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Angry (Diabetes) Bird.

I would box the face right off of diabetes.  I don't generally get mad at diabetes.  Unnerved by a really aggressive low blood sugar that hits in the middle of the night?  Yes.  Scared of how diabetes-related complications may affect my future?  Absolutely.  Inconvenienced by all the hardware people with type 1 diabetes are trotting around with in efforts to rein in this disease?  Yessir.

But mad?  I don't often get mad at it.  I find that to be counter-intuitive.  As much as I don't consider diabetes to be a defining quality of my personality, it's definitely part of the package, so being mad at it makes me feel like I'm fired up at myself.  Not the healthiest mindset for me, anyway.

But holy shit, was I mad at it yesterday.

The day prior, I was on the road (technically, I was on the track, heading to NJ by train for a meeting), and my blood sugars were a steady bad dream.  Not exactly a nightmare, but up in the 190 - 220 mg/dL range and just HOLDING there, regardless of my correction boluses, low-carb meals, and my gentle pleading.  ("Can you just come down like 45 points, you jerkface?") 

That whole afternoon, and evening, was spent watching the Dexcom graph holding this frustratingly steady line above 200 mg/dL.  My numbers were impenetrable to boluses, injections, etc.  I tried to blamed travel, or exhaustion.  Whatever - I'd be fine in the morning, right?  That night, I went to bed with a fair amount of insulin on board, the Dexcom in a glass by the bed, and my alarm set in anticipation of the low blood sugar I was sure was coming.

Only it never came.  And I woke up at 221 mg/dL.  

I spent the day at home yesterday, trying to bring my blood sugar down.  Changed out the infusion set on my insulin pump.  Swapped out the bottle of insulin I was using for a fresh bottle.  Exercised on the stupid ellipmachine for an entire episode of Glee (don't judge - I wish I hated the show but I don't ... yet).  Drank lots of water.  Ate less-than-carby things like eggs and tea and green beans.  Blah, blah, blah.

But I stayed high all freaking day.  And for the first time in a really long time, I was mad.  Being at an elevated number for over 24 hours had my head pounding and my legs feeling like they were saddled with brick-laid shoes.  I didn't feel energetic.  I had a hard time keeping up with the happy play schedule of my daughter.  I didn't want to be chatty with my husband.  I was pissed that this streak of highs was so hard to break, even though I was doing a lot of the "right" things.  I was angry at diabetes for derailing two full days, without a break.  Diabetes and I don't normally have a contentious relationship, but I could have put the whole mess through a meat grinder yesterday.  (Or made it stick a fork in a plugged-in toaster ... not that I haven't thought about that for it before.) 

I wanted to go upstairs, get into bed, and sleep until I was back in range because it was clear that my efforts to fix the numbers were falling flat.  

Some days, I look at my blood sugars and I know why they're where they are.  I know when exercise causes a low.  I know when alcohol influences one, too.  I know when I've miscalculated carbs by accident or eaten more than I originally bolused for.  But there are days when I look at the numbers and just throw my hands in the air (waving them, like I just don't care) and say, "Screw it."

This morning, with the same infusion set and I:C ratios and basal rates and insulin as the day before, I woke up at 121 mg/dL.  Much, much better.  But how?

Diabetes, you are a fickle one.

Comments

oh, mama, i'm there with you. i have been so burned out on the D-beast lately....ya! it's a jerkface! lol. er, so not funny. :/ sending love!

I hate crappy d-spurts. I know you probably have, but have you had your TSH checked recently? The only reason I ask is when my thyroid started to slack off, I had times of insulin resistance for a few days then it would be back to normal... and it would hit again. Now it's just down-right lazy, only pulling half a workload. Taking after my pancreas, I guess. ;-)

My diabetic educator, who has a T1 daughter, is just now FINALLY getting that diabetes sometimes throws curveballs for no good reason. Just now. Her daughter has been diabetic for over 20 years. She's been a CDE for over a decade and is just now figuring it out! At least my appointments with her are no longer feeling like everything is my fault.

I swear. Something similar happened to me yesterday when I was writing my final exam paper. I woke up with a fasting of 180 mg/dl having absolutely no idea how in the world did that happen. I couldn't inject myself with more than my usual dose that morning to bring it down coz I had to sit for an exam, fearing that I might get low in between the exam. So I gave it anyway (read writing continuously for 3 hours at the speed of light). The muscles of my right hand were sore & hurting the entire day until I gave myself an extra insulin shot during dinner time. Its maddening,this feeling, me against myself.

For whatever reason, sometimes diabetes just doesn't play by the rules:(

I love your blogs and the fact that I am not alone in this. I feel exactly the same way at times and makes me angry too that I don't know why. Yes...there are times when I do know why but others are just a mistery. Thanks for sharing your stories!

I think there are a number of us there right now. I know that diabetes has a life of its own and sometimes just does what it wants for no reason other than to say I am still here and you can't get rid of me, no matter how hard you try. Those are the days I just want to stop trying.
Then I have a moment like I just did. I was waiting for blood work (yet again) and a lady sitting across from me noticed I was pregnant. She assumed my diabetic state was from that, because I used to be fat or because I don't eat enough vegetables. It was amazing that someone still thought that. You should have seen her shock when I told her I was 15 when I was diagnosed, weighing a whole 86 pounds and had been running up to 10 miles per day. She just stared and said how can diabetes happen to someone who does things right?
It reminds me that this stuff can hit any of us and all we can do is our best each day.
Keep trying and please don't get angry with yourself or any part of you. Your triumphs and struggles help keep the rest of us going.

I'm pissed at diabetes today because it's been throwing me low blood sugars all week. Two scary night-time episodes and the fact that my husband almost left the house this morning without realizing that I wasn't waking up and scared the shit out of my poor kids. I hate that my kids have to worry about me and I dont' know where all these lows are coming from and the nighttime ones are scary and I'm super freaking mad at diabetes for scaring my kids like this. And feeling more than a little guilty, even though there's nothing I would have done differently. We've all had the kind of day you're describing and I don't blame you for being mad. Some days we need to have permission to be angry about this thing.

This is exactly me lately....I find myself more angry than I'd like and just feel like diabetes is controlling me lately rather than vice versa. And that? I can't stand that.

I've always said that if I "failed" as much at work as I do in controlling my BG, I would have been fired long ago. I keep waiting for the diabetes "pink slip", but it never comes.

So glad you wrote this today. I'm mad too. Mad at the increasing amount of basal insulin despite exercise, low carb, blah blah BLAH. I'm tired of trying to compensate for all of the things my body doesn't do properly. (Thyroid, gastroparesis, what else?) But I'll be damned if I roll over and let all of these things that work against me WIN.

Well said! Thank you for putting that horrible feeling into words. errrr.

Thanks as always for your posts. Exactly how I felt a couple weeks ago.

Brenda said "For whatever reason, sometimes diabetes just doesn't play by the rules:(" however I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that diabetes never plays by the rules!

LAST NIGHT. You just described my entire night. Woke up with Dex warning me I was high, thought there was no way, meter confirmed. All night long Dex BUZZED that I was high, because apparently my boluses just took me down to the 190 level, only to rebound me back up, triggering the alarm. Until 5, when everything decided to work and I dropped like a rock. My favorite part was Dex saying I was 45 while my meter told me a lovely 108.

I've even tried doing the same thing two days in a row - same breakfast, same bolus, same post-breakfast blood sugar before swimming, same swim time and effort level, and end up with two completely different results - one day I go high afterwards and stick there, the next, I go low and stick there. That's when I throw my hands up in the air.

ohmygoodnessyes.

i feel like i get angry at diabetes a decent bit. i'm working on it though. some months, thanks so lovely hormones, my bgs go berserk for a week or so. to the point where it feels like i'm pumping water. SO FRUSTRATING!

why can't diabetes just follow the rules?

You put my feelings into words.....
Angry or not, we are all such "sweet" people

I love the words you find to describe the lows and highs of D.
I hate, hate, hate high numbers first thing in the morning. Makes it difficult to start the day with a smile...

Something was in the air yesterday! I too had unexplainable, unbearable highs. Thx for sharing! I'm still bummed but feel like I'm in great company ;)

FICKLE indeed! My Maddi is holding steady in the 200-240's after breakfast every day despite I:C changes, basal changes, ISF changes....since FEBRUARY! How can that happen? FICKLE is a good choice of words :)

Been there! Just two days ago, my son was ridiculously high all day despite my efforts and then without changing basals or I:C ratios, he had an amazing perfect in range day. I agree, diabetes is a fickle one! Thanks for making me feel normal even though this disease is crazy!

Great post! I'm sure I could use some anger management sessions myself. I'm a pretty volatile D - normally really insulin sensitive and also carb sensitive. But those days of correcting every hour and just getting NOTHING are the worst!

Hey. I reciently found your blog and being a type 1 diabetic, definitely love reading your stuff. I am reciently pregnant and started out at an 8.9 a1c... I was wondering if you would be willing to share anything through email. I need some support and anything you could share would be awesome! I had my first prenatal appointment today and I have to admit that I'm definitely unsure now that I've talked to this new doctor. I don't know what to think anymore.-A

I was going to post my concerns on a forum, but thought I would inquire woman to woman...I really really find that as it gets closer to that time of the month that I am incredibly insulin resistant...Everyone talks about basal testing to figure out what works for you, but you know what, depending on the time of the month, it is all different...Do you do anything to combat this battle....? You have never posted about it to my knowledge, but it really affects me and i am wondering if it affects anyone else?

My grandmother was diagnosed with diabetes since she was 14 years old. Now she is 74 and she also had a crisis periods, and I feel so bad that there is still no cure for this kind of disease for so many years now. I hope soon there will be a cure.

Are you sure you are not about to start your period? For me, persistent high blood sugars in the days prior are often the sign that it's coming. I can pump enough insulin to take down an elephant but my BG stays in the mid to high 200s. :(

I can completely relate to what Colleen said about having the same things to eat, following the same exercise regimen and having sugars that are completely different! I found a couple days ago that if I waited about 15 minutes after bolusing to eat my meal, I wouldn't have a spike after my meal. I was so excited about this and tried it again yesterday, only to drop low after each and every meal. Diabetes is so bewildering!

I am right there with you! I just had the most craptastic 3 days of my diabetic life. I couldn't get out of the 200-300 (and yikes above) range. It was beyond awful and of course I felt like crap. Today is a new day (after basal testing yesterday) and I woke up at 84. Woo Hoo! I was definitely MAD at diabetes.

Me too. My yesterday was exactly like that.

I'm going with virus. This has happened to my son (he's 7). Every once in a while we have 36-48 hours of highs where its not the insulin, its not the set, we temp basal it and have no ketones. BUT - this happened once in the week before our endo appointment - and she asked me about the numbers and I said "I think he might have been a little bit sick" and she felt his glands, and sure enough - swollen glands. Not much else in the way of symptoms (or the symptoms were hard to distinguish from symptoms of high BG) - but maybe just a low grade virus.
It's a thought....and it wouldn't make me any less mad, either.

What IS in the water? Something is off in the diabetes stratosphere.....hate that it's happening to what seems like most of us but glad that it's just not me.....

Thank you for this awesome blog! Like Lindsey, I too had 3 days of unexplainable highs in the 200-300 range that left me feeling mad and pissy. I tried everything I could to bring it down, but nothing has worked consistently (fingers crossed for tomorrow am!). I'm due for my monthly visitor and wondering if that could be the culprit? If it is, it will be a first for me. This disease can really wear a person down, but reading this blog and the comments of others help keep me going. You all make me smile when I need it most.

I. Feel. Your. Pain! Generally I chalk it up to hormones/cycle, which majorly affect my bgs, or all the miscalculations blah blah but sometimes it's just like you said...there is no explanation. So glad I'm not alone!

The unexplainable frustrates me soooooooo much. My body never seems to settle on good ratios, basals -- at least not for a few days or a week if I'm lucky. The constant need to tweak gets old, along with everyone else's assumption that if things are going well, it's because I'm slacking. Not so!!!

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