Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Reminder. D is an evil disease.

I was so exhausted I was falling asleep with my eyes open and it was only 9:30pm. It was an early night. I took a Gravol not because I was feeling sick but to ensure a deep sleep that I really needed. Yeah that’s right, I abuse over the counter anti-nausea meds. Doesn’t everybody? No?

Not long after, my body tried as hard as it could to alert me to danger. I felt like I awoke from a lightening strike. I thought it had to be 2 or 3am but it was only 10:30pm, less than 45 minutes after going to sleep. I tested my blood without a single fumble which was surprising. Usually I end up trying to stick the strips in the wrong end of the meter, sometimes I try to put them in my phone.

*pop* open the container.
*Beep* stick it in the meter (right side up AND forwards!)
*shunk* prepare the lancet
*snap* stab the finger and stick it on the strip. 5,4,3,2…1… *beep* 1.6mmol/l (28mg/dl). “Oh shit!” I say as I sit up right quick.

Ryan wakes up. There’s a juice box on the table and the straw has already been opened (thanks to Ryan for doing that ahead of time). I start chugging, I think.

There’s movement in the room. I begin to push-puppet. I can’t hold my body up. Ryan tells me the next day he tried to force feed (drink?) me the rest of the juice but I don’t remember. I dropped the almost empty juice box on the floor. I slump down knocking my head off the window sill.

I’m sweaty? Ryan’s up and doing something. Time goes by, I think.

He brings me a towel and a fresh dry t-shirt. More time goes by? He sticks two Dex in my mouth after I apparently did some moaning. Sour apple.

I get the dry t-shirt on. Time, what is that again? My hair is matted with sweat. What fucking time is it?

I need peanut butter. Did I ask for it or did he just bring me the lollipop? I have no idea.

Peanut butter and sour apple don’t go together. Time fades into the night.

I asked Ryan the next morning what happened to get all my details right. He said it took half an hour to get my BG up. What happened? I’ve been racking my brain ever since.

Weighed and calculated the next day with a quick check on Nutrition Data (my favourite site for carb counting). I was a bit shy in my carb estimations but close enough. 

I start going back. Saturday I rode 60km (37mi) on the road with my brand spanking new bike. It was my first time outside in months and my first time on this bike that I’ve had for only a week. I was without a bike for 7 weeks so I totally destroyed myself, intentionally. I rode like hell. I had 3 pretty bad lows during the night on Saturday as a result. Sunday I lowered my Lantus by a couple units to deal with the residual effect the ride had, plus Ryan and I were going out for an easy spin together. It was 11C (51F) which is like BALMY! I had 2 lows on that ride. I was in a deficit from the day before and I didn’t eat nearly enough to re-fuel. After the ride I was feeling nauseous. Ate a little bit and went for a quick stroll around the streets enjoying the last few precious moments of warm weather. Beeg tanked near the end of a measly 20min walk. Ate a couple Dex. Still wasn’t feeling overly stellar and ate a bit of dinner. I had some brown rice with no bolus. I felt a bit better and ate some chocolate before bed. It’s been a long time since I had any chocolate. I injected 3 units of insulin for the chocolate that I estimated to be 30g carbs plus I had some rice I didn’t bolus for. 3 units should cover me for 35g carbs at that time of day. Regardless of all the lows, chocolate and rice should still warrant some insulin.

It happened an hour after we fell asleep. I had my alarm set for midnight to get up and check my BG.

3 measly fucking units.

I still don’t know where I went wrong. The only thing I can think of is my liver stores were devoid of glycogen. Improper post ride fueling the day before? I don’t WANT to know the secrets to the inner workings of my metabolic system. It’s not like I have a “liver storage meter”. Why do I have to be a fucking scientist and a doctor to have diabetes?! I don’t know why it happened. I can’t prevent that from ever happening again. It will happen again, that’s the thing. Maybe next time it will be something else.

Right now I’m lacking confidence. I’m afraid to go to sleep. I owe so much to Ryan as always for keeping a watchful eye on me for the rest of the night. For bringing me PB, a towel and a dry t-shirt. For rubbing my back and not letting me pass out. For pre-opening that pisser of a straw on the juice box. For being there when I couldn’t. I feel vulnerable letting my guard down but I know I’m in safe hands with him. The next night we had one of those talks. What to do if. Honey on the gums. Glucagon. If all else fails call 911.

Stand up, shake it off, keep going.


  1. Wow, Scully, that sucks, and honestly there's not always a scientific explanation for it, even though we try to learn as much as we can. Glad things turned out okay in the end.

  2. Yikes! That is so scary.

    I don't see it mentioned in your post, but have you considered post-exercise increased insulin sensitivity? I know you said you lowered your Lantus by a few units, but it's probable that you might also need to adjust your rapid-acting:carb ratio for a few hours/days post exercise.

    Granted, I'm on a pump so it's a little different, but for example, if I go out and run 13 miles, I'm certainly not going to take the recommended 6 units for my 60 g bowl of post-run pasta. Of course, it's personal, but I'd probably take 3 units and correct a small high later if necessary.

    I am so glad you have Ryan to keep you safe and take care of you through your lows. That was one VERY low BG. :(

  3. Glad you're Ok, Scully.

    I think the really wearing thing about lows like this is that they totally undermine our confidence. We can't even function without second-guessing ourselves for a while.

  4. It's so hard to walk that line between living full lives with confidence and being aware of just how serious diabetes can be. :( I'm sorry this bad low has left you feeling so scared.

  5. Yup, scary. Sat here this morning holding my breath while I read this.
    Glad you're okay.
    Hugs for Ryan.

  6. Yep, lovin' that Ryan more and more! :)

    Love that photo of the 3 units. Powerful.

    It's amazing to me what just 0.05u can do to Bean's BGs. Yup, a measly five hundredths of a unit of insulin can tank her or sky rocket her...stupid!

  7. Well, it's been a couple of days since you posted this. I hope you've been able to get some sleep! It can be scary... not the lows (well, yes, the lows) but knowing what caused it and what may cause it again.

    Glad you made it though to tell the story.

  8. Yikes woman. I blurted out a loud "JESUS!" when I read your blood sugar reading. Really glad to hear you are okay. And happy to hear I'm not the only one who tries to stick test strips in my phone.

  9. Scully - That sucks, but also I think you're so brave for pushing your limits low. I never gets lows like that, but I'm too scared to sleep with a BG of 75-80 (like a type zero).... Also, I don't know if this is the case for all T1D women, but I have 2-4 days in my cycle (somewhere right before ovulation) when my blood sugar just plummets and I need like 30% less basal and my nighttime C:I goes from like 1:15 to 1:22... "Stand up, shake it off, keep going" sound right!


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