Diabetes Blog Week: Change the World

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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 Yesterday’s Topic: Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

This is a hard one for me, as I’m not really a formal advocate for any of these topics — rather a small voice for many. If I had to choose a couple that I’m most passionate about, they’d be these:

-Diabetes misconceptions. I can’t stand it when people ask me if I should be eating something, or if I’ve finally figured out how to keep my numbers from being out of control after all these years. I do realize, though, that just as I don’t know everything about every single disease, some people have no reason to have ever learned much about diabetes. So it’s my job to educate, if they’re interested.

-CGM coverage for Medicare patients. This one hits home for me. Some days I honestly don’t know if I’d wake up without my CGM. I can’ t imagine the feeling of helplessness these CGM users feel as this life saving device is being ripped from their arsenal of diabetes management tools. Point blank, it’s just not fair. My CGM has proven time and time again to help me better manage my diabetes — I can’t understand why insurance would want to take this away from someone. It’s just going to cost the insurance companies more in the end.

-Creating diabetes connections and bringing support. This one is very important to me, too. I’m lucky (?) to have a sister with diabetes who I can call at any hour of the night. I know how nice it feels when a friend calls you after you have two days of crappy blood sugars, just to tell you “I know how you feel. Diabetes is dumb.” Because I know how important these interactions are to my well being — I work hard to reciprocate.

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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.

38.

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I wake up and my husband is leaning over my legs. He has a giant needle in his hand and the sharp tip is pushing against my thigh, almost breaking the skin.

“NO!” I scream.

This wasn’t a nightmare. This was my reality last night.

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He said I woke up because I was annoyed that I was sleeping in a pool of my own sweat. He asked me if I  had checked my blood sugar and I told him yes, a blatant lie. He asked me what it was. I didn’t know. This is when he took over.

He checked my blood sugar, I was 38. I was just thinking the other day how wonderful it was that I hadn’t seen a number in the 20’s or 30’s in quite a while. Streak ruined.

He said I was confused, and I was twitching.. like I do right before I go into a seizure. I wasn’t making sense. I guess I was also taking a stance against drinking my juice, too. I do sometimes get combative when I’m low, when I’m not giddy like a drunk. When he saw the twitching is probably when he grabbed the glucagon. When he tried to inject it is when I finally became vaguely aware of what was going on.

All in all, I drank three glasses of Simply Apple apple juice, each worth about 25 grams of carbs. I came up very, very slowly. 48 mg/dl 6 minutes later, 57 mg/dl 15 minutes later, 83 mg/dl 30 minutes later. Around two hours into the ordeal, I was finally at 117. Before I hit normal range, though, I gladly consumed a peanut butter bar, an ice cream sandwich (I needed something to cool my sweaty body), and a few kale and black bean tortilla chips (I have an obsession with tortilla chips when I’m low, which normally results in being high).

7:32am: 348 mg/dl. I took two units over a half hour once I got back in the 80’s. After everything I consumed, though, of course I got high. I had the low munchies. It’s unarguably a condition.

My point in all this? To get it off my chest. Today I’m scared. I’m tired (and continuing to get more tired). I’m emotional.. because lows like this always come full of guilt for me. Guilt that I had a brush with not waking up. Guilt that this happened at all. Guilt that John had to go through this and carry me through the night.

The guilt will subside and I will catch back up on sleep. I need to be thankful that John was there to help me (with zero complaints, ever, about anything, by the way. He’s amazing.), and was able to quickly mix up the glucagon, just in case.
Also, this shall serve as a reminder to get a new glucagon kit, stat.

balancing act.

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I’m going to be honest here. I’m not intending to complain or make diabetes sound like the worst thing in the entire world. But the truth is, I’ve been struggling.

Bottom line: sometimes I feel like it’s hard to strike a balance between taking care of my diabetes and taking care of the rest of my life’s obligations.

There are times where I just can’t seem the find the time to test my blood sugar, pre-bolus, eat a decent meal, correct, keep an eye on my dexcom, try to avoid getting low, blog, keep up with other blogs, attend diabetes-related events AND work, exercise, spend time with my husband, keep up with my house, walk my dog, pay my bills, have a social life.. You get the picture — and that’s not even the half of it. I know that I’m not the busiest person on this planet, and sometimes I can handle my load with ease. But most of the time, I feel like the more I focus on diabetes, the less I pay attention to the ‘normal life things,’ and vice-versa. Sometimes when I’m really involved with taking care of my diabetes, I feel like I eat/breathe/sleep blood sugars and insulin. Then, when I take a step back and try to focus on real life, I start to pretend I don’t even have diabetes.

I called my sister (also t1) this morning to complain, so we’re doing some things to help us both out.

  • We just downloaded the MySugr app. I’m not too familiar with it yet, but I think it will help hold me accountable and keep me organized. I have friends that say amazing things about this app, so I’m excited.
  • My sister and I plan on checking in weekly or bi-weekly to talk about things – life in general or diabetes. Whatever is on our minds. We talk daily in one form or another regardless, but I think having MySugr to reflect on will keep us both motivated.
  • I’m making time for the DOC and real life d-friends. I’m not going to let it stress me out — but it’s like medicine for me. The more in tune I am with the DOC, the more in tune I am with my diabetes.

Does anyone else feel like this? Even if you don’t have diabetes! What do you do to maintain that balance?