Diabetes Self-Management Blog

After yesterday — and last night — I am tired of playing diabetes. I don’t want to deal with it any more. Just make it go away.

If only.

After fighting lows for two or three weeks and getting those somewhat under control — only somewhat, mind you — I went high. Close to 400 mg/dl high. No wonder I felt like crap and kept running to the bathroom.

So I started going through my mental checklist. Had I eaten anything that would merit that high a number? I had “treated” myself for finishing a week of keeping a list of every gram of carbohydrate I put in my mouth, every unit — nay, tenth of unit — of insulin I’d infused, the times I’d done each… But I hadn’t treated myself to that extent.

Was I sick? Not according to the thermometer.

Stressed? Not that I was aware of. There was a Currier & Ives scene outside, but I was inside my nice, warm house, and the children were helping with Passover preparations without complaint.

Did I have sugar on my hands? Washed ‘em. Checked again. Still high.

It was a puzzlement. Until…

I touched the Luer-lock connection on the tubing of my insulin infusion set and my fingers came away wet. I smelled my fingers. Insulin.

Houston, we have a leak.

Was it a bad connection or was I a bad connector? It didn’t matter: I was changing the set. I gave myself an injection to bring my glucose down and did a change-out.

My blood glucose began dropping. And dropping. And dropping.

It was kind of like being on a demonic roller coaster. First you climb a hill and roll along on top of the hill for a long time. Then you finally begin to drop, but the drop doesn’t stop. Oh, it levels out for short periods of time (that’s when you treat the low), but then the rollercoaster car points its nose down again.

And again.

And again.

My guess is that my basal rates aren’t straightened out yet. I sent my continuous glucose monitor readout and intensive glucose log to my endocrinologist on Friday, but haven’t heard back from anybody yet. Just my luck he’ll be on vacation this week.

What can I say? Diabetes isn’t boring. You can’t even get it to behave itself if you do the same things at the same time every day. There are too many variables, from mechanical errors (a loose connection on your pump, sugar on your fingers, you forgot to take your pill, you forgot to leave your pen needle in for a 10-second count after injecting) to illness, stress, activity, and just about anything else you can think of.

The best thing to do is to learn all you can about diabetes itself and your own regimen so you can troubleshoot. How do you write your blood glucose numbers down so you can detect patterns? What medications do you take and what do they do? What does exercise do to your glucose? How can you tell what a new food will do to your glucose? What’s the best thing to use to treat a low?

Stuff like that. I read and studied until checking and double-checking myself was second nature. It just kind of goes on in the background. Most of the time. Until situations like yesterday come along.

And my insulin pump isn’t the only thing glitching around here. Last night, my husband noted that the furnace wasn’t working. It’s cold. Outside is covered with snow and we have no heat? That’s not good.

So he and our grandson go downstairs to check out the furnace to see if they can determine what’s wrong. Nothing. They come back upstairs, where I’m curled up in my recliner, snuggled under a down blankie with a plush lining. Nice and warm.

My sweet baboo stops at the thermostat to check the temperature.

“Jan,” he calls out. “Did you set the thermostat on air conditioner?”

The machines are out to get us.

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