Category: Blood Sugars

WHAT A HIGH BLOOD SUGAR FEELS LIKE

What a High Blood Sugar Feels Like

What a High Blood Sugar Feels Like

The high blood sugars are what gets me. A high blood sugar is a blood glucose above 140 mg/dL. For me, the symptoms I experience with severe hyperglycemia don’t emerge until well over 250-300 mg/dL.  The lows, while urgent and intensely serious are felt differently. I don’t like to compare the two evils but the highs can be just as debilitating and it leaves me incapacitated.

It’s so hard to describe this pain that can’t be seen. I look fine on the outside but inside my body is fighting for energy and I’m suffering from the adverse effects.

In these moments all I want to do is cry but I have no tears. I can’t quench my thirst no matter how much water I drink. My whole body aches and I’m staring at the clock waiting for the insulin I’ve given myself to be absorbed; giving my body the relief and nourishment that I desperately need.

When my blood sugar is high I despise diabetes the most. When it’s high the minutes and possibly hours it takes for my blood sugar to come down is agonizing. I sit uncomfortably, restless, back and forth to the bathroom checking for ketones and blaming myself. When I know that with diabetes anything is possible. It’s absolutely torturous for anyone including myself to have to go through this.

My heads pounding, I’m irritable and utterly exhausted. I feel like I’m being crushed by tons of weight. I can’t move. I can’t think. I can’t function properly. I feel useless. These are the moments that I beg and plead to just get back to where I was before the high blood sugar. I become grateful for the bad days that weren’t as bad as this.

The high blood sugar could have been caused by a pump malfunction, hormones, stress, illness, wrong dosage, or any number of different things. The fact that things I can’t control can cause this is startling and frustrating. All I can do is try my hardest and hope for the best.

Once my blood sugar does start to lower I feel like I’m taking in a breath of fresh air. There really isn’t a better feeling than knowing I’m going to be okay. That these symptoms are going to diminish and I’ll start to feel myself again. My mood starts to shift and the brain fog slowly goes away. The exhaustion lingers for the rest of the day, but thankfully I’m much better.

I feel conquering despite my defeats because even at my weakest points I still fight these unfathomable challenges. These battles are never seen nor felt by anyone besides myself and ALL who battle diabetes. One that I’ll have to fight more than once.


DKA is a serious life-threatening medical condition caused by high glucose levels. This blog content is not medical advice. If you have questions concerning your health please seek attention from a medical professional. 


 

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My 3 AM wake up call

My 3 AM Wake Up Call

It’s around 3 AM and I wake up out of a restless sleep.

I believe it to be my natural instinct kicking in or a guardian angel telling me to wake up and check my blood sugar. I then go to check only to find out that I’m low (40 mg/dl) and headed straight down.

My CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) is setting off alarms with an “URGENT LOW” alert. I can now hear it echoing throughout the house. It takes me a minute to grasp what’s going on as I gather the little energy I have in me. My mind is telling me to jump right up but it takes my body a minute to catch up.

I then head to the kitchen and find a juice box, crackers, and anything I can find. I fumble to open the juice box as I’m frantic and lost. My body is trembling, I then drink the entire juice box in a matter of a few seconds. I then sit down and scarf down everything else I have, and I still feel weak and disorientated.

I look at my CGM meter and it’s not signaling upwards yet. I sit for a moment to let the sugar get absorbed and the adrenaline starts to pull away from me.

That’s when it usually hits me and I realize that this isn’t a dream. No, rather a terrifying nightmare but in the end I’m thankfully able to save myself once again. I’m frightened because I think of the “what ifs”. As I look back down at my meter my blood sugar is beginning to rise.

That’s when the mental and physical numbness starts to diminish. I feel myself again. I feel tired. I feel exhausted. But I’m alive. This is my normal, something that I’m fully acquainted with, and even after years of managing it still leaves me uneasy at times.

My 3 AM wake up call is not a normal rise and shine moment. It’s a fight to stay alive. It’s all too real. And while others may be able to sleep soundly throughout the night, I’ve been called to take on this challenge.

As I lay back down to go to sleep, I know that while this battle with Type 1 Diabetes is never fully won, I also know that I’m not the only one fighting.

Here’s to the warriors of the night.


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What a Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

Here I am again.

Where I find myself vulnerable and exposed to the most unsettling and debilitating aspect of diabetes that consumes my mind and body in a short amount of time.

A low blood sugar which was caught unexpectedly and suddenly. A low blood sugar or (hypoglycemia) meaning that my glucose level drops below 70 mg/dL and I now starve for energy.

It’s a feeling I know all too well, and I feel as weak as I did the last time. I can’t run from it but only bear through it, fix it, and come out of it once again.

It has caught me dead in my tracks. I urge to resist this constraint it has over me. “No I’m fine”, I think to myself. “My meter must be inaccurate”.

But I know that I’m not okay.

I’m tired, even more than I usually am (if that’s even possible). All I want to do is lay down and go to sleep. I know that this is my body wanting to shut down.

My mind is the first to trail off, and my body takes a little longer to catch up.

I start to feel confused, dazed, and slightly numb to my surroundings. I start to lose myself in the moment and focus heavily on something random.

It takes a minute or two to take in what’s going on. It’s as if time is standing still… The earth is still revolving… the clock is still ticking… but I’m not all there.

I catch myself, and then gain a sense of adrenaline.

My body uses the rest of the energy it has stored, and I go off of instinctual impulse or what you would call a (fight-or-flight response). I now become frantic, I’m looking for food, I’m sweaty, eyes are blurry, I’m fumbling my words, and somewhat disorientated. I can’t keep my train of thought. All I know is that I need sugar, fast.

I scramble for food and juice. Wrappers and crumbs everywhere. I’m not hungry, but the feeling of mortality creeps in which food is my only savior. I eat whatever I can find and is easily accessible. Five minutes feels like an eternity waiting for my blood sugar to rise.

Once the glucose enters my blood, my body starts to feel tingly. I can start to regain my thoughts, and I feel like the instant sensation of a breath of fresh air.

It’s almost like it was a dream or an out of body experience. I feel in despair over the power this disease has over me. How I am now fully present to the world, but felt so absent minutes before.

The worst part of having a low blood sugar like this is being alone through it.

With having this constant battle with this disease, there’s no perfection. I’m fighting so hard, and as much as I make it look effortless, deep down I’m exhausted.

What’s even crazier is that this chaos has become normal to me. I’ve become less aware of the lows, as my body changes its response to it. Meaning I’m used to self-destructing. I’m constantly seeking normal blood sugars but often falling a little short.

I think the real challenge lies within trying to find control over a uncontrollable disease.

But here I am…

Fighting against all odds.


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Diabetes Rollercoaster

The Diabetes Rollercoaster

The Diabetes Rollercoaster

Yesterday I had a day that was one of many. A day where nothing seems to go right. Where I feel like I’m being defeated. Where I feel physically debilitated and mentally distraught. The days where I don’t feel like going through the motions. Where I feel victimized, more so than any other day.

Almost like diabetes is picking on me.

When even though I feel like I’m fighting my hardest, I have to find that extra bit of strength to fight even harder.

I had a day full of erratic and irregular blood sugars. From hyperglycemia to hypoglycemia. Blood sugars that wouldn’t go down due to insulin resistance, and blood sugars that would come down involuntarily hours later. This is what I like to call the “diabetes rollercoaster” effect.

This diabetes rollercoaster ride isn’t fun by any means. It’s rather exhausting and nauseating actually. It’s unlike normal amusements park coasters, where normally there is some excitement and then an end. However, this rollercoaster has no end and keeps on going. I’m not able to throw away my ticket and get off.

If it couldn’t get any worse, my moods shift constantly as well. The way I feel on the inside comes out unwillingly shows on the outside. I’m frustrated with myself as to why I can’t control this. Why does this disease have the ability to make me feel this way? I wish I could go a day without paying any mind to it. I could turn off all the alarms notifying me, do without thinking, and not feel this heavy burden on my shoulders.

I think what bothers me the most is that diabetes lets you think you have everything under control and then reminds you that you don’t. That even though I can do the same thing over and over again, I may not receive the same results.

I often wonder when will this end, when will I feel normal again? I’ve had diabetes for so long that all of this craziness is second nature to me now. Regardless, I just want off of this ride that I’m on. I want days where I’m not fighting for normalcy, that it’ll just come effortlessly.

When I think about how or why I’ve gotten on this diabetes rollercoaster ride. Having to endure all the highs and lows. That maybe this defeat is meant to push me and strengthen me to push forward. Knowing that the struggle that I’m in today shall pass. All I need to do is to surpass all these obstacles and hang on for dear life. Hopefully, then all of this will pay off one day I’ll be able to get off this crazy ride towards a long-awaited cure.

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) has been becoming more widely used by diabetics. There’re a few different companies who supply it. I, personally use the Dexcom. I only starting using it a year ago during my third pregnancy. I’ve always been a brittle diabetic who has hypo unawareness. So my doctor suggested this device to help keep a close eye on my blood sugars while relieving some uncertainty.

At first, I will admit I was hesitant to start using something new. I thought I had too much to juggle already. Taking insulin—checking my blood sugar—and raising children. I knew this wasn’t a cure. Was this really going to help? I will say that it absolutely has helped! This device has changed my life! I wish I knew about it sooner. Now I can’t even imagine my life without it.

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me:

1. Fewer fingersticks

I went from checking my blood sugar 8-10 times a day, now down to 2-3. It’s given me freedom to not have to “think as much”. The CGM goes everywhere with me. It’s reassuring knowing it’s there to alarm me of my blood sugars especially when exercising, driving, and out of the house. I no longer have to drop everything I’m doing to see what my blood sugar is. I only have to calibrate it twice a day to make sure it matches up with my fingerstick blood sugar meter. It gives me the knowledge of what my blood sugar is at all times and the trends throughout the day.

2. Safety net

Having the CGM gives my family the reassurance that I’m okay throughout the day. When I don’t answer my phone, for instance, they can check on the Dexcom share app and see what my numbers are. The receiver alarms me if my blood sugar is low or high. The issue I had prior to this is I would go from 120 down to 50 in a matter of a half hour, and not even realize it. This has helped prevent many hypoglycemic episodes beyond belief. Granted—this isn’t always 100% accurate, but only by 20 points from my finger stick meter.

3. Feeling in control

I use the CGM in conjunction with dosing my insulin. I no longer have to make sure I washed my hands thoroughly in hopes of getting an accurate reading on a normal blood sugar meter. This is constantly attached to me (besides the 2-hour warm-up) and is constantly supplying me with readings. Once taking my insulin, I’m able to see how accurate my bolus amount was to what I ate. In a normal occurrence, without the CGM, I’d often give myself too much insulin and risked hypoglycemia without knowing. This device helps prevent DKA, seizures, and other diabetic related emergencies.

While in modern day diabetes care we have advanced so much. But we continue to battle with insurances covering this device as deeming not medically necessary. It’s been announced that the FDA will be having a meeting on Thursday, July 21, to discuss CGM access and approving CGM as the replacement for insulin dosing.

Why is this so important?

  • This will take prominence over fingersticks for its given accuracy.
  • More Insurances including Medicare will be more enabled to cover this device.
  • This is a breakthrough of what’s to come for the future in managing diabetes.

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me…

 

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me

I could never go back to the day before I started on the Dexcom. It’s given me a better quality of life. I feel freer and I’m able to relieve some of the stress that comes from having to manage this disease. Replacing CGM over fingersticks is so important—this will help this device become available to so many more people. I strongly believe in having CGM coverage for all.