Diabetes On The Brain – By Andy Broomhead
After another hectic and stressful weekend, I found myself sat alone on the sofa at my in laws, cup of tea in hand, back door open and pure silence, save for the odd tweet of a bird in the garden. I can’t even begin to explain how rare a moment this was. And it was a moment because I’d say it lasted for no more than two minutes, but during that time I had an epiphany. I realised what I miss most about my Life Before Diabetes.
Like most people, what I often need are moments like the one I described above – the conditions to be able to completely switch off and relax. The modern world does make it harder to be able to just sit (or lie) and shut off your brain for a short time, but in theory it’s possible.
What I realised in that fleeting 120 seconds was that when all is said and done, being away from the distractions of TV, my iPod, Twitter or Candy Crush, I still don’t feel like I’m completely at rest. I’ve got diabetes on the brain.
This might be obvious to everyone except me (it certainly wouldn’t be the first time) but I was surprised to come to the conclusion that without any other diversions or interruptions, I’m subconsciously thinking about diabetes all the time! In that brief silence I was thinking about how much insulin I had left in my pump, whether I needed to test my blood again, had I bolused correctly with my earlier snack, is my cannula in properly…….?
Now in some ways, you could argue that this is no bad thing. Being subconsciously aware that I need to have a handle on all this is good and responsible. We all know that having diabetes can get very serious very quickly if we don’t treat it properly. I think anyone who’s ever had a “HI” reading on a meter will attest to that. So in that respect, I’m glad my occasionally laissez faire attitude doesn’t spill over to my treatment.
But on the other hand, this feels a bit more…disconcerting. Am I now destined to be forever aware of my inner diabetes voice constantly operating on overdrive, nagging at me to be mindful of the perils of miscounting my carbs or have a cannula insert wrongly? Or is the fact that I’m now aware of it, the first step to being able to manage it?
A healthy lifestyle goes far beyond eating more vegetables and doing more exercise. Being at rest, allowing ourselves to recuperate and having a healthy mind is equally important as a healthy body. I’d like to think that overall, I’ve been pretty good at managing the latter. On the whole I eat a pretty good diet and I exercise quite a lot so I’d like to think that’s a tick in the first box. However, I think the second box might be a little more difficult to cross off.
I suppose managing my new affliction of Diabetes On The Brain can be done by learning to accept that a lot of the subconscious thoughts are helpful reminders and not something to oppose. Diabetic or not, we all live with our own inner voice on a daily basis, it’s just that mine (and possibly yours) takes on an urgent tone more often that perhaps I’d realised.
What’s your experience with Diabetes On The Brain? Do you have a continuous nagging feeling or have you blocked it out for the most part? Is it a necessary evil that we should learn to love or can we just tune it out when it suits us?