A day in the life of my diabetes – by Jenni Shaw
My name is Jenni and I’m 30 years old. I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, an events manager, a sports enthusiast and a foodie………..oh, and I also have Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is something that I have, it is not something I ‘am’ and although it makes up a huge part of me and affects a lot of the decisions I make on a daily basis – my main aim in life is not to let it stop me doing anything or affect my life in a negative way.
A wise professor once said to me that, with a mere 20 minutes input on a daily basis, this disease is completely and utterly manageable, that is a tiny fraction of a day (1.4% to be precise!). I therefore wanted to challenge this statement and detail a ‘day in the life of a Type 1 diabetic’ specifically me! I have highlighted the time dedicated to diabetes and will add it all up at the end.
05:30 – The alarm sounds and my first reaction is to hit the snooze button…
It sounds again…
05:45 – Time to get up! I check my sugar and do my morning Levemir alongside 2 units of Novorapid to combat the dawn phenomenon. (1 minute)
06:30 – I arrive at my health club and quick change into my cossie before a 30 minute swim. A quick swipe of the Freestyle Libre to check my BG and of I go. (15 seconds)
08:00 – Pick up my morning coffee (large black Americano) and head into the office
08:15 – Another swipe of the Libre and I eat my pre-prepared low carb granola brekkie. (15 seconds)
The morning ticks along and (unless I start to feel low or high) on an average day, I do not think about diabetes until lunch time. My job is very varied so I can be up on the event floor with clients, conducting site visits of the hotel, doing admin at my desk or entertaining clients to a coffee in the hotel lounge.
12:30 – I am usually ravenous by this time so I sit down at my desk to enjoy my pre made salad that I bring in from home. A quick BG check and I dose accordingly. I tend to have pretty much the same salad every day for lunch therefore I know that if my BG is within target range, I inject 2 units. (1 minute)
Depending on the day, the afternoon goes by pretty similarly to the morning, a few meetings whether internal or with clients, occasionally a menu tasting and yet more BORING admin.
15:00 – Menu tastings at work take place at 3pm, this is something that I do about 3 days a week with clients and I have made a deal with myself that I look but do not taste. I have to say that every day I have a small ‘chat’ with myself about whether or not today will be the day I sample that chocolate fondant but 9 times out of 10 I stand firm. This therefore probably constitutes about 2 minutes of thinking about diabetes! (2 minutes)
16:00 – I am usually back at my desk by this point and this is the time of the day that I struggle most with in terms of staying on the straight and narrow. It’s mid afternoon, I’ve been up since 5:45am, I am tired and everyone else in the office is indulging in that afternoon snack and cup of tea! I usually do a quick BG test at this point just to see how it is all going.
If I am in target, this is usually enough motivation to keep me away from the cookies as I want it to stay that way. If it is above or below, it can be more of a challenge….if it is low I of course want to eat all the cookies (we all know that hypo feeling!) and if it is above target range by rebellious side tells me that I have already ‘failed’ therefore I might as well have a cookie and fail it style!
I am pleased to say that I usually am within target and therefore stick to my guns and just have a nice cup of tea – cookies not included! (5 minutes)
18:00 – End of the working day and I am usually heading off to some sort of ‘extra-curricular activity’, whether that be a spinning class, yoga, choir or meeting friends. A quick swipe of the Libre tells me what I need to know and I deal with the result accordingly. (1 minute)
19:00 – Dinner time. I like to make meals from fresh so will usually spend 20 minutes whipping up a quick veggie or fish dish (I am a vegetarian so don’t eat meat.) I try and stay low carb as much as possible therefore I include a lot of green veg in my meals. I check my BG and dose accordingly. (1 minute)
21:30 – I set about prepping my salad for lunch the next day, packed full of lots of different veggies and fish or nuts for flavour and texture. This takes me all of 5 minutes, I am going to add this 5 minutes to the total calculation as I don’t think I would be so meticulous about doing this every night. (5 minutes)
22:00 – I aim to be in bed by ten most nights, I do a pre bed BG check and my evening Levemir before dozing off to sleep. (1 minute)
03:00 – On occasion, if I have been drinking or eaten something out of the ordinary, I will set the alarm for a 3am test just to see what is happening and if I need to inject a couple of units just to stop an overnight rise. (1 minute)
And there you have it, an average day in the life of a Type 1 diabetic. Total time dealing with diabetes… 18.5 minutes!
I’ll quite happily take that, think of all the time you spend thinking about and doing pointless things, day dreaming, or just generally wasting time. This is 18.5 minutes worth of well spent time as an investment into a long and healthy future!
Read posts on Jenni’s personal blog site