Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Blame Game

Yesterday, we held a successful Christmas Day Event at our house for the first time. Ben and I have been together for seven Christmases now, but we have always been off somewhere else for The Big Day. This year we decided we couldn't go anywhere without our stress levels soaring and without pain and suffering on our part and for The Boy. So we let family come to us. And we had such a great time!

But I sort of forgot about the stress that comes along with hosting and with family gatherings. Ben and I had a great time preparing a delicious comfort-foods dinner (including meatloaf, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and green beans, and homemade rolls), but we did have to run around the kitchen all Iron-Chef-like for a bit.

And there's the mental stress of trying to avoid overindulging, of knowing that for most people, another scoop of potatoes is no big deal, but I just can't let myself without paying the price, and of having to deal with how unfair that feels sometimes. There's also the emotional burden of worrying about inter-family relations. Even if everyone does get along (which they did), that doesn't mean I don't worry about it constantly! And there's the self-loathing that I feel every time I think about how clean my house is versus how clean I think it should be. And...the list just goes on.

But anyway. So yesterday my blood sugars were crazy. I had THREE readings in the 280s...THREE in one day! This never happens to me. I also had two lows, but that's more "normal" for me. And I don't feel as much guilt over low blood sugar, anyway, because it's more "acceptable" to me to have lows than highs.

I had such a great time yesterday with my family, with the babies. James got great presents and was really happy and excited, and I really enjoyed some of the things I got. (I've been wanting Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for awhile now....and James' Grandma Jane got me some lovely comfy PJs and a snuggly blanket that I adore.) But I also felt sort of crappy physically through all those ups and downs.

And then today, things were better...but not all the way better. I had ONE BITE of spice cake this afternoon. My blood sugar was 111, had been hanging around there for several hours, and we were heading out the door to go to the mall. (Side note: James LOVES escalators.) So I didn't want to have my normal mid-afternoon blood sugar dip turn into a crazy low. But then that one bite upped my reading to 186 within 30 minutes. D'oh! And I thought....

Oh, for stupid. Why did I eat that cake?

I really didn't want to even write down my pattern for the day in my logbook. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how much I feel like my blood sugars are under my control, aka MY FAULT, when really some things just have to be let go. Sure, it would've helped if I hadn't had that tiny slice of cake. But then again....if I hadn't had it, I might've been low. In fact, I probably would have been low, since that's been my pattern lately. I was just trying to work out the current pattern, but instead got surprised by a new stress-induced holiday pattern.

Why was it so easy for me to let myself off the hook for the stress and the highs on Christmas Day, but then blame myself for everything the day after?

Don't get me wrong. I think that, ideally, we should all try to take responsibility for our own health and for keeping ourselves healthy. But I think that can backfire too, especially with a chronic disease like diabetes. Sometimes I feel so much self-doubt and self-recrimination about my blood sugars, but also, there are just so many variables that go into a day's worth of blood sugars, and there are quite a few that I have to ultimately let go of and just say, I did the best I could. 180 isn't really all that bad, at least I checked it within 30 minutes and was aware that something was going on. At least it wasn't super-high like yesterday. At least I'm in good control on average even if I have crappy days and occasionally don't make perfect decisions. I'm doing well, and it's okay.

That's what I'm telling myself today, anyway.


Donna said...

Don't let yourself get down about the crazy blood sugars. I think we all feel a bit guilty about how bad we let things get during the holidays. I know I do. But now that Christmas is over, I can get back into a routine & that makes me feel much better & my blood sugars improve, too.

I'm glad you had a quiet Christmas at home. We started staying home on Christmas day when our kids were little. We didn't want to drag them all over creation & deal with all the relatives and the stress. It was nice to just lounge around at home & let the kids enjoy their gifts and our time together. Then grandparents would come over in the afternoon for a short while to see the kids. It was very nice.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy that sort of day, too.

rachel Cortest said...


This is the blog that i read to see how you are REALLY doing. Please remember that you are an amazing woman. love,rachel