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Wordless Wednesday: $4.08 Capri Suns® July 6, 2016

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ExpensiveCapriSunsA fix-me-now low came on while shopping in Sprouts, resulting in this fancy juice purchase. AKA, expensive Capri Sun juices. I’m sure at the time it made perfect sense to skip over the much more accessible bananas, orange juice, or cans of regular soda?


I Feel Weird August 20, 2014

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Bad news: Sometimes, after 25ish years, someone still has to tell you to go get something to eat.

I swim in the morning. This particular morning I swam well and was enjoying the set Coach had concocted. I started the morning a bit higher than preferred, dosed 1 unit of insulin, ate a handful of granola and headed to practice. Yet with about 15 minutes remaining in the set, I hung on the wall at a set break.

“Ready?” asked my no-nonsense lane mate of several years (and medical professional). (She once pointed out while I hesitated getting in that the worst that could happen is I could drown, and I wouldn’t because we have several doctors on the team…um thanks.)

“I feel weird,” I said. And I did. I felt weird. Not low or tired. I just felt off. Off-kilter and not comfortable. Just weird. My head said ‘Get out and eat. You’re low.’ Except that message can take some serious detours in these cases.

“Do you want to keep going?” she asked.

“No.” I knew that finishing the set was a bad idea.

“Uh. Ok. Do you need to get something to eat?” she continued. One simple question at a time.

“Um. I dunno. I feel weird.”

“Get out and check your sugar,” demanded the voice of logic.

“Ok. I have stuff in my bag. Yeah, you’re right,” I conceded.

42. Forty-two isn’t a particularly safe number. Forty-two in the water is less safe. Forty-two in the water, while exercising, is dumb.

My hero-of-the-day lane mate later asked if I was indeed low. She knew enough to recognize that 42 is too low. I applauded her insistence to kick me out of the pool, and she chalked it up to seeing low-blood sugar patients say they feel weird.

I knew the feeling. I know what weird means to me. I recognize the danger of a low, especially in this circumstance. I know these things because I have had 25 years to figure it out. Yet, someone else had to see those same things and directly tell me to do something about it. Why?

When the Star Player Goes Down December 17, 2013

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I didn’t expect the appointment to go well. I recently switched back to multiple daily injections (MDI), and struggled to maintain a solid focus on waiting to eat, carb counting and over treating. I expected about a week of mountain-range style numbers while I adjusted my insulin dosages as compared the pump.

But not two months of drastic up and down numbers. Two months (for me) is more than an adjustment period – that’s frustration, emotion, lack of caring, lack of effort, lack of interest and not enough time to ‘fix’ it all before my next endo appointment.

I knew how to fix what was wrong. I just wasn’t doing it. I knew I would walk into this appointment feeling somewhat guilty, unprepared and defeated. I expected to leave slightly motivated, but not necessarily encouraged for the long haul.

But my endo team cared. Nobody was disappointed in me. Nobody was mad at me. Nobody made me feel guilty or like I had failed. Nobody insinuated that I was dumb or incapable.

My endo team cared. My nurse cared that I was am struggling, and provided a few simple things to work on. My endo was worried about my too-close-for-comfort-night-lows that some people don’t wake up from, or wake up from in the ER. He wasn’t worried about my highs. Other people don’t worry about these things because I don’t often share. But at the endo’s, that is his sole focus – to help me keep me safe and healthy.

I left feeling cared about. I could handle the few things my team suggested. I wasn’t overwhelmed with my failures or the solutions. My endo team IS a team. A team where I am the star player. A team where if the star player is hurt, the team rallies. A team that pushes you to be better, catches you if you fall and helps you back on your feet.

That’s a team I want. And it’s a team I need to remember that I AM on.

Wordless Wednesday: Of All The Times to Match June 5, 2013

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Dex 48, Ping 49. Um...being alive for the win?

Normally, I love when Dex and Ping match up. I was hoping for an upset here though…

Memories: #DBlog Week, Day 3 May 16, 2013

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Dblog Prompt: Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. 

I can’t say I have a most memorable diabetes day. Or at least, didn’t want to think that hard about it. So I thought instead about one of my funny lows (or at least now-funny lows). A someone of mine and I had a friend who was excellent at math, I think he was an accountant or had some mathy career. One night the someone woke me up to test because Dex was beeping low and I was blowing it off, you know, because Dex was wrong.

I was absolutely convinced that Dex was wrong and I remember making a pretty big deal about Dex being wrong. How this someone had the patience for me, I have no idea. Then I tested. I can’t remember the number, but it was a definite confirmed low. At which point, I went into a whole long schpeel about how we needed to call our math friend (it was 1 am or something ridiculous). I refused to drink juice or eat a snack because I did not want to treat a ‘not low’ number. I then apparently delivered a significantly long explanation about how the calibration between Dex and my meter was incorrect, with attempts at actual science and math talk. I then tried to explain that if we called our math friend to run the numbers, he would help me prove that I was not really low.

And this conversation went round and round in circles for who knows how long…dude, just drink the damn juice and go back to bed…

For more information about Diabetes Blog Week – check out Karen at Bitter~Sweet! And really, you should check her out anyway, she just plain rocks.

Wordless Wednesday: Secret Pocket March 27, 2013

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Glucose gel in an easy to reach secret pocket

That’s what those cool secret inside pockets are for, right??

Time to Refocus. January 22, 2013

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I gazed around and the orange juice section was in sight. I grabbed the small store-brand size, fiddled with the plastic top and chugged.
In the grocery store.
Without paying first.

I’ve never been in a position to require such an action. Ever. Prior to the last year, I can recall only four lows that required me to immediately stop and treat. In the last year, I’ve had five. That’s like a 2000% increase. Two in the middle of the night, two while driving (I immediately pulled over, the roads are still safe) and the most recent one in the grocery store. These are the lows I can see looming, but did nothing about. I started to drop at the gym. I had suspended my pump prior to working out (YDMV, that’s usually not a great plan), eaten prior and cut my workout short by 20 minutes. On my way to the locker room I was still diagonal arrow down, but I almost always rise sharply after the elliptical.

Not this time. Dex cycled through all the alerts: 75, 55, 55, LOW. Yet, I was determined to do groceries and deal with this on the way home.

I looked for grocery store samples, pausing a few times trying to assess how I felt. I was sure I was leveling out and slowly headed upward. But then came the few seconds of confusion, the blurriness, the impatience, the irrational thinking, the dizziness. Repeat. Then the moment where you feel as though if you let your eyelids linger over your eyeballs just one second longer than normal, you’d be out. Passed out, leaving someone else to deal with this mess.

Oh. Hell. No. Draining a juice bottle doesn’t erase the barcode. It’s dumb to try and hold out (granted, it was dumb to not have glucose tabs and dumb to go to the grocery store in the first place).

The orange juice bottle empty, I stood for a minute, staring at the butters until I regained composure. Orange juice kicks in fast for me, and I was grocerying within minutes. Yet unsettled. I wanted to go home, curl up on the couch with a blanket, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, have a glass of wine and watch something that would make me laugh. I didn’t care about being high for a bit. (I recognize Ben & Jerry’s with wine is not a good post-low decision).

It’s time to refocus. Five of these in the last year? Not cool. Each was caused by something I should not have been doing or eating in the first place. Each was followed with the same. Refocusing on my health means tighter control on what I eat and when. Refocusing means weight loss and fitness gain, accompanied by a lower A1c and easier (still not easy) diabetes management. Scott at Scott’s Diabetes recently posted some genuine comments and flattering shout-outs – I hope soon to give him something more positive to comment about. (If you ever get to meet Scott – you’d find him motivating also).

Body, I Am Sorry. You Didn’t Deserve That. December 20, 2012

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I’ve ended up in my guest room before because of a low. I have no idea why I went there, why I stayed or why it took me so long to get out. But last night I think diabetes thought the world was ending, only a day early.

My foggy head thought I shouldn’t move. Couldn’t move. Sweaty. Freezing cold. Sitting in a dark door frame. Counting. I don’t know why I was counting or what I was counting to. I can’t remember why I couldn’t move. Or thought I shouldn’t move. I don’t know how long I’d sat there. Long enough to be freezing cold and turn my bare toes into blocks of ice without color or feeling. (Oddly enough, this is the not the first low to result in some level of frostbite. Except the first time involved ice cream, which was way more fun.) I finally heard beeping. An alarm clock. A CGM. LOW. Freezing cold. Wet long sleeve t-shirt. Cold house. I’m not dead. Must change into something dry. Turn up heat. What day is it? What time is it? Eat. Did I miss tonight’s flight? Eat. Heat up a mug of water. Eat. Drink. Turn up heat again. Try three times to log into work email (yeah, I don’t know why either).

Find blanket. Establish the day, time and that what I am suppose to be doing can wait. Back to bed for half an hour to try and warm up. Dry sweatshirt, four blankets. Uncontrollable shivering and the realization I can’t feel my toes. Heat pack. I know where that is. 3:00 on the microwave. Check with hands to make sure the heat pack is not too hot. My toes can’t tell me that right now. Take to bed. Curl up again.

Fifteen minutes later my CGM provides a real number, with double up arrows. I don’t care. My toes hurt, I can’t stop shivering. Remembering little of stranded-on-a-mountain safety, all I can think of is frostbite and hypothermia. Now my toes burn. Double check that the pack isn’t actually too hot. It’s not.

My brain, while not clear and won’t be for the rest of the day, is at least thinking straight now. Give insulin for my now high number. Warm water. Turn up heat again and find clothes so I don’t have to leave the bathroom to dress, risking getting cold again. Finally step into the shower and warm up.

I don’t know how long I stood there either, but at least I was conscious and warm. But I couldn’t hardly stand. Mental checklist: Not low. Maybe dehydrated. Maybe I warmed up too much too fast. I am so tired. Exhausted. Exhausted from sitting in a cold door frame in sweaty fleece pants, drenched long sleeve t-shirt and bare toes for who knows how long. Exhausted from dealing with a LOW low. Exhausted from trying to figure out what the hell happened. Exhausted from a now fast-rising blood sugar.

My body doesn’t deserve this and I hate that I put it through this. I put my body through a lot of shit – bike crashes, horse falls, ridiculous swim workouts, moving hay bales, shin splints, cold temps, warm temps, inconsistent weight, plus all the CGM sensor pokes, infusion sites, needles and lances. It does not need to deal with anything extra.

Events like this makes diabetes scare me NOW. A lot of things about my future with diabetes scare me, but those I can work at to help prevent or manage. But living alone, counting on my body to pull me through after all the shit I’ve already put it through. Yeah, it blew the whole pancreas thing, but it doesn’t deserve this. I can treat a low, a high and everything in between. But the things that happen during or after, things not diabetes related, I don’t know how to fix that. I take my best guess and go. Exhaustion from an extended low, a couple hours of shivering, a high. They don’t mention that complication at diagnosis.

Wordless Wednesday: Buddy Fruits! October 10, 2012

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No kid or toothless person lives here - just someone who loves carbs 15g at a time.

So excited that these were on clearance – 15g each and had good #DOC reviews!

25, 48, 54 August 22, 2012

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25, 48, 54. About 98% of the time, those particular blood glucose values are not especially thrilling (based on an unofficial 24 yr-old study of one, YDMV). I’m discovering that when exercise requires extra focus, I apparently have no low awareness during the activity.

25. Tested a minute after returning from a solo half-hour trail run on unfamiliar trails. I was visiting my awesome aunt and uncle, my uncle happens to be a doctor. He peered over my shoulder while I tested, and when we both saw 25, he responded with, how the hell are you still standing right now? Fuck if I know, but yes I’ll help myself to my aunt’s awesome cookies after a gallon of juice.

48. About an hour and a half into a new mountain bike trail, riding on my own. I happened to pull over and test because Dex had been off recently and I know my numbers affect my riding performance. This low didn’t register even after I tested.

54. Five minutes after an adrenaline-filled mountain bike race. Again, Dex had been off and I was preparing to drive home. I felt fine during the race and expected a high because I’d carbed up before hand and got hit with adrenaline at the race start.

Driving, working, sleeping, on the elliptical I would have noticed these lows. I’m not sure what gives, if my internal self is too busy dealing with stresses brought by the wild outdoors and just trying to get me home in one piece, but an unnerving number of times these low lows have snuck themselves into my outdoor workouts. Do any of you have a specific activity that seems to shield the low feeling, but not the low?