“Consistency is key” is a well-known adage for a reason: It applies to many things in life, including diabetes.
This has resonated more and more with me over the last few months, as I’ve experienced greater interruptions in my day-to-day routines. The most obvious change has affected my Monday through Friday lunch hour at work. I usually need to go home three out of five days to take care of my puppy – feed him, play with him, and make sure he hasn’t totally destroyed anything in the few hours since I last saw him. I don’t mind this at all, because I love my little Clare-bear, but on days that I have to be with him, my diabetes is definitely affected.
For starters, I have to eat my lunch much later than I normally do on non-Clarence days. Technically, I could eat my lunch when I go home to see him, but I have a very narrow window of time – approximately thirty minutes – to be with him. It doesn’t seem fair for me to go home, pour out his kibble, then spend the majority of our half hour together putting together and eating my own lunch. So I spend my lunch break giving the puppy my full attention, which makes us both pretty happy.
Eating lunch during my allotted break is ruled out, so I have to decide whether to eat it before or after my stop home. I usually end up forcing myself to wait until I get back from feeding Clarence to eat, but this is easier said than done for a few reasons: Sometimes, my blood sugar will crash while I’m with the dog, so I have to eat a snack to correct it because my actual prepacked meal is waiting for me in the office refrigerator. Or I have to scramble from one meeting to home and then back to the office for another meeting and won’t have a chance to sit and eat until 2 o’clock, which means that I have to sit through an afternoon meeting without a full attention span because all I can think about is my grumbling stomach. On those days, I’m pretty hangry by the time I get to eat, and even more so irritated when my blood sugar retaliates at me later on for waiting so long to eat.
That being said, I’ve had to make peace with the fact that my weekday/lunchtime blood sugars will be a bit all over the place. I know that things will be easier when Clarence gets older, but for now, I’m determined to enjoy his puppy-hood without diabetes interfering too much. And if nothing else, it reminds me how important it is to stick to the basics with diabetes: Eat regular, healthy meals and the habit will reflect well on blood sugar and A1c.