More than a Dexcom Line Could Ever Explain

I spent an intense two weeks buckling down to get two uni assignments done. While they were both due at the same time, it was also a good opportunity to knock them off early in the semester. Once I start something, I get pretty determined to finish. Suffice to say they were finished two weeks ahead of the due date.

I watched my diabetes respond to more evening hours in front of the computer, as well as general feelings of grumpiness as uni ate into my free time. The one symptom that tells me I’m not getting enough rest is a surge in blood glucose the moment my head hits the pillow at night. As well as general feelings of a heavier, groggier kind of sleep.

Before I used an insulin pump, one of the things I often used to complain about was that my basal dose was never consistent. There were times where I felt I needed more, and times where it was too much.

While insulin pumping undoubtedly gives me far superior coverage, my basal requirements are still far from static. Stress is definitely one of those things that affects blood sugar. There are times, just like in the past month, where levels have felt a lot more stubborn to manage. One of my tactics is to simply add a blanket 10% increase to my basal rates until it subsides.

I spent the better part of a week post-assignments looking after myself, binging through the final season of 13 Reasons Why (which was like a really bad movie that I had to see the end of). I wiped my desk clean, vacuumed the floor and got outside again. Sure enough, it didn’t take too long for me to start going low and I wound those basals back again.

All too often when I’m explaining diabetes, it’s easy to oversimplify it. Diabetes is a simple case of taking a shot of insulin to manage blood sugar levels, and hey presto it’s all under control. Basal rates and carb ratios and sensitivity factors just work all the time, and there’s nothing more to think about.

As I sat down at diabetes clinic a few days ago, pouring over my Clarity reports, I said all of the above as I explained what had been happening. Much less cohesively, of course.

I’m not too sure whether a healthcare professional will ever be able to truly ‘get’ all of these little intricacies that only someone living with diabetes day in and day out would get.

However, the one thing I know for sure is that there’s always an explanation that a Dexcom line alone will never be able to explain.

2 Comments

  1. Tony Sangster

    Thank you Frank for your post and detailing the trials and tribulations of stress. Personally I found in such situations that getting some regular exercise, not an easy discipline to manage, helped to improve my insulin sensitivity, provided I avoided doing exercise too late in the evening and risking a hypo overnight, Even doing some arm and leg weight exercises seems to help – not necessarily anything aerobic. Each of us will be different of course but hope you find your way through the rest of the term OK. Best Wishes.

  2. Rick Phillips

    I take Sheryl along. She knows all and explains it twice as long. So my data cart paints one picture, I paint a picture and Sheryl tells the entire story. So by the end of the first 2.5 hours of each appointment the saga is written. 🙂

    OK it only feels like 2.5 hours. I might have over exaggerated it a little.

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