Tag Archives: low blood sugars

Sometimes…

Sometimes I don’t want to stop.

Sometimes I’m in the thick of a really great book, and I don’t want to stop.

Sometimes I’m in the middle of writing a killer sentence, and I don’t want to stop.

Sometimes I’m climbing down the Eiffel Tower in the twilight hours, and I don’t want to stop

Sometimes I’m in the depths of a needed sleep, and I don’t want to stop.

Sometimes I’m at 8.5 km of a strong 10 km run, and I don’t want to stop.

Sometimes I’m hurting with joy, giggling so hard with my boy, and I don’t want to stop.

I can see the words on the screen go blurry.

I can feel the letters in my book as they punch me in the face with every bounce across the page they make.

I can sense the happy flutters in my belly being strangled into sickening worry.

I try to control the shakes.

I try to ignore my heated cheeks.

I squint at the screen.

I cover one eye, hoping it will empower the other.

All for just a few more minutes.

A few minutes without Dear Diabetes.

But then, the full-body sweats come. Reality sets in. I cannot ignore Dear Diabetes. I cannot shove him off to the corner, not even for a few seconds. He is there. He will always be there. He won’t ever let me forget it.

The other day my blood sugars dropped to 3.0; I felt as though they were 2.0.

I didn’t want to stop.

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Ramblings of a Type-1 No. 6076

The other day after reading one of my most favourite fellow type-1’s blog posts about a recent low she had, I started reflecting on the lows of my life. This isn’t an unusual thing. I think when something out of your control renders you completely helpless to the point of holy freak that happened and I survived (yes, some have been that dramatic!) it sticks with you and is a constant reminder that no matter how well you manage your Dear Diabetes frienemy, you just never know when her evilness will underhandedly strike you down.

I’ve had some doozies over the years; some I’ve already shared, some I will never share. I’ve passed out alone in a ditch; I’ve smashed head first into the corner of a pointed glass coffee table, full weight down; I’ve woken up with my tongue a throbbing, swollen mess and the insides of my cheeks red and raw from an evening of repeatedly biting down on them; I’ve come to, more times than I can count, with my head a heavy, groggy haze, not knowing what happened, how I got to that point, where I was.

All scary, but none even close to the nightmarish middle-of-the-night low I had two and a half years ago. A memory that still shakes me to the bone.

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Little Ring was an infant, probably less than two months old. My body was still adjusting to its non-pregnant state, and the breast feeding depletion of energy stores. I had been having several lows, but had kept on top of them pretty well, catching them before they got too low, eating an endless supply of fruits and peanut butter to keep me going (on top of my regular meals and snacks) and hopefully, eventually find a balance.

For the most part, Little Ring was a fantastic sleeper. But still, early on we were doing  I think one or two feedings in the middle of the night, and there were a couple of nights when I was so exhausted I fell asleep with him nuzzled on my chest. One night, around 2:30 a.m., I woke up and my heart leaped straight into my throat.

He’s not there!

I started frantically digging around the bed, pulling up the duvet, throwing my pillows (one of which is super firm and crazy heavy), tears filling my eyes.

“Where is he? Where is he?”

Big Ring woke. He didn’t know what was going on. He tried calming me. He tried smoothing my arm. I would not still. The words would not form. But the thoughts…

Had I suffocated my son?
Is he buried under my pillows?
Is he tangled in my blanket, struggling for oxygen?
Where is he?
Where is he?

He was in the bassinet soundly sleeping next to our bed. I had put him to bed hours earlier. He was never on my chest. It was a moment that lasted probably less than a minute, but a moment that cracked my heart, a crack that won’t ever be repaired.

All because of Dear Diabetes dropping down to 1.7.

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SUNDAY RUN DAY:
8:45 a.m. BG before: 10.8
Carbs: 1 shot block
Temp. basal: -50 per cent (30′) -100 per cent (60′)
Time: 90 minutes
Distance: 14.8 km
Average pace: 6:04 min/km
BG: @30′ 4.0; @50′ 4.6
Fuel: 2.5 bottles homemade sports drink and 5 shot blocks
10:45 a.m. BG after: 7.9
Temp. basal: +110 per cent (2 hours)

It’s taper week!!! 🙂

Hot dogs? Are you freaking kidding me?

Just like my food cravings, my diabetic body seems to be reverting back to days of yore – those were not fun days.

While I crave such unheard of foods (in my regular diet that is) as my pop’s homemade perogies and farmer sausage, scalloped potatoes, poutine, roast beef with carrots and onions soaking up the juice in the roaster, and hot dogs – HOT DOGS!!! – (something I have not eaten in well over a decade) my head has been riddled with post low blood sugar migraines.


Hotdogs? Are you kidding me? Why am I not craving chocolate – something I actually like?

This week I have had six migraines in as many days. Headaches so bad, I clutch my head trying to make it stop. Headaches so bad, I can’t open my eyes for fear of the brightness elevating the pain. Headaches so bad I spend hours in silent, pitch black darkness, hoping, praying, begging them away.

I haven’t had headaches like these since I was kid!

I blame the lows. It’s hard not to when the second I catch my body in a low, I feel the pressure in my head filling until it’s the weight of a 10-tonne anvil. This used to happen all the time as a kid, when I was less controlled with my diabetes, and my blood sugars were on a non-stop roller coaster ride of highs and lows. And while I’m not currently experiencing the highs (thank goodness!) I am experiencing low after low after low. And I think this past week, my body has finally had enough, rebelling against me, the one causing the lows.

I know the docs say the lows aren’t hurting alien baby, just me, but seriously, if I can’t function because of these headaches, if I can hardly eat because of these headaches, if I can’t go out for even so much as a brisk walk without suffering a low, which inevitably causes these headaches – how is any of that good for thumb-sucking alien baby?

I see my pregnancy endocrinologist on Tuesday, and she’ll likely reduce the basal rates and insulin sensitivity rates on my pump again, which I’ve already done a couple times since I last saw her a week and a half ago. At the rate I’m going, soon there will be no insulin going into me whatsoever.

Hmm… maybe that’s the T-1 cure? Get pregnant my friends 😉

Travel woes

I love traveling. I’ve driven across Canada twice, visited several states in the America, have fallen in love with the likes of France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Germany, and nearly every day I am dreaming of new places to discover. However, traveling doesn’t always love me.


Clockwise from top: Florence 2009; Bruge 2010; Paris 2007; Barcelona 2009.

As a Type 1 diabetic, I need to know carb counts for everything I eat in order to figure out how much insulin to take. At home, it’s fairly easy. I have product bags and boxes and containers with pertinent nutritional information posted. I also have a carb-counting scale that calculates carbs for a whole range of things, fruit, beans, ice cream, pasta, etc. But on the road, those tools are not readily at my fingertips.


Evening dessert: 1 apple = 23.35 carbs, which is rounded down to 23 carbs. At 1 unit of insulin per 18 grams of carbs, this apple is worth 1.25 units of insulin.

When Mario and I travel, we usually rent apartments equipped with kitchens that enable us to eat breakfast and some dinners at “home.” And generally speaking, I eat a lot of the same foods, especially at lunch (sandwich, salad, fruit, yes please) so that helps. And for the most part, my blood sugars do stay in line.

However, last weekend, that wasn’t the case. The girls and I stayed in a hotel in San Francisco. While I had brought reduced-sugar instant oatmeal along for my breakfast (not my favourite, but at least I knew the carb counts for it) every other meal was eaten out. And two of those meals were carb-heavy pasta meals.

My blood sugars went on a shrieking roller coaster ride that my body is still reeling from.

Before going on the pump, I didn’t know how to carb count, and I didn’t need too. After more than 20 years with the disease, I was pretty talented at eyeballing my food and guessing correct insulin dosages for what I ate. But with the pump, I couldn’t do that anymore as I didn’t have long-acting insulin to fall back on if I’d somehow screwed a dosage up. Everything had to be perfect. And now, after nearly two years of carb-counting insulin preciseness, that talent seems to have left me.

In the four days I was away, my blood sugars ranged from a head spinning 1.9 to an ohmygawd, are you freaking kidding me 18.1! And it’s taken a full week of normal routine to get them back into good working order again. What the F?

So, what do I do? I will not stop traveling, in fact, we’ve got plans for London and Italy in the spring, and yes, there will be apartments rented out on that trip, but what about the trips where apartments aren’t available and hotels are must? What then?

Land O Diabetes

Okay seriously, somebody in the Land O Diabetes is bloody well out to get me. If Sunday wasn’t bad enough, on Monday, the kick-em-when-their-down diabetes gods made me forget my insulin pump at my Pilates studio, and not realize I was sans pump until I was back home again – 40 bloody minutes away from the damn studio! Most definitely starting to get pissed off here.

Just as I was leaving work for the day, my Pilates chicks called me and asked if I could come in an hour earlier, which I thought was great. I had a ton of stuff I needed to get done at home including the ever-growing laundry pile I’d missed due to not being home Sunday night, and figured an extra hour in my evening would be perfect. I did my hour, worked around my sore knee, and before leaving, went into the washroom and changed back into my jeans as it was somewhat breezy outside.

I got home, sat down at the dinner table, and just as Mario was starting up the barbecue, I tested my blood sugars and started to input my carb counts for the bolus wizard to calculate my insulin dosage. The metre flashed: Unable to connect with insulin pump. I gasped. Instantly, before even reaching around my waist to check, I knew the pump was not attached to me, and I knew exactly where it was: in the bloody washroom! FRIDGE!

Luckily I was able to catch my Pilates chicks before they left the studio and being the great chicks they are, they wrapped it up in bubble wrap (totally didn’t need to do that, but it gave me something to do on the way home :D) and thankfully Mario kept me company the second trip around. Didn’t end up getting home and eating dinner until after 9 p.m. – 45 minutes later than had I gone to Pilates at the regular time. Damn you diabetes gods!


Bubble wrap = perfect distraction from angry annoyance!

YESTERDAY’S PILATES:

  • 5 p.m. BG before: 4.4
  • Three digestive cookies (no bolus)
  • Temp. basal: 0
  • Time: 1 hour
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 5.6
  • 9:15 p.m. (after no pump and no exercise for more than an hour) 12:6!

Following yesterday’s post, some of you mentioned you’d be Googling what to do if I ever went into a low like that near you (I’m pretty sure I won’t) but here’s the thing, while Google is a genius for most things, it will not have the answer for this. Every case is different. And for me, the number 1 thing, is patience. Because if I’m like that and I sense you getting frustrated with me or stressed with me, I will become the most stubborn ass you ever faced. I will dig my heels in, disagree with everything you say, purse my lips so bloody tight you won’t be able to get a drop of juice in them. And oh man, my mood will instantly revert back to the dark days of a petulant teenager. You do NOT want to face that princess. Good thing Mario’s got patience and good thing I don’t experience these kind of lows too often 😉

Ironman update: My favourite ironchickie proved once again to be super bionic on Sunday at Ironman Canada in Penticton. She completed the 2.4 mile swim in 1:10:23; the 112 mile bike ride in 5:47:39; and the 26.2 mile marathon in 3:38:43 – after already swimming AND cycling! Seriously impressive! She won her age division, and despite telling me just a couple weeks ago that she thought she was done competing, will once again be heading to Kona, Hawaii this fall to compete in the world championships. And that, my friends, is why she is an ironchickie rockstar AND my inspiration!


My favourite ironchickie most definitely did not heed signs like these!

A huge congrats also to Evil Pace Bunny and He Who Shall Remain Unnamed for completing their first ever Ironman and for doing so with a smile on their faces. You guys totally rocked it! So proud.

Have you forgotten your insulin pump, or something else you can’t live without, somewhere?