Swing Low, Sweet Blood Sugars…

If you were to Google “hypoglycemia,” you would no doubt find several reputable, peer-reviewed web pages that will give you a list of symptoms that one might experience during low blood sugar. While this is so, it’s important to remember that every person is different and you can experience symptoms that are unique to you. So long as you’re able to recognize those symptoms for what they are, it’s all good.

A good example of this is how in my teens and twenties, I would realize I was experiencing low blood sugar because my tongue and face would go numb. It was a bit disconcerting at first, but once I made the connection and realized that this numbness signified low blood sugar, I even started treating without testing. Not a recommended practice, BTW. But it can be important if you’re caught up somewhere and can’t whip out a glucose monitor to test.

Recently, I found myself coming off of CGM by virtue of my medical insurance having a cap on “Diabetes equipment.” Not prescribed medications, mind you; just the equipment. So, infusion sets, reservoirs and non-medicated equipment items that keep the pump running and maintain better “time-in-range” blood sugar readings have a yearly cap that will only cover me for about three months of the calendar year. Swell.

Considering this coming April marks my Dia-birthday of 39 years, I’m no stranger to a bit of hard work when it comes to controlling one’s blood sugar levels. But I have to admit that I had become quite comfortable at wearing a device that measured my sensor glucose every five minutes and made micro-adjustments to maintain better time in range. Since coming off the CGM sensor, my blood sugars have been a violent roller coaster of highs and lows.

Oh, I’m wearing a Freestyle Libre, but the difference is that the Libre doesn’t monitor my sensor glucose on its own; I have to scan it intermittently to get a reading AND the pump won’t micro-bolus to adjust the way SmartGuard did while using CGM. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve pretty much guaranteed that my A1C’s in February will be a bag of smashed ass, thanks to my insurance company refusing to cover my equipment. It’s a sad world we live in when a proven, working therapy that maintains one’s life and keeps them alive needs to be paid for out of pocket. But such is life. It doesn’t care about one’s plan.

The point is, I’ve lost my vigilance when it comes to monitoring my blood sugars. One good example was yesterday morning. I woke to my alarm, as I usually do. But I felt like absolutely hell. I was groggy and confused about what I needed to do next and I couldn’t quite understand why i felt this way. I checked my sensor glucose and found myself sitting at 2.3 mmol/L. There was my answer…. I had to treat my low before I could do anything else but I couldn’t remember the last time I awoke to such a low. The point is that I felt absolutely zero symptoms of this low. In the past, I would have been awoken by low blood sugars.

I’m living proof that should you have the means and are considering pump therapy with SmartGuard and CGM, it makes a world of difference. I used to complain about the frequent alarms and finger pokes required to calibrate and such but now I’m seeing the difference in the quality of life and balanced blood sugars it provides. Now, I just need to find a way to afford the CGM sensors so that I can get back to that. Luckily, January is just around the corner and my benefits will renew for the year, so I’ll be able to enjoy a better quality of life for at least a few months until I figure all this out. ☯️

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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