Category Archives: Diabetes and Emotions

My Insulin is Artisanal Water.

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Oh hi. I’m still alive, just buried under work and anatomy books. I came out of hibernation to vent! Isn’t that fun!?

It’s been one of those (14) days where I want to take a large hammer to my insulin pump. It feels like my average blood sugar has been 1,000 mg/dl. On the real, I’m holding steady in the 170’s at the lowest — usually in the 200’s. I have brief periods where I see 140 and below.. but brief is the operative word. I increase my basal rates and bolus extra to no avail. Last night, my CGM said I was 80 with double arrows down, and I didn’t even flinch. I knew it wouldn’t last.

I hear you asking: did you change your sites? How about new insulin? Change the location of your sites to avoid scar tissue? Increase your basal? Exercise? Are you eating right? Drinking enough water?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

I’ve done it all! I threw away a half vial of precious insulin, I’ve gone through a pump set every two days (and I’ve put my set basically everywhere except my side boob and my forehead). I have very few options left to consider, it seems like (and thank you to my dear friend for troubleshooting with me this morning).

  • Husband’s theory: Insulin pump has gone AWOL. It’s delivering only half of what I tell it to give me. I feel like my pump is sophisticated enough to sense that, though. Plus — normally I can feel it when Animas boluses (because it injects at 75mph).
  • My most obvious theory: Basals need to be jacked up across the board. Seems odd to have happened all at once, but maybe it’s been happening more gradually than I’ve realized, and now I’m just frustrated. Today I’m rocking a 10% increase for 24 hours (and I’m still at 170 after bolusing extra for my peanut butter waffle this morning). I’ll try 20% tomorrow and then, *UGH*, some basal testing this weekend 🙂
  • My “I don’t even know if this is really a thing” theory: Have I developed antibodies to Novolog? Would my body be that cruel? I did some research and alas, this does seem to be an issue with some folks.
  • My far reaching theory: When I sleep on my pump set, I’m squishing the cannula, so I’m high at night and it’s setting my up for failure for the rest of the day. I can argue, though, that I haven’t changed my sleeping habits in the last 17 years, so..
  • Another logical theory: I’m stressed out. I don’t feel ridiculously stressed out, but I do have a lot on my plate right now.
  • My enemy theory: Someone at the pharmacy) hates me and my insulin is actually artisanal water flavored with bandaids.

Any theories from you guys? Any funny stories to distract me from beating a really expensive medical device against the pavement? Thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with more stable sugars, more fun updates and better stories — my last pre-requisite course is done in May!

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Diabetes Blog Week: Mantras & More

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I’m participating in Diabetes Blog Week this week.I’m hoping these prompts will re-inspire my writing and encourage lots of blood sugar checks 🙂

Today’s Topic: Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

Let me start off by saying this: some days, I give in to the negative. I let myself wallow in being pissed off at my blood sugars, or the fact that I have diabetes at all. Letting myself feel these things is healing in and of itself. It’s nice to let myself recognize that this really does suck.

BUT, I like to think of myself as a positive person. I was dealt this card for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. I was handed this because I have the ability to deal with it. And I will. I chose my blog name because I think it is really important to take things one unit at a time. Each hour, hell, each minute is a new opportunity to start fresh and make new goals. Will diabetes always cooperate? No. But we can sure as hell try to make it. I’m a firm believer that happiness is a choice. We get to decide if we are going to let something break us. We get to choose happiness, if we want it (not always an easy thing, I know).

Is it hard, sometimes, to try to convince myself to look at the positive? Fuck yes. So I do things to distract me from the negative. Yoga. Drink a nice beer. Go for a walk with my dog. Hug my dog. Hug my husband. Watch a funny movie. Read a book.

Sometimes, I just have to fake a smile until I believe it.

Keep smiling. Choose happiness. Take life one unit at a time.

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my daily reminder.

Diabetes Blog Week: What Brings Me Down

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I’m participating in Diabetes Blog Week this week.I’m hoping these prompts will re-inspire my writing and encourage lots of blood sugar checks 🙂

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

This is a hard topic to cover in a succinct or eloquent manner. I’m anticipating the fact that I’m about to let myself explore the many tough (emotional) aspects of diabetes — and I’m okay with that.. because that’s life and because I’ll balance it out tomorrow with positive. Work, appointments and my new addition of SCHOOL (more on that another day) called for this morning to begin at 4am. It’s a list kind of day.

Emotional Issues
-Judgment by those who don’t know better (or even those who do..).
-Guilt due to high blood sugar. Or low blood sugar. Or forgetting to put a new bottle of strips in your purse. Or change your pump set, or refill your glucose, or call in a script. You catch my drift.
-Not feeling 100% — fighting with yourself to push through they day and not let diabetes hold you back from doing something.
-Wondering why your sugar is high or low. Troubleshooting.
-The financial impact of diabetes.
-The impact that ALWAYS PLANNING has on your well being. I never stop thinking.
-Fear of the future and what complications it may (or may not!) hold. When is the future?
-Fighting with food. Being pissed that I *shouldn’t* eat that burger because my blood sugar is over 200 mg/dl. {“But I don’t like to let diabetes hold me back from doing things! But I also don’t like to feel like shit, and I want to prevent complications” (see, mind always racing).}
-The simple fact that this impacts my husband.
-The incurable-ness of this disease.
-Seizures in the middle of the night. The indescribable feeling of mortality that envelopes you when you finally realize what just happened and why you’re lying in a pool of apple juice and sweat. (I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a worse feeling than this.)

How I Cope?
-Exercise that I love. Yoga, especially.
-Eating well — and being excited about the things I eat that I know are good for me.
-A fabulous support system made up of my friends, my family, and my superhero husband.
-Escaping reality for a bit with a good book.
-Writing this blog. Reading your blog.
-Continuously learning.
-Reminding myself that I can do this. So can you.
-Calling my sister (also T1) for a diabetes bitchfest.

Are there other things that make this disease emotional? Hell yes. Do I cope in more ways than what I listed? Absolutely (and some of the ways may not be healthy, like pretending I don’t have diabetes for an hour, or longer).

The most important thing to remember? I’ve come this far, and I’ve got all of you behind me. I’m not just a diabetic, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without diabetes (for instance, maybe I wouldn’t be such a planner!).

Diabetes Blog Week: Poetry Tuesday

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I’m participating in Diabetes Blog Week (albeit late). I’m hoping these prompts will re-inspire my writing and encourage lots of blood sugar checks 🙂

Today’s Topic: This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

I can’t see you.
Diabetes.
Invisible.
Wreaking havoc.

Testing.
Poking.
Eating.
Worrying.

Trying to find the positive.
Healthy habits.
Supportive friends.
In tune.

Exhausted.

Forever.
(please find cure!)

bad decisions.

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It feels like every time I take an unintended hiatus from this blog, I come back eventually trying to get out of a burnout or bad spell. It is what it is, I guess – and I’ll be the first to admit that the Diabetes Online Community/other people’s blogs/this blog is how I pull myself out of a rut (no matter how deep) and set myself back on track.

I’ve been making bad decisions lately. Some of them very unconscious decisions (mistakes?). Some of them, like last night, thought out. I’m not going to hash out every lingering high, forgotten meter, or untested blood sugar I’ve had. We all have them. It’s life. Diabetes just hasn’t been on the forefront for me recently, and I’m finding it easy to talk myself out of doing the right thing.

I had high blood sugars yesterday — with a hunch they were due to bad insulin after a kayaking trip on Saturday (took me way too long to figure this out. I’m not being proactive enough). I felt like crap all day. When I found myself with a blood sugar of 300 right before dinner, I knew I should have either 1. waited, or 2. eaten a low carb meal. But, I was feeling (oddly) okay despite the morning’s high sugars, and I was feeling rather defeated my diabetes (and was with very special people at a very special place). I ignored what  I knew I should do, took a shit-ton (true measurement) of insulin figuring it would be more than enough, upped my basal, and ate a burger.

Burger was damn good, but not worth it.

I was hovering around 400 mg/dl all night. I changed my pump set (whoa! proactive!), but still spent almost 9 hours at extremely high levels. I’m absolutely exhausted today. My muscles ache and my head is throbbing. It’s what I get for eating something that I know makes me high when I’m already high.

Food seems to be the bane of my existence recently — my relationship with it is very frustrating.

My point? I don’t know. I need to reconnect. I need to re-establish my smart thinking. I need to get myself in order. I’m excited to have just signed up for the 5th Annual Diabetes Blog Week to get myself back into the swing of things. I appreciate all of you who resist the urge to judge me. I’m already beating myself up enough as it is. Welcome to the wonderful world of diabetes.