOU. Considering the circumstances, a 1.1 percent difference sounds completely understandable. The future is where it’s at. What if it’s actually better than the past? That would be awesome. And it’s so possible.

  17. It sure as hell happens to me! It’s okay to run a bit higher for a little while, especially after a low like that. You need to take care of your mental health too. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re here, right? So you’re still kicking D’s butt.

  18. I had this happen after I had E. While it wasn’t as scary as you, it freaked me out. My a1c went up to 9. It takes time to shake the feeling and build your confidence back up, but you can and you will. You’re a strong person, Scott. You can get through this. 🙂 And as always, you know we are here for you.

  19. I believe we all go through periods like this one, in our own circumstances. That’s what diabetes does best – being so inconsistent and throwing us for a loop! Lows are scary. Especially ones like that. So your worry is totally understandable. But hopefully in time, those feelings will ease up and you can get back to where you were before. I know I have faith in you 🙂