When Diabetes Gets Sick

I think my diabetes is sick. Not sick, as in it’s stopped being diabetes and a giant pain in the ass. But sick, as in it hasn’t been behaving as it should.

Over the last week or so, things haven’t felt right. Mealtime boluses, patricularly in the evening, have had little effect. Despite perfect carb counting and pre bolusing insulin half an hour prior, I’d be lucky if I get an hour of stability before my levels begin to soar. Insulin corrections with my pump are frequently overridden out of frustration. Swear words are often thrown at upward trend arrows on my Libre that make zero sense. And rage-temporary basal rates are the only thing that seem to be able to bring stubborn BGLs down at bedtime.

I know that my basal rates definitely need revisiting. in the past month or so, I have been incorporating more protein sources in my diet. Things like boiled eggs with breakfast, nuts for snacks and meat in my sandwiches at lunchtime. Which could definitely explain the need for changes.

On top of this, yesterday my blood sugar levels began behaving like I was sick.

After a night of warding off lows from the temp basals that I needed at bedtime, I woke up at 6.2. From there, my BGLs began soaring. A milky coffee with about 5g of carbs sent me from 8.6 to 14.4mmol in a matter of minutes. What followed was a day of juggling swinging blood sugar levels. Temp basaling and rage bolusing my way out of soaring highs, and then eating my way out of plummeting lows. Urgh.

I was exhausted. I’d had a fairly stressful day at work. I knew that the stress of dealing with all of this wasn’t helping, so I made sure to have an early night.

My blood sugar was 8.6 before bed. This morning, I woke up to this.

It wasn’t pretty. I could have been bolder with my corrections during the night. I could have ran a temp basal for a longer period of time. But last night, sleep took priority over chasing highs and warding off lows.

I really feel like I can’t do diabetes today.

I’m on the couch home from work, rocking crazy temp basal rates, and hoping the stress will subside soon.

This, is what diabetes looks like.

I Don’t Have the Answers

I’m not burned out. But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been frustrated when I haven’t been able get things right.

For years, I’ve dreamed of the day where I’d finally get things in check. Where I would run decent blood sugars and feel somewhat in control of this condition. It would always be tomorrow. Tomorrow would turn into next week. Next week would become the first of the month. Then, New Years would be just round the corner…

I started using an insulin pump, and suddenly those dreams actually felt a little more attainable to me than they were on injections. Things were improving. I definitely felt more confidence, and control in my actions around my diabetes. My levels weren’t peaking so high, so often. I wasn’t making wild guesses. I was motivated to take more measured approaches. I was motivated to experiment. I was finally getting things right.

However the more I got things right, the more I kept expecting of myself.

When I couldn’t get things right, I got frustrated. I blamed myself. I rebounded with junk food. I felt increasingly guilty and found myself thinking more and more about the long term consequences of my blood sugar control.

After four weeks of FreeStyle Libre monitoring recently, I felt confidence in going back to fingersticks after fine tuning my morning routine. After near perfect graphs on the Libre, suddenly I was getting high readings after breakfast. Suddenly I had no idea, or confidence in where my blood sugar levels were sitting anymore.

Was it just a bad week? Stress? Lack of sleep? Food? Change in activity levels?

Who the hell knows. Thankfully, things eventually returned to normal.

I look back at some of the posts I’ve written recently, and I can see how hungry I am for answers. For some sort of solution. Expecting that there’s some magic way to get diabetes down pat, once and for all.

Let me clue you in on something. There isn’t. Everything affects diabetes. Anything and everything. It’s impossible to achieve perfection all the time.

Sure, I will continue to work at my diabetes. I will continue to share what works, and what doesn’t work for me and my diabetes.

But I don’t have all of the answers to managing diabetes. And I’m learning to be okay with that.

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