I can’t believe I’ve lived with diabetes for five years now and never knew the term for my ultimate goal: euglycemia. That’s a fancy science word for “normal blood sugar levels.” Since I’ve discovered this term, I’ve become just a tad obsessed. Did you know Google spits out 52,900 hits for it? Of course I mainly wanted to know how exactly how “normal blood sugar” is defined. According to the JDRF Kids site, it’s “blood sugar levels that people without diabetes have”:
- Meter readings: 75 mg/dl to 165 mg/dl. (Optimal reading ranges vary from person to person, according to age and other factors. Ask your doctor for your target range.)
- How you might feel: good, effective, clearheaded, energetic, having fun.
Loving that last bullet… Meanwhile, Dr. Aaron Kowalski, who lives with Type 1 diabetes himself and oversees the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project says (quoted here), “We need true eugylcemia, but we can’t do it with single-point testing.” He indicates that the pursuit of euglycemia requires faster, more accurate CGM systems (continuous glucose monitors) that will help us spot problems and make adjustments in real-time.
Amen to that, because most of us are practically killing ourselves in “the pursuit of normalcy” right now, with pretty mixed results despite our best efforts.
This latest obsession, coupled with discovery of the artwork above (by Fitzroy Hoyte), has somehow inspired the following poem:
ODE TO EUGLYCEMIA (A variation on John Keats’ Ode to Autumn)
Seasons of chills and sweaty weather!
Tempting carbohydrate treats of cream and crumb!
Conspiring to disrupt the careful regimen;
With ripest fruit Thou temptest our aplomb.
To savor apples crusted in sweet caramel!
We fill our tastebuds nary to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the pasta shells
With a sweet coulis, to set budding more,
And still more, our unsuspecting, unadjusting lifeblood,
Until we think high days will never cease,
For sugar has o’erbrimmed our faulty cells.
Who hath not fought and sought the “glorious middle“?
Sometimes whoever seeks may find Thee carelessly evasive,
Despite repeated doses, raging efforts o’ to tame those carbs,
Off on the winnowing wind Thou vanishest, Euglycemia!
Leaving observation only of our latest spikings, hours by hours.
Yet we begin anew each day in Thy pursuit,
Stalwart in our efforts, buttressed against defeat,
Earnest in our eternal endeavor to ensnare and possess Thou.
… or something like that.