We see it all the time: “My A1C went down to ___ from ___ in just 3 months!”, “Look at this Dexcom line! Low carb is the best!”, “My neighbor’s kid has diabetes too. They got it under control and now everything is fine, I don’t know why it’s so hard for you??”
People talk about their accomplishments. People try to be helpful and encouraging.
When you see positive posts
Sometimes it seems that everyone else has this type 1 thing figured out. It can be really discouraging when all you see at home is a roller coaster of numbers.
When you see post after post of A1Cs that you’d kill for, it might make you wonder what you’re doing wrong.
When you hear about someone’s acquaintance who is dealing with their diagnosis better than you are, instead of being encouraging, it can be hurtful.
Let me tell you a secret
People tend to put their “best selves” forward.
What does that mean?
Just as we use cropping, angles, and filters in our profile pictures, we can also pick and choose what to share when it comes to t1 related things.
Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s best version of themselves. Don’t compare yourself to what someone else chooses to share on social media or in a conversation.
Let me show you…
This is what a Dexcom graph looks like.
It is my son’s Dexcom graph.
Every little dot on that graph is a blood sugar reading. This cool (and expensive) little device takes a blood sugar reading every 5 minutes.
The yellow and red lines indicate too high or too low. Ideally, we want all of the little dots to be white, in between the colored lines.
Which graph looks better?
Now really look at the pictures
Notice the time in the top right corner.
Notice the number of hours highlighted orange in each image.
Both of these images are a snapshot of the exact same night, at the exact same time.
But they look completely different.
That nice straight line on the right… it represents the 3 hours prior to that screenshot.
I was extremely grateful for those few hours of stable blood sugars.
Because the image on the left…
The one with the INSANE highs and lows, the one that implies I got no sleep that night… those are the same readings, but expanded to 24 hours rather than 3.
Which one would you share?
I could have just shared the straight line and made it look like we have T1D completely figured out.
Would you have felt like my son and I are doing better than you or your child? Would it make you wonder how to get a straight line like that?
I could have shared the crazy one and implied that I have no control over my son’s numbers at all (it feels that way sometimes doesn’t it?)
Would that make you feel like you are doing a good job with your T1? Would it feel better knowing that other people get roller coaster numbers just like you do?
I choose to share both. Because we all have times with awesome numbers and we all have times with “where the heck did those numbers come from numbers”. Sometimes both in a short period of time.
So the next time someone shares a positive T1D moment
Take it with a grain of salt and be happy for them.
They reached their goal, or they got a full night sleep, or they went a few hours without worrying about blood sugars. Maybe this is normal for them, maybe it’s the first “win” in months.
Share in the joy that brings.
Because T1D doesn’t often give us wins.
We’re all on this crazy T1 ride together. So make your goals, try different tips and tricks that you come across. Do what you can to get 6 solid hours of sleep.
Celebrate the small victories and help each other through the difficult times.
But whatever you do, don’t let someone else’s win feel like your loss.
Happy carb counting!!!
Do you tend to compare your T1D journey to other people’s or do you focus on you? Tell us about it in the comments section below! And don’t forget to ‘like’ Carb Counting Mama on Facebook.