Time for Some Help

I almost didn’t write my blog entry this week. My numbers have been going all over the place, and that has put me in quite a funk. Today, I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, skipped lunch, and am planning on maybe a homemade cheese sandwich for dinner, since it seems like every time I eat something over the past week my blood sugar responds like a geyser!

I’ve always had occasional bouts like this — I think most Diabetians do. It might be hormonal, it might be a bug passing through, who knows. But over the past several months these bouts have been more frequent and more severe than in the past, and quite frankly, it’s starting to really wear on me. The usual fears of complications arise with each confoundingly unexplainable high blood sugar, and my mood sours. I’ve slammed several doors over the past week out of pure frustration, and I think this morning I scared one of our four cats when I chucked an empty test strip bottle into the trash can as if I were trying to hurl a 100 MPH fastball past an opposing batter for the last out of the World Series! And you can read my LAST blog entry to see the flaw in all THAT — stress does nothing but raise blood sugar.

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So, I have begrudgingly acknowledged that it is time for some serious outside help. I’ve always prided myself on being able to sleuth out the cause of odd numbers and such, but I don’t understand this recent pattern, and it’s got to be addressed. I’m going in to see a new endocrinologist soon, someone with more specialization in Type 1 diabetes management than my current doctor who has always had more knowledge of Type 2. That has worked out in the past, as my A1C numbers have always been good, and I’ve been able to manage pretty well with minimal course corrections. But this latest pattern requires someone with more thorough knowledge. It also requires a setting with more available tools — a continuous blood glucose monitor for a week maybe, someone deeply familiar with insulin pump therapy (something I’ve avoided in the past but maybe that’s what my system needs now), and other things that my current doctor simply doesn’t have.

“The Lone Ranger Syndrome”
I have clearly fallen into what I call the “Lone Ranger Syndrome” — that is, trying to manage something almost entirely by yourself and taking way too much pride in that act. I’ve always wondered if that’s something common to other people with diabetes. I’ve always had a feeling it is, but I can’t cite any concrete data for why I think this. It just seems like those of us with diabetes have to be so self-reliant so often that it would make sense we might carry that trait a little too far sometimes.

In any event, it’s clearly doing me no good right now. And it’s rather childish. We ALL need people, diabetes or no diabetes. No one can get through life “on their own,” not really. And as I write this, I’m realizing that this “LR Syndrome” of mine is hurting me in another way — I am boiling with frustration while turning away from the people who are my greatest supports. I’ve been in a bad mood around my wife, who wants desperately to help and who doesn’t deserve to be shut out because my blood sugars aren’t acting the way they should. I’ve been sullen, avoiding conversations with friends, when they would surely want to help, too. By insisting on shouldering the whole burden, I am left with nothing but a reservoir of anger and frustration.

So, I’m asking for help. I will be setting up my appointment at Penn Medicine’s Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center tomorrow. Tonight, I’ll have dinner with my wife — and instead of sealing myself off and stewing in my own frustration, I’ll reach out. I’ll probably still be frustrated, but hopefully I’ll be OPEN. The point is, I can share this. In every way — emotionally, practically, medically — I can ask for help from the people around me. I can go to my support system. I don’t have be the Lone Ranger anymore. None of us do.

  • Redneck Angel

    Scott–this is no time to skip a meal. Instead, try eating a small(er?!?)amt. evenly spaced out at least 3Xs a day–then something at nite if your BS drops before bedtime. Easier said than done, but good advise anyway:)

  • JohnC

    I started getting concerned when I read: “I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast,”

  • Scott Coulter

    JohnC,
    A bowl of Cheerios has never caused a spike in my blood sugar before, and should be perfectly reasonable for someone with Type I Diabetes on Novalog Insulin. This is a breakfast that has worked just fine for me for 20 years of Diabetic life. I did, however, discover some interesting things online that I’m writing about this week that might shed some light on my experiences and give some clues to what MIGHT be going on.
    The skipped lunch was not a great idea, but a reflection of my frustration with such an unexpected blood sugar response. Thankfully, I did NOT follow through on my threat to skip meals (aside from the on lunch that I DID, in fact, skip), thinking better of it when my head cleared the next morning.

  • JohnC

    Hey Scott.. I know of no good reason a Type 1 can’t skip meals or fast — go searching how to do this. Bernstein might be a good start. Of course on a high carb. diet it presents a bigger challenge.