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Doin’ the BG Limbo. How Low Can I Go?

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Well, I’m still trying to get my glucose to stay up. Not too high, mind you, but somewhat “normal” range would be good. It’s especially important right now, because I’m going to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting, which begins tomorrow, and they don’t pay any attention to you if you go low. (Don’t believe me? See this.)

So, it’s either get the basals worked out a bit better or eat a big bowl of white rice for breakfast every morning.

After I wrote last week that my daytime numbers were doing OK as long as I ate my meals, THEY went downhill. That’ll teach me. I must have subconsciously wanted to jinx myself!

Now, I was going into the 40s during the night until my endocrinologist suggested new basal rates for overnight. My overnight numbers came up, then I began hitting the 30s and 40s during the day! At least I was awake to take care of lows. I felt a bit “off” and may have been going around in a kind of permanent fog. One day I started cramming gummy orange slices into my mouth: I just wanted to feel better.

After a couple of days of telling myself it was an anomaly and leaving everything as it was, I gave in and lowered all of my daytime basal rates by half a unit per hour. At least, I think I did. I had to count beeps because the numbers seemed to be obliterated by a low-induced fog. No, really: I could not see the numbers on my insulin pump. However, I did manage to count well — I checked my “before” and “after” numbers after my glucose came back up.

At the moment, I’m keeping an intensive blood glucose log, which includes…lots of fingersticks, actually. Before and after meals, fasting, bedtime, middle of the night, snacks. Also, carbs ingested, insulin dosage, any notes that may be necessary. Basal rates. Insulin-to-carb ratios.

And don’t forget to put down the dates so you don’t get a call from the nurse saying, “And what days did you fill this out?” (Yep, guilty!)

I do fingersticks for the log, but I’ll send it in along with a printout from my continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The CGM isn’t always that accurate, but it does give an idea of how the flow is going.

Let me amend that: I did fingersticks for the log until I tried to do a 3 AM check last night and kept getting error codes. Turns out I need to change the battery in my meter. Do I have one on hand? C’mon! You know me better than that! So I’m writing in numbers from my CGM until I can put in a fresh battery later today. Surely I was higher than the 61 my CGM showed this morning, but I’ll never know.

Do I know why my glucose is crashing? Oh, sure. I haven’t been hungry, so I haven’t been eating. I’m losing weight. Which is a good thing. The problem is, when you take insulin and you lose weight, things can get a bit “interesting.” I just need to keep a close eye on things is all.

Sometime today I’m off to Indianapolis, which is where AADE is this year. I only live an hour away, but it’s easier to stay onsite. In fact, my traveling bud, who is also a CDE, and I are sharing a room, and she only lives 15 minutes from the convention center.

I have an appointment with my family practice doc this morning. I haven’t packed yet. I’m frantically charging my phone and e-reader. I’m wondering if my grandson is awake so he can crawl around under my desk to unplug the scooter charger and the bed to unplug the CPAP machine. Where did I put the thingamajig that I plug my phone charger into so I can plug it into an outlet instead of the computer? Don’t let me forget to take my CGM charger, too. Do I need to make a stop at the big box store?

I should have packed yesterday.

The garden needs checked, too. The three eggplants that have appeared are never going to look like they’re supposed to, but they’re not going anywhere so they may as well be picked. There’s one cucumber that seems to have matured and needs to be picked, too. The good news is, there are plenty of “baby” cucumbers coming along. Maybe there will be pickles this year.

This summer’s heat and drought have not been good for the garden. We live in an area where the drought is worse than “severe.” I forget what they call it. Exceptional, maybe? We can water the garden, but can’t help the heat. Plants are stunted. My pole beans got about one foot high and stopped. I finally pulled them all up. I’ll plant more when I get back from AADE. I have leftover beans and it couldn’t hurt. Blossoms are appearing, but not setting, which could be from a lack of bees to pollinate them.

Sounds like it’s time to get going. I’ll see what I can ferret out for you at AADE.

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