Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trust Yourself

I saw my endocrinologist just three days before the beginning of the new year.

In the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks of my first semester, I may have let my diabetes care slide a little bit (read: like WHOA). Something about the stress of finals and staying up all night leads to intermittent to non-existent finger sticks along with copious amounts of diet coke and nothing but take out dinners. There were definitely days when I only checked what my blood sugar twice and saw numbers floating in the 200s and 300s (if ever you were curious, stress does make your blood sugar rise). I leaned heavily on my Egg-shaped friend and took somewhat random correction boluses. This routine disturbingly echoes my diabetes managements techniques as an undergraduate, except I didn't have a continuous monitor to keep an eye on my waxing and waning sugar levels.

Between celebrating that school was over, driving up and down the northeast, and trying to unwind, I completely forgot about my appointment. Somewhere in the back of my head, I knew there was some reason I hadn't made any plans for travelling or adventuring with friends for that Thursday. When the receptionist called, I mumbled my affirmation that I would be there. A mental image of a mostly empty spreadsheet appeared in my mind instantaneously. I didn't even pause before thinking my HbA1c would be somewhere between 7 and 9. The worry and fret weren't far behind.

I always want to be doing my best. If I can walk into my doctor's office knowing I've been trying, I don't have anything to fear. I can hold my head up high and answer any doc's questions. But this appointment was different. All I had to show were a bunch of excuses. Life gets in the way sometimes, but my good health gives me the ability to do more.

All bundled up, I walked into the office and handed the receptionist my dismal looking log. After a few minutes of waiting and watching dLife clips (love seeing people I "know" and know of on television), the nurse called me in. We went through the weight and blood pressure routine while exchanging niceties. She laughed when I told her I was a professional pin-cushion as she checked my blood sugar and loaded the on-site HbA1c tester. My doctor walked in a little hurried looking while the tester was still counting down. We chatted a bit and then she said something about not wanting to make any changes to my basal rates since she trusted my abilities to do so, she didn't have a log to look at, and my HbA1c hadn't changed much. I was so taken aback that I didn't notice or correct her about the log. In the 4 months at school and the crazy stress of finals, my HbA1c had only risen 0.2 points, which is well within the error range of those machines. She wished me well after my brief verbal and physical examination and was on her way out after before the full realization of that sunk in.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, because they are very rarely kept. This year, however, I'm very determined to make and keep a very different resolution. Do I want to lose weight? Yea, but that can be tackled later. Right now, all I want to do is trust myself more. I want to trust my behavior. I want to trust that I'm doing my best. I want to trust and have faith for better results than the rational side of me would expect. Because stressing and worrying about what's coming isn't healthy for anyone. My resolution for 2012 is to believe in me, to believe in good things, and to believe in optimistic outcomes.

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