Being a Diabetic Perfectionist Will Make You Crazy!

I find myself incredibly frustrated with trying to be a pancreas lately.  I know that I could do more to document my diabetes and that this would help me to operate as a pancreas.  The truth is, I hate keeping the kinds of records that I should.  Being a total control freak you would think I would love to keep everything organized and recorded- honestly, I do.  The problem comes in when I have to deal with my compulsive need for perfection.  I used to keep a journal of food, carbs, insulin, environmental factors, exercise, the whole deal.  What I found was that my need for these records to be perfect, neat and organized led to a ridiculous amount of re-writing the information so many times I would practically have it memorized.  Was this totally necessary, absolutely not.  In fact at the beginning my doctor used to marvel at my record keeping, she loved how neat and detailed everything was.  I would get myself so caught up in keeping the records like this that I got completely burnt out on keeping the journal all together (not really a good excuse, I know).

Another reason that I stopped keeping the journal was purely convenience.  Now I am home all the time and I don’t have this excuse anymore but when I was working it was extremely difficult to constantly be writing in this little journal every time I ate or tested.  The truth is that’s really not a good excuse either, but at least I am being honest.  It’s bad enough that I already attract extra attention by having a service dog in tow the last thing I want is people hovering around to see my numbers or ask about why I am writing everything down.  Yeah, people really are that nosy.  It wouldn’t be terribly inconvenient at this point to keep a better journal and I’ve been thinking a lot about why I am still so resistant to the idea.  I’ve decided that the one excuse I haven’t actually admitted to myself is that I feel guilty.

Now reading that first off might seem weird.  Guilty about actually keeping the records?  Yup, that’s what I meant.  When I keep records of everything then I am forced to look at the mistakes I’ve made or the “cheats” I did.  I don’t think that I should feel guilty, I mean, such is life right?  We all make mistakes and cheat every now and then, we are human.  I however will beat myself up about the mistakes and cheats over and over again.  Am I aware that this is unnecessary and totally detrimental?  Yes.  Would I tell anyone else in my position that they need not feel guilty and they just have to do the things to necessary to make up for these short comings?  Yes.  Of course that’s easier said than done when it comes to myself.  I have always been hard on myself and it has shown more and more after being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic.  Doc. Smile is always reminding me that there is no point to beating myself up and that all I need to do is deal with the problem now.  Again, easier said than done.

So I promise to try to be a better records keeper.  I will try to print out a record sheet that works for me and I will try to resist the urge to rewrite it countless times in an attempt to create diabetes record perfection.  I know that in the long run it will make my life easier, my control better and my life longer- sometimes seeing the long term benefits of something we have to do now is difficult.  My compulsiveness has reached a totally new level since being diagnosed and even Marshall has noticed it.  Largely I am sure that it is a stress response to the diagnosis and the challenges that go with it.  The rational part of me wants to recognize the behavior and deal with it, the compulsive part of me has a completely different opinion of how things should go.  Ah well, I suppose it’s just another battle that comes with the territory…

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2 thoughts on “Being a Diabetic Perfectionist Will Make You Crazy!

  1. I can completely relate to this! I have to keep a journal too of food, symptoms, medications, other factors…basically everything. I’ve gone through the different phases of it: hating it, being obsessive about it, slacking on it, feeling guilty about not being “good enough” at following what I should be doing. I also feel weird when, on the rare occasion that I’m out to eat, I whip out a notebook to record it. I don’t have any magical solutions to your post, except to try to give yourself some grace around it. Just know there’s someone out there who can totally relate!

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