Between
Diabetes

Friend OR Forward Arrow

“Mexican?” A good friend texts for a late Saturday afternoon lunch.

“I can leave in 15!” I reply.

I finished the few sun salutations I was attempting, grabbed some kicks, trucker hat, gathered my d-phone, iPhone, sunnies and purse (that took up most of my time as my life currently doesn’t have a default organization to it).

On the drive to the Mexican restaurant I stole a glance at my d-phone for a glucose check. Wearing a hybrid closed-loop get-up, I do this much less than I use to as the system pretty much keeps me hovering in a glucose range that’s good enough.

My d-phone displayed 82mg/dL with a forward arrow. WWWHHHAAATTT!!!!

The trend graph confirmed this was where my glucose had been most of the day. YYYEEESSSS!!!

For a person living with diabetes this is pretty much rainbows, unicorns, and the winning lottery ticket all in one place. It’s getting an A on that Bio final, asked out by that cute boy, awarded the job promotion among competition, finding out your pregnant when trying or that moment you know your newborn is asleep for at least the next hour… it just feels AMAZING all of the sudden.

If I could stay there (82mg/dL and forward arrow) for the rest of my life, the concern about my disease taking my sight, kidneys and feet would go poof, gone. None of us have certainty but any definition of super human would include 82 mg/dL with a forward arrow in their glucose metrics.

I’ve sat with the thoughts that came into my head in that moment for a few days now. As a credentialed health and wellness coach, the philosophy in my coaching is largely based on removing judgment from circumstances, situations, conditions and others to the best of one’s ability and building trust internally. I believe so fundamentally in the opportunity and fulfilling life provided by this approach I dedicate vast amounts of resources in my personal life to keep it circulating. For years and years, I felt a glucose number, my husband’s love, my kid’s behavior, the weather, the number of adventures on my calendar and the amount in a bank account either brought happiness, delight, joy or sadness, frustration, anger.

Most in health and wellness, fitness, sports and performance, and diabetes worlds advocate glucose levels such as 82 mg/mL with a forward arrow as optimal, if it can be isolated down to a single moment. On Saturday, my digestive tract had been resting for most the day, this increased insulin sensitivity significantly. So now my 82 mg/dL with a forward arrow WIN also got low circulating insulin awesomeness to add - WHOOT WHOOT!

It was like a goddamn trifecta of alignment… favorable functioning of body systems due to glucose, stability and optimal insulin saturation.

I felt myself ask, “Do you really want to go have Mexican food right now?” Chips and salsa...perhaps cold beer? It felt so good to be right where I was with my glucose, insulin and their trends, why would I want that to change? I asked myself “friend OR forward arrow?” I asked this for about 1/2 a second.

Of course I went and enjoyed conversation, connection and carbs with my good friend. We are lunching at our local Mexican restaurants currently as I have an upcoming badass project south of the border (stay tuned!). Yet my immediate response,  a judgment of my glucose levels, gave me pause. I know, I know, I know, I know giving a happiness power to a “good” number also gives sadness/frustration/doubt/not-enough/I messed up/projected-anger power to a “bad’ number. I could give a TED talk on this today, loaded with theoretical frameworks to highlight the psychological impacts reinforced by healthcare teams, culture and society pushing away from fulfilling engagement in our lives and toward anxiety and illusions of happiness. I know this. I wrote lengthy papers on this perspective in my graduate school work, I know this. I coach this.

Though in that moment, 82 mg/dL with a forward arrow, with all my knowing, I still felt better sitting at 82 mg/dL with a forward arrow than I do at 312 mg/dL double arrow up. I then met myself with compassion for all the years I held the story of this truth. That I was better as a woman, as a person, as a diabetic, as a mother, as a being at 82 mg/dL than at 312 mg/dL. It’s a process, 1st know a different perspective and then 2nd feel that different perspective. This process is infinite as the more you travel down this path the more unfolds for you to realize. It’s a fucker, but a fulfilling one.

I imagine assigning judgement to glucose levels (good or bad thinking) resonates deeply for most people living with diabetes. This same perspective can be applied to judgement, giving power we so willingly offer, to the number on a scale, the amount in a bank account, the years to a marriage and even at times the weather upon waking.

Allow yourself to create a deliberate and fulfilling life between diabetes, between all these metrics, between the circumstances, situations, conditions and others... go unknowingly and without certainty. Magic WILL surface, I promise.

Not there yet? Feel free to reach out for support and guidance. I’m here.

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