I try to be very positive about living with Type 1 Diabetes, but sometimes it's a real struggle, because it can be difficult. Sometimes whatever you do, doesn't work.
Work. This is what I have been struggling with most over the last few years. The working 9-5 that good ol' Dolly likes to sing about. It has seriously taken it's toll on my Diabetes.
My T1 doesn't like stress. It reacts badly. My liver pumps of glucose like i'm drowning in the Atlantic struggling to stay afloat. And to be honest, that's what work has felt like at times.
I have been working as a Project Manager looking after graphics, and packaging for retailers. It's highly stressful, deadline driven, seat of your pants kind of work; Staying late to hit deadlines, commuting long hours, eating lunch at your desk, not testing blood sugars because you're in big corporate client meetings, hypo's on the tube, the bus, the walk home, trying to smile and be nice to people when you blood sugars are over 15mmol, filling in spreadsheets and forgetting the last half hour because you're hyper, feeling tired all the time!
So I should quit my job and find a new one, right? Ok, so I did that... twice. Same thing happened. Trying to manage this on Multiple Daily Injections of Humalog and Lantus insulin, was impossible for me. I tried, my Diabetes Specialist Nurse and I battled for 3 years tweaking ratios, changing Lantus basel rates. Things often improved for a week or two, and then would return to chaotic numbers:
Here's my chart from after Christmas - shockingly, this was an improvement (personally, I like how a Hypo sneaked in there amongst all the Hypers!). Surprising to know that I managed to achieve an Hba1c of 7.2% in February with numbers like this. It just goes to show how misleading Hba1c numbers really can be!
|the working dead|
I was able to keep it fairly under control during work hours, but was falling to pieces outside of work. This was taking it's toll on my family and friends, my social life and ultimately my future. Having my eyesight, feelings in my fingers and toes, and avoiding heart disease, kidney failure and other long term diabetes complications seemed like a good idea to me! So I gave work the elbow!!!
I was lucky enough to be in a position where I could afford to take same time off work, try to get things under better control with the support of my friends, my family, my Consultant and Diabetes Specialist Nurse. I was already on the list for trialling an insulin pump. I hoped that being able to control the Basel rates throughout the day would get my blood sugars in line. Using an insulin pump means that you can fine tune the basel rate, rather than having one flat does of Lantus to last 24hrs. My body (and my Diabetes) wanted more Basel insulin in the morning, during working hours, but then a lot less in the late afternoon and evening, which Lantus could not achieve. Here's my chart average for May - a bit good, a bit bad, but an improvement on before:
I trialled my Medtronic Paradigm Veo in June after being at home 'not currently working' for 3 months. It was great. Right for the get go. I love the flexibility of the basel rate, the temporary basel rates I can quickly and easily adjust if I suddenly find myself in an unusually stressful environment are just fantastic.
My insulin sensitivity has come right down, I can now roughly feel my blood glucose rising above 10mmol. I've been able to cope much better with the recent heatwave interfering with how quickly my body absorbs insulin. It's just great.
Then I had a call, someone found my CV online, and asked if I'd be interested in freelancing as a Project Manager? After some discussion with my family, I said yes. I felt more confident in myself, more balanced on the diabetes front, more in control and ready for something new.
|BG Chart or tube map?|
I'll let you know how I get on with them :) My Hba1c is due in mid September - keep your fingers crossed!