Facing fears

There I was standing in front of a group of my peers at work conducting a presentation on technology in health and how my artificial pancreas system works, then there I was bare naked on the big TV screen behind me for everyone to see, there was no hiding…

So this may sound a little dramatized and a lot of people will not get it but there will be people who this will resonate with so stick with me here.

When I put the presentation together I thought it would be a good idea to have a link to my diabetes cloud (NightScout website), little did I realize that this would mean showing the group my diabetes life for the last 48 hours, I was vulnerable and felt like I had to justify to the group every number and action on the screen!

As scary as it was it was it was probably a good experience because it showed the group a little piece of what life with Type 1 diabetic looks like and the questions that came from the group were not judgemental but more inquisitive.

Yesterday I had another breakthrough, I have to admit though that I have been working on this fear for a few months now but I feel yesterday was a big step, again this may sound crazy but I know it will resonate with some of my friends who also have Type 1 Diabetes, the relieving thing is that I am clearly not the only one – finding this definition online was comforting;

Saccharophobia: (from Latin saccharum, “sugar”) is the fear of sugar and sugary foods and drinks. Common causes of saccharophobia include negative health effects of sugar, including diabetes, and dislike of sweetness. Many saccharophobes are diabetic and worry that sugar would make it worse,

Ever since discovering what carbohydrates and sugar do to my body and how it greatly effects my diabetes I have developed a fear of sugar, now this could be seen as a good thing however when it comes to treating low blood sugar, unless it was an epic low I would not treat and would ride it out, sometimes even doing some high-intensity bursts of exercise to spike it – most of the time this just ended in fatigue and massive headaches.

A few months ago, and I don’t remember the train of thought that got me to this conclusion but I remember thinking that  I actually have a fear of glucose and ever since then I have been slowly working on it.

It just so happens that during my presentation yesterday whilst looking at the readings for the last 24 hours, it dawned on me that clearly there was something wrong with my insulin infusion set, in order to rectify this problem I would have to turn the artificial pancreas system off and return to injections for the rest of the day, of course, this meant there would be an element of guestimation – manual diabetes again.

Luckily for me, this wasn’t an issue as I have been watching the system very attentively to know how my body is reacting to food and insulin at the moment – thanks for the heads up Bec.

Anyway, this meant my cycle home (45km) would be completed using the standard Diabetes management protocol.

Hahaha – doesn’t exist, guesstimating is the only standard practice with Diabetes.

For 30km my blood sugar was staying stable at 5.5mmol, feeling chuffed I continued on and up a few hills and that’s when I noticed my levels slowly starting to drop by .1 every few minutes, then .2 until finally there was a rapid drop, knowing where this pathway leads me (not the freeway pathway I was on but the blood sugar pathway) in about 10 minutes I would be in the low 3’s and continuing to drop.

Without hesitation I grabbed the tube of glucose tablets from my jersey and popped one of those awful tasting raspberry glucose tablets – 4g of sugar.

Had I just over come my fear of glucose??? Probably not but it was a bloody big step for me and I am happy for the progress.

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