So high, I could cry

This morning I was witness to a rare sight. A sugar level of 5.2. Yes, a miracle did come before me. What saintly action did I partake in yesterday, to be rewarded with a perfect sugar level? I haven’t had a reading anywhere near that in over a month – 23 September, to be precise – and that was a ‘hypo’. Before that, it was July. So yes, I felt like bragging (to myself).

Breakfast, when I eat it, my safe meal. Because of my IBS, I only really have a few options. This means that over time I have gained an accuracy, when it comes to calculating the amount of carbs in my breakfast. So, this morning I’m 95% sure I had 40g of carbs. This meant I gave myself 4 units of insulin. My meter told me to take less, because I was only 5.2. I used my judgement to stick with 4 units. Boy, am I glad I did.

Two hours later, I feel like absolute crap, to be honest. All I want is to close my eyes and sleep. I feel fuzzy and sick. I want to cry. I want to cry my eyes out. My blood meter has told me my sugar level is 16. 16. What went wrong? I didn’t have any more cereal than I usually have and I don’t recall seeing a gremlin tip sugar into my tea. So how have I rocketed so high, and so quickly? What am I doing wrong?

The other day, my sugars went up to 12 after breakfast. I decided not to correct, and by lunch time, I was a cosy little 6.9. If I had corrected, I may have had a hypo. The day before however, I was 9.9 after breakfast and risked a single correction unit. My sugar level didn’t budge. So you see my dilemma. Whether extra insulin on board works, is apparently random.

Back to that bitch of a 16. On the verge of breaking down in tears and embarrassing myself in front of my colleagues. 2 correction units injected. Hurry up and do something. Please!

Diabetes is a full time job. A full time job on top of my full time job. I’m not being paid to have diabetes. I’m not getting any reward right now, for having diabetes. It’s not worth the effort I put into managing it. All those calculations, those injections before I can eat, even when I feel ravished. I get no thanks for this diabetes and I only wish I could get rid of it.

No one in this office realises how I’m feeling. The guy next to me is trying to have a conversation with me about running. The words coming out of my mouth sound like I’m listening to him and that I’m interested. My mind is telling him to shut up. Shut up and let me get through this horrible feeling. I don’t want to diabetes, today.

My anxiety is my anxiety

Why do we like to torture ourselves? Whether it be consciously or inadvertently, I am constantly causing myself grief, and I have finally acknowledged that I need to stop. So many of use hard on ourselves, if we don’t get the results we want. I only got BCC in my A-Levels and to me, that wasn’t good enough – I wanted BBB. Sure, this didn’t affect my university choices, and I’ve been able to pursue a career in marketing, but it’s never been good enough, and it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for, completely. Likewise, I was 2% away from a 2:1 in my degree. I want to kick myself every time I think about this.

Still, this is in the past and there’s not much I can do about it. However, it helps massively in demonstrating how we all kick ourselves for not being ‘better’. Skip forward to today, and I’m still beating myself up about things. Whether it be because I didn’t get that job, or I didn’t make that sale, I’m often dwelling on things that I don’t have much control over. I’ve always been a worrier, I have Mummy Douglas to thank for that. In recent years, I have tried to not worry so much, but quite frankly, I think I’m always going to worry about the silly things. I accept this.

What I don’t accept, and where I get annoyed, is when I worry about things, but can’t put my finger on what the actual issue is. My mind is unnecessarily worrying about things, and sending me into a state of high anxiety, but won’t let me into the reason why.

Take today for example. I’ve had a couple of things on my mind, but nothing major – the usual feeling like I need to do more, but knowing I can’t take on any more. There isn’t anything that I would be worrying about, enough to lead to an anxiety attack. And yet, an anxiety attack is just what I got, at lunch.

Stomach churning, feeling like I want to be sick. My head is banging and fuzzy, good job I’m just in my car at lunch. I have plenty of things to distract myself – I’ve just started a new book, and I’m becoming more and more obsessed with Pinterest. The perfect distraction. Except it didn’t work. Even now, back at work, I just want to close my eyes, curl into a ball and hibernate. How I wish I was a squirrel, on days like today.

I try not to use the phrase ‘anxiety attack’ as I don’t suffer with them very often, and they seem insignificant, compared to what other people go through. However, the speedy heart rate and inability to focus on my book isn’t normal. I feel anything but comfortable, and I can’t find a way to calm myself down. To me, this is my anxiety. Every person experiences different things, but each experience is horrible, there’s nothing worse than feeling out of control of your body.

I’ve never really thought about what anxiety feels like, but having written this post, it’s easy to see how much of a monster, anxiety is. What’s worse, is trying to disguise the monster. I work in a place in which there is a huge stigma attached to mental health. If I were to ever admit I had anxiety or depression, I fear I’d be laughed at. Let’s not go there.

So instead of discussing it out aloud, trying to put my emotions into words, is my therapy. It doesn’t replace talking face to face, but it sure as hell helps, when I don’t have that option.

Bad diabetes day

Diabetes is an invisible condition, yet it plays a significant part in every aspect of my life – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It’s a condition that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It requires so much energy and dedication to manage. Furthermore, no matter how much attention I pay to my diabetes, there is nothing to say that I won’t develop complications from it, in years to come.

For the most part, I have tried to not let diabetes rule my life, or define me. I’ve been given so many opportunities as a result of having diabetes. I’ve met some amazing people and I have a whole new family, thanks to it. On the whole, diabetes doesn’t affect me too much, psychologically.

Maybe for the first time since first being diagnosed, I’ve really been struggling today, with anxiety. Anxiety that has arisen as a result of my sugar levels not playing fair. I’ve been a bit run down lately with ear infections, colds, IBS, blah blah blah. These things don’t usually have much effect on my diabetes, but this week, they are.

This morning I came up against a 19.5. With this reading, I felt nauseous, I felt like I wanted to curl up in a ball and hibernate. Mostly, I just wanted to cry. Heard the phrase ‘sick and tired of being tired and sick’? That sums up how I feel right now.

Aside from the ‘hangover’ from my high levels, I’ve found myself feeling bad about myself, because my sugars have got so high. Why didn’t I remember to check my sugar levels before breakfast this morning? Why did I get what my levels were and just inject 1 correction dose? Did I remember my background insulin last night? I can’t remember.

My stomach is tied up in knots, my legs feel like jelly and I can’t focus on anything else right now. I want my sugar levels to drop. I want this ‘hyper hangover’ to be gone and I want my body to quit fighting, it’s wearing me out.

The one thing I’ve always hated about diabetes is the issue of correcting sugar levels. Being diagnosed as Type 1.5, I spent a year and a half on tablets. From there, I started insulin but appeared to be mega sensitive at times. One unit could bring me down as much as 4 or 5 sometimes, or it would barely move. Today, 2.5 units brought me down from 19 to 6. At the time, I was debating whether to inject 4 units, instead. I’m glad I didn’t. I can never predict how sensitive I’m going to be, so will generally only correct if I’m in my teens. I really hate the thought of injecting too much and swinging the other way. If that happens, the hangover feeling will prolong, and I’ll spend even longer feeling rubbish.

I’ve been trying for the past month to really keep track of my diabetes – I have a very colourful spreadsheet, full of formulae and conditional formatting – I impressed myself, creating it! So what can I see? What can I do? I don’t know, is the answer.

My spreadsheet is covered in red, and the average readings are between 8.8 and 12.6. Looking at it from a distance, I feel I need to up my ratios, but I’m reluctant. I feel uncomfortable with the idea that my body has become more resistant to insulin. Why can’t my body stay the same?

I’m always saying that no one should go through their diabetes on their own, there’s too much for us to think about, without going insane. I’ve spoken to so many people about their experience of diabetes, and everyone has their own worries and issues they try to overcome.

It’s ok to worry about that slice of apple pie you had for dessert. It’s ok to worry about what effect exercise will have on your sugar levels. It’s ok to worry about correcting a high sugar level.

These sorts of worries are often forgotten about, when addressing living with diabetes. This needs to change. We need to feel able to talk about our diabetes worries, not bottle them up because no one else is worrying. They’re not silly things to be worrying about, and you have no need to feel like you shouldn’t be worrying. It’s ok. Chances are, someone is worrying about the same thing, right now.

Today has been a bad diabetes day. I’ve nearly made it through the day so I’m going to stop beating myself up about that 19.5 – it’s just a number, right?  For now, I’m going to try to be brave and get those corrective doses in. Oh, and I’m going to stock up on jelly babies for the occasions that I over-treat!

 

 

Diabetes hangover

Hangover. What a horrible word. Just the thought of it makes me cringe with how pathetic I feel when I used to drink. I’m pretty much 5 feet of nothing, so it’s never taken long for me to feel the alcohol taking over my body. I have to confess that the main reason I don’t drink alcohol these days, is because of the fear of the HANGOVER. It doesn’t matter how bad the hangover is – whether it’s a slight headache, or a full blown 2 day hangover in which I feel like I’m dying. I loathe the effects of drinking. Thus why I’ve not had more than half a pint of wonderful cider, in the past seven months.

At least by giving up alcohol, I’ve freed my body from feeling it next day. However, I wish there was a way to avoid another type of hangover – the hangover from my diabetes. Ok so it isn’t a technical term, but I’ll bet my secret stash of jelly babies that if you have diabetes, you’ve heard of this phrase.

So you had a reading of 2.8 after dinner last night? Or are you feeling my 19.5 right now that just won’t budge? That fuzzy feeling in your head, the lethargy that’s taken over your whole body, and is making you have to put twice as much effort into everything you do. That there, is the diabetes hangover. Right now, I’m trying to read what I’ve written, not sure if it’ll make sense to the person who doesn’t have my hangover. My fingers are clammy and clumsy – it’s taken about 10 minutes to come up with this paragraph. Move faster, body and mind!

To everyone around me at the moment, I probably seem like I just haven’t woken up yet, this morning. It’s 9am and as I can’t drink coffee, I’ve only had a portion of caffeine in my cup of tea. I wouldn’t be surprised if my colleagues are cursing me for not working as fast and efficiently as they are. None of them have diabetes, so if I told them I have a diabetes hangover, they’d probably burst out laughing.

Trying to correct a stubborn sugar level is trying. Maybe my body has decided it just isn’t feeling today, and wants to go its own way. A couple of times over recent months, I’ve been told to say to Paul “think how bad the hangover will be”. Apparently, this is enough to stop him from drinking too much. I wish I could say this to my pancreas. “Think how bad the hangover is, when you let my sugar levels climb to 19. Do you really want to be hungover all day?”

What’s that, you know that feeling of a diabetes hangover? I’ll just slip another jelly baby into my mouth whilst the penny drops.