Thursday, June 30, 2016

July Break

Hello my blogsy people, this will be a rather personal non artsy post, so don't say I didn't warn you. ;-)

I have been a diabetic (type 2)  for about fifteen years. I may have mentioned it here at some point, but this is an artsy blog, not a health blog so it doesn't really seem relevant to talk much about it here. And since things were going well, why would I? My glucose levels varied between good and acceptable, I felt fine and my other blood results and eye checks and all the things that come with this disease were always great. No damage whatsoever. I was not fantastic in my active control (oh carbs, how I love thee), but it was good enough. I took some pills, I took some care,  and that was that. Somehow there was a workable balance.

Since about the beginning of this year however something has shifted and I'm no longer doing so great. Don't get me wrong: I felt fine, but my glucose levels got way too high. So after trying to tweak my medication without the wanted result my doctor decided it was time to start me on insuline. Well partly anyway. Some pills were dropped and one was kept and now I inject a long working insuline called Lantus every night.

Now in a way I am lucky because I grew up with a diabetic mother (there's a lot of it on her side of the family). This means that injections and things like that don't really scare me and as for checking my own glucose levels I have been doing that on and off for years, so a fingerprick doesn't scare me either. In fact if I compare the two I'd much rather shoot insulin than stick a needle in my finger for a little drop of blood. Those things can be nasty! Anyway, don't feel sorry for me about the whole injection thing, it's no big deal.

My first batch of insuline and a brand new glucose meter.

What is a big deal is that I'm out of balance and we (doctor and me) still have to find the correct dose. We are now at a stage that things are definitely improving and my fasting glucose is within limits, but my non fasting can still go too high. After weeks of back and forth with the doctor (at first I had to go to her office every time, but later we did it by phone every few days) I am to keep up the current dose for a few weeks and then we'll do an extensive blood test again halfway July to see how my average levels are now. I'm quite sure they will be better than two months ago and I'm also quite sure they will still be too high. So I'm also sure there will be more tweaking after that.

I am also fiddling with my diet and counting carbs (thank god there's an app for that) like an obsessive person trying to find a middle ground that will get things in balance again without going too high or too low. It's a frustrating process I have to tell you, because even now that  I'm being a true saint about my food my levels are still not good. This really sucks, but maybe I want too much too soon. We've only been at this for a month after all (it feels a lot longer). These things take time.

What is the hardest for me is that where my higher levels a few months ago didn't really seem to affect me, all this tweaking and back and forth is wearing me out. It's both physically and emotionally straining and I'm simply tired and have much less energy. Being so overly focused on glucose levels, food and doctor's appointments is really not how I want to live, but it's necessary right now to find my balance again.

My lowest non fasting glucose level in the past month. I took the pic just to prove to myself it's possible. ;-)

It doesn't help that the first half of this year has been pretty stressful for all sorts of reasons, varying from several  sick people in my close surroundings, some deaths even of more distant aquaintances and a bit too much stuff at work. The first weeks/months with Spooky were pretty stressful too. Nothing dramatically major, but just a lot of goings on at the same time. Enough to make me worry too much and sometimes even lie awake at night.

Now, I've always been a thinker with a full head of thoughts and ideas, but I'm really not a worry wart by nature. So this is not a good thing. I have had nights where I'm wide awake before, but that's usually when I have too many ideas for creative projects or things I could do and I'm just too excited to sleep. This is different.

Mostly though I sleep a lot. I find it harder to get up early on my days off and I find it harder to find the energy and enthousiasm for my art. If I could summarize my current condition in four words they would simply be: "I am just tired."

So as part of my self care I have decided to take it easy for a while and give myself some space and rest. Part of that is taking a blog break. I love doing this blog, but I think it would do me good not to have to think about it for a few weeks. For now I'm simply thinking of not blogging for the month of July and to come back in August. I'm sure I will miss you all before then.
I will also take a brake from my Morning Book. Not from art, but from the discipline of getting up early every morning to do that  particular thing before breakfast.  I will simply do art when I feel like it for a few weeks. Or not. It's all okay for now.

I will not be going offline. I'm not looking to escape the world or something and I have to be practical, since this is not a full vacation. I'm just trying to take it down a notch. Also posting things on Instagram and Facebook always keeps me looking for the good stuff in my life: the beauty of my island, the love for my cat, the enjoyment of drawing and colouring and other things that make me happy. So if you miss me you can follow me here or here.

If you want to contact me you can mail me at c.m.j.winkelman[at] or through the contact form in the sidebar.

I see this as a vacation for the mind and July, the midst of summer, seems a good time for it. I wish you all a wonderful and artsy month and hope to see you back here come August. I shall miss you!