Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired (Not to Mention Hypoglycemic)

My friend Nancy is off to Budapest. Sandy is about to take off to Taiwan. I don’t even want to think about traveling.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I really don’t feel well! I’m the one who’s usually half-packed and ready to take off at any time. These days, there’s a trip to Holiday World, which is an amusement park in southern Indiana, during the school’s fall break in October, but that’s about it. Just me and four teenagers. Oh, boy! I think my main role will be to hand out money.

Advertisement

It’s now been five months since I had surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. My heel still hasn’t healed, all markers of infection are (still) elevated and I’m sick and tired of hooking myself up to an IV every day. Plus, the IV antibiotic is probably responsible for causing another problem: I now have Clostridium difficile, commonly called C. diff, which results in… well, intestinal problems.

In other words, my tummy hurts and I can’t get too far from a bathroom. And I’m taking a second antibiotic to get rid of the C. diff, which was probably caused by taking the first antibiotic. Don’tcha just love how one thing frequently leads to another?

My biggest wish is that I could know when all of this will end. I can handle things if I know when the end is. I just can’t take much more of not knowing.

How’s this affecting my diabetes care? I’m still lowering my basal rates in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemia. Just when I think I have my insulin dosage adjusted, my glucose takes another dive. It’s very annoying to wake up shaky, sweaty, and fuzzy-brained.

“But you have a continuous glucose monitor that sounds an alarm when your glucose is about to go into the hypoglycemic range,” you say.

Yes, I do have a CGM. And it does an excellent job of warning me I’m about to get just a tad too low. When I have sensors. Which I don’t have at the moment. Both of my last two sensors glitched and I’m waiting for replacements. When I do get them, I need to find my transmitter.

With a CGM, the transmitter is attached to the sensor, which measures glucose. The transmitter beams the information to a receiver, which tells you what your blood glucose was about 15 minutes ago. (That’s because the sensor measures glucose in interstitial fluid, the fluid between the cells, which lags behind the readings from blood.) So a transmitter is important. No transmitter, no data. No data, no warning that you’re about to experience a good ol’ bout of hypoglycemia.

I remember taking it off and putting it down. I’m very good about keeping things in specific places and, for my transmitter, that would be on my desk or on the lamp table next to my recliner. Can’t find that little sucker anywhere. I’ve moved things around and even gone through the trash can that sits beside the table in case it fell in there. Yuck! Moving trash from one place to another, one piece at a time, is not my idea of a good time.

The only thing I can figure is that one or more of the cats found a new toy. Maybe I should look in the linen closet, where the most likely culprit stashes the red glove she carries around and sleeps with.

In the meantime, I’ll just have to continue checking frequently, lowering my basal rates, and trying to reach some equilibrium. And keeping fast-acting carbs on my desk, nightstand, lamp table, in my purse…

  • Linda Martin

    Jan,
    You poor dear! You have my sincere sympathy with this continuing saga of being “sick and tired”. C-Dif is a serious problem and it seems there is no easy way to get rid of it. It may be messing up your basal rates also. It would totally blow my mind to have to deal with your set of problems. You are a very courageous young lady and I want you to know I am always delighted to read your blog since it’s usually so very funny. Hoping you get back to your “normal funny self” very soon and feel better. So you can go out and explore the world again. And be able to laugh. Hang in there.

  • Eva G.

    Hi Jan,
    My name is Eva. I came across you blog and just about had a fit when I read it. You sound like my twin,(right down to the tendon repair!) with the exception of the hypo problem. (I usually have highs that I can not control) I feel your pain, and I do wish you the speediest recovery possible! I know how it feels when you can never do anything because you can never be too far from a restroom. I have been to 5 GI docs and they all say the same thing, I think it is this, but there is not other treatment you can try! It is not fair! I feel like no doctor really cares!I have been a Type one for 16 years and I know to do some research, but, when I research different illnesses and ask them about my research, well then they just treat me like a hypochondriac!Do you have any advice you think might be helpful? Also, how did you find out about the C dif? I was looking into a CGM but do not know how I can afford it if my Insurance will not cover it. Thank you for writing this blog, today I finally feel like I am not alone in the world with these problems controlling my life! Bless you and I will pray for your recovery to come quickly!

    Eva

  • Jan Chait

    Hi Eva,

    If you read more recent blogs, you’ll find that I just had surgery — again — for (another) bone infection in my heel. My biggest problem now is *getting* to the bathroom, ’cause my foot hurts.

    C. diff., a bacterial infection in your intestines, is found by providing samples of feces. It took about three times for them to find it in me. Luckily, I had a very tenacious infectious disease doc. On the “what the…!” side, the lab rejected one of my samples because it wasn’t soft enough to have C. diff. I mean, how many people can say they’ve had their waste products rejected?

    What to do about docs who won’t listen? I dunno. I fire a lot of docs until I find one who will listen to me. Unfortunately, you may have to keep on until you find somebody.

    Is there a teaching hospital around where you are? The docs there may be willing to keep trying and to listen to you.

    Good luck to you!

    Jan