I wake up from a dream about my blood glucose being low. This is very weird because my blood glucose, fortunately, never goes low. I get up and test just to be sure — it’s fine.
While I’m up, I take my thyroid medication, since it needs to be taken at least an hour before breakfast. I go back to bed, hoping I’ll be able to get some more sleep.
After lying in bed wide-awake for 45 minutes, I realize sleep is over for the night. I get up quietly, so I won’t disturb my husband, and grab my 5-Minute Journal off the nightstand.
While I’m waiting for water to boil for tea, I write in my journal. I list three things for which I’m thankful and three things that would make my day great. Stress can raise blood glucose levels, so managing it is very important to me. I’ve found journaling to be a great way to clear out negativity and focus on the positive.
I brew a cup of green tea, make my to-do list for the day, and start weeding through email.
I check my blood glucose again: it’s up 16 points and I haven’t even eaten anything! It’s so nice to have finally gotten a FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor (CGM). There’s no way I’d check my blood glucose as often if I had to dig out a meter and strips and do a fingerstick.
Now I can take a reading simply by waving my phone over my arm! Insurance doesn’t usually cover CGMs for people with type 2 unless they’re on insulin — at least that was the case for me. I decided to bite the financial bullet and get one anyway. I’m so glad I did.
I can manage my blood glucose more consistently now, and I can clearly see the impact of everything I eat and all exercise I do. I think everyone diagnosed with diabetes, or even prediabetes, should have access to this technology.
Now it’s time for first breakfast: cottage cheese, raspberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s 13 grams of carbs total. I take my morning pill regimen of metformin, vitamin D3, low-dose aspirin, pravastatin, vitamin C, and a probiotic.
This is my creative time. I do some writing and implement the Pomodoro technique, a time management system with a big following online and off. It helps me to keep my “type A” self from sitting too long. “Sitting is the new smoking,” they say!
Each time I hunker down at my desk, I ask Siri to set a timer for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, I get up and move for five minutes. I might stretch my frequently tight hamstrings. I might jog around the island in my kitchen. I might practice tree pose to improve my balance.
The important thing is that I move my body in some way for five minutes. By the end of the day, I’ve gotten in a lot of exercise! Being physically active really helps me keep my blood glucose within range.
It’s been about two hours since I ate, so I check my blood glucose. Then I work on homework for my video editing class. Research has shown a potential link between diabetes and dementia, so I try to keep learning new things in order to keep my brain active.
Now it’s time to shower and eat a second breakfast. Today is a yoga day, so my food schedule is unusual.
My husband and I take a yoga class at 2 p.m. and our teacher recommends not eating anything four hours prior. So, we eat one breakfast early and another around 10 a.m.
Today it’s a breakfast farro recipe from my new cookbook, The Diabetes Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers, plus blueberries and a hard-boiled egg. That’s 32 grams of carbs. I like to include a whole grain with my second breakfast because I know it will hold me until I can eat again.
My second breakfast is interrupted by a client with a crisis. I make another cup of green tea and finish eating at my desk. This is not ideal. I much prefer to sit at the kitchen table when I eat and enjoy a conversation with my husband.
Since I know my husband and I will come home from yoga hungry, I like to either fire up the slow cooker or make something ahead of time that we can quickly heat up when we get home. I’ve found that if we have a plan, we’re less tempted to eat out (and make bad choices).
Today, I’m making salmon chowder. I cook the salmon and make the soup base. When we get back, all I’ll need to do is put everything together and warm it up. While everything cooks, I check in with the diabetes online community (DOC) on social media.
I scan my blood glucose, then my husband and I head to yoga class. We practice with Al from SoCoYo (Southern Comfort Yoga) where we focus on hips (ouch!) for 90 minutes, then drive home.
Yoga offers many potential benefits for people with diabetes, including stress management and strengthening exercise. It’s also a great way to work on improving flexibility and balance.
At 40 minutes, it’s a bit of a drive, but Al’s class is worth it. Namaste, y’all.
We arrive home and are, predictably, starving. Salmon chowder to the rescue at 31 grams of carbs. I also take my second daily dose of metformin. (If it had been Tuesday, I’d also have taken my weekly Trulicity injection.)
It’s time to pull together an agenda for my DiabetesSisters support group meeting tonight. We’ve started our own library of diabetes books and I need to come up with a system for checking them in and out. I’m excited to share books with the group about nutrition, pregnancy, carb counting, meal planning, diabetes burnout, and more.
I head to a local library for our monthly DiabetesSisters meeting. Tonight’s topic is empowerment and being the CEO of your own health care. The weather is rainy and miserable, so I’m guessing turnout will be low.
I’ve finally arrived home to stay! It’s time to visit a little bit with our houseguest from Canada and have a light snack, with 15 grams of carbs. It’s a struggle to keep my eyes open given how early I got up.
I check my blood glucose and get ready for bed. I do another round in the 5-Minute Journal, listing three great things that happened during the day and one thing I could have done to make the day even better. I’m expecting to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Good night.
Shelby Kinnaird, author of The Diabetes Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers and The Pocket Carbohydrate Counter Guide for Diabetes, publishes recipes and tips for people who want to eat healthy at Diabetic Foodie, a website often stamped with a “top diabetes blog” label. Shelby is a passionate diabetes advocate who likes to make her voice heard in Washington, D.C., and she leads two DiabetesSisters support groups in Richmond, Virginia. She has successfully managed her type 2 diabetes since 1999.