Low blood sugars don’t normally scare me. Sure I’ve had times where I have felt unwell enough to be a little concerned but generally speaking I don’t have a great fear of them. I don’t feel the urge to eat everything in sight to treat a low. I stick to my juicy juice box or maybe a soda or glucose tabs if I have nothing else available and I’m usually good in a reasonable amount of time. It could be because I’ve (thankfully) never lost consciousness, I’m not sure. I’ve also never lived alone. I went from living with my parents and sister to living with my hubby.
Two weeks ago however, I had an incident that had me in tears from fear. I was working from home so was alone in our apartment. It was not quite 2 hours post breakfast that the reading on my Dexcom caused me some concern.
I checked with my meter and confirmed I was actually dropping that much with a 76 mg/dL. I grabbed a juice box and also decreased my basal by about 50%. The double arrows on the Dexcom went away but I was still dropping. About 35 minutes, this is what I saw.
I started to get nervous at this point. Less basal, juice and I was still dropping. And feeling completely fine. That is what scared me the most I think. I have not been feeling my lows at all lately and I was afraid that since I wasn’t feeling low that all of a sudden I was going to be low enough to not be able to help myself. So I suspended my insulin and had another juice box. Another 15 minutes later I was still dropping.
I don’t know if it was the fear or the actual low but I started not to feel well. And so I got even more panicked. I decided to get the glucagon out and gave myself a shot in the leg. I didn’t know if I was overreacting but at the moment, by myself, it seemed like the right thing to do. I also thought I was going to regret it with BG in the 300’s but guess what? About 2 hours later, finally, I peaked at 165.
I was never so scared. I was never so relieved. I was never so thankful to have the right tools to help me monitor this blood sugar. I can only imagine what could have happened in this situation when I was first diagnosed 30 years ago without even a glucose meter to test with. Most days diabetes isn’t that scary. But some days it can be very scary.
Last night I did nothing out of the ordinary. We had dinner of leftovers around 5:30pm and I finished an elliptical workout around 7:45. My BG was 153 mg/dL pre workout and 131 afterwards. Pretty good in by book. I took a shower around 9 and noticed on my Dexcom that I had dropped a little below 100 mg/dL. Still pretty good. I had some tea before getting ready for bed and was in the living room while my Dexcom receiver sat in the bedroom. I got back to the bedroom and it started with its 3 vibrations, signaling a low BG. A finger stick confirmed – 49. I had a juice box and waited a bit before trying to fall asleep. This was around 10pm. This 49 turned into a low that would not go up until 3am. That is a 5 hour low blood sugar. 5 hours. I had numerous juice boxes, decreased my basal first by 20%, then by 50% and finally by 80%. In all my years of living with diabetes I will never understand what causes persistent lows like this. You would think after a couple of hours, my liver would have gotten the hint for some glucagon! Maybe the exercise had something to do with it, however I should have had enough carbs in my bloodstream to compensate for it. I have also been exercising a few times a week so it shouldn’t have been a shock to my body. At one point, I was on the verge of tears wishing for God to please make the low stop. All I wanted to do was sleep. I am very thankful to have had my Dexcom. Although its alarms every 30 minutes was what was keeping me awake, I otherwise may have just fallen asleep and not able to stay on top of that darn low.
And of course since diabetes is a bitch, I have been around 200+ mg/dL since I woke up this morning. Needless to say, I am feeling like a zombie today. I’m already thinking of later tonight when I get home and can hopefully go to sleep early. Nonstop lows are bad enough during the day. But they are so much worse during the night, when you’re supposed to be sleeping.
It seems that the latest hype in the diabetes community is the announcement of the Animas Vibe insulin pump that was announced as receiving European CE Mark approval last week. I have to admit that like so many others, I am very excited about this. Being both an Animas pump and Dexcom user, of course I will be happy when the two become integrated. I took a stab quite a while back at the Medtronic integrated CGMS when it was the Paradigm. Unfortunately it did not provide accurate results or comfort for me. But I did really like that the pump and sensors fed the same device.
From the information I’ve gathered, this won’t be available in the US until late this year or next. I am very disappointed about this. While I appreciate the process of ensuring medical devices are safe for consumers here in the states, I find it frustrating that they hold up the availability of such devices that would improve the management of blood glucose for those living with diabetes. If it’s safe enough for those living in Europe, what makes the citizens of US different?
There was also a new meter introduced by Animas Canada recently. I found this out from fellow D Momma, Sherry.
It looks very similar to the Ping meter that’s in use in the US today except the screen is color, just like the pump. That’s pretty cool isn’t it? 😉 Now if there isn’t much change to the meter, why would the FDA be holding this up too? I’ve heard that when the Vibe comes to the US it will not have the “Ping” feature meaning that you will not be able to bolus from the meter. Does that mean the new color screen meter will not be coming with the pump? Will Animas US offer the new meter before the Vibe? I’d love to not have to guess the answers to these questions that I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering about. Come on already FDA!
(note: the pictures are all courtesy of Animas and their Vibe press release)
I was asked recently what a good day with diabetes is. My response was pretty simple: when my blood glucose (BG) cooperates.
When I saw this CGM graph over the weekend, I thought of my answer to the question asked of me. Looking at it you may not think it’s the best in terms of good BG readings. However, these 12 hours included pretzel bites at the movies, cold stone ice cream AND pizza after. A bit higher than I’d like but pretty darn good considering if you ask me! And this was a day that I treated myself to these types of foods all in the same day plus I did my exercise earlier in the day to make sure I burned off some of those calories! So I tried somewhat to manage this as best I can. And it worked. For the most part. Living with diabetes would be so much “easier” if things worked out this way more often. But I certainly do appreciate when it does.
Here’s to wishing all of a you good BG day!
Diabetes Blog Week is almost over! Day 6 = Today is the only day I’ve brought back a fun topic from last year. Inspired by the Diabetes 365 project, let’s snap a few more d-related pictures and share them again. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Be creative! Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures. Or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.
I like taking pictures. Generally speaking. So when I had to share some snapshots of diabetes, I was all for it! 😉 Here are some more recent pictures that I’ve taken that depicts life with diabetes. And please don’t mind if they’re not of the best quality pictures … most (if not all) of these were taken with my iPhone.
This one is of my nightstand. It always has my meter, flashlight and juice box there for the overnight BG checks and lows. (note from the photographer: my juice boxes are always Juicy Juice but I ran out last week and had to make an emergency run and they only had Apple & Eve. Not that it really matters, really.)
This is all of my diabetes supplies. Yes I have A LOT. Luckily in our new(ish) place, they fit nicely in the corner of the bedroom, out of the way.
This is a good day.
This is what unclear looks like.
This is what scary looks like.
And this is a matching moment. I love these.
Diabetes Blog Week is still going strong! Is it only day 3??!
Day 3 = Whether you or your loved one are newly diagnosed or have been dealing with diabetes for a while, you probably realize that things can (and will) go wrong. But sometimes the things that go wrong aren’t stressful – instead sometimes they are downright funny! Go ahead and share your Diabetes Blooper – your “I can’t believe I did that” moment – your big “D-oh” – and let’s all have a good laugh together!!
This particular topic got me thinking. A lot. And I was mainly coming up blank for something to write about! There are little things that happen diabetes related that you can chuckle about. Like poking your finger for a BG test and you get two spots of blood, one from an earlier test. Or going to test your BG on your iPhone instead of the actual glucose meter. But these aren’t really blog worthy. Or original. Then I googled the definition of blooper and came up with this: 1. An embarrassing error. That’s when a story came to mind. I already shared this story back when it happened so I apologize if you’ve heard it already.
I take the railroad to work every day. I’m usually one of the first few people at the spot where I wait for the train meaning that I’m closer to the platform edge. This particular morning, not quite 2 years ago, I reached for my Dexcom receiver from my bag to see what my BG was. And there it went. Onto the train tracks. I stared at it as if that was going to rewind time and bring it back. And then I started freaking out. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do so I called Joe at home (he leaves for work later than I do) to tell him I was still at the train station and why. Based on his suggestion, I went back to the ticket office to tell the employee I had dropped something very valuable on the tracks. The poor guy didn’t really seem to know what to do. He called his manager and was waiting for a call back. In the meantime, he thought maybe he could scoop it up with a broom and dust pan so went to get that from wherever it is they keep it. While I waited, a second phone call to Joe resulted in him informing me that he was at the train station and had retrieved my Dexcom receiver for me! Phew!!!! I was so relieved that I had it back and wasn’t going to have to get a new one. And so thankful that he did that for me. This was a bit embarrassing and probably could never happen again even if I tried. And let me tell you that I have never, ever reached for my Dexcom receiver on the train platform since that day!