Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Backseat Driver

I’m really stressed this week. I have a lot of stress going on. I’m creating stress for myself. Stress is being thrown at me. I’m stressed about the word stressed because suddenly it sounds strange in my mouth and when I type it. Stress, stress, stressed.

You get the idea. The thing is, I have so much on my mind that I’m barely thinking about the diabetes thing. I’m doing blood tests, but not as often. I’m sort of watching my carbs, but also not paying as close attention as I should. I’ve upped my insulin and kept it up. I’m continuing to exercise, but not so much for diabetes as the fact that it’s supposed to help reduce stress, and the 45 minutes on the treadmill reading a book of my choice seems to be my only point of brain disconnect in the day. I’m letting my diabetes take a backseat.

And, aye, here’s the rub. Stress can have a pretty big impact on my sugar levels. When I’m stressed is one of the times I should be paying extra attention to my diabetes. When I stress, not only does the emotion make an impact, but the way I hold stress in my body does, too. I clench my jaw, grind my teeth, hold my neck and shoulders stiff and rigid—all of which causes body pain, which makes my sugar levels go up. And the energy I expend worrying about everything? It sometimes makes my sugar levels drop unexpectedly.

And if that’s not enough, I’m a comfort eater (I’ve said it before; I’m admitting it again), so I tend to gravitate toward things that make me feel better; things like bread and carrot cake and pizza and peanut butter anything—all things I usually have to take special care with. On the flip side, stress can also make me lose my appetite, and can make me so preoccupied I tell myself there’s no time for a real meal. High. Low. High. Low.

I’m going to take some deep breaths. I’m going to put some plans of action into place. I’m going to look at fish (they say that reduces stress, too) and pet my dogs. I’m going to hula-hoop in my backyard and scare the neighbors (did I mention I do this on a regular basis?). I’m going to try to reduce my stress. And, while I’m at it, I’m going to try to pay more attention to my diabetes. I may have put it in the backseat, but it’s still got a hold of the steering wheel, and big and little numbers only stress me out more.

As always, more to come…

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