Tag Archives: type 1 diabetes and blood sugars

It’s the Highs that Worry Me

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It’s 12:48am and I’m 243.  I’m waiting for my high to come down.  I never go to sleep high because I don’t want a low in the middle of the night and I don’t want to sleep through a high that continues longer than it needs to.  Normally I’d set an alarm but it wakes my husband, who gets up at 5am each morning in the summer so I try to spare him the interrupted sleep.

I’m thinking about how so many people’s fear about having diabetes is centered on low blood sugars.  I understand but for me…I don’t fear low blood sugars very much and they only cause me anxiety when I’m in the midst of a bad one.

I fear the highs.

For me, the thought of a slow descent into diabetes complications is scarier than a sudden death in the middle of the night from a low.  I’m afraid of suffering.  I feel like I’ve already suffered enough.  I’m afraid of becoming a burden to others.  Alex has tried to help me through this.  We used to know an older couple.  The lady had rheumatoid arthritis and was bound to a wheelchair for decades.  Her husband was loyal, loving, and attentive.  I was always moved by that.  And in a way, I felt sorry for her.  Because I felt that in her position, I’d feel as if I was a burden.  Not my proudest thought…but it’s just a fear of mine.  In fact, I’ve been afraid of getting old  since I was 5.  One day I watched the couple and Alex caught me gazing at them.  He said, “If you ever need me to be that way with you, I will, ya know.”  This was a few months before we got married and I felt assured that I was marrying someone who truly believed in the “in sickness and in health” idea.

But I’m still afraid.

Few things bring me more joy and pleasure than feeling my body be healthy, energetic, and pain free.  It’s something I have always put a lot of value on.  Though some of the preoccupation may be vanity, mostly I just feel happy when my body doesn’t complain when I use it.

Maybe I feel this way because I’ve dealt with plenty of body aches and pains and medical issues.  I wear glasses, I’ve had knee pain since age 13, I’ve had carpel tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, tons of severe headaches, chronic sinusitis for years, major cramps from PMS and PCOS, killer kidney stone pain on numerous occasions, and an easily unsettled stomach since forever.

Honestly, a day with no body pain and great blood sugars is like heaven and doesn’t come around often.  I don’t need anything but that.  I think this aspect of me has lead me to want this for others, too.  It’s like a healthy body is a gateway for so many other wonderful things in life.  Possibilities are easier to grasp.  One’s mood is so much easier to keep up.

I fear complications with diabetes robbing me of my relatively healthy body.  I am doing all I can to prevent them but I wish I could put the fear on hold.  To be honest, I don’t linger on these feelings often.  Usually they’re a fleeting thought.  And I think they’re a residue of all the years I spent misinformed about my chances for the risks of complications.  I wasn’t aware that good control would reduce my risks.  I was told this but I didn’t believe it because I didn’t think good control was possible.  Now I have pretty good control and some of those old feelings have stuck around.  It’s time to let them go isn’t it?

Goodnight all, though I’ll be up for a little while longer.

I Miss my Meter When It’s Gone

 

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…

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