Month: March 2012

Why You So Stubborn, Diabetes?

I think of myself as a typically optimistic person, especially when it comes to my diabetes, because really my life with diabetes is better when I’m able to cast it in a positive light. Even so, that doesn’t mean that I don’t spend a few days in the trough of a wave every once in awhile.

Today was one of those days. I didn’t sleep much over the weekend, so this morning I got up early and fed the dogs and then decided I would try to sleep a little bit longer, considering it was Sunday and all and I didn’t have to go to work or anything. About the time I got comfortable, some masochist with a lawnmower decided that 8:00am was a fine time to mow the grass next door. Seriously, how do you get up so early on a Sunday and think, “I’ll go mow the grass this morning.” Read the paper and have a cup of coffee for Pete’s sake. Have a whole pot if it tickles you. Just don’t go outside and crank up the mower and wake up the neighborhood! </rant>

I like to make a big breakfast at least one morning on the weekend. I’m doing good to get dressed and get to work on the weekdays, so Sunday mornings are my time to pause and enjoy the thrills of a pot (or two) of coffee, eggs, sausage or bacon, and Meet the Press with A-Flizzle. If you ordered that meal at Denny’s, it would be a Grand Slam Nerdy, and could you leave a carafe of coffee on the table please?

I found a little bit of Bisquick left in the fridge, which is weird because most people put that in the pantry, but I decided to use it up and make a couple of pancakes. I limited myself to just one pancake, the one that came out looking like it had been put in somebody’s pocket instead of in the skillet, because I didn’t want my blood sugar to go through the roof or anything crazy. And it didn’t. It just hovered around the stinkin’ penthouse suite all day long, making me real frustrated because it wouldn’t come back down to the lobby where all the normal BG’s hang out.

That was the only starch that I had on the day, and I hovered around 200 mg/dl all day long. Being used to running a BG of around 100 lately, I felt that 200 in full effect. I even resorted to rage bolusing, just throwing a max amount of insulin at it to try and get it to budge. We went to see Hunger Games with some friends, and I barely touched the popcorn. Then we went to dinner afterward, and I couldn’t even eat because I was so nauseous and thirsty from the stubborn high BG. Finally, after I got home and gave up, I started to sink back down to normal again.

Stubborn CGM

I ended up having to take over 100 units of insulin today to combat diabetes. That really, REALLY frustrates me, considering how a normal day for me (with carbs) is closer to 60 or 70. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have eaten that pancake, but there was no way of knowing that it would have been so stubborn all day long. The beauty of the conundrum is that it might not have even been the pancake. It could have been that my insulin lost its potency, or that I’m fighting off a virus of some kind, or that I was wearing green today instead of blue and my diabetes was offended. In other words, who knows?

Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “Wow, he’s got the diabetes real bad.” You may be thinking, “He really isn’t taking care of himself having to dose that much to get his blood sugars to cooperate.” You might even be thinking, “I would have been pissed too if that guy had woken me up with that damn lawnmower!” Or you might just be thinking, “Yup, been there, done that.” I’m convinced that some days diabetes has a mind of its own and does whatever it damn well pleases, regardless of what we try to do to “control” it.

Fighting back the tears, I was telling A-Flizzle about how frustrated it makes me when I feel like I have no control over what my body and diabetes has decided it wants to do. I hate feeling like I’m just strapped in and along for the ride, wherever it may take me. That is why I have the CGM, why I check my blood sugar on average 6-8 times a day, and why I try and count everything that goes in my mouth so that when I do make a mistake, hopefully it isn’t a complete disaster.

This situation is a good reminder to myself that we can do seemingly everything right in our lives with diabetes, from correct carb counting, insulin dosing, BG checking, and everything else, and yet we can still have those days where all of the pieces just refuse to fit together.

Tomorrow is a new day, with a new inset, and a fresh reservoir of insulin in my pump. So bring it beetus! I’ll be your Huckleberry.

I Break For Coffee

Hangry

It’s hard to describe, and even differentiate sometimes, the difference between having a low blood sugar and just running on pure empty from not eating all day.

All week, since Daylight Savings Time kicked in, I have been trying to outrun the clock and get to work on time. I love DST, don’t get me wrong, but it’s really hard to get up in the morning when it’s still dark outside.

Okay, who am I kidding? It’s hard for me to get up in the morning whether it’s dark outside or not.

Yesterday morning was no different. Running late, I brushed my teeth, grabbed my work gear, made certain that I wasn’t walking out of the house with flip flops and pajama pants on, and hit the road.

I realized when I grabbed my messenger bag out of my car that it was lighter than usual. Turns out I had left my lunch (leftover white bean chicken chili from dinner the night before) at home. It happens, right?

This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I have a habit (a good habit, if you’re viewing things from my employer’s perspective) of getting to work and throwing myself into things and not stopping. I’m notorious for working through lunch, skipping breaks, and looking at the clock to surprisingly discover that it’s mid-afternoon and I haven’t seen the outside of my office all day. The only thing that I will consistently break for is coffee.

I Break For Coffee

After my second cup of coffee…okay, third cup…maybe fourth cup…I realized that I was pretty much plowing through my day of meetings, emails, phone calls, and one-armed library dragon training. Once I was done, and those dragons were tamed well enough to stamp due dates in library books like they were born with that one lonely arm to do just that instead of burn villages and terrorize innocent monks (Trogdor!!!), I called it a day and headed home.

Now, I knew I had been moderately low all day. I’m back to wearing my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) again, after a slight hiatus from all the beeping and bonking and wee-ooo-wee-ooo-wee-ooo alarms waking me up in the middle of the night, and it had warned me off and on all day that I was hovering around 75 mg/dl. Still, I didn’t stop to treat it or deal with it. I just kept working.

When I got home, A-Flizzle and our pal EriCAH were there, so I started preparing dinner. Yay, food!

I kept noticing that I was agitated with everything, but I didn’t have the sense to question why. Cutting the chicken and vegetables, I was seething. Trying to figure out how to make the chicken stock thicker, I was fuming. When I realized that we only had a single serving of rice, I was mulling over what it would be like to throw the refrigerator off a cliff. It was so ridiculous that I was getting on my own nerves. I must have been driving A-Flizzle and EriCAH crazy.

That was when I realized I had reached my limit. I was low. I was hungry. I was angry. I was HANGRY! And I was making dinner and the food was too raw to eat immediately. Oh, the agony! The horribleness! The tragedy!

Eventually dinner finished, and we all got to experience my chicken thai curry science project of a meal, but it was a great example of how normal for some people isn’t normal for those of us with diabetes. There are times that we absolutely MUST stop and eat. Going all day long without eating is dangerous, and in hindsight, I’m probably lucky that I didn’t have a sneaky low that left me sitting in my office in a pile of sweaty, shaky, confused nonsense with a co-worker telling me, “Drink your juice Shelby!”

I’ll probably do it again though. Because I’m stubborn like that.

Twitter Fail Whale

Working Through It All

I’ve been busy lately. Extremely busy. Too busy. I’ve been doing all kinds of things, but without divulging my Dead Sea Scroll-length laundry list of things to do, suffice it to say that I’ve been working really hard at just trying to keep up.

From being so occupied lately, I’ve developed a bad habit of setting aside important things that make me feel better and happier, like writing on this blog and being an active member of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), exercising, reading for leisure, getting enough sleep at night to not feel like I’ve been hit by a truck the next morning, keeping in touch with friends I care about and miss (both online and offline), and in some ways even my diabetes. I feel so out of touch, missing invites to events that I would have loved to have been a part of, missing news, and even missing out on the jokes. And I LOVE a good joke. Speaking of which, has diabetes been cured since I’ve been M.I.A.?

In addition, I can’t seem to get anywhere with my New Year’s goal of losing some weight, which just adds to my frustration. Most days I find myself completely worn out by the end of my work day, and I come home and grab the carb-heavy easy foods and try to cool my jets instead of grabbing my gym pass, the iPod, and a water bottle. By the way, I need a new iPod Nano if anyone is feeling particularly generous. No, seriously. Anybody? Bueller…Bueller…

My bicycle is sitting in my laundry room collecting dust, the spokes wrangling wayward dryer lint, taunting me each time I do a load of laundry. I can hear it whisper, “Psst! Hey, fatso! Wanna go for a ride?” My swimsuits, from board shorts to triathlon training gear, sit in the bottom of a drawer just waiting for me to slim down enough so that I can fit into them and get back into the pool without it looking like the Twitter fail whale retired to the local YMCA. Thankfully, my swimsuits know better than to make any snide comments in my general direction. I’ve already threatened to give them to the dog to play with if I hear one snotty remark out of them.

Twitter Fail Whale

I know that I’ve been missing online. I know that I’ve missed being online. I also know that sometimes there is just no extra time for much beyond the things that absolutely must be done.

So what the heck does this have to do with diabetes? Last weekend, Jacquie, her husband Bob, and Sara spent the weekend visiting with A-Flizzle and I, and it really helped me to remember what I love about our community of people. It ended up raining the entire weekend, but I still loved that we all got to hang out and spend time together. When you can hang out with people and do nothing and still have fun doing it, you know it’s a good thing.

We are so much more than just people with diabetes. We are friends, even family. I get a text from Jess late at night for no reason but to ask how I’m doing, and I smile. Sara walks in the door with a hug and says, “We’ve missed you!” and I swallow that little lump in my throat and change the subject really quick. Bob (not to be confused with Jacquie’s Bob) sends me a Twitter mention from somewhere in the middle part of the country and it reminds me that I’m missed, and I’m not alone, even when I feel like I kind of am.

I’m working through a lot of things right now. I’m processing a lot of change lately. Don’t take that negatively, a lot of the change I’m dealing with is amazingly good change, but it’s still change, and by nature we human beans are change resistant.

I know I’m dealing with a bit of depression too, but I’m not willing to truly admit it to myself. I tell myself I’m too busy to deal with that right now. I’ve got a lot going on internally about external influences, trying to process my own feelings about some things that I’ve been dealing with for awhile now, while trying to manage my anger and hurt levels on an almost daily basis.

I really have a lot on my plate with work and trying to get my career as a director of all things awesome to the next level. I also long to be a bigger voice and presence in the diabetes community. Something that I use this blog for regularly, and something that I’ve somehow veered away from, is making people laugh. I love to make people laugh, and I want to be able to laugh too. Laughter is a ginormous part of who I am, and I need it.

I’m overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things that I feel like I have to do, that I want to do, and that I need to do. Regardless, I am trying my best to work my way through it all, or at least get things to a manageable level of stress and outstanding items so as not to be so neurotic. If you don’t hear from me, or reach out and get only silence in return, don’t fret. I got the message loud and clear, and I appreciate it more than words, and I’m working my way through everything in an effort to find my way back to you all.