Is it worth it?

One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog … was to just share my story of living with Type 1.  And also to clear up some misconceptions about the disease in general, and to potentially reach people who may be new to the disease, so they can either get real life information on it, or just to know that you can live a long and normal life.

I have posted recently about some misconceptions on being able to eat/drink anything that anyone else can eat.  And that is true.  I can.  But I make those choices carefully, because in order to eat/drink those things, I have to take enough insulin to cover it.  So I’m very aware of how many carbs are in that food/drink and then have to make a decision on “Is it worth it?”

Sometimes it is. But sometimes it isn’t.

There are times that I eat something and while I’m eating it, I’m thinking “Boy, am I going to pay for that later.”  Because sometimes no matter how much insulin I take, I just can’t get my blood sugar back down to normal afterwards. It’s like my body is giving me pay back for eating it in the first place.

I ate a dessert at our Girl Scout meeting the other night.  Had to SWAG the carbs because there were a lot of things mixed together … but I thought I may have even overguessed. I didn’t. Was fine for a while and then shot up to 265.  Dang it.   Took a correction, changed my site. And still couldn’t get under 200.  Went to bed at 204.  Took another correction.  Woke up at 170.  Ugh.

Then there are times I eat a dessert at work, for example, and bolus, and I’m just fine afterwards.  It’s such a guessing game.  And one I don’t always win.

We recently went on a mini vacation to visit some family we don’t get to see often enough. A suggestion was made to visit a store where we can try all of the Cokes from around the world.  My husband said, “Well, Shannon probably won’t want to do that.”  Side note – I am someone who would never let people change their plans to work around me, or my diabetes.  So I would go along and cheer everyone else on. And I’m fine with that. I’m a picture taker anyway. 🙂

But the response from the other end was, “But she can have sugar — she said so in her blog!”  And you’re right, L.  I can have sugar (love ya!). 🙂 But what you wouldn’t have had any way of knowing .. is that that situation would have fallen into one of those “Is it worth it?” categories, and for me, it would have been a “Not worth it.”  I don’t typically like to drink my carbs, and it would take a HECK of a lot of insulin to cover that … and chances are, since the drinks would hit me so much faster than a dessert would, my insulin would not be in sync and it would more than likely cause problems.  

Another suggestion for the trip was to ride jet skiis.  And yet again, I am reminded of something I probably wouldn’t do. Again, not because I can’t.  But because my pump is not waterproof. So there is a lot more to consider (for me).   In those instances, I usually tell people that I’d love to go along!  But I’ll stay in the boat (if applicable).  Or I’ll stay on the sidelines/shore and take pictures! You go have fun!    The other alternative is to take off my pump and leave it in the car (gets too hot, which could ruin my insulin) or leave it on, ride the jet ski, and take a chance of it (very likely) getting wet and breaking. 

I hope I am not offending anyone who has asked me to do any of these things in the past. That is not my intention at all … My sole purpose is to just help people understand that there’s more to the equation.  I don’t let my diabetes inhibit my daily life any more than it has to.  But the reality of the situation is, it does have to factor in to a lot of my decisions.

And the ultimate question for me is usually, “Is it worth it?” Sometimes it isn’t.  But sometimes it isn’t.

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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3 Responses to Is it worth it?

  1. I hate having to ask that question, but it’s crucial. It’s probably hard for people to understand why we can have something but choose not to because it’s not worth it. I try to reduce confusion when someone asks if I can have something by saying, “I can have it, but it’s not worth the insulin.” For me, I feel every bolus which can be uncomfortable at some sites so I forgo things that would require a large bolus, just for my own comfort.

    It’s also kind of freeing because I don’t feel obligated to have eat something to spare someone’s feelings or because it’s a special recipe.

  2. Scott E says:

    I’ve tried to explain the difference between can/can’t and should/shouldn’t to others, and it’s one of the hardest things to explain. And when I do indulge, seemingly pay the price, and then my sugar levels come back to normal (they always do, eventually), it’s hard to explain that riding a 280 mg/dl overnight before finally settling back to a comfortable 104 is NOT a “luckily, I made it through” type of scenario. It’s not like walking along the tracks and not getting hit by a train. Those hours of high blood sugar can, and likely will, come back to haunt me eventually. It’s tough to explain because even I don’t know when or in what form.

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