My Morning Implodes. Diabetes Doesn’t Help.

I woke at 6:15 this morning in a fog because last night by bedtime, sneezing and runny-nosed from five hours yesterday on an Audubon-approved golf course[1], I decided that I needed the help of pharmaceuticals to get me through the night.

Hello, Benadryl.

Yes, I&#x#x2019;m pointing my finger at you, Benadryl, because you’re the catalyst for today’s madcap morning. Sure, I may instead choose to blame the fates or the gods for the unfortunate series of incidents that have thus far happened to me. Yet, because I don’t believe in such things, I’m accusing you. You see, the minor incidents, all of which took place in about 90 minutes’ time, while not your fault (because I don’t believe you sabotaged my life in the middle of the night), all nonetheless happened under the duress of this antihistamine hangover.

Amazingly, my blood glucose numbers were fine this morning. I experienced no major diabetes[2] incidents. However, when things in life don’t go smoothly, when all does not happen as planned, you can bet, as you see below, that diabetes still inserts itself.

The alarm, first of all, didn’t register the first time. I don’t remember hitting snooze. So I roll over the second time, and in the half-world between asleep and awake, in the white noise of two fans at the opposite ends of the room, I realize it’s not the weekend. This means time to walk the dog.

When I take my first step from the bed, my insulin pump[3], which has fallen from my shorts pocket and remained behind in bed, is sucked back by the elastic tubing tether and hits me on the side of the knee.

I go downstairs and, after several seconds of trying to get my bearings while standing at the window wondering why the gates are open, remember that my wife, who’s been on vacation for two weeks but returns to work today, isn’t at home because she’s gone to the gym.

I check my blood glucose, but I’m fumbly, and so I preempt the strip’s readiness and apply my sample too soon. Meter error. Backtrack, reload, try again. Another meter error. Third time, however, is a charm, and my blood glucose is fine.

During the pre-dog-walk preparation, I can’t find the little carb packets (Clif Shot Energy Gel or Gu Energy Gel) that I carry with me in case I start to go low on our 30- to 45-minute morning walk. So instead I go to the kitchen to get a juice box to carry on the walk, stubbing my pinky toe in the process.

Before getting dressed for the walk, I have get my laundry off of the basement table. While downstairs, I turn too quickly and bang into the open washing-machine door.

Back upstairs, I can’t find the dog. When I do, she’s curled into a tight ball in the shadowed corner beneath a window, sulking because she recognizes the return to the home-alone workweek routine.

Then I spill Honey Nut Cheerios on the counter. Not for my breakfast, mind you, but to put in a baggy to carry on the walk in case I need to bribe the dog if she protests moving forward. (Long story. Ellie’s one transgression is stubborness in going certain ways on her walk.)

That’s when I see the note from Kathryn to feed Ellie. See, if Ellie doesn’t get up when my wife does, the responsibility falls to me. But this morning Ellie doesn’t eat (more sulking). She lays in front of her bowl. Looks at me. Ignores the food. I go into the living room to put on my shoes. I wait. No eating noises from the kitchen. I decide to do the walk first.

Once we get back from the walk, I abandon dog responsibilities and shower. While in the shower, I remember that I promised to turn in this week’s diabetes blog early. Crap! A busy day at work, but the blog! I’ve yet to write it! (Lots of exclamation points upon realizing things in the shower!)

Showered, I put some Metrogel on my face (read last week’s blog entry[4] for more on Metrogel). Simple. Quite simple. But not for me: The cap for this rather viscous gel falls from my hand, bounces twice, then once more, then skids between the sink top and the wall. There’s a little less than a half-inch gap all the way around. I need that cap. I can’t get to it. The tube’s full and I can’t think of how else I’d seal it. (Saran wrap? Transferring the gel to another container? But what container? And I need to get to work!)

I grab a shish-kebab skewer from above the kitchen cabinets to pull the cap from its resting place about six inches from the front of the dark crevasse (I can just make it out). In the process of grabbing the skewer, I knock over a somewhat important-to-me heirloomy clay figurine. It falls onto the counter, and half of its head breaks into three or four not-unfixable but nonetheless broken and never-to-be-the-same pieces.

I retrieve the Metrogel cap. I also realize that this nearly unvacuumable half-inch gap between the wall and cabinet needs cleaning. But how? And I can’t do it now. But boy does it need cleaning.

Dressed for work, without breakfast yet for myself, I grab two granola bars and some yogurt. Then I feel the buzzing at my hip. Insulin pump. It’s telling me the reservoir is low. I go to the fridge to get some insulin[5] to take into work (where I’ll change the reservoir at my desk), and realize I’m almost out of insulin and need to order more. Mental list. One more thing to do.

I bolus before getting in the car for the bar I’ll eat on my commute and immediately get a blockage detected.

Icing, meet cake. I mean, yeah, that too is something I’ll fix once I get to work.

I’m wondering: What’s next?

  1. Audubon-approved golf course:
  2. diabetes:
  3. insulin pump:
  4. last week’s blog entry:
  5. insulin:

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Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor. (Eric Lagergren is not a medical professional.)

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