I woke up this morning and reached immediately, as I do every day, for the zippered case on my bedside chest which contains my blood glucose testing kit. I was still not fully awake, but I pulled out a strip and inserted it in to the meter on autopilot. Loaded up the lancet and fired it down with a clunk on to my waiting finger. Touched the resulting drop of blood to the strip. I’ve been doing this for so long, it doesn’t require complete wakefulness.
I’d already closed the case and was ferreting around beneath the covers to locate where my pump had come to rest during the night, when Ian asked “What was the number?”
“Six point one” I replied, whilst, still on autopilot, I fed the number in to the pump for a correction bolus. I didn’t stop to think as I pushed the buttons. I didn’t need to.
“Are you correcting that?” Ian asked, a note of mild surprise in his voice for a just a second.
The question itself surprised me, and switched on the brain that hadn’t been thinking. “Uh-huh. Of course.” I confirmed “Remember the rules are different now.”
“I know… of course” he was saying before I’d even half finished my sentence.
The rules are so very different now. Before we were planning to have a baby, 6.1 was acceptable as a waking number. I’d have been happy with that. Now, it’s not good enough. I want to be below at least 5.5, preferably below 5. I wouldn’t have corrected a number like 6.1 prior to pregnancy, waiting until I saw numbers in the 7s before adding in extra insulin. But now, I can’t risk it going unchecked, to potentially rise higher. And if my morning gets off to a bad start, and I don’t get on it right away, I’ll spend the entire day fighting to reign things back in. Which will equal a day of stress and worry about what I’m doing to my unborn child.
It’s like relearning the diabetes rule book. All the protocols and sequences that were hardwired, for the last ten years or more, have had to be undone. I used to be able to make diabetes decisions on the fly without too much concentration or thought processing involved. Management was almost instinctive. Four months in to this though, the rules have begun to stick. I realised this morning that I‘m doing it without thinking.