Monday, 2 November 2009

The Straight and Narrow

This is a picture of my glucose journey over the past thirty days. The vertical lines represent the high points and low points of my blood glucose levels each day, and the undulating horizontal line represents the trend of my levels over the period of the graph. The aim is to keep that line within the yellow band – this represents ‘normal’ blood glucose levels, the kind that are experienced by people who don’t have diabetes. The thin red line is the level below which I would be hypoglycaemic, meaning my brain would not be getting sufficient glucose from my blood to function properly – too far below this line and I would end up in diabetic coma if not treated quickly enough. Above the yellow band represents high blood glucose levels – again, I must try not to have too many readings in this area, as too high a level of glucose in the blood can lead to the many complications of diabetes: eye and kidney disease, neuropathy (nerve) disease, and loss of limbs due to microvascular disease and bacterial infection.

So, as you can see, I must try to travel through my life keeping my levels as much as possible in that narrow yellow band, which represents a range of between 4.0 and 7.0 mmol/l (approximately 70 and 125 mg/dl). I have had levels as low as 1.9 mmol/l and, at diagnosis, as high as 37 mmol/l. Thankfully, though, since I began treatment, the great majority of my levels have been within range. It can be a very tricky thing to manage at times as there are so many variables contributing to that level – food eaten, activity levels, temperature, mood, fear, anxiety, happiness, stress, illness – you get the idea! But I must avoid travelling too often on the higher path, and restrict my excursions that take me wildly off-track if I am to give myself the best chance of a long, healthy and happy life.

Monday November 2nd, 2009
3.67 miles
36’ 05”
Blood glucose before (1.5 hour)
Blood glucose after

The glucose journey that you follow
Is flanked by walls you should not cross.
Dark diversions, should you falter,
May bring pain and may bring loss.

Hard, it may be, to be faithful
When temptations lie ahead,
But don’t deny yourself all pleasures,
Remember, you’re a long time dead!

Tiny steps and tiny changes
Keep you on the narrow road,
Nuts and seeded bread and pulses
Lighten your glycaemic load.

Lassitude will not reward you –
Keep the feared-of things at bay,
Raise your heart rate and be active,
Walk the path an hour each day.

Who knows what future lies before us?
It may be good, with good control,
So live life on the Straight and Narrow,
A healthy heart and healthy soul!

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