Tag Archives: glucose check

Sticky Fingers = False Highs

 

I know this may seem obvious to many of you.  When you’ve handled something sweet, you wash your hands or wipe your finger before testing right? 

I thought I’d make a short post about this because I didn’t think of this before recently when my husband made me aware of it. 

Ever since, I’ve sometimes seen a 180 or a 200-something on the meter that didn’t make sense because I felt fine.  So I washed my hands and “oh ok, there we go, 120, that sounds better”. 

So maybe I’m not the only one who could go so many years without this info (which yes, is common sense but may still escape us)

Thinking back, I’m sure some of the crazy lows I had in the past could be due to this.  I’d test, see a high number, give insulin, and 15 minutes later be really low and have to treat, and treat again, until finally stabilizing.  I’d think, “wow, that insulin worked fast”.  Pshh.  If only I had known before.

So if you don’t always ensure your fingers are clean, beware of false high readings.  Once you correct with insulin, they turn into scary low blood sugar readings, quite quickly.  If you’ve handled food, try to wash your hands or wipe your finger to be pricked with an alcohol swab. 

And if you see something over 250 and it just doesn’t seem right, test again.  Don’t be afraid of using another test strip.  I once saw a 380, tested again after washing my hands, and found I was 155.  Can you imagine the low I would have had?

Diabetes Juggling Act and Scary Creatures

 

I’m often most frustrated at my diabetes when I’m forced to multi-task between it and several other things.  I am a proponent of single-tasking in order to really give things the proper attention they deserve and in order to provide a greater focus to a task.  However, sometimes life makes you juggle a few more balls than you’d like. 

This week my son has been dealing with strep throat and because he has a twin sister and a diabetic mother, the week has been kind of nutty.  It has been a never ending stream of separating the babies so the other doesn’t get strep and disinfecting everything from the ground up about 3 feet (which is a lot of disinfecting!), trying to remember when pain medicine and antibiotic was given, cooking food for each meal only to find son won’t eat it, and last but not least, trying to keep on top of blood sugars even in the midst of feeling under the weather.

Yesterday I carried both my kids for 30 minutes (50 pounds in total) because they were crying pretty dramatically and finally when I thought my arms would burn off I decided to let them cry on the floor as I tested my sugar.  It was 32.  I’m sensitive to my children’s crying so much so that I separate logic and emotions and sometimes skip a diabetes related task just trying to comfort them.  That 32 snapped me out of that!

Still, I felt immensely frustrated because the diabetes was in the way of my mothering and I didn’t want it to be.  And what if something had happened to me?  I was alone!  Well, later that day Alex came home early to help and my mother came back over (she came by that morning as well).  Three adults and two babies and it was still plenty hectic.  At least I could test at this point without a baby trying to grab my meter and run with it.

Something else has been bothering me this week…I’ve spotted a bug twice in two days that I’ve never seen before (and I’ve lived here well over two decades!)  At first I think, “A spider? no…a giant stink bug? no…an evil praying mantis?”  My husband, whom I affectionately refer to as “animal planet” felt he knew what this was and captured the 1.5 inch long creature in a jar and after a little research we discovered the bug to be a blood sucking, disease carrying, “assassin bug”.  Supposedly these bugs are bed bugs if they get in your house and like to come out every couple days and fill up on animal or human blood for about 15-20 minutes.  I’m confused because why have I seen two in two days?  Husband and wife?  And why in Virginia?  They’re also called “kissing” bugs.  Did they hear Virginia is for lovers?  Apparently they are commonly found in Mexico, Central America, and South America.  In the US they’re found in Florida and Arizona more than anywhere else (which makes sense) but, why have they come way up here?  Doesn’t matter…what matters is this thing is a vampire and looks like this:

Wheelbug, a type of "assassin" or "kissing" bug
Wheelbug, a type of “assassin” or “kissing” bug
Top View
Top View

 

Sleep well tonight…. :)

Make a diabetes back up supply stash!

 

I thought I’d let my life serve as a useful reminder for someone else again. 

All day today I haven’t tested my blood sugar.  My meter’s battery ran out.  I can’t really leave the house on my own with my 15 month old twins (we live on the 3rd floor).  I also wouldn’t attempt it without knowing my blood sugar status!

So I’ve been stuck for a while trying to figure out what my blood sugar is.  I think I figured it out.  I gave a small amount of insulin without eating and eventually started feeling low.  So I had some coffee with about 15 grams of sugar and have been sipping it slowly until I feel ok again.  So my guess is right now I’m about right. (Maybe…)

Anyway, I had extra batteries somewhere but, I can’t find them.  I bought them before moving to our current place.  My husband and I packed each night between 9 or 10pm until midnight for only a week.  So you can imagine by the last day I was throwing stuff in boxes and bags thinking “I’ll sort everything out when we unpack”.  That didn’t happen too well because the reason we didn’t have much time to pack was the reason we didn’t have much time to unpack:  those precious bundles of joy of ours. 

In case you haven’t already heard twin babies/toddlers really are a handful. 

I’ll keep searching for those batteries.  In the meantime, I urge us all to make a special stash of extra batteries for the meter, pump, and anything else that uses batteries.  Include a flash light, glucose tablets, and anything else you can think of!  Put this in a special place and then make a note somewhere (the fridge or computer maybe?) to remind you of where that stash is located.  (Don’t rely on memory it doesn’t work when you need it the most).

Wish me luck, I may have to go all day playing “Guess my glucose”.

Recent Update:  Around noon I discovered a meter my mom had received from some lady (I don’t know I just know we happily take free meters).  Anyway, It’s the Freestyle Freedom Lite.  It uses a tiny amount of blood…so tiny I find myself doubting it’s accuracy.  It gave me my reading in like 2 split seconds.  I am 81!  Not bad for guessing all morning.  When it gave the reading it beeped really loud and obnoxiously.  So thanks Freestyle but no thanks, I’ll stick with my Accucheck Aviva for now.  Well, once I get it some batteries that is.

Does this happen to you with caffeine?

 

I think I’m entirely too sensitive.  I’ve always been very emotional, have always dealt with sensitive skin, and have always responded to about half the normal dose of any medication (Seriously, you don’t want to see me on morphine pills).

So naturally, with caffeine, I’ve got to be careful.  Why you ask?

Well, like many people I love coffee in the morning (or noon…or at night) and I don’t like the taste of decaf. 

Yet, I’ve found that if I have too much coffee, I begin getting symptoms much like those I get when my blood sugar is low.  You know, shaky, irritable, anxious, fast heart beat…

Lately I’ve been enjoying 2 cups of coffee a day.  This is better than the 4-6 cups (hello, psycho!) I used to have years ago but, I think it is still too much-for me anyway.  During my pregnancy and while breastfeeding I had absolutely zero caffeine.  For the first time in many years I was caffeine free and I was amazed at how body felt so relaxed, my heart didn’t race, and I believe I was even more patient with everything. 

The biggest thing was I didn’t confuse the caffeine overdose with low blood sugar symptoms.  It was nice.  Lets face it, sometimes we eat something when we feel low without testing first because we’re sure we feel low.  Then this leads to high blood sugars because we were not really low.  Now we’re just mad because we ruined a perfectly good blood sugar level. 

Lately I’ve done this a couple of times.  Also, when I eat meals I eat them so fast because I’m all wired and the fastest thing on me seems to be my jaw.  I’ve noticed the more days I consecutively drink coffee the worse my symptoms.  The more I snap at my husband.  If I take a day or two off in between days when I do drink coffee I feel almost normal.

So I’m really wondering…does anyone else experience this with caffeine?  Or is it just me and I should quit coffee altogether before I start biting off heads or find myself testing every hour because I feel low all the time?

Maybe I should buy myself a cute little coffee cup that can only hold a tiny bit of coffee and limit myself to that each day?

Test for blood sugar, how to do it in public places

 

Testing your blood sugar in public requires 2 important elements.

First of all, in order to not offend anyone (say, at a restaurant) you will want to place the meter on your lap instead of the table people eat off of. Also, when testing in public, use alcohol swabs. Someone getting a glimpse of this will think “sterility” and any fears they might have will be relieved. Let’s face it, you must test your blood sugar and removing any obstacles, such as worrying about what people think will ensure that you do what you gotta do.

When I am at work, I test on my lap as well. I work at a desk with a 1 ft high joke for a cubicle wall (no privacy). I test quickly, looking up while the meter is counting down, remaining discrete. A few months ago a coworker asked me if I knew anyone with diabetes and I told him I was a diabetic. He said, “Oh well, not the type where you test your blood and give shots right?” I was absolutely floored! I’ve been working NEXT to this guy for about a year and openly test my blood sugar and give injections numerous times at my desk every day and he hasn’t noticed? I asked him if he ever had seen me do any of these things and he said, “nope, really? You bleed at your desk?” So there. I think sometimes we are a little more worried than we need to be about taking care of ourselves in public.

Now for the second and most important of the two elements which will provide you the motivation to test whenever and wherever: Confidence. You need to be proud that you are taking care of yourself even if it means subjecting yourself to public reaction. If they see that you are not looking around all worried or paranoid and are looking up at them, perhaps flashing them a smile they may smile back and look quickly away. They might think to themselves, “Wow, I wonder why that woman has to do that, she seems happy”.

I have made sure I’ve portrayed confidence (whether I have felt it or not) and I have done my best at being polite and discrete. Yet, since regaining good control, I have never sacrificed my health for what people might think. I have found that using these two techniques have elicited certain remarks from people like, “You seem like you take very good care of yourself.”  I love hearing that because I do want to take good care of myself and I want to look like a healthy person doing my best to control my diabetes.