Forgive me if this post comes out whiny or cranky. Frankly, I'm working on less than four hours of sleep, none of that more than 30 minutes in a row. And I feel awful to boot.
I'm a bit of a control freak, and I like to be in control. I am certainly learning I can't control everything, but there are a few things I still would like to know I'm in charge of. One of them is my diabetes.
Since diabetes is really just a lack of insulin for me (darn pancreas that decided it had had enough), control should be as simple as taking synthetic insulin through shots. I just manually have to control my blood sugars as opposed to letting it go on autopilot. I use this thing to do it:
It's called an insulin pump and I wear it all the time. It's like my mini-pancreas. It's about the size of a small cell phone and it has a tiny tube that runs from the pump into a catheter I put in my abdomen. Sounds gross, but really, no one even notices it, and most of the time, I can't feel it. But all day it delivers a small stream of insulin in me to keep me alive, and when I eat, I just hit the buttons and it delivers more insulin. No shots. Sounds easy, right?
Except - and this is a huge EXCEPT - the science on this "let's mimic the pancreas" is very flimsy. And my body is very unpredictable. You'd think every time I ate, say, a ham sandwich made from exactly the same materials, I could take the same amount of insulin to cover it. You'd think if I exercised exactly the same amount every day, I could set my insulin for the same amount to cover how my blood sugar would rise or fall. You'd think, with a small amount of math, I could keep my blood sugars in the normal range easily. After all, that's what math and science is about, right? Having a right answer?
BUT: I can't. Because every freakin' day my body decides to do something different. I am like a moving target for that insulin.
And yesterday, I couldn't get it right. After coming home from the gym, my blood sugar was surprisingly good ( it usually goes up, but sometimes it goes down, so I wait and see and then adjust). I thought, Ah! Today's going to be one of those good days!
And then I ate lunch. A small lunch. Only 15 carbs (the carbohydrates are what you have to count to determine how much insulin to use). But my blood sugar went haywire. Into the 200s. Which is bad. I pushed more insulin. And it went to the 300s. I start freaking out. I change every variable I can (insulin, catheter, tubing) and push more insulin. Into the 400s.
I change it all again and then give myself a real shot, with a real needle. It slowly goes down to the high 200s. I haven't eaten anything else, and am guzzling water like I just crossed the Sahara ( highs make me thirsty). I think it's still going down, so I eat dinner. About half of what I'd normally eat. It shoots back into the high 300s.
This is not me. I am never that high. And I have never not been able to get my blood sugars down when I needed to. It's almost as though the insulin itself is causing my blood sugar to go up.
I change it all out again. This is getting expensive now. By eleven at night it's in the high 200s again. It's going down, I think. I'll read a little and then test again, just to make sure.
At midnight it's in the low 300s. At one it's in the 400s. I have no freakin' idea what is going on. Even if I hadn't taken any insulin at all for my food it shouldn't be this high. Another hour like this and I'll be in the hospital.
I change everything out again, and give myself another shot. I've given myself enough insulin at this point to have killed me three times over. I'm going to bed. I give up. I figure my blood sugar is either going to be 800 by morning, or 20, and either way I'll be lucky to wake up.
BUT: I also wear a sensor. It's the size of a quarter and attached directly to my skin, and it sends my blood sugar number to my pump every five minutes. It looks like this:
And if my blood sugar goes too high or too low, it makes this obnoxious beeping noise that won't go away until you hit a series of buttons. I've been hitting these buttons all day. I don't know why I thought I was going to get any sleep. All night they beeped, and in my hazy, fatigued state I'd glance at the glowing screen and see my blood sugar numbers continuing to creep up. And up. And up. I was scared to sleep too much, but too tired to know what else to do.
This morning I started all over. New bottle of insulin. New tubing. Another shot. I got it down to 104 after 24 hours of this. Now, two hours after it came down and hit normal, without eating anything, it's creeping back up.
I am beyond frustrated. And I feel tired and groggy and hungry. And confused. And worried. Because I'm pushing enough insulin now that whenever whatever is causing my blood sugar to go so high goes away, I'm going to be in a world of trouble.
I hate it because it is now controlling my day. I didn't go to the gym. I didn't have my coffee. I'm pricking my fingers every fifteen minutes to make sure I don't need to keep 9-1-1 on speed dial.
It's gone up 10 points just in the time it took to write this.
God, I don't complain about much in my life. I'm mostly very healthy, and I'm exceptionally thankful for that. And I'm happy to deal with living with diabetes if this is what you think will make me stronger. But really... I'd be so grateful if we could just go back the way things were three days ago. When I didn't feel like I had to review emergency information with my kids. Thanks.