Ever wondered what a day in the life of a type 1 diabetic is really like?
Having lived with this magnificent illness for all but three years of my life, I think it would be safe to say that I have a pretty good idea. With the constant finger pricking, carb counting and five times a day injecting, it sounds like it must be quite hard work right? Well my answer to that is no, at least not the majority of the time. I guess for me, after 20 years, it’s just become part of my daily routine and I don’t even take notice of it anymore. Although, for someone who is new to this, it can be quite a daunting and overwhelming thought. The key to success; do not let diabetes control your life. You are in control, you are the captain of your ship and this thing, diabetes, must fit and work around you and your life. You have control over it and it will not control you.
To be honest, my day-to-day life is pretty much the same as any other person that is a non-sufferer. Just with the added bonus of getting to stick needles in my fingers and butt a few times a day. I wake up, I test my sugar, crossing my fingers and spending those five seconds hoping that I’ll be starting the day on a good level. Then I eat. After I’ve eaten my bowl of three Weetabix drowned in milk, I inject my novorapid and venture out the door to work. Two hours and a painful train journey later, I arrive at my destination and test my levels again. Post food blood sugar is very important, so for me, this is the most critical test. At this point I inject again, this time my baseline insulin that will keep me stable for the next half of the day. Two finger pricks and two injections down, I’m now finally ready to get working at eight thirty am.
I snack at ten thirty; something light, 15 grams of carbs or less. That’s just enough to fill you up and keep you balanced until lunchtime. Twelve thirty arrives, I test my levels again, eat and inject. This routine is normally done by 1pm then I have half an hour to relax before heading back to my desk. Come three o’clock I do my “two hours after food” level test. Again, this is another crucial one for me. Normally, providing this test is ok, I hang it out until around four, before snacking again. This will then keep me going until dinner time around seven thirty pm. Standard procedure applies here; test, eat, inject.
Eight thirty pm and it’s time for the second half of my baseline insulin. This time, the bit that keeps me stable through the night. Two hours post dinner and I test my level again. Providing that it’s a reasonable level, I get myself in my pjs and head off for a well-deserved sleep. On the rare occasion there may be a need for a bed time snack, or at the other end of the scale, a small correction dose of novorapid. Either way, it’s no real biggie!
Although a routine like this takes some time to perfect and settle into, once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. Consistency really is the key and as well as being good for your diabetes control, it has so many other health and lifestyle benefits. Try it; you really wont regret it!