25 April 2012

Diabetes - day to day

I've been diabetic for over 23 years. I have been blessed to not have any complications. I have only passed out from a low blood sugar once. I've never been hospitalized since being diagnosed.  I'm not on any meds or treatments for anything else diabetes related (except not eating gluten - there is research that there is a correlation between gluten intolerance/Celiac's Disease and Type I's).

But, it is very trying. I hate when things don't make sense. And for me, I check blood sugars up to ten times a day. I have an insulin pump. And a continuous blood glucose monitor. These pieces of technology are miraculous. But they are not perfect. They are not cure-alls. My blood sugars do not stay the same for more than four days at a time. I am a control freak. And this pisses me the eff off.

I don't intend for this to be a venting post. Rather, it will be a "here's my diabetes story and where I am now, wanna chat?" post. But, if it does sound like venting, well, it is what it is. From following various blogs, facebook pages, reading various articles, online forums, I have learned one thing: All diabetics are different. And what works for one might not work for all. Or anyone else, for that matter. But, it sure helps to hear some happy.

Fair warning - I am about to discuss how being female makes this disease IMPOSSIBLE. (For me, anyway). Well, not impossible. I am grateful to be alive and in the good shape that I am in, considering. But, it is a constant curve ball, fo sho.
After months of chaos and inconsistency, I started taking note in my calendar each month on which days I would see severe (seemingly random) SPIKES in blood sugar (after a week of being near perfection). Many women have fluctuations in sugars around ovulation and the time of their period. These spikes would go on for several days. (You look for patterns over the course of several days before making changes to your insulin regimen or your pump's rates.) So, of course, after seeing said patterns for several days in a row, I change them. PSYCH!
My body is saying,
"I was just kidding. I only wanted to be high as hell for about four days. Since you've adjusted all your rates up, I am over this shiz, and would like to bottom out all the time. While you are working. While you are driving. While you are sleeping. While you are in meetings. And, since you have this handy sensor that you thought was going to make everything all magical, I will show you who's boss by forcing the sensor to holler all day and night and drive you out of your ever loving mind."
(Really, my body says these things to me.)

Soooo.... after months of taking notes on a calendar, I saw no patterns really. Maybe two months would look the same, and the third and fourth month would be something different. Well, great. My shit's different every friggin month. Fabulous.

So, my most recent thing is:

1) I don't eat more than 15g of carbs at breakfast because my blood has been spiking like hell after breakfast.

2) I try to eat between 30 and 40g at lunch, supper, and at a bedtime snack.

3) Any "in between" meals are pretty much nuts, cheese, or pork skins (carbLESS! yay!!!)

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

4) I have started to keep a "diabeetus journal" ...
the notes about spiking and dropping on the calendar weren't giving me enough information. In the journal, I write what changes I make to my rates, why, what happened, etc ... EVERY day.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App 

Thanks to Medtronic and modern technology, I can upload all the data shared between my sensor (continuous blood glucose monitoring), my pump (actually delivers the insulin) and my meter (checks my blood sugar, and sends the reading to my pump). Typically, an endocrinologist could look at your data for the past several weeks, and make suggestions, like, "Increase your lunch time bolus from x to y." Or, "let's decrease your midnight basal from x to y." Or, "When you see two up arrows, do the correction that the pump suggests plus an additional 10%."

But, lately, my sugars have been so random that she can't make any decisions because she isn't seeing enough of a pattern. So, hopefully my new carb and scheduling rules will help.

At 28 years old, I am realizing, truly realizing - for the first time what an emotional disease diabetes is. I am starting to wonder too, if a lot of these sporadic, inconsistent sugars are coming from stress ...

If you are a diabetic who's reading, I'd love to hear from you. What sites do you find helpful? What is working for you?

1 comment:

Emmett Katherine said...

I'm not diabetic but I wanted to say I had no idea how much work goes into managing the disease. Wow.