Have you made a good diabetes excuse today?
One common excuse overheard in a diabetes clinic is that someone "forgot" to bring their blood sugar data in with them to the visit. This excuse is effective at least once. But then as BG data is "forgotten" visit after visit, and metabolic control deteriorates, the excuse evolves into something else. The increasing use of continuous glucose sensors is redefining the term of "patient involvement" with diabetes self care. New excuses are needed.
Another good excuse is when a patient/parent says "I was afraid of that" when the A1C is found to be elevated. "Two weeks ago Billy was sick with the flu and his blood sugars were high all week". This excuse is a bit harder to pull off since one week of high blood sugars has minimal impact on the A1C, which measures over several months.
Other common diabetes excuses? The holidays threw us off schedule, staying with the grandparents or other parent living in another state, the school nurse, and the list grows.
We all make excuses. I've made plenty of whoppers in my diabetes life. Sometimes they are real and quite valid whereas at times they are elaborately concocted and used simply to save face or avoid scorn. Making excuses to others is part of human nature. Making excuses to oneself is an act of self deception. As outlined above, many of us may not know the difference between a real versus imagined excuse.
Admittedly, diabetes is the excuse-meister's dream. There are plenty of reasonable excuses why my blood sugar goes up or down. I could give an explanation for just about anything. Question is: will anyone believe me? Better yet, who really cares? Who am I trying to fool?
An old Yiddish proverb goes "If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another". When taken to the extreme, excuses become polite and convenient tools to avoid taking full responsibility for our actions and choices.
It's also been said that "excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing". I've not yet found a way to control my diabetes well by making excuses. On the other hand, transparency and honesty pave a clear path to long term success. I must first "own" my diabetes before I can attempt to tame it.
An underlying assumption is that excuses absolve us in some way from judgment or condemnation. Fair enough. However, a steady flow of excuses only erode the foundation of our diabetes control. And if we use too many of them for too long, we find ourselves sinking into quicksand.
Excuses are a part of living and I'm not advocating abandoning them entirely. But when one becomes too proficient in their use, something is not right. And not all excuses are bad. Owning one's diabetes is harder to do through a veil of excuses.
I'm not here to judge anyone's excuses. I'm just asking you to share a good juicy one, recent or past, which highlighted your skills in this area of diabetes self management. And how did facing your own excuses result in something positive? Or not?