Calling all people with diabetes!

Community Discussion: High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)

How do you pick yourself back up emotionally when you have a high blood sugar reading that frustrates you? Please weigh in in the comment section below! I think we could generate some good wisdom amongst ourselves!

Oh, and if you don’t have diabetes, please share this link/blog with someone who does…I know you know someone who does. I’m really hoping to build this community and you are an important part of that effort!


Spice of the Unknown

“Well thanks for coming on this adventure with me today,” I said to my friend, without really thinking about it. We had planned to take a walk after class in the forest together and we accomplished that, but only because she stuck with me as I rode the waves of my blood sugar.

First as my post-lunch bg got up to 170 or so I stood by her at the bus stop, drowsy and dull. The bus was 11 minutes away so I suggested we walk down to the next stop or so, hoping that might bring me down a little. She pushed her bike alongside her and I tried to explain why I felt dizzy and why walking would help. Fifteen minutes later we got onto the bus and 45 minutes after that made it back to my house and my car, to the forest entrance, waited behind men in trucks doing something, and then onto the access road.

I loaded up my Ecuadorian fanny pack with glucose tabs and as we headed off into the woods I felt the muscles of my face and neck finally relax. Sometimes I hold tension when my blood sugar is high and I can’t exercise to bring it down but I also can’t take insulin because I’ll be moving soon. Since we had plans to walk together, I couldn’t just abandon my desires to walk in the forest and respond to high blood sugar by walking around campus in uncomfortable shoes to bring it down. I followed through. Sometimes I feel like following through is a rare event for me because blood sugar sidelines me. Or because I’m not feeling great I’ll decline plans with friends because I don’t want to drag them onto the rollercoaster with me.

We walked 2.5 miles in the splendid mid-October falling leaves, a little less luminescent here than in the mountains but still beautiful. Back at the parking lot I checked before driving and I was 67 mg/dl, so I suggested we wait while my bg came up. As I ate glucose tabs we talked about our classes. When I said, “I’ll check again, I think we can go now,” my friend admitted she had no idea what we were waiting on. People just don’t know! When you live so intimately with a condition you start to assume that it’s evident on your face or in your words, that people understand it like you do, but that is so rarely the case. I explained why before when my bg was high movement helped me feel better, and that when I am low I need to eat something. I explained why I would treat a mild low before driving vigorously with several glucose tabs whereas if I was just going back home I might eat one tab and then have a snack.

After I thanked her, back at my house, she thanked me for the education. I thought about the name of my (somewhat dormant) blog. Diabetes has a way of making everything an adventure because it always throws in that spice of unknown. You have to adapt to it constantly, get creative, think about solutions. You have to be willing to change plans, be thrown off course, and clamber back to your path. It’s like inviting that oddball friend on the road trip, the wild one who is always suggesting weird detours. How wrong my thinking was ten years ago when I was diagnosed: that life with this condition would be boring.

And maybe most importantly, letting my friend come along on the adventure of blood glucose with me and being vulnerable in that way created a deeper trust between us and gave to us both.

surfing with friends
surfing with friends

I can be cheery about diabetes some other time

Hey Everyone,

It’s been awhile – largely because I have been writing and sketching more for other projects, and working full-time and trying to eat well and exercise and maintain healthy relationships. I just read a great blog post from “I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog,” which I will try to link to this post, because the author could have been reading my mind, and writing it out with more humor and grace than I could. But it did make me realize something that has inspired me enough to get me typing.

I have HATED diabetes lately.

Which is so unlike me.

Because my whole m.o. is to be chipper and cheery about all the great life lessons I’ve learned from having to constantly monitor my body, evaluate my ability to drive, to perform routine tasks like getting dressed and putting on makeup without doing something mega-weird, like putting my blush away in the freezer because I’m low and I’m trying to change my pump and make my lunch to take to work and answer a text about weather or not the roads are clear enough to drive.

I hate changing my pump. For no reason. It’s very easy to do, but I hate it.

I have a secret: lately I’ve been ripping my pod off and going without it for 10 minutes between changes. Just to experience freedom from the robotic attachment, just for a few moments.

Yesterday at 7:30 pm I got a text that my flight that was supposed to take me to Arizona at 5:40 this morning had been cancelled; I guess due to the soft beautiful blanket of February snow that has draped itself over my neighborhood. I was at a bookclub meeting that I had fought to get my blood sugar up in order to drive to. I was in the 50’s for 1/2 an hour and ate some honey on toast and turned my pump down. Finally I was able to leave and go pickup my friend, 10 minutes late, which isn’t much, but seems to be the amount that diabetes insists on setting me back.

I checked my blood sugar when I got the text so I could drive home and start making pointless phone calls, because of course they are not going to reschedule the flight just so I can fly to Arizona for 24 hours. It was something like 248 mg/dl. So here I am in a bookstore saying, “Dammit! I’m so high! This all wouldn’t be so bad if I just wasn’t high!” and then having to say, equally as loud, “My blood sugar, I mean, my blood sugar is high, not me…..cause I’m diabetic, not a stoner.”

Lately, it’s been the straw that has broken my otherwise pretty great ability to make the best and brightest of any situation. It has been the thing that has turned the corners of my mouth down and made me short with people I love. Because I just feel inside of me like a caged animal without control.

On the brighter side (because some habits can’t be broken), reading “I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog’s” post made me remember that this will pass for me. That probably if I could just walk outside without enrobing myself in layer upon layer of jacket, sweater, scarf for 40 minutes first, I would be able to shake it off. Instead, I am going to have to sled it off, which I think will help both my mind and my blood sugar.

Toning my resiliency today.

oh mysterious blood sugar…

Oh mysterious high blood sugar and insulin resistance, you come without warning and occupy my space.

Perhaps you travelled with a sunburn that snuck onto my back where my arm couldn’t reach

or with the sleeplessness of this warmer weather, time playing outside and into the night.

Maybe you’re here to tell me the fridge is too cold, that my insulin froze

or that when I was sick and reverted to potatoes and rice for the first time in 8 years, I finally built back up some of that stored sugar that low-carbers lack (can that even be?)

You make me speculate, you furrow my brow.  Perhaps you are simply a cycle – I heard last weekend,

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”  Instead of worrying that you will be high for another day, I will imagine it was all these things that have now been beautifully resolved, and the budding springtime with its flowers and sunshine will increase my sensitivity to all things, insulin included.