The smartest nor the strongest diabetic survives, find out who does


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Charles Darwin


The first time I read the above quote I was surprised.  After all, don’t they say “only the strong survive” and “knowledge is power”?  Being strong and having knowledge is powerful but, if you are both these things and unable to adapt to change, you will become extinct just like the dinos.  In other words, you either won’t be well, or you won’t be alive, period.

Kind of harsh I know…but, when you focus a lot of energy on knowing that you don’t have to be the smartest or strongest (frankly a relief for me seeing as I’m not very big nor hardly capable of doing math) you can best handle things in life.

One of the most important things in our lives as diabetics is managing our blood sugar levels.  Most of us really know plenty about how to do it.  Many of us in fact, are experts.  We are also very strong individuals-I mean we deal with something very challenging every minute of every day and night!  So there is no question about that. 

The question is, are we able to jump from lily pad to lily pad as things constantly do what they are guaranteed to do: change.

Your diabetes is to be handled minute by minute because it is permanent.  If you just go with all of the changes throughout your day and try not to think twice about it, your control will probably be better than the person’s who doesn’t want to adapt to their diabetes out of frustration.  If you go with the changes and even try to see them coming in advance you will definitely do better than the person who doesn’t do these things.

So in essence you want to always be moving forward, doing what you know is needed-when it is needed.  Procrastination is not your friend.  If you procrastinate when your blood sugar is low you may just end up unconscious.  Most of us don’t have a problem with this.  We have a problem with anticipating change.

This is important because those who are diabetic and able to anticipate change are best capable of keeping their glucose in the right place. 


Diabetic A is not capable of handling change.  He is stubborn and upset about having diabetes and each time he sees a high blood sugar reading, he complains, throws himself a pity party, eats whatever he wants out of anger, and eventually gives insulin to bring down his sugar.  

Diabetic B is capable of handling change but, not too gracefully and she doesn’t anticipate it.  She accepts her diabetes and yet often thinks about how unfair her life is.  She has a high blood sugar reading and will give the correct amount of insulin right away to lower her blood sugar.  She never sees those high blood sugar readings coming.

Diabetic C is capable of handling change and regularly anticipates and expects it.  She sometimes has blood sugar readings that are too high but, not as often as Diabetics A and B.  She prevents frequent high readings by anticipating change.  She anticipates change by keeping a schedule and trying to stick to it.  She anticipates change by carrying emergency supplies with her.  She anticipates change by testing more frequently in order to catch high sugars before they are too high.  She anticipates change by exercising when she gets a chance because she knows sometimes things will come up and she will have to skip a workout.  She anticipates change by eating fewer carbs at each meal because she knows this will lower the chances of fluctuating blood sugars later. 

She anticipates change by accepting her diabetes and takes care of herself because perhaps one day she will encounter a big life changing opportunity and she knows that having her blood sugar under control will help her take that opportunity and run with it instead of have it pass her by because she was 280 and didn’t feel up to it.

Some ways we can be more like “Diabetic C”:

  • Eat fewer carbs at each meal.  Doing so will reduce the amount of insulin you give and reduce the likelihood your blood sugar will swing way up or down afterwards
  • Don’t get in your car without some emergency supplies.  Just as you wouldn’t drive without a license for fear you may encounter the chance of meeting an officer who would ask to see it, don’t drive without your meter and insulin and some form of sugar.  Anticipate the possibility of something stopping traffic.
  • Expect costs of diabetic supplies to only rise and put some extra money aside to cover these costs so you don’t go without what you need.
  • When you are out and about and very busy, look out for opportunities to test your blood sugar.  For me, each time I get in the car to go somewhere is an opportunity to take a second and test.  This way, if I’m going to eat somewhere for example, I have a heads up before getting there.  If my blood sugar is high I can start getting it down and still eat with everyone else.
  • If you will be some place where testing and giving insulin is challenging, plan ahead.  Don’t eat within 2 hours of the event so that you don’t have to deal with any extra “live” fast acting insulin.  This has helped me avoid lows and highs during long exams, dates, soccer matches, and movies. 
  • And finally, don’t count on a cure.  We will hopefully see one soon but in the case we don’t, maintain your health.  Don’t count on a cure coming along and saving you.  Instead, no matter what happens…survive.

Anything you have to add about how we might anticipate change in our daily diabetic lives?

Share with us in the comments section!

Thanks in advance ;)

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