I ran out of strips Sunday night and didn’t test until Monday night. This has happened before but this time it was more of an eye opening experience. First, I realized how lucky I am. Secondly, I also figured out how I could make it work for short periods of time if needed. (This includes luck, I think).
We are so lucky to have meters, those of us who do. We’re lucky to have enough strips and to be able to find out what our blood sugars are at any given moment. During my 24 hours without testing I felt this paralyzing sense that I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to move a muscle without knowing what my blood sugars were. I felt very limited. Vulnerable. Like a baby without a mother. What a difference this is from the years that I played and ate and slept freely without feeling like possible doom was lingering by if I didn’t keep a careful watch on the amount of sugar in my blood. I’m so used to it that it doesn’t seem strange but when I think about how it used to be and how it is now…why it’s crazy. It’s like telling someone to regulate the amount of urine they produce. Seriously. It’s like saying, “Now, obviously you have to pee, but too much is going to do you harm. So you have to make sure you pee but not too much and you do this by regulating the liquids you intake. Although, if you sweat, you need more and if you have coffee, well that’s a diuretic so watch out. Also, be sure to take into account the fact that some foods have more liquid than others so cut back on your drinking of fluids if you eat an orange.” It’s absurd! And yet, that’s how we live. Only, thanks to our meters and strips, we’re not on a boat without eye balls (you thought I was gonna say oars).
So how did I manage to go 24 hours and ensure my blood sugars were not too dangerously out of range? I gave one unit of insulin and waited. 30 minutes later I felt low. I waited 5 minutes to see if the low symptoms got worse (my husband was with me). The low symptoms definitely got worse. So I treated with 15 units of carbs. Then I waited 2 hours before going to bed. Ok, I feel fine so I assumed at this point that my blood sugars were close to where they should be. For safety I took a few sips of juice. My husband woke me up 3 times in the middle of the night (he was so worried he woke up before the alarms). Each time he woke me I got up and walked around. It’s hard to feel lows when laying down. So I walked around and did some squats. Ok, I felt alright. And I went back to sleep. Then in the morning I gave another unit of insulin. I waited until I felt low. I never felt low. So after an hour and a half I gave another unit of insulin. Finally 2 and a half hours later I felt low. I had a few sips of juice and a salad. So that’s how I managed. Inducing three lows during a 24 hour period. By only giving a small amount of insulin at a time I was able to avoid a sharp low and by eating low carb for the day I was able to avoid needing to give a lot of insulin at once. It wasn’t pleasant, but the plan served it’s purpose.
I feel very blessed to own a meter and afford strips and live in a place where they get shipped to me versus me having to walk miles to pick them up. Boy do I miss my meter when it’s gone. I missed it so much I almost named it and called out to it. This might be a good time to pick a name. Only I can’t decide if my meter is a he or she…