Diabetes has been a big part of my life for the last 4.5 years. Diagnosed just days after my 22nd birthday, I found myself having to think about food, exercise and my body. Since the day I was packed off to the hospital with a blood glucose (BG) of 22.4 and ++ ketones, a huge amount of time and effort has been spent trying to get my BG under control. Yet, despite this, I have never really managed to achieve the control I desire.
Most of my problems can be traced back to one single event – a hypo while shopping. About 6 months after diagnosis, I found myself standing in the local Sainsbury’s with a BG reading of 2.7. A rather large amount of sugar eventually fixed the problem, but left me rather shaken. From then on, whenever I felt my BG dropping, or my reading was slightly lower than expected, I panicked. Only, I didn’t realise it was panic. The adrenaline rush of fear feels incredibly similar to the adrenaline rush of a hypo. What should be considered normal blood sugars soon felt too low, not being comfortable with BG readings below the mid teens. I also stopped going out much due to the fear of having a hypo.
After about a year of becoming more and more reclusive, I ran in to a major problems – I started to have panic attacks when leaving the house for anything, even work. At this point it became obvious that it had gone way too far. The last 3 years have been spent trying to overcome my anxiety about hypoglycaemia. I’ve tried multiple treatments for the anxiety, including therapy, beta blockers and SSRIs. All of these helped, but none of them cured the problem.
During December I had an a1c test, which came back as 9.2%. I was getting increasingly frustrated with my inability to do things I enjoy without the constant worry of going low and more and more worried about the complications I was lining up for the future. As a result, my new year’s resolution is to fix my blood sugar levels. Since the start of January my average daily insulin dose has increased by 30% (18u -> 24u) my average daily BG has fallen by 33% (15 -> 10) and after spending time at some more sensible blood sugar levels, my anxiety has reduced. The purpose of this blog will be to keep a record of my progress and to hopefully share any useful information uncovered along the way.