By Jan Chait
I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from perfect, especially when it comes to remembering what my CDE drove into my head about my diabetes care. Oh, I eventually remember what I should have done. Way too long after I should have done it.
Take last weekend, for example. My blood glucose ran high most of Sunday. I would program my pump to give me insulin, but it didn’t seem to make a lot of difference. I put it down to having eaten more fat than usual and kept correcting, and correcting, and correcting — to no avail.
Had I been thinking, I would have given myself some insulin by injection after failing to bring my numbers down a couple of times. If I had, I might have noticed that my insulin pump’s infusion set had come out. No wonder my numbers were high: All of the insulin I had been giving myself had been soaking into my skivvies instead of being infused into me.
So I eventually got my numbers down, after finally putting in a new infusion set. In fact, they went down. And down. And down…until about 4 AM, when I woke up, shaking, sweating, and starving. A check of my blood glucose showed that it was in the 50’s. Odd.
Why odd? I’ve been known to carry on perfectly lucid conversations with doctors and nurses without either of us knowing my glucose was somewhere in the 30’s. In fact, during the time I had a visiting nurse as a part of my recuperation from one of my recent surgeries, the place that did my lab work called one afternoon to ask if I was OK.
“Why do you ask?” I asked.
“Your sugar was 42 this morning,” the person answered.
Heck, I had no idea. Nor did the nurse who drew the blood, changed my dressing, and schmoozed with me for awhile.
I normally don’t have any symptoms of being hypoglycemic and, if my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is warming up at the time — or if I’m not wearing it — I don’t get an alarm as a warning.
Sunday night, I did have my CGM on, and it was spitting out numbers every minute, but I just didn’t hear it. I can be a heavy sleeper at times.
The first thing I wanted to take care of? The hunger. I’m also not the type to get the monster munchies when hypoglycemic. I’m more likely to play the “I need to eat something, but first…” game. (The dishes need to be washed. But wait: I really should boil some eggs to keep in the refrigerator. First, I need to get a dish towel. Oh look: The linen closet needs to be cleaned.) Or something like a salad sounds good. As if a salad would raise anybody’s glucose, especially in a hurry.
But Sunday night I was hungry. I called the children’s phone number and my granddaughter answered. (No, I did not wake her up.)
“I need a banana,” I said. “And one of those fruit push-up kind of thingys in the freezer.” Then I asked for another one of the frozen fruit whatzits. And some sassafras hard candy. Which I crunched instead of sucking. Lots of sassafras candy. (I knew my subconscious told me to pick those up for a reason aside from a remembrance from my childhood of sipping sassafras tea at my grandparents’.) I finally made myself stop before I ate the whole bag. “Enough,” I told myself. “Way too much.” But I really wanted to go on eating sassafras candy until the bag was empty.
The only thing I can figure out is that I felt several hypoglycemic markers because of my hours-long hyperglycemia on Sunday. The hyperglycemia raised my threshold so that I felt the signs of hypoglycemia at a higher number than usual. In fact, I’m told that one way to get hypoglycemic awareness back is to let your glucose run higher for a while. I know I should, but there’s this “thing” about messing up my good HbA1c percentage.
Ah, another little imperfection when it comes to taking care of my diabetes. Maybe it’s a good thing I wear a CGM. Most of the time.
Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/dang-i-couldve-had-sweet-pickles-instead/
Jan Chait: Jan Chait was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January 1986. Since then, she has run the gamut of treatments, beginning with diet and exercise. She now uses an insulin pump to help treat her diabetes. (Jan Chait is not a medical professional.)
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