Always feeling like a failure

I am a failure.

It’s the same old story.

“Life just gets in the way,” I tell myself. “It’s just too hard to do it all at once.”

It strikes me as funny looking back to when I was first diagnosed with Type One. I’d turn up at the consultants’ or nurses’ appointments when piles of notepads. Maybe three or four, each with lines, and dates, and coloured entries. Circles were for insulin given, squares were around blood sugar readings, brackets showed (active insulin). Carefully, meticulous, organising: a desperate bid to bring some semblance of order to a life in post-diagnosis chaos. I’d bring with me a list of questions: “why did that happen after baked beans?”, “why do I have a hypo in the supermarket when I go in the afternoon?”.

Slowly the notepads were put away, replaced by some knowledge of what was happening to my body. But not for long. Blood glucose recording sheets were printed off again when I decided to take up running to try to ‘control’ by blood sugars better. During the six months it took me to learn how run 5k I went through a lot of paper! Then running made way for my pump fit, and again for months there was basal testing, recording, and notepads.

Eventually things settled down and for a few years now I’ve not needed to record blood sugars, apart from the occasional period of basal testing, or faint attempts at exercise. It’s been great! Blood glucose recording and pattern spotting is tiring. It’s a full-time job. You must be dedicated to ensuring you’re carb-counting, recording each morsel of food, and every dose of insulin.

That’s before you add in exercising!

Then you need to do all the above, plus record activity done and changes made to insulin. Then take the time out of your week to try to spot the effects of those changes on your blood sugars. And then amend accordingly and try again! After a while, if your exercise becomes consistent, it’s then a case of working out when and by how much to reduce basal levels. It is tiring and that’s not even accounting for how tiring starting to *actual* exercise is.

And this is where I fail.

I was full of good intentions when I first wrote my first training piece here in July: hopeful, keen…. naive. I had forgotten how much work it was, and I had forgotten how much life gets in the way.

I managed a week of exercising, carb-counting, recording, before my sheets, scrappy from being carried around from the pillars and posts of my life, were scrapped for being useless. I’d tried but I’d had to do extra stuff with my 7-year-old, we’d gone out for dinner and I’d had to guess carbs, I’d had hypos, and I’d maybe forgotten a few entries due to work/little one/tiredness. It was useless.

I gave up.

Then this week I realised that while I thrive on a deadline, running a 10k with Type One Diabetes isn’t something you can really ‘cram’ for like I used to with exams, or Uni essays. It’s more a case of prior preparation and planning…etc.

Giving up isn’t an option. Until I can run and manage my Type One then life can’t get in the way: this has to be my life.. I cannot be a failure. That starting line is looming ever closer.