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The Impact of Injury on Diabetes

I never gave a lot of thought about what would happen to my diabetes if I was suddenly immobilized. Why would I? I know what happens if I choose to be inactive. My sugars go up, I regain a brain, and I get moving to fix it. However, when things happen and you have no choice, that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

It started out as a challenging holiday this year. Because the water table has been so high with all the rain over the last few seasons around the Great Lakes areas, we experienced flooding like many other areas did. The rain had finally given us a break, the backyard was finally drying up so we started on trimming the trees. That went along quite well. It was the cleanup that created a problem for my diabetes. There was still some dampness in the grass along with a slight decline in the slope from grass to cement and there went my ankle. Broken.

How my injury has affected my type 2 diabetes

So now what? Broken ankle. No cast, but in a boot for 3 weeks with no weight-bearing. Crutches for 3 weeks. Aside from the obvious disruption this has caused in my life, now I’m effectively immobile. Immobile and diabetic. For a minimum of 3 weeks. Oh, sh*t.

The impact of all of this is greater than what it seems. If I can’t move like I used to, my sugars will go up. Granted, I may not be eating as much when I’m home alone as I’m immobile so that may help. Oh, and the crutches. My husband caught me mid fall three times. I’m not the safest on crutches. I’m one of these people that has difficulty walking and chewing gum at the best of times. I pulled a muscle in my back while trying to use the crutches. Even more reason to stay immobile as advised. The risk of another break from a fall, not good.


Pain, which I’m in, usually comes with broken bones and can raise blood sugars. One other thing many people with diabetes deal with on a ‘regular’ basis is ‘irregularity’ with our bowels. Now add to that, taking pain medication that constipates.

Missed appointments

I had planned a dental checkup while on holidays to ensure my good dental health. Cancelled. I have my yearly check-in appointment with my cardiologist. I have no cardiac issues but my care with him is preventative based on being diabetic. Cancelled. Upcoming CDE appointment cancelled. I can’t go for my hair appointment either so I have these grey roots staring back at me in the mirror. Yes, I’m vain. But when you feel good about how you look, it lifts your spirits.

Mental health

I’m also very tired. Is it physical or emotional? Maybe both. Not only am I feeling somewhat useless, but I also can’t help with any of the work we had planned to get done this holiday. I have had quite a few tearful moments during all of this so my mental health is not in the greatest place. My spirits need some lifting right now. In my heart I know it’s temporary but in my head, it’s a crisis.

What are the solutions?

I called my CDE for some advice. Resistance exercises from a sitting position are out because of the pulled muscle. I recall Christopher, one of our moderators, suggesting punching the air as a strategy that he learned in the military. I’ll try that. I’m at the top of the doses for my oral meds so there’s no latitude there either. I can’t be started on insulin at this time because I can’t get to the appointments for the teaching. Since I need the pain meds, for now, I use a safe laxative for relief. I’ll rebook the appointments for a later time. I’ll let the tearful moments happen as they need to. I will try to watch what I’m eating but I stress eat and trust me when I say, I’m feeling stressed.

I guess all I can do is wait it out and hope for the best. This sucks.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.