Perfectly imperfect


This is one of my favorite symbols. It is called the Ensō sign. Maybe the yogis readers will know what it symbolizes since it used a lot in yoga and meditation practices. I wanted to talk about it because it has a big meaning for me ( I have been thinking about doing a tattoo of it for a while now but I always chicken out!). This meaning extends to my diabetes management and I will explain to you why.

First of all, what does the Ensō sign mean? As you may notice, there is a small space between the beginning and the end of the circle. ''The opening may express various ideas, for example that the ensō is not separate, but is part of something greater, or that imperfection is an essential and inherent aspect of existence''. This Japanese calligraphy promotes controlling the balance of composition through asymmetry and irregularity. To make that more simple, it means that there is beauty in imperfection.


Imperfection and diabetes

I am a perfectionist. I tend to have anxiety because of my perfectionism. This can be the case at work, school, planning, and most importantly in my diabetes management. As you may have read in previous posts, I had my ups and downs with my diabetes management and now I am REALLY back on track, managing it like a boss. However, sometimes I like to be reminded that nobody is perfect and that I have to stop being so hard on myself.

''Even the best-managed people with diabetes have readings that are out of range up to 25% of the time '' - Think like a pancreas

Even if we try our absolute best to manage T1 diabetes, some things are out of our control. It can be sickness, infections, stress, insulin absorption, etc. Some days my body just changes its way of functioning and it'll be like: ''okay Judy today we'll have hypos for no obvious reasons''. And then the next day: ''Tired of hypos? Let's get you some hypers then for no reason.'' The best way to deal with all of this is to let go of perfection and accept what is happening. I noticed that the times I want to fully have control of my diabetes and try to manage every part of it in order to get perfect BGs are the times where my numbers vary the most because I am monitoring them way too much and take snacks and corrections when I am not obligated to. 

Last week, I had an appointment with my nurse because I kept on going high before going to sleep ( from 10 pm til 2 AM). I would go to sleep at around 10-13 (180-250 mg/dl), give myself a correction but then would go low at night. Long story short, the nurse changed my basal rates ( hourly dose of insulin) and my correction factor. Then she looked at my graphs and said: Wow Judy these are really good numbers!! And my answer was : Really? But it's a bit high at night... She then told me that yes indeed, but it's nothing alarming, and that my daily numbers were amazingly good!! That's when I thought: I am being a perfectionist. She even told me that in a way: ''it's impossible to have perfect numbers.'' That's when the Ensō sign made sense to me: there is beauty in imperfection.

Don't be too hard on yourself

It's normal to have highs and lows. There is clearly no way that our BGS can stay perfect and stable all day, every day. Diabetes Canada and the American Diabetes Association suggest these blood glucose targets:

  • Fasting and before meals: 4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L (80-130 mg/dl)
  • 2 hours after meals: 5.0 to 10.0 mmol/L ( less than 180 mg/dl)

First of all, it is normal to go higher than what you were before eating! Second of all, and let me tell you it happened to me a zillion times, I have been over 10.00 mmol|L after and before a meal. Of course it is not the ideal situation, but seeking perfection is not the answer.I am not saying that we should be high all the time, but if it is nothing too alarming or that you don't have uncomfortable symptoms, a simple correction will usually do the trick to get you back on track!

Thus my blog's name: HyperHypo

Type one diabetes is not an easy game. Rare are the people who are able to keep their BGs stable for a long long period. You will have hypers. You will have hypos. It is a part of it. The most important thing is to understand that, understand that imperfection exits, that there is always room for more.