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Despite Insulin …

The Sparling household has reached a frenzied pitch of stress this week, with a big project for me reaching the finish line simultaneously as a big project for my husband begins.  Overall, we manage our family circus (… could Billy ever get anywhere without leaving a trail of dashes in his wake?  Gross.) without stepping into the ‘unhealthy’ zone, but the last few days have been an exception.

For me, stress usually leads to higher-than-normal blood sugars, even despite insulin.  (Or “to spite insulin.”)  And not in that, “Oh, I didn’t bolus enough, so I’ll just correct this high,” sort of way, but in the “What the EFF – I just rage bolused the hell out of that blood sugar and it still won’t budge.”  This week has been all sorts of that, with fasting blood sugars as the only ones I’m comfortable keeping.  For the last few days, it’s taking 150% basal to keep me even close to range, and my insulin:carb ratio has been tweaked to accommodate the exceptionally busy week.

That 233 mg/dL?  All emotional, no other influence.  Insulin is good, food wasn’t introduced yet, basal rate was solid, and no I’m not pregnant.  I was 108 mg/dL an hour earlier.  This high was the product of stress.  It always amazes me to see how tightly woven my blood sugars are to my emotions.

The bad news is that my meter average, with which I was very comfortable last week, has gone to absolute shit.  I feel more tired and the highs are making me feel grumpier and shorter-tempered than normal.  (Which, if you’ve met me, is sadly saying a lot, because my average fuse is the length of a whisper.)  I’m not able to parent the way I’d like, because these highs are sapping me of my funergy (energy for fun).  I hate when diabetes derails time with my daughter.

The good news is that I know the cause of these diabetes radar blips, and I know things will be much more manageable in a few days.  Until then, I need to do whatever it takes to coast.  Testing more and correcting while taking the insulin-resistent instigation of stress into account?  Trying hard not to consume coffee as though it’s a necessary and actual basal rate?  Moments like these make me thankful for the CGM, because I can respond to trends, and I get a head’s up when I’m over- or under-compensating for stress.

For now, I’m in “just keep swimming” mode, hopeful that the highs will abate and leave me the hell alone in a couple of days.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. What’s funny/not funny is when you can’t put your finger on which trigger for high sugars it is (the bane of my existence this week.) Stress? Eating too many carbs? Not eating enough? Dawn phenomenon? Dehydration? Skunky insulin? Bad infusion site? It’s a miracle we survive the blood sugar roller coaster at all!

    08/1/13; 10:37 am
  2. Kris S #

    I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now, and I always enjoy reading your descriptions of highs and lows and the frustration of figuring out where they are coming from. I had an unexplained low last night an hour or so after dinner, and I was complaining out loud to my husband and he looked at me and said, “You’re really bad at this aren’t you?” Now…in his defense, we have been married for almost a year now and didn’t date long before getting married. I’ve known him for YEARS but life took us in different directions for a while. I knew him when I was first diagnosed, but he and I didn’t spend a whole lot of time together so he is REALLY new to the whole diabetes lifestyle thing. I also have a bad habit of playing down the disease to people, so while he knows how serious it is, I never let it take on that SUPER serious feel. He still hasn’t learned when NOT to say certain things. Not that anyone could learn that, I mean, my emotions are so unpredictable. Anyway…when he said that I literally threw my BG monitor at him (he side stepped and it hit a mirror, which only made me more upset). I then walked into the room, laid on the bed like a little kid and just let some tears come. When he came in he said, “I wasn’t being serious! I only said that because you’ve been so low lately…it totally didn’t come out right. It seems like lately everything you try hasn’t been working, it’s like you’re taking too much or something.” So then I explained to him that ALL sorts of things can have an effect on your blood sugars. That one formula that worked yesterday might not work so great the next day because say…it’s that time of the month, or the stress of the workday is playing a roll. He is really trying to understand it all, but it’s a lot to take in. I’ve been doing it for 9 years now, I can’t expect him to know it all in just 1. Thank God he’s as amazing as he is and soaks in all the information I can give him. If only I could explain things better! . I think I might have to read some of your posts to him so he’ll know it’s not just me who struggles in spite of all I do. It’s just a disease that has no mercy and never takes a day off. Thanks for all your posts, they mean a lot to me!

    08/1/13; 12:58 pm
  3. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Then pick up some boxing thing on the Wii or XBox or something. That’s all I’ve got. Sounds like you’re doing what you need to do though. Diabetes just doesn’t cooperate sometimes. Good luck.

    08/1/13; 2:02 pm
  4. JR #

    You’ll make it! It’s always so frustrating when times like these take away from the “normal” parts of our lives, but it’s nice to know that we are not alone in these struggles. I’ve been battling LOOOW LOWS at night, and no matter what I do, they stay low at night. If I even look at a juice box, I get low. So I get it. I hope things settle down soon for you!

    08/1/13; 4:39 pm
  5. DuG #

    Oh stress… I woke up this morning at 1am to the cries of my 4 month old, and a BG of 85, down from the 105 I went to bed with a couple hours earlier. At 3am the baby was now screaming, and so was the wife. Checked BG… 191. 2 hours, 106 pts. No carbs.Just stress

    08/1/13; 7:15 pm
  6. e-i #

    Boy, we are on the same page. I’ve been waking up to BG’s in 200’s and 300’s this week. This morning was 250. Last night I decided my insulin pen must be loaded with water. Had blood drawn on Tuesday with a BG of 241 after hitting it with 5 units + 6 units of Humalog and downing 77 ounces of fluids. My endo always says high BG’s are not a mystery. Yes they are, yes they are, yes they are!

    08/2/13; 11:27 am
  7. Sarah Blunt #

    I agree with you. Everything seems to be useless when I’m so stressed out. My blood sugar is getting high than usual. I hated stressful situations. It makes me unhealthy. I wish I can overcome all of these challenges.

    08/4/13; 4:01 am
  8. Hang in there, sis! You’re almost there!

    08/5/13; 9:28 pm
  9. gail f gustafson #

    Yes, Diabetes is not a fun thing, but there are many
    illnesses for many people.
    I’ve been insulin dependent since age 31.
    FAST ACTING Humalog and
    Seems each time I get a different Doctor, they want to change insulin.
    My Dr. went on a trip to Europe. Decided to stay.
    I have a new doctor and begged her to allow me stay on the Insulin I’m used to. She said O.K.
    She adjusted my (2 Insulins)
    My last A1C was a little on the high side, but at my age and being a Diabetic, for 45 years, she did leave it as is.
    Hope you all have a great New Year. Jan. 7th I’ll be 76.
    Perhaps in you lifetime they’ll find a cure. Gail

    01/2/16; 5:20 pm

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