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Ketchup and Mustard.

Blood sugar excursions are one thing (little trips to the grocery store, short flights to Canada … those sorts of excursions are fine) but the long-haul ones are not okay (BOS -> MEL).  I can deal with a sticky high of 180 or 200 mg/dL without getting fired up, and lows are less frequent these days, so I’m not as irritated by them.  Issues seem weekly rather than daily, which is a lovely change of pace.

Except for yesterday.

Holy shit, Yesterday.  You sucked.

The day began with a low alarm in the morning – not a deep one, but a shallow low, easily managed by turning down my basal rate for 45 minutes and popping one glucose tab.  Before breakfast I was 107 mg/dL.  After breakfast, I was 302 mg/dL.  The eff?  I have a breakfast bolus recorded in my pump, but it clearly didn’t make a dent (either that, or the stress of the morning sent me cruising up into orbit).  My goal of bringing my blood sugar down within a few hours was thwarted by a thorough combination of a bloody infusion set (was that why my breakfast bolus didn’t register?), insulin that may have been borked (my pump cartridge was a potluck of dregs from older bottles), the regular stress of work coupled with exacerbated stress of having a high blood sugar … it was gross.

It wasn’t until about 2 pm that I was back down to the 200’s, and that was after pulling the infusion site and taking an injection.  And it wasn’t until about 3 pm that I saw a number under 100 mg/dL.  Which started the second half of my day, spent trying to bring up a low blood sugar that wanted its own bedroom.  I bounced between highs and lows for hours, not able to properly correct at either end of the spectrum due to a magical combination of user error and pancreas error.

When I looked at my Dexcom graph last night, it was way too much ketchup and mustard (aka “highs and lows”) and not nearly enough time spent in range.

“Damn hamburger Dexcom,” I muttered.

A normal day with diabetes doesn’t wring me out, but yesterday did.  Concentrating on work was really difficult, because my high-brain was too sluggish and too thick to let synapses fire.   Writing was impossible.  Sitting at my desk for more than twenty minutes was impossible because I kept having to take breaks to get more water and then to pee.  (I went for a run and a mile and a half into it, made the wise decision to turn around.  A good idea since, by the time I got back to my car, the need to pee was amazingly all-consuming.  Oh hydration!)  My whole body felt like it was submerged in Jell-O, and I tried to swim through it for the majority of the morning.  Instead of making beds/doing laundry/cleaning dishes/writing/answering emails/phone calls, I wanted to climb into bed and sleep off the blood sugar hangover, but that wasn’t an option.  Life doesn’t wait for diabetes.

I made lots of mistakes yesterday – should have pulled the site/taken an injection earlier, should have assumed my blood sugar would rise more after turning down the basal, should have checked an hour after eating instead of two.  So many things I should have done, or done differently.  But my brain isn’t very clever when it’s on the glucose roller coaster.

Oh yeah, and diabetes.

This morning, my fasting blood sugar was 104 mg/dL, a welcomed change after yesterday’s 398 mg/dL, 42 mg/dL, and all the numbers in between.

“Don’t mock me, you little jerkface,” I said to my meter.

If the frigging thing had a tongue to stick out, it would have.


27 Comments Post a comment
  1. I stayed high all day yesterday – no matter all the “textbook” ways I tried to fix it. Finally my pre-dinner check was 140. Was the first time I’d been <250 all freaking day. Then my bedtime check showed 251. Ugh. Corrected. Went to bed. Overslept and got A to school late this am because when I checked my BG…317. What the what?? *sigh* Diabetes-1, Shannon-0

    10/30/13; 10:09 am
  2. I hate days like that! Especially the hangover effect, when I just can’t seem to snap out of it (well, probably because my body won’t let me). It’s amazing the toll that roller coaster days can take on my energy level.

    10/30/13; 10:19 am
  3. Walter #

    I fully commiserate. 330 at 1p and 58 at 10:45p. The 58 was at work at the copier trying clean up someone else’s mess (after clocking out at 9:30p) and wondering why I was getting so homicidal angry. (I don’t usually get angry when low. The low was feeding my frustration.) Once again you show me I am not alone in D.

    10/30/13; 11:04 am
  4. There must have been something in the diabetes global air yesterday! I had the most mountainous graph on my dexcom since I got it 5 weeks ago. One glucose tab would send me from 65 and down arrow to 106 with double up arrows in the space of minutes. Happy things are more normal today!

    10/30/13; 11:09 am
  5. Another great post, right when I needed some camaraderie. My little man started high yesterday, too, and spent the 10 minutes before the bus ride home from school desperately trying to bring up a 49.

    This is all such great perspective, and I would love to share it with my clients (with your permission).

    10/30/13; 12:21 pm
  6. We can beat ourselves up with the “should haves” on days like yesterday, and I have certainly done enough of that! But let’s also remember the days when the Dexcom graph looks gorgeous (well, almost) and we feel so good we almost forget we have diabetes (well, almost). You work hard to make those kinds of days happen, as do we all. So, well done for those days, and hurray that the roller coaster days are uncommon…..

    10/30/13; 12:32 pm
  7. Molly M #

    It must have been something in the air. I struggled with extreme, unrelenting lows from lunch until dinner, then shot sky high until 3:00 am. Nice to know there are others that know exactly what I’m going through!

    10/30/13; 12:47 pm
  8. Sunday was my “roller coaster” day. I went from 128 in the morning to 73 after lunch which then went to 55 then 42 then so low the Dexcom simply displayed low. This was all happening even as I drank 8 ounces of Kool-Aid. My BG stayed that way for almost 20 minutes before it started to climb and … then climb some more, then more … at 340 my wife asked me what’s going on. I have no pump so I had to rely on a few units of Novolog to bring the BG down … and down it went. Right back to 55. Sigh!

    I shouldn’t have had those two slices of pizza from a place I didn’t know.

    10/30/13; 1:07 pm
  9. Lee #

    Sounds like a roller coaster ride to me, great choice of pic to illustrate that. This makes for a frustrating day for real. But don’t fret, there will be better days, when you BGLs will be under control…

    10/30/13; 1:47 pm
  10. Had a day like that a week ago. Hope today is better.

    10/30/13; 3:06 pm
  11. Angela Harlow #

    I feel like I’ve been having more days like this & I can feel it physically. It interferes with my daily life & pisses me off! I would give anything for a day, week, or even a month off from worry about what I eat or don’t eat! Hope today is going better!

    10/30/13; 3:32 pm
  12. Emily #

    I have been in that rollarcoaster of Diabetes land for the past couple days! Glad your numbers have leveled out a bit

    10/30/13; 5:21 pm
  13. Leigh Leber #

    Still trying to figure out this high and low stuff! My son has officially had T1d for 3 weeks and it sucks. Most of what you were saying in your post was a little foreign as he doesn’t have a pump. I am getting mixed reviews on the little buggers and from the sound of it yours drove you crazy yesterday. So….my question is do you like it? Why is it better then shots? Sounds like you’re still having to do shots. Feedback from anyone reading this would be appreciated!

    10/30/13; 5:32 pm
  14. Keith Gilbert #

    Kerri, I am a regular reader of your blog, although I’ve never commented before. Believe it or not, your posts like this are encouraging to me. I’ve had diabetes for 11 years and get frustrated and mad at myself when I have days like yesterday (in the 50’s twice and was 250+ overnight). It’s encouraging to know that having your diabetes under control doesn’t mean you’ll never have a terrible BG number day. Thanks for sharing!

    10/30/13; 6:36 pm
  15. Must have been yesterday. Your day sounds exactly like mine. How is it that the insulin isn’t working until we remove the set, take and injection and THEN it all seems to be working!

    Sorry for your hamburger day. Glad today is better!

    10/30/13; 6:38 pm
  16. Nancy #

    I hate that you had to go through this. But I like that I am not alone – thank you for sharing.

    The worst part about it is that the blood sugar roller coaster screws up your brain, which is exactly what you need to work to straighten the whole thing out!

    Appreciate you and your diabetes wisdom. Keep writing.

    10/30/13; 7:31 pm
  17. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,
    I am wondering about some of the processes which were picked up in the above posting.
    How long do you wear your insets? Have you taken the time to compare a two day change and rotation verses a three or more day change and rotation. The ability does exist in Dexcom Studio to select a given range of time to match the rotation period for insets. There have been some posts with a comment regarding blood at the inset site. Next, it is my understanding that Apidra has a shelf live of 28 days after it is opened. Do you pre-fill the cartridges? Apidra has a higher acid level and the acid can over time react with the plastic cartridge and lower the potency of the insulin. Hope this helps and as always have a great day.

    10/30/13; 9:53 pm
    • Dan, sometimes a bad day is just a bad day. I’m letting it go and moving on.

      10/30/13; 11:38 pm
  18. Kristine #

    My day was the same.. Up and down arrows on the graph all day. It’s strange that some days the blood sugar just never wants to stabilize.. I can never get the hang of it. Today is better, luckily.

    Hugs <3

    10/31/13; 7:57 am
  19. Bridget #

    Add me to the passenger list of that coaster yesterday. Ugh! Over 300 during the AM and then I (undoubtedly) overcorrected (multiple small boluses added up to a sharp turn) which brought me low enough that I could not then get it back up. Breathing felt almost impossible. Stomach in knots. Living in Jello . . . I like that comparison, Kerri! Trick or treating was a fun mix of snacking/walking/no insulin to try to naturally balance things back out. Refused to test before bed . . . GOOD NIGHT, D. . . Was 250 this morning, so hoping I’m going to begin to level out towards 200-150 (my current: “normal”). Today is a brand, new day.

    11/1/13; 10:28 am
  20. Kim #


    Sorry you had a crappy rollercoaster day – those are THE. WORST. Can I just tell you though, I am sitting up at 2 in the morning with a low, and accidentally laughed out loud (loudly) at the end of your post. I hope I didn’t wake my kids up. Totally going to call my meter a jerkface next time it messes with me!

    P.S I am soooo guilty of potluck pump fillling once in a while, when I’m desperate…a little from the diaper bag, a little from the purse…hey, is that an almost empty bottle of insulin that rolled under the couch? Don’t mind if I do…

    11/2/13; 3:55 am
  21. Hamburger Dexcom must be low carb – there’s no bread.

    11/10/13; 2:21 pm
  22. “This morning, my fasting blood sugar was 104 mg/dL, a welcomed change after yesterday’s 398 mg/dL, 42 mg/dL, and all the numbers in between.

    “Don’t mock me, you little jerkface,” I said to my meter.

    If the frigging thing had a tongue to stick out, it would have.”

    So wish I could have written that. Great stuff, Kerri.

    02/5/15; 3:07 pm

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