I slept poorly last night. This was notable as despite having a litany of problems, sleep isn’t one of them. In fact, I’m very smug and proud of my sleep ability. What initially woke me up was my pump warning of high blood sugar. This is odd as my blood sugar tends to run on the low side in the early morning. I punched in a bolus of insulin on the pump interface and lay my head down, fully expecting to be embraced by warm amniotic waves of sleep. But alas, not so fast. Instead of sleep, I came aground on memories of a horrible, good-for-nothing meeting at work the day before. This was odd occurrence number two as pride over my ability to leave work at the office is up there with my pride over my ability to sleep soundly. But I couldn’t get back to sleep and I couldn’t stop the ‘woulda, shoulda, couldas’ of how I reacted while getting crucified at the fractious work meeting. This quickly spiraled to thinking that I was an overall failure at life – I mean, I couldn’t even sleep, the one thing I thought I had mastered!
Fortunately, my blood sugar hadn’t reached the level where rational thought had totally hit the road and I was able to chalk a lot of this negative thinking up to the effect of high blood sugar. But as unpleasant as the process of beating myself up was, I was also comforted by it. This was familiar territory. These negative thoughts used to be a daily, if not hourly, occurrence for me. This was also when I was consistently running my blood sugars in the higher regions. This relationship could just be coincidental, but I think there’s at least some correlation there.
One of my favourite topics is how chronic illness impacts personality, behaviour, and sense of self. By writing my Master’s dissertation on the influence of type 1 diabetes on identity creation, I was indulging myself. I wanted to understand who I was in the face of this disease, and who I may have been without it. Now that I’ve been generally keeping my blood sugars relatively stable, I’ve been wondering how my childhood and adolescence may have differed had I been doing this all along (what if I hadn’t constantly been sneaking candy and blaming it on friends when my mother found the wrappers). Would I be a different person today? Of course, better control wouldn’t have protected me from the slings and arrows characteristic of any childhood, but would I have handled them with more equanimity and grace? On the other hand, maybe I would have had a lot less fun due the demands required to keep tight control? I don’t know, but I do know that although I’ll never fully vanquish melancholy and self-doubt, I can lessen their hold with tighter blood sugar control. Just another reason that getting (back) to an HBA1c of seven is so crucial. In any event, I’m going to sleep on it.