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Home on the range
I was diagnosed three days before I had to leave for India to teach a yoga teacher training. My endo told me to get a glucometer and test my levels and to try and keep them around 4 mmol. I remember testing and seeing a 4.6 and thinking I was too high. I was diagnosed before CGM technology became readily available and when many doctors didn’t really understand LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) as well as they do now.
Not really knowing what I was in for and not having the kind of medical support I needed, I made up my own ideas about what in and out of range numbers should be. This mindset caused all kinds of errant behaviours which not only damaged my body but set up habits I’ve had to work hard to undo.
Back then I’d beat myself up when I wasn’t flatlining. I thought that restricting my diet down to seven foods was the only way to maintain a tight range coupled with the idea that taking too much insulin would be unsafe and detrimental.
Thank goodness the medical establishment and their ideas have evolved! When I sit down with my HCP we talk about my TIR ( Time in Range) and I've learned that as long as its over a certain percentage I’m good to go.
I don’t need to obsess over my HbA1c or the daily highs and lows. With my Freestyle libre I can easily take a snapshot of the previous two weeks and see where I’m at. Then, I can make decisions. Do I need to adjust my basal or my insulin to carb ratios? Or maybe I need to chill a bit more and let things be.
Reflecting on my personal journey with my own TIR and coming to a place of being okay with seeing spikes and dips, I find myself less and less interested in seeing other people’s numbers. I’ve realised that depending on one’s mindset, TIR is different for different people and what I might call high might be in range for someone else. There is no fixed address for diabetes management. Believe me I’ve tried to make it so.
If you are looking at someone else and thinking their management is ideal and yours sucks, think again. You can bet there is always room for improvement even if it's in a different area of their life.
It is absolutely impossible to be perfect while living with diabetes! What we can do is accept our diabetes and experiment enough to find what works for us. And to me thats ideal.
With great respect...