It’s been a rough night! And despite it being Saturday, which is a day off for me, I find myself emotionally and physically drained and exhausted. I usually try not to be openly negative in my posts; there’s enough negativity in the world without my adding to it. But having a night of extreme highs and lows can be taxing on the body, and give you what can almost be compared to a “hangover feeling”, without the enjoyment of drinks the night before.
I was up late last night. After receiving some reasonably bad news during the day, I had a rigorous workout to try and burn the frustration out of myself in a productive manner. The rest of the family had gone to bed and I stayed up for a while doing some computer work and watching some Netflix. After ensuring that I was adequately burned out enough to go to sleep, which included a naughty plate of nachos, I stumbled into the comfort of my bed shortly past midnight (And yes, before the “you-know-you’re-old-when” jokes start, I know that this isn’t all that late for some of you younger folks!)
It felt as though I had only been sleeping for a matter of minutes, when I was awoken by my left leg twitching uncomfortably. I couldn’t get settled and my frustration snapped me awake faster than a fresh shot of espresso. I sat up in bed and the spinning of my head warned me that something was amiss. I tested my blood sugars and found that I was too low for my interstitial sensor to read…
Now, I’ve had lows where I’ve taken blood sugar readings in the 2.0’s! This means that if it’s reading “LO”, I’m critically, even life-threateningly low… Luckily, I’ve groomed myself and my body to be able to act, even at these low levels. I’ve had no choice but to do so, considering the years when I lived alone. I contemplate waking my wife for help but quickly reconsider, knowing that she has to be up for work in a few hours and our infant son will likely not let her sleep that long.
I stumble my way down to our home office, where I have a fun assortment of bags from Bulk Barn, including seasonal jelly beans. I sit at the desk and start enthusiastically wolfing down full handfuls of beans while watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother for the thousandth time… I was up for about an hour before I started to feel better and finally made my way back to bed.
As can often be the case with someone suffering from hypoglycemia, I made the unfortunate mistake of eating UNTIL I started feeling better. This is a bad thing, because in most cases one needs to stop far sooner and let the glucose do its thing. But if you eat until you start feeling better, there’s a likely chance that you’ve taken in too much glucose.
As you can see from the above image, my blood sugar went from being too low to read, to 26.6 mmol/L in just a few hours. The effects on the body are brutal. I woke up with a strange heat in my body, without the sweat. I was ridiculously thirsty and I needed to pee like I had been on an eight-hour road trip after drinking an entire Big Gulp from 7-Eleven. I felt nauseous and could almost guarantee that I might be dealing with some ketoacidosis issues.
I instructed my insulin pump to bolus accordingly, and after briefly explaining to my wife what had happened, fell back asleep for about an hour. It wasn’t a restful sleep, but a required one.
As I woke up, just shortly past 9 a.m. I tested my blood and took screenshots of the previous two results, showing the journey that is a Diabetic’s night. At time of waking, I had dropped from 26.6 to 18.2 mmol/L. Although still not and ideal reading, that nifty arrow that’s pointing down in the image indicates that the insulin is still doing its thing and my blood sugars are slowly dropping.
As I write this, an hour after that last reading, I’m sitting at 14.0 mmol/L. I’m starting to feel somewhat normal and I’m thinking that caffeine may soon do more than just dehydrate me further. I’m somewhat envious of my son, who is currently sitting on the floor watching the Chipmunks and wolfing down his very full bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with the kind of impunity that can only be enjoyed by someone without Diabetes. Lucky little bastard! But I digress…
There you have it, folks! I consider myself a reasonably well-controlled Diabetic. I spend the better part of fifty percent or more of my time “in range”, and the only reason it isn’t a higher percentage is due to my stubbornness at not wearing Continuous Glucose Monitoring along with my pump. This may change next month when I visit my endocrinologist and ask him to prescribe the new Medtronic pump for me.
As wordy as I made this post, it paints a reasonable picture of what someone with Diabetes has to deal with. When I was first diagnosed with Diabetes, I had the benefit of being too young to understand what the serious issues and the comas I suffered through really meant. I’m fortunate to be at a point in my treatment where I have enough control that every night of sleep isn’t a potential death sentence and I don’t have to be concerned whether I’ll wake up the next morning (no more than the average person, anyway). ☯