Hypo Hangover.

It was twenty minutes past ten. I knew that I would be stopping for morning tea within the next ten or twenty minutes. A scan of my Libre registered 4.6 and steady, and I gave a pre bolus for the hot cross bun that I was about to eat.

By the time I was seated at the table and buttering my toasted hot cross bun, my insulin pump registered that twenty minutes had passed since my bolus.

As I sat there in my seat, a weakness swept through me. An uncomfortable sweat broke out across the entirety of my upper body. The thought of getting up to wash my plate felt far too difficult, leaving me paralysed in my seat.

I eventually willed myself back up, made my way down the hall and sank into the chair behind my desk. A scan of my Libre registered 2.3 and slipping downwards. I didn’t have the energy to grab the meter that was in arms reach of me to double check. I was tempted to correct with a glucose tab, but I knew that the hot cross bun wouldn’t take long to bring my blood sugar back up.

As I slowly devoured about three quarters of the refreshing cold water in my drink bottle, the weakness began to subside and I began to reassess how I ended up here.

The 4.6 was bordering hypo territory, meaning that I didn’t have as much room for a pre bolus as I normally would. It was also a Libre scan, and a finger prick could have been as much as half or 1mmol lower. Add to that, I hadn’t eaten breakfast earlier because I wasn’t particularly hungry, which could have heightened my insulin sensitivity.

Most of the time, hypos don’t really stop me from what I’m doing. It’s usually nothing more than the odd glucose tab to ward off a downward trend arrow, sometimes more.

But paralysing moments like these? They remind me of just how much weight rests on the decisions that I have to make each and every day.

New Year, New Adventure.

I went back to uni a little over a month ago.

It wasn’t the easiest decision to make as an adult with ‘adult’ responsibilities and a full time job, but ultimately it’s a decision that I hope will be a good investment in my future.

This year I have traded in my evenings to attend ‘virtual’ classes, and my weekends for assignments. It’s been challenging, to say the least. I’m the kind of person who likes to get a good head start on things. The downside to getting ahead is that there have been many fleeting moments when I’ve felt like there’s been nothing more to my existence than study.

I’m studying accounting, which is something I once swore I’d never do because every man and his dog seemed to do it. But it seems to be a profession that’s in demand, and I wasn’t half bad at it when I last did it in high school.

Oh, and my diabetes is still there too. It hasn’t been giving me too much grief. But if there’s one thing that I’ve missed more than anything, it would have to be connecting with others in the diabetes community. While I’ve still been lurking around, I’ve been oddly reminded of what my life was like before I found the DOC four years ago. I know that my wellbeing is far better when I’m an active part of this amazing community.

I submitted my two assignments for the semester this week, and I’m very much looking forward to actually enjoying some of my upcoming weekends. I’m not too sure what will become of my blog this year, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to check in here a little more often than I have been.

So if you’ve made it this far, I guess the morale to this post is that you’re never too old to take a great big leap of faith. And that I’m not going to let diabetes be an excuse for the regrets I might have had down the track.

Champagne Bubbles

I stirred in my sleep.

A glance at the alarm clock behind my bed indicated that it was almost 3am.

I stuck my arm out from under the covers, fumbling around on the bedside table for my Libre reader.

A quick scan of my arm registered 8.6.

I knew what was wrong.

I gave a generous correction of 2 units, but I knew it wasn’t enough. I contemplated a temp basal rate, but I knew that I would only be putting band aids on the real problem.

Besides, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to lie still while knowing what I needed to do.

I sprang out of bed, switched on the lights and reached for the box of t:slim cartridges from my wardrobe. I made a dash through the hall and the dining room, making a beeline for the bar fridge where cold insulin was sitting.

I had swapped out my insulin cartridge just after dinner several hours earlier. I knew I hadn’t chosen the best timing before bed, but at the same time I prefer to run my insulin down to the wire if I can.

I knew I had drawn a lot of those fizzy little champagne bubbles into my syringe as I was drawing the air out of my empty t:slim cartridge. Part of me suspected that I hadn’t successfully drawn all of the air out of my t:slim cartridge amid those champagne bubbles.

I’ve had my fair share of moments like these in the four months since I’ve been using the t:slim. As much as I love this pump, it’s beauty, it’s wearability and it’s positive impact on minimising my device fatigue, I absolutely hate that I can’t see what’s going on inside those insulin cartridges. Which means that I’ve had to learn to rely on intuition.

I’ve come to assume that when I haven’t properly drawn all of the air out of my cartridge prior to filling it with insulin (a.k.a. champagne bubbles), the delivery of insulin from the pump is compromised. My blood sugars feel sluggish and harder to manage, even if I can’t see any visible signs of air bubbles in my pump line.

I’m slowly but surely working on my technique. Making sure my insulin is as room temperature. Pushing insulin from my penfill cartridge into my syringe using a pencil, rather than pulling. Holding my cartridge upright. Being really gentle with my syringe when I’m drawing from it.

Who knew diabetes was such a fine art?

Turn of the Year

I snapped this photo as I was walking on the evening of New Year’s Day.

It was a quiet evening. The carpark a little further ahead at my local IGA was desolate. A cool and rather grey change had just swept through after a warm day.

It just summed up the general vibe of January perfectly.

After the craziness of December and the festive season, things have finally wound down. The world is back to normal once again, seemingly somewhat quieter. For me, this turn of the year seems to trigger a great deal of reflection on the year gone by, as well as ideas for the year ahead.

I’ve been mulling over the fact that I’ve been a part of the diabetes community for four years now. My life, my outlook on diabetes and my level of knowledge has changed for the better thanks to the sense of community I’ve found online since I began writing this blog.

I’ve been mulling over how much better I feel, physically, over the course of this past year. A combination of eating more substantially to meet my energy expenditure, and improving the quality of my sleep have left me feeling the best I have in a long time.

I’ve been mulling over how I need to shift gears and give more focus to my blood sugars this year. I feel that BG management has become a little too stagnant, and that I’m spending more time than I’d like coasting toward the upper end of my target range.

I’ve been mulling over how lightning fast some of the developments in diabetes technology are moving of late. I fully expect that we’ll see more exciting diabetes tech hit Aussie shores this year. More competition and more choice for people with diabetes is always a good thing, but at the same time I wonder how many will actually have access to these new tools.

I’ve been mulling over how relatively affordable insulin and other medications are here in Australia. No matter how much I whinge about missing out on government funding, or how many concerns circle my mind over money, it really pales in comparison to people in other parts of the world.

I’ve also been mulling over trying to focus more on the now. Not letting those little nagging doubts or what-ifs take over. Reminding myself that while self improvement is not necessarily a bad thing, I also need to acknowledge all of the little things I’m doing today and the achievements I already have behind me. (Thanks for this timely reminder, Rachel…)

So while I’m at it, Happy New Year.

I hope that 2019 is everything that you want it to be.