Category Archives: High Blood Sugars

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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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.

nighttime highs.

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Disclaimer: NONE of the following is medical advice. It is all my own opinion and I am nothing even remotely close to a medical professional. I am NOT a doctor, so if you are interested in changing anything about your current medical plan, contact your GP or diabetes care team.

I’ve been battling with nighttime highs for about a month now, and they are currently getting the best of me. I can’t figure them out.

See, I ALWAYS get up to use the bathroom and check my sugar between 1am and 3am, no matter what my bg is. It’s just habit. For the past few weeks, the number looking back at me during my nighttime check has been sub-par, in my opinion. Normally, it’s between 180 and 220 (not that 180 is a terrible number, just when a pattern start to develop, it’s frustrating and obviously something needs to be changed for me.). I think what makes it REALLY sub-par is that it’s a stubborn 180-220. It gets an additional point in sub-par-ness because it makes me feel like poo.

So I correct (full dose, used to not be able to do that because it made me low by morning) and go back to sleep. When I wake up to the instrumental version of “Bad to the Bone” (our alarm), I’m always hoping for a cooperative 95. Nope (maybe we need a new alarm, like ‘Steady as She Goes’ by the Raconteurs. Think it would encourage my bg to be ‘steady’ instead of ‘bad’?). I’m fairly consistently waking up at 170. What. The. Hell.

So I troubleshoot. About a week ago I upped my 12am and 3am basals by 0.1. For the past few days I’ve had some really great early morning sugars! Yay!! Until this morning. T’was the same old story. I took a correction at 2am and one when I woke up at 9am. I was starting to think maybe it was my pump set, but now I’m hovering around 80.

I have a couple of hypotheses, I’m not sure if any are valid.

1. Dawn Phenomenon. But, could it be making my sugars rise so inconsistently?
2. I’m sleeping on pump set weird and it’s making my cannula kink due to pressure, but then when I wake up, I’m not laying on it so it’s back to delivering me normal amounts of insulin. I feel like this is REALLY far fetched, but it’s something I came up with one day and I can’t shake it. I’ve been trying NOT to sleep on my site, but I have been for 14 years. Plus, I wear them in my arms, stomach and side butt.. so how can I NOT sleep on it?! Has anyone ever had this issue? Is this even possible, for it to bend a little but then straighten back out?

I need all of the help I can get, as I’m really getting tired of dealing with this. I go to my Endo office on 11-7, but I’m not seeing my actual Endo or her PA (both of which I really like). The PA is gone from the practice, so unless I want to wait until next year to get a visit in, I’m having to see a Nurse Practioner (not knocking nurse practitioners, I’m just hesitant to change). I’m trying to think positively, but I’m not sure about it, and I don’t know why. It could be the greatest Dr. visit of my entire diabetic career, who knows. I’m going to schedule an appointment with my favorite CDE later in November, just for backup.

Anyways, any and all opinions/encouragement/advice would be helpful (especially regarding the validity of my hypotheses).