There are a lot of little details to remember when you have a condition such as Diabetes. For the most part, being 38 years into the experience has certainly created a level of “habit” or “routine” where I tend to do most things on auto-pilot on a daily basis. But then, there are the days where it feels like a wild, uncontrolled roller coaster that threatens to derail once you reach the top. There have been a number of times, even in recent years, where I’ve checked blood sugar levels and thought “What the fuck…?”
Picture this: I lay my head down to sleep one night. I wake up at about 3:00 am or thereabouts, to hit the washroom and check my glucose level via CGM. I’m reading at about 8.9 mmol/L, which in my world is perfectly satisfactory in order to continue sleeping through the night. I get back to bed and fall asleep quickly, without any issue (I’m just kidding, the no issue thing never happens). I wake up the next morning, rested and refreshed (also kidding, that DEFINITELY never happens) and test my blood sugar via finger prick before my auto mode asks for it.
Upon waking, I find myself at 7.5 mmol/L, which makes me exceptionally happy. A good, decent blood glucose to hit the ground running on a new day. In order to mitigate any potential upset, I toast a single english muffin that according to the packaging, is only 27 grams of carbohydrates. My insulin ratios are thought to be good, since they were recently checked by my endocrinologist, so I bolus accordingly. I get Nathan ready for school, load him up into the car and take him out. When I get back home, about an hour passes and I notice that I feel a little flush.
“It Is Possible To Commit No Mistakes And Still Lose. That Is Not A Weakness. That Is Life.”– Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
I check my sensor glucose. Bam! 10.8 mmol/L! What the hell…? It’s only been an hour and I’m considering that maybe my “fast-acting” insulin isn’t working as fast as it could and this is simply the carbs from my muffin making my levels climb before the insulin brings them back down. I get pissy, because the elevated blood glucose affects my overall time in range. I give it another hour and notice that I feel fidgety and flush, and my blood sugar has now climbed to 15.2 mmol/L. I now take steps, as the pump’s auto mode apparently needs human intervention and the increasing level is making me angry, which will only go further towards increasing my blood sugar levels.
So what was the problem? Do I simply have poor control capabilities? I seriously doubt it. You don’t survive serious complications for almost four decades, if you have poor control. But the reality is that sometimes, no matter how hard you work at it, your Diabetic day just goes to shit. End of story. So, don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break. You can do everything right and still have things go wrong. That’s just another one of the charming issues with Type-1 Diabetes. ☯