Tag: low blood sugar

My Guardian Angel –

The other night was one of those times where I needed saving. Some may say it could be timing, coincidence, or luck. But to me, it’s nothing short of a guardian angel.

I go to sleep, but this time my CGM didn’t alert me of a low blood sugar. A simple malfunction or loss of signal perhaps. Any other night I would get alerted, wake up, and care for my blood sugar. But not this night.

On the other side of the house a smoke alarm beeps 3 times. My husband wakes up quickly and goes to figure out where the loud noise is coming from. There’s no fire, no one awake in the house but himself, and it never went off again after he woke up – (Even days later).

He then goes to check on me. Puts his hand on my chest and notices that I’m sweating profusely. He wakes me up and I feel weak and confused. He hands me a handful of M&M’s and as I eat I slowly start to become alert and well.

I thank him for waking me up. I feel distraught on how I can do so good for so long and have just ONE bad night with diabetes. He asks me if I heard the smoke alarm going off and I said no. It didn’t click in then, but the next day I really thought about weird that was.

It doesn’t surprise me though. And it’s not the first time something like this has happened where I feel protected in some way. It’s comforting and reassuring that someone is looking after me. I believe my husband is my assigned guardian angel.

I think having a guardian angel is a way of saying “I know you can’t do this alone and you’ll never have to. An angel is there to protect you.”


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Daily Thoughts Of a Person With Diabetes

Daily Thoughts Of a Person With Diabetes

My day to day life revolves around diabetes. As much as I like to tell myself that it doesn’t control my life, to a certain extent it does. I forget sometimes how often I think about my diabetes, from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep it’s on my mind.

Here are some of my daily thoughts with diabetes:

Just waking up I check my blood sugar, it’s 163. Okay, how much insulin do I need to inject to bring it down slightly and to be able to eat breakfast?

Do I have enough insulin? How long until I run out? Am I due for a refill soon? How much will my insulin cost when I go to pick it up? Will I be able to afford this?

My CGM (continuous glucose monitor) is beeping a low alarm. How low is it? What should I eat or drink? How much should I eat or drink to bring it back up to a safe number?

I want to go out to lunch this afternoon. How many test strips should I bring? Do I have enough insulin in my insulin pump or should I change it prior? What if my blood sugar drops too low or goes high? Do I have enough snacks? Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

I’m eating dinner. How will this meal affect my blood sugar? Did I bolus? Will the insulin I gave myself prior be sufficient enough? What if I miscalculated? Will I need to correct?

Credit: Type 1 Diabetes Memes

I’m out of the house. My blood is low and I’m not feeling well. Do I tell everyone around me? Where can I sit down and take care of my diabetes? Why are people staring at me?

My blood sugar is high. Why is it high? I did everything that I normally do but my blood sugar won’t come down. Why do I feel so sick? Should I test my ketones? Should I go to the ER? Could it be DKA? Why is diabetes so frustrating?

Just put a new insulin pump site on. Is it on correctly? Why is my blood sugar rising? Could the cannula be bent? Should I take it off and put on a new one? I would hate to have to waste a site if it’s fine.

It’s midnight and my blood sugar is low. What should I eat? How long before my sugar rises? I hope it comes up soon because I’m tired. What if it doesn’t rise and I fall back asleep?

I’m working out and my blood sugar is dropping. Should I stop my workout? Should I eat something and continue working out? Should I disable my insulin pump?

My blood sugar trends have been wacky lately. Should I change my basal rates? What if I’m just combating hormones or sickness? Should I bolus more for my meals? What adjustment is needed without going too high or low throughout the day?

Packing for a trip. How much insulin should I bring? How will I keep my insulin refrigerated? How many infusion sites, sensors, lancets, and test strips should I pack?

Diabetes is demanding and it requires constant attention.

Trying to mimic a pancreas is no easy feat. Everyday I make choices for my health, and those choices have a huge impact on my life. Going over my daily thoughts I have just proves how much work I put into my diabetes, and my life everyday.


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A Night In The Life Of a Type 1 Diabetic

I wrote this poem last night at 3 a.m. Seems like almost every night I am up at that time. Truth be told though I am not alone. Multitudes of others share a similar experience when caring for someone with this disease. If you know someone with Type 1 Diabetes and they are managing it so well know that there is a whole lot of hard work behind it.


A Night In The Life of a Type 1 Diabetic

By: Mary Williams

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray to God I catch some Zzz’s.
The first alarm goes off at 12
Time to make sure all is still well

A blood sugar reading of 65.
Time to down juice to keep her alive.
“Wake up sleepy head, it’s that time of night
Wake up so momma can make you alright.”

15 minutes later its time to re-poke
A drop of blood reveals its time for some Coke
Still too low to go to bed.
So we patiently wait to lay our weary heads.

15 minutes go by and the Alarm bell rings
Another drop of blood…141 it sings.
Set the alarm to wake up at 3.
My head hits the pillow and my alarm startles me.

Another drop of blood into the machine.
350 is what it now currently screams!
Freakity Frack!
I want our old lives back.

Time for a shot to bring them back down.
Set the alarm for 6 this time around.
My head hits the pillow its time for a snooze.
The alarm interrupts The Rock giving me booze,

On a nice sandy beach, enjoying a walk.
The alarms jolts me back to type 1 diabetes talk.
Another drop of blood says she needs to wake up.
65 again! This royally sucks.

night in the life of a type 1 diabetic

Time to down juice, we know the routine
I hate this disease, it makes me feel mean.
Another drop of blood is what I request
From small little hands that are trying their best

To be brave when the needles cause so much pain
Fingers riddled with scars is what has been gained
And now its time to start a brand new day,
With one step forward, there’s no other way.

Sleep is for the privileged and caffeine is on ice
A cure for type 1 diabetes sure would be nice.
To be rid of the burden that this disease brings
Would ease this mommy’s mind and end my baby’s suffering.


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The Diabetic Honeymoon Phase

The Diabetic Honeymoon Phase

By: Camilla Roelants


The Diabetic Honeymoon Phase. I often wonder who decided to call it that, and what on earth they were thinking.

The word “honeymoon” evokes in me images of newly-weds, skipping along the beach, hand in hand under a glorious sun, beaming, happy faces, relaxed and care-free, their excitement at starting this new adventure together near palpable.

Not the ugly reality of this particular honeymoon – the dying process of the islet cells of my pancreas, under auto immune attack, slowly but surely losing all ability to produce the insulin I need to live.

Sixteen months into my Type 1 Diabetes honeymoon phase and I feel exhausted from it all.

This time has been fraught with hurdles and worries and struggles. Despite having done everything in my power to gain control, blood glucose levels have been erratic.

The dying beta cells in my pancreas occasionally and unpredictably produce a little bit of insulin, causing chaos where I have already bolused according to my insulin to carb ratio at mealtimes. I suffer frequent, sudden and terrifying episodes of hypoglycemia.

honeymoon phase

I’ll be doing something very mundane – reading, cooking, or even just chatting to someone on the phone. When I suddenly realize that I’m feeling “off”.

I usually can’t put my finger on it immediately – my brain is already starting to become impaired.

I can’t think straight. I stop whatever it is that I’m doing. Mid-sentence, mid-shower, mid anything. I stumble, and mumble ” check levels ” to myself.

At this point, I have eyes only for my meter. I put a test strip in. Prick my finger. I notice my hands are shaking. My five year old is asking me something. It sounds distant, although he’s standing right next to me, tugging at my T-shirt.

“Not now Darling, Mummy needs to check her sugars. I can’t talk right now, sorry.”

honeymoon phase

My meter is counting down -those 5 seconds seem interminable. My son is still talking, but I can’t concentrate.

Before my meter tells me, I know. I know I’m low, because already my heart is racing. I’ve broken out in a sweat, and everything is fuzzy, spinning around me. I’m shaking like a leaf.

I feel like I’m dying, for lack of a better description.

Need. Sugar. Now. A feeling of panic washes over me. I grab what’s at hand. Fizzy soda, fruit juice, sugary tea, or glucose tablets.

Some of those choices might not be the best from a nutritional point of view, but right now I really couldn’t care less. I would do anything to not feel like this, feel like I’m about to fall off a cliff into the abyss if I don’t deploy my parachute fast enough.

The soda, the juice, the tea, the tablets, are my parachutes.

Any one of them will do. As I gulp down my sugary remedy as fast as I possibly can, I grit my teeth. I know the feeling won’t go away for 15 minutes or so, which is how long it will take for the sugar to be absorbed into my bloodstream. I take a few deep breaths, in the hope this might help my heart slow its alarming rate.

I give myself a few seconds, then turn to my son, and say:
“I’m sorry love, I’m having a hypo and so I need to take some glucose, but I’ll be OK again now in a minute and we can have a proper chat then.” I smile at him reassuringly.

I have a terrible urge to drink more, and a hunger beyond compare – as if drinking more or eating half a packet of something might help me shake this god awful feeling quicker. But I know this is untrue. I resist the urge.

I know the 150ml I’ve just drank will bring me back up into a normal blood glucose range. All I can do is wait and hope my 9 month old won’t wake from his nap during the next few minutes. The lows leave me feeling very tired, as if I’ve just done a couple of rounds of boxing.

They are often followed by rebound hyperglycemia, where my blood glucose levels become too elevated. Prolonged episodes of hyperglycemia can cause long term complications, and in the short term can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Hyperglycemia will also leave you feeling bone-tired and lethargic. Hypoglycemia – due to the effect on the brain’s ability to function and episodes of tachycardia- can cause cardiac arrest and cognitive impairment down the line.

It seems you just can’t win with this disease.

It is impossible to predict how long this honeymoon will last for, as it varies from one person to another. For some it is a matter of weeks, others a matter of months, or even years. It looks like in my case, it’s the latter.

A honeymoon is supposed to be a joyous, stress-free occasion. But this honeymoon is the exact opposite. It still isn’t over, and already I want a divorce!



 

This Is My Low With Diabetes

This Is My Low With Diabetes

Michelle Meyer


My eyes are heavy and dry and sometimes watery. They’re tired. My breathing is slow. And fast. Heavy and shallow. So tired. My thoughts are jumbled. Scattered. Confused. Angry. Sad. Scared. Tired. Too tired and/or confused to speak.

My body is weak, shaky, hot, sometimes sweaty. Tired. I’m thirsty, hungry.

I’m too tired to get up to get some sugar. I’m too tired to think about what I need to do. My head is too heavy to hold up. My jaw is too tired to chew. I’m too tired to swallow. I need to pee but I’m too tired. My heart is beating so fast.

I’m going to cry. I just want to curl up and get cozy. Fall asleep. I probably won’t ever wake up. I need to move. Stumble to the other room. Stand and stare. What was I doing? Why am I in here?

Oh! Grab my low blood sugar stash. Force myself to eat it while trying to remember how to breathe. No, don’t close your eyes. Chew. Swallow. Again. Get my glucometer and unzip the case.

this is my low with diabetes

Try to pry open the strips container without spilling them all over. Get just one of them into the tiny little opening the right way. Stab my finger and try to milk enough blood out so my glucometer can tell me exactly where I’m at. Try to make sense of the number.

Nevermind. I can look later. I know I’m low.

Try to remember to set the reminder timer to do it all over again in fifteen minutes. Stay awake. Breathe.

Sometimes after a few minutes, I feel safe enough and my next blood sugar check will be okay so that I can rest after starting to die. Sometimes I need to still keep trying to do life while still dealing with the after effects of starting to die.

Sometimes I continue dying for hours and have to just keep fighting to stay awake and breathe and think enough to remember to keep trying to nurse myself back to life even though I’m nauseated and full from eating and drinking.

There have been many times when I couldn’t stay awake or didn’t wake up to begin with and have gone into seizures. Sometimes after getting my blood sugars to a better, safe level, they go too high and then I have to deal with another set of effects/symptoms and another fight to get them to come back down to normal, safe levels.

I do this almost daily. Sometimes multiple times a day.

This is just one tiny part of my life but it’s a really HUGE part!

So many contradictions. So much fighting. So much exhaustion. Constant and consistent thoughts about if, when, where, why, how. Almost daily, I save my own life.

I am exhausted but I am also a fighter. I am strong! I am a type 1 diabetic and this is my low.



 

Diabetes: A Disease That Has Become My Life

Diabetes: A Disease That Has Become My Life

Diabetes: A Disease That Has Become My Life

By: Megan Mckay


Diabetes.

A disease consuming me,
Taking every inch of me,
Destroying any control I had left.

A disease that has become my life,
Making my body ache,
Craving perfection that will never come.

Not eating when you’re hungry,
Eating when the disease tells you to,
Too much insulin,
Not enough food,
A cascade of fatality sets in place.

Do you know what a low feels like?
Where your mind loses control,
Sweating,
Shaking,
Barely surviving as you race to get help,
Consuming anything that’s in sight,
Your only goal,
To save your life.

But,
You eat too much,
It happens more times than you’d believe,
The taste of Ketones in your mouth,
A body getting tired,
Eyes aching,
Mind fogging,
Insulin,
Your body craves it,
So you do as it demands,
You take it,
And oh my,
You just hope it’s enough
(Or maybe you hope it’s not too much),
And they wonder why we don’t have better control.

A constant battle,
From the moment you open your eyes,
Your first concern?
Blood sugar,
Is it too low or too high?
Can I eat breakfast today?
Can I even make it out of bed?
When will it end.

Not many get it,
But I do,
We do,
The battle within your own body,
A fight against yourself to stay alive,
I only hope one day the battle will stop,
The cure will come and the worries will fade,
One day,
I hope you wake up in the morning and do whatever the hell you want do.

~MM


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My 3 AM wake up call

My 3 AM Low Blood Sugar 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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A Heartbreak Like No Other

It’s a Heartbreak Like No Other

By: Jessica Hale

It’s a moment of heartbreak unlike any other I have ever experienced in my life. That moment that you realize that your 2-year-old child gets it. She knows that you’re different and your lifestyle is different than any other person she interacts with. She’s 2 years old and she understands as selfishly as this may sound; that I have medical needs that sometimes require me to put myself before the wants and sometimes needs of my own child. That alone rips me to pieces inside.

But the moment you realize that your child gets the fact that there is something not right with you and she tries to help. Everything that you’re supposed to stand for as a parent seems to be ripped out from under your feet, you are the protector, the comforter, the nurturer. But when that role gets flipped and you’re staring up at your 2-year-old who’s trying to help you with your low blood sugarit’s a heartbreak like no other.

A Heartbreak Like No Other

I was in the middle of getting Chey ready for bed and out of nowhere I’m too weak to stand or walk. So I have to crawl my way to the fridge and sit there in front of it trying to stay coherent and not nod out of consciousness before the sugar has time to hit my system. While doing that I didn’t notice that Chey had moved a box over to the cabinet to where she could step on it and reach on top of the counter to grab my sugar kit. She brings it to me and says “here is your ouch momma” because she knows that it’s used to draw blood and it’s an ouch when you see blood.

And when she handed me my blood sugar tester and put her hand on my shoulder and asked “are you alright“? My heart broke in pieces I never knew existed. I can’t hide this disease at times no matter how hard I try to keep her away from it and as a parent, it hurts because you want to seem invincible; to never show weakness. But with a disease like mine, you get the shit knocked out of you sometimes, and your child is there watching you take that beating and it makes you feel like a failure.

But at the same time of the heartbreak, my heart also swelled with such adoration in the type of child I am raising. One who is 2 years old but with a soul as old as time, the one who already has her hand out to help another one up, and the one whose compassion shines through her very core. A 2-year-old that can show an adult how to be selfless at times and I can’t express to you how much I adore this child of mine. She’s my silver lining, forever and always…



I Won't Go Down Without a Fight

I Won’t Go Down Without a Fight

I Won’t Go Down Without a Fight

(I’m 15 years old at the time)

Brittany, what’s your blood sugar?” My mother asks after I get home from school.

Umm… 136.” A number I randomly blurt out without testing what my blood sugar actually was.

I go in my room and glance over at my unused lancets and test strips. I know what’s it’s there for. I know I’m supposed to take care of myself.

But why aren’t I? Why am I fighting against it?

I go to lay down, I’m tired, and I don’t feel right. I fall asleep…

(A half hour or so slips by)

Hi Brittany, My name is John , I’m an EMT and we’re here to help youCan you tell me what your name is?

“...Brittany“, I reply.

“Great Brittany, do you know why we’re here?”

My diabetes?” As I let out a deep saddened sigh.

Yes, your blood sugar was 19.”

We gave you a shot of dextrose. Please drink this juice and eat this sandwich to stabilize your blood sugar.”

Thank you“, I reply as I’m still very dazed and confused as to what’s going on.

My mother hugs me and begs me “please take better care of yourself“.

As tears fall from her face. I see the frantic look in her eyes.

Once I’m back to full consciousness, it sets in. I melt down. I cry, and this isn’t a normal cry. This is painful and it hurts and all the anger releases from within me in full despair.

The feeling of helplessness, guilt, shame because I feel weak… I feel tested… I feel numb… I feel unworthy of all these extra chances I get.

I feel like I’m letting everyone down… I’m letting myself down. I feel like a failure at a disease I never asked for. Something I could have never prevented.

All I can think about when I take my insulin injections is if I don’t take enough I could end up with amputation, loss of eyesight, kidney failure, heart disease and various complications.

I think about how even if I have great control, there is still a risk. It overwhelms me. I went from having a care free childhood to having a fear of dying in my sleep from a low blood sugar or too soon from complications.

This isn’t the typical “teenage reality”.

I’m sick and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. No denial, begging, or lashing out will make my situation better.

I’m my own worst enemy and the only person who can save me in the end, is me. It’s the most terrifying and debilitating feeling having this burden riding on my back.

It took awhile but this process has changed me. I came to grips with knowing I only had one choice. Which was to fight. So I did. I let it in. I embraced the unknown. I rose above the darkness that consumed me. I continued to get up everyday to fight the same demons that left me tired from the night before.

I went from crawling to walking to eventually running. I didn’t want diabetes to win. I knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. But I knew what was on the line.

I knew I would fail, which I have. It took much trial and error. But I’ve learned to get back up, brush myself off, and keep going. To not let the fear overcome me and dwindle my spirit. To honor and respect the journey, for it has led me to here.

To not go down without a fight…


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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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