I’ll Take the High Road and I’ll Take the Low Road and I’ll be Frustrated Afore Ye

Surgery and IV antibiotics continue to send my blood glucose into the toilet a lot but, thanks to various and sundry government edicts, I don’t always have to mainline sugar to get it up to decent levels.


Take the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, for example. It thinks I may be a terrorist because the name listed on my Social Security card is not the same as the name I go by. So I neglected to change my name after I got married… 34 years ago. It never seemed to stop the IRS from taking money from me, but I guess the ability to drive is a different animal.

Actually, I need a handicapped hangtag and can’t get one because the name on my driver’s license doesn’t match the one on my Social Security card. So I had to go to the Social Security office to take care of things.

Now, you have to know that this is my second marriage and, for some reason I don’t even remember, I did change my name after hubby number one. It sure was a surprise to me when I learned the name I had been using for most of my life is not, in fact, my “legal” name: At least not according to Social Security.

“Nope,” said the gum-chewing clerk as she leafed through my divorce papers. “You didn’t have your name changed back to your maiden name. You have to use this one.”

“Come on! I only had that name for three years! It was my trainer marriage! He looked like Paul McCartney!”

(As an aside to you young’uns, this was pretty much way before women kept their own names after marriage and did not take back their maiden names at divorce, especially if they had a child — which I did.)

Yep. The name I was born with, had for one-third of my life, and use as my middle name, isn’t good enough. To make it so, I will need to have my name legally changed.

The government always seems to think of another way to get its hands into my pockets.

At least my glucose wasn’t low after that little exchange. (Isn’t diabetes wonderful? Just a simple little emotion — for example, anger and frustration — can lift you from hypoglycemia to hyperglycemia in 10 minutes flat.)

And, yes, my blood glucose had been a bit low. In fact, I got a call from the lab that had done my blood work that day to ask if I was OK.

Not only had I downed a big glass of milk, I’d eaten breakfast and lunch since then, and lowered my basal rates. Again. I keep doing that. It works for a day or two, then I’m back to where I started.

To be truthful, it’s getting to be downright annoying. Probably to my husband as well. He was awakened this morning by the sounds of me using some very unladylike language and knocking things on the floor — including a can or two of opened soda somebody had put in the fridge — as I attempted to get some milk. Yes, milk. I’ve had it with glucose tablets and gel, and with various and sundry kinds of candy. Milk has sugar in it and works as well — as long as it’s very low-fat.

I have gone from my Type 2 insulin-resistant “it doesn’t much matter how precise I am on insulin dosage” to what is (to me, at least) hypersensitivity to the hormone. Yes, dosage does make a difference now.

The bottom line is that I need to get very serious about figuring out my basal rates, insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios, and correction rates.

Or maybe I could just make a daily visit to a government agency.

Learn more about the health and medical experts who who provide you with the cutting-edge resources, tools, news, and more on Diabetes Self-Management.
About Our Experts >>

  • Cathy

    Jan, I can really feel your frustration. Try working for one of those agencies and being exposed to that level of frustration daily in very large doses. Not revealing which one I work for but everyone and I mean everyone hates them. Before I was diagnosed and when I was younger it didn’t bother me much. But now that I am older and more easily irritated by stupidity I am having a hard time controlling my bg also. I told my endo that my A1c reading will not even approach normal for 2 more years (retirement, sweet retirement). Add to that frustration a commute of 2 hours daily in one of the cities with the worst traffic problems in the South and you have my day. I’m doing the best I can because I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel when I can look forward to a little peace and a lot less driving. I do try to watch my food, exercise, and drugs as well as I can since I am not suicidal but it is really hard to remain calm on some days. I think more than anything frustration and irritation make my bg spike.

  • K.D.

    I am under such a great deal of stress and can’t seem to get my Dr. to seriously understand how much this is affecting my Type 2. She just keeps telling me, well it might be time for insulin. I already take Metformin, Junevia and Byetta. My A1C did start to come down (8.2) and now with increasing stress my A1C has gone back up t0 9.7 I’ve been trying to control food, now eating much smaller amounts of food every 3 hours and have lost @ 10 lbs in the last year (but no exercise) Mt Triglicerides (sp?) are thru the roof and I’ve started medication for that too.

    My fear of going on insulin (and never being able to come off it) and the threat of weight gain from being on insulin, makes me even more stressed out.

    If I could just take a month off from work so I could work to reduce stress and focus on my health, I think I could get the A1C to come down with out insulin.

    Just how much can stress raise the A1C and BG (mine has been at or over 250 for awhile, but I really don’t seem to be having symptoms or problems, or at least not feeling anything.)?

    I just keep getting mad and stressed over all of this and I want it to settle down!

  • Becky

    Why are you afraid of insulin? An insulin injection hurts less than a finger poke for a glucose check. After I started taking insulin, I had better control, more energy, and fewer pills. It seems like a miracle to me. I didn’t gain weight either. I think the weight gain comes from taking more insulin to eat more. If you keep your calories and carbs down, you won’t have to take much insulin, but that A1c should drop considerably. Work with your diabetes educator on this. If you are type 2 and get the A1c down and keep you BG under control, you may even be able to cut back on and then eliminate the insulin. You may not have to take it forever. I can’t stress the importance of exercise though. Your muscles act like a sponge absorbing glucose from your blood, so try to work in 10 minutes a day and then increase it as you can.

  • phillip vaughan

    jan, i feel your pain.

  • lesley

    Stress, for me anyway, plays a huge part in the lack of control of my diabetes. At first I thought it was my imagination, then I started to connect the dots. When I am out with friends, laughing having a good time, the sugar is down, when I am home alone the sugar is so so, but when the hubby is home (sorry its not the best relationship), the blood sugar skyrockets. Don’t believe me, try a record keeping, and find a co-relation between your stressors and your blood sugar level!

  • Imed

    People with type 1 diaebtes CANNOT produce insulin which brings the blood sugar down so just about everything they eat causes their blood sugar to rise. They have to inject insulin to compensate for the lack of it. The diet they should follow should be low fat and low carb and sugar. Basically they should follow a normal healthy diet. When insulin is administed because it was not natrually produced in the body in response to the foods we eat, sometimes to much insulin is given and the blood sugar is brought down to low. Low to the point the person can die which is why someone who uses insulin needs to have some sugar or sugar pills, candy on hand just in case the sugar drops really low.Type 2 diabetics basically have a pancreas that has pooped out and cannot produce adequate amount of insulin to keep blood sugars within normal range. They also should follow a low fat, low carb diet but they don’t have to worry so much about the sugar dropping really low because most type 2 diabetics take pills to control their condition which don’t drop the sugar quite so much. If the pills aren’t working well enough they also might need insulin.Pretty much the diets are the same for both types.References : RN