How Taking a Mental Break from Diabetes Changed My Perspective

Last weekend I took a ‘mental break’ from my type 1 diabetes.

This didn’t mean that I stopped taking insulin or testing my sugars. (i can’t really do that or i’ll die) I still took care of myself during my ‘break’, but made an effort to take some time off from overthinking it.

My last Dexcom sensor ripped out unexpectedly last week, and I didn’t have a new shipment of sensors coming in for another week or so. I honestly freaked out when this originally happened. I haven’t been without a CGM in about a year! How was I going to feel my lows? What if I trend high for the next week? How will I workout or sleep or know that I am taking the right amount of insulin…

And then I remembered that I had managed my diabetes for 14 years without a CGM. I can always feel my lows before they become dangerous. I know my symptoms of high blood sugar. I know how my body reacts to things! I know her, and she’s a good body (besides the working pancreas part).

Not having a CGM on my body to monitor 24/7 has helped me take some much needed time to focus on something other than my numbers. I definitely want my Dexcom back on and am looking forward to my new shipment, but it has been nice to not consistently judge my sugars for a few days.

Another part of my ‘mental break’ from diabetes was taking some time away from social media. Being a part of the online diabetes community has given me a much better perspective on how to manage my type 1 diabetes more efficiently, but it can also be a little overwhelming at times. It’s easy to compare your numbers, A1C, eating habits, and milestones to other diabetics online. After a few weeks of crappy sugars, I found myself frustrated when others were having consistently great blood sugars, or found myself self-conscious when I knew my A1C was higher than other diabetics online.

I also took a break from posting my own diabetic content on my Instagram page. I didn’t want to think about having diabetes any more than I absolutely had to for the weekend. I just wanted to test when I needed to, take insulin when I needed to, and count carbs when I needed to. That’s it.

My ‘break’ from diabetes ended up making me feel better. The perspective I’ve recently had on my management of this disease was wearing on me a little heavier than usual. I found myself overanalyzing my numbers and becoming upset if my blood sugar was consistently too high or low. Taking a step back helped me realize that I do a great job in managing this crappy disease and that not all days are going to be sunshine-y with awesome numbers.

My sugars ended up being great this past weekend, even without my CGM to consistently monitor it. I feel refreshed and ready to get back to my usual scheduled programming of being a not-perfect but mostly-positive type 1 diabetic.

– Ariana

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