The Blood Sugar Fairy (Reflecting on Ch 18 of Diabetes Burnout and Ch 17 of Made to Crave)

Oh that pesky Blood Sugar Fairy!  She shows up when I least expect her.  Polonsky claims she is related to the Tooth Fairy, but a whole lot more impish!  She likes to annoy us as diabetics with unexplained highs and lows!

Now, I have been tracking some of these unexplained events.  A lot correlates with fluctuations in hormone levels.  I had an occurance of this last night actually.  Unexplained highs.  Took insulin around 1 in the morning.  Woke up at 6:30 and had only dropped a little bit.  Really???  So, I took more insulin.  Now, hovering around 75, so watching closely.  Had a teaspoon full of delicious peanut butter to help bring stability.

Polonsky writes about how we respond to the unexplained/unexplainable.  Two coping styles are mentioned:  Emotion-focused coping and Problem-focused coping.  So, which style works, and which style have I been thus far?

I have written before about being an emotional eater.  Up to this point, I have been discouraged because I felt like I was doing everything wrong.  There are a lot of things I do well!  Taking my insulin, enjoying low-carb vegetables, enjoying low-sodium foods, cutting back on soda and nutrasweet (and other artificial sweeteners), etc.  I struggle with monitoring my glucose levels, and I know its because of how I feel when I look at the monitor.  Even last night and this morning, I was frustrated.  What did I do WRONG???  I EVEN EXERCISED YESTERDAY!  My body is adjusting to changes.  I am reorienting my thoughts to understand that there are outside variables affecting me.  Yes, I make choices (like having spaghetti for dinner, which I have had in the past and been fine).  And yes, my body will respond differently at different times of the month.  And yes, at times, things will just be unexplainable.  We will press on toward the goal.

This is a huge shift for me.  I pray God will give me strength and wisdom enough to maintain the shift so I can ask questions like, “What can I do right now to address the data on that screen?” instead of asking, “What did I do wrong????”

Polonsky even writes about challenging our thoughts.  He presents, from Dr. Martin Seligman, the three P’s  of the explanatory style of thinking:

  1. Permanence–most of the issues and unexplainables will be temporary in nature.  Don’t let myself be caught up in the lie of permanence.
  2. Pervasiveness–universal vs. specific.  I tend to over-generalize (just ask my husband).  Look at the specifics of the situation.  One thing I learned in the past from observing morning and lunch blood sugar patterns:  I need a 1:8 carb ratio prior to noon, and a 1:10 carb ration after noon.  True!
  3. Personalization–internal vs. external factors.  This is the perspective change for me:  what can I do right now vs. I messed up.  Instead of beating myself up over the situation, take a step back and observe the facts.

In response to this shift in thought, Polonsky states:

  1. Be kind to yourself
  2. In some cases, the best problem-focused action is no action.
  3. Avoid perfectionism

And I am adding:  Learn to appreciate the Blood Sugar Fairy.  She comes in to shake things up a bit.  We need that to get a reboot once in a while, don’t you think?  Otherwise, I get stagnant, and can fall into a rut.


This flows so well into Chapter 17 of Made to Crave!  The title of it is “The Very Next Choice We Make.”  I can choose to get frustrated and fall into diabetes burnout again, or I can step back, look at the situation and continue on.  I can choose to have smaller portions of food and eat in moderation.  I can choose to have a sweet treat once in a while.  I can choose to wake up early in the morning and spend time with God.  I can choose to spend time with Him throughout the day!  I can choose to draw near to Him so that I am able to flea from Satan and all his temptations and false promises.

Lysa TerKeurst writes on page 129, “Satan wants to keep us distracted by chasing one temporary filling after another.  God wants us to step back and let the emptying process have its way until we start desiring a holier approach to life.  The gap between our frail discipline and God’s available strength is bridged with nothing but a simple choice on our part to pursue this holiness…And the beautiful thing is, the more dependent we become on God’s strength, the less enamored we are with other choices.”

Ephesians 4:17-32 says  Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.  Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

..To put off my old self, which belongs to my former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of my mind, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness…

Philippians 4:13  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,”  I CAN do all things, but should I?  Each choice I face, I should weigh it against scripture and ask the infamous question, “Yes, this is permissible, but is it beneficial?”

Psalm 73:23-26

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

He is my portion.  None of this effort toward health is sustainable unless HE sustains me.  He alone is my strength.  And I CAN DO THIS because Christ DOES strengthen me.  To Him be all glory, and honor, and praise!



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