You wake up, you check your blood glucose level (BGL). You go for a walk, you check your BGL. You eat, you check your BGL. You exercise, you check your BGL.
Many diabetics check their BGL between 5 and 30 times a day. That’s over 100,000 finger pricks or scans over just 10 years.
You wake up, you inject insulin. You eat, you inject insulin. You go to bed, you inject insulin.
A typical type 1 diabetic will inject insulin between 4 and 8 times a day. That’s nearly 30,000 injections over 10 years.
Now throw catching a cold or virus into the mix. Maybe a family member gets seriously sick and the stress is unbearable. Perhaps you go out for dinner and a seemingly innocuous meal sends your BGL sky high. This leads to more stress and correction doses of insulin.
Living with diabetes means never having a day off. You can’t jump on a plane and forget about it for 2 weeks. If anything, that plane journey and holiday means more stress as you plan and plan some more for any eventuality.
Are there any positives? Some would say vehemently, no. But let’s put this into perspective and turn diabetes on its head.
I used to take plenty of risks and didn’t put much thought into my overall health growing up.
What was your life like before diabetes? Did you exercise regularly? Did you eat a lower carb, nutritionally sound diet? Did you educate yourself on food and it’s impact on your body?
Sure, I went to the gym occasionally and thought I was eating well when I had a bowl of porridge or a big plate of pasta. Sometimes I checked the nutritional value on the back of foods and I tried to minimise saturated fat.
But did I have anywhere near the education that I do now? No. And it’s benefited my life to such a degree that my quality of life has increased dramatically.
I know, I know. It’s hard to maintain regular exercise and eating out can be a pain. But the reality is that it’s improving my health living this way. What way am I talking about?
I live on a very low carb, borderline ketogenic diet and exercise daily. My routine is geared toward trying to obtain optimum metabolic health.
It’s actually a very simple lifestyle, but one that I and many struggle with due to the constant temptation of carbs and our modern life stuck in an office, working long hours.
Since being diagnosed, I have watched 100’s of hours of presentations on all things diabetes; including, diet, exercise, medicine, and mental health. I started by reading Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution and this acted as a catalyst to learn more about the macronutrient carbohydrate, and why being strict with diet and exercise will actually provide freedom from the many stressors of diabetes.
As you‘re aware, I have created the website ‘believe the hypo’. I wanted to bring some clarity to the often convoluted and contradictory world of diabetes guidance, particularly from the medical profession. To many people, I may seem extreme in my information, but coming to this reality has not come lightly. It has taken many years of research and testing on myself.
It may seem tiresome at times, but attending regular medical appointments is better for our health. Many people don’t get check ups every 5 years, let alone every year. We’re tracking our health like a business tracks it’s finances.
I have reason, just as much as anyone to feel hard done by. Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and shortly after, my wife being diagnosed with breast cancer was beyond anything I could have imagined. But looking at the negatives doesn’t get me anywhere. I now see life, yes, with uncertainty, but more so, with opportunity.
Having diabetes is tough. It’s constant, unwavering and insular. Non-diabetics and even medical professionals have no idea the impact it has and this makes things worse as we try and manage it without shouting from the rafters what we’re going through. But we’re stronger for it.
We might be suffering in silence but our skin is thick, and our capacity to take this disease every hour of every day is empowering.
Finally, as a stroke of pure irony, I am entirely convinced that having diabetes has led to me being more healthy - physically and mentally. Diet, exercise, education, my support network, It’s all led to a more fulfilling life.
Believe the hypo