Diabetes Self-Management Blog

“I always start running in the fall,” Hallmark’s Maxine character says. “Not all of me, just my nose.”

Just call me “Maxine.” Except I don’t believe Maxine has to contend with the care and feeding of diabetes in addition to the care and feeding of a cold or other illness.

Actually, I rarely get sick. Because I work at home, I’m not out and about as often as most people. However, the new Children’s Museum had its grand opening recently, complete with a talk by Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The girls — my granddaughter and a friend — were excited. They had to go see (and hear) Bill Nye. Did I tell you the girls are 17 years old? Nye was to speak at 10 AM, so I took them downtown an hour before that. The line to get into the museum was nearly three-quarters of the way around the block. “Here are your tickets,” I told them after we arranged a meeting time and place. They took off for the museum and I headed to the farmer’s market for some nice, fresh produce.

Shopping done, I made my way to the designated spot in the museum.

How was I to know the meeting spot was mere feet from where SpongeBob SquarePants was to make his appearance?

Every child in town must have been in the museum. The door-keepers had to count the number of people leaving and only let that number of people in. All day long. The Fire Marshall is pretty picky about those things.

The place was filthy with snot-nosed children, touching everything in sight with their little germ-laden fingers. Many were hovering around and screaming for SpongeBob. I didn’t have a chance.

So I’m achy, slightly feverish, sneezing, stuffy, congested and all that stuff. It makes my blood glucose go up.

I’m also taking antibiotics (again) for an infection in my foot. The infection also makes my glucose go up. However, the antibiotics make my glucose go down as it works its magic on the infection.

Sometimes it seems as if my glucose doesn’t quite know what to do as it soars and drops, seemingly at will. I can go high and fight to bring my numbers down and, at another time, crash and eat everything in sight (whether I’m hungry or not) to get back to euglycemia. Last night, for example, you could find me at 2 AM chasing juice down with a small bowl of cereal to bring my glucose up from 51 mg/dl. I took no insulin, but was only 73 when I got up a few hours later.

If I didn’t have a continuous glucose monitor, I don’t know what I’d do. In addition to sounding an alarm if I go too high or too low, the ability to press a button and see what my blood glucose is has saved my fingers from being bloodied and torn from all the checking I would need to do.

Speaking of eating cereal to bring my glucose up, I’ve discovered that, for me, just a little bit will do the trick. Of course, it may depend on what kind of cereal. Frosted Mini-Wheats is a winner, as is Life. For me, that is. You may have a different result.

I’ve also found Buddy Fruits to be handy — and yummy. You may be able to find it in the produce section of your supermarket. It’s blended fruit and comes in a container that doesn’t need refrigeration and is 15 grams of carbohydrate. It does have one drawback: I have to hide it from the children.

This little cold does make me remember that I need to get a flu shot. I don’t even want to know what the flu can do to blood glucose levels.

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