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I give up trying to control my diabetes!

Liz threw down her food and blood sugar long on my desk as she entered my office; clearly she was frustrated, and confused.

“Let’s talk about it, tell me what’s happening that makes you want to give up,” I asked her, I needed more details to help unravel and make sense of Liz’s frustrations.

Understanding blood sugar patterns can be confusing and frustrating!  Especially in the early stages when you’re trying to put it all together to make sense.  Like any new task, behavior change or project you’re trying to manage, until you know and understand all the influencing factors, how they affect the results you see, you’ll be frustrated.  In that process, what’s most important is that even though you feel like you failed, or you just gave up; you’ve got to get back up and review what you can learn about that situation. Success comes from consistently failing, learning and starting again.

As I talked to Liz she explained how everything seemed to be going well, she could see the relationship between higher carbohydrate meals and the high blood sugars that followed the meal.  And then out of nowhere, after what appeared to be a great day she woke up the morning of our appointment with a high blood sugar.

I reviewed the common causes: 

1. Forgetting to take your medicine the night before.  NO

2.  A low blood sugar overnight will cause a rebound high morning blood sugar.  NO

3.  Bad test strips after being exposed to high temperature or freezing?  NO

4.  A new meal that you thought was a good one, but maybe not.  NO

5. Pre menstural?  NO

6.  Any signs of an infection or virus…..bingo!!!    She woke up with a stuffy nose and felt like she was   

    “coming down with something.”  

I explained to Liz that not all blood sugar readings reflected your body and food, it was also influenced by many other issues including stress, and illness was a big stress to the body.  We reviewed the fact she really obtained some great information, and 1 or 2 high readings that often don’t make sense….. well…sometimes you have to ignore them, and really just look at the trends. 

“Now that you know why your blood sugar was high this morning, do you think you can continue on the plan we created to keep gathering more information about what influences your blood sugars and what doesn’t?”  With a smile, Liz had to admit she had been very successful and that she would continue with the plan we had created for her.

A key lesson for both of us was:  focus on what worked, and if you can’t make sense of what didn’t, quit trying to, you’ll end up with less hair J