Diabetes Week : Sweet Nothing’s – Research on a Personal Level – By Lucy Thomas
For anyone who has the pleasure of living with diabetes, type 1 or type 2, research is important.
However I’m not talking about the science geeks in white coats poring over petri dishes testing things on mice sort of research. I’m talking about the day to day tasks which most of us go about without a second thought but a diabetic must consider carefully and research (see what I did there?!) different ways to avoid hypos, high sugar levels or finding themselves in a situation where they need a snack but they’re in the middle of Dartmoor with nothing to munch on apart from maybe some grass. Or a pony……
Personally I find that subconsciously my brain happily administrates an extraordinary amount of planning on the rest of my body’s behalf to ensure that my day runs smoothly. This doesn’t come naturally though. Over the past 14 years I have consistently tried and tested different ways of coping with what can be quite a difficult disease and even now despite all this ‘research’ I still mess up monumentally.
An example of this: I’ll be out and about merrily enjoying myself and then da da da daaaaa the creeping symptoms of a hypo appear and oh look at that no dextrose, no biscuits. Nada. Cue me high-tailing it into the nearest shop to try and find something to eat and ironically (and cruelly!) enough low blood sugar levels impair my ability to make a decision so I’m standing there staring at food knowing I need to eat something but my brain spends far too long deliberating. Twix or cereal bar? Twix or cereal bar? Luckily I have friends who have seen this scenario plenty of times and their experience (research?) of being my mate knows to just buy something on my behalf and get me to eat it before I walk out of the shop completely blind-sided by decision and end up panic buying some Fairy Liquid and an air freshener for my car.
Every morning the ‘Diabetic Planning’ section of my brain runs through my day – am I going to yoga before work?. Yes. Take an extra snack. Will I walk or cycle? Cycle ok then definitely an extra snack. Meeting friends after work? Yes. Make sure I have enough needles and insulin. Ooo speaking of which needles are running low must do a repeat prescription online. Thank goodness for a brain that enjoys being organised and multi-tasking.
Being a diabetic is a constant juggle of monitoring sugar levels, eating properly and exercising regularly. Actually that’s not being a diabetic that’s just being a healthy human being. If my ‘research’ of being a type 1 diabetic has shown me anything it’s that you can’t let it control you, you have to control it and certainly never use it as an excuse to not live life to the full.