Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a front end developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

Tag: Hypoglycemia (page 1 of 2)

A Large Dose of Reality

From Wired Magazine’s article on hacking type 1:

“Diabetes was no longer a death sentence, but to this day it still means a life shackled by regular blood-sugar checks, insulin treatment by injection or pump, and the constant threat of overdosing on the very medication that’s keeping you alive.” — this part of the article I identified with, it is a very clear and raw explanation of my reality… but this next part I was not ready for…

“Indeed, one in 20 people with type 1 die from severe low blood sugar, not the high blood sugar that was the problem in the first place. It’s a delicate balance.” — wtf. I’m too shocked even to fact check this… I mean I’ve been scared, but maybe I haven’t been scared enough…

Talking about monitoring his son’s BG… “One night, it was 36. Any lower and Evan could have fallen into a coma. He could have died.” — it’s like I haven’t really heard anything anyone has been saying for the last eighteen months. I’ve been trying to carry on as usual… I went on a fucking business trip three days after being diagnosed… Before they had even confirmed a type 1 diagnosis… I should not have been traveling alone, wtf. How many times have I hit lows in the thirties and occasionally even in the twenties while I’ve been alone in my apartment, honestly I couldn’t even tell you… too many to count… fuck, I can’t believe I’m alive. I’m trying to be grateful and have faith, to help pull myself out of fear… But right now it’s not working.

[Enter Sanity Here]

Yeah… this is the text chain between me and a very supportive friend…

Pizza and Cupcakes


Seriously, god bless her… I am making no sense. taking no advice. barely “hearing” anything. also my stomach still feels like shit.

today already blows, and it’s mostly your fault

Fail Diabetes, you suck. I contributed, but you’ve pushed it over the edge. First, I was texting with a friend last night, so I didn’t get to bed on time (Fail #1), then I forgot to take my night time Rx (Fail #2), I took night time insulin (Fail #3), I dropped all night (Fail #4), I slept terribly because I was all hot from dropping and being low (Fail #5), I woke up feeling tired, sick, and shaky (Fail #6), I wasn’t hungry, but I ate breakfast anyway because I’m supposed to, it made me feel even more nauseous (Fail #6), I got to my doctor’s appointment late (Fail #7), my doctor’s appointment is actually for tomorrow morning (Fail #8), now I’m exhausted, nauseous, sugar is on an aggressive rise, and now it’s time to start working… fml. Fuck Diabetes. I would like to quit diabetes. If anyone knows how I can submit my resignation please let me know, thank you.

Diabetes, what’s left… planking?!


Planking credit: Rae #outsidersplanking

Diabetes! seriously, you suck. What exercise can I do without totally fucking up my blood sugar? Planking?! *@!? Walking — good for me. Swimming — good for me. Neither of these things are particularly strenuous… but they make my blood sugar drop. like a rock. then I’m left trying to figure it out, I don’t feel it until it’s too late, I’m already low and still crashing hard, then I get to shake and worry and try to fix it (and panic, hopefully only on the inside, so no one else panics and/or figures it out). How am I supposed to get back to “normal” when I can’t even do “non-active” activities… it’s not like I’m asking to run a marathon… floating in the ocean is not an ironman, in fact, it’s little more than sitting in a chair… what’s next, blood sugar drops due to watching tv? better not sit in an office chair too long, that’ll make my blood sugar drop too, only safe exercise seems to be sleeping and even then #notsomuch Don’t get me wrong, planking can be hilarious in the right context

Not again.

[Full Disclosure: I’m currently drinking a juice box… yeah, you do the math]

Casey does not like lows. Although not officially trained, she has been know to alert me to a low faster than my dexcom. #GoodPuppy #GoCasey #CaseytheTripod

Casey does not like lows. Although not officially trained, she has been know to alert me to a low faster than my dexcom. #GoodPuppy #GoCasey #CaseytheTripod

So, I was just winding down, watching tv, playing a game on my phone, thinking about getting up to brush my teeth, etc… when I realize that Undercover Boss is making me tear up… and I feel a little hot, and light headed… and… oh crap. just as I go to test, my dexcom goes off, it’s okay — I have the alarm set to 75 (so I have time before it’s “really” bad)…. um, yeah… so my meter reads… 63. the worst part about this is that in my head I’m saying “that’s not that low” — well yeah… except I’m already fogging out. and my dog is just laying next to me looking at me like “really mom… again?!” I thought I would finish getting ready for bed before getting some juice… not the best choice, never mind the logic of drinking juice after brushing my teeth… bad taste and bad dental hygiene… it took me probably 15 minutes to brush my teeth, take a pill, and get a juice box out of the fridge… I think I walked in and out of my kitchen at least half a dozen times. I’m done with the juice box now, I also ate some insurance (a granola bar) to get me through the night.

Here’s the worst part… I know exactly why I got here. My eating habits suck. The food I eat may not be that bad, I’m not binging on doughnuts (anymore… or at least not lately), but.. let’s think of a nice way to say this… I am not keeping to a diet that best supports maintaining stable and healthy blood sugar for a diabetic. What do I mean by that artfully crafted statement you may ask… well, let’s start with today. Breakfast was normal — I’ve trained myself into eating breakfast, I hate eating in the morning, but now that it’s routine, I sort of forget that part and just do it. From there it goes down hill, I skipped lunch — I thought I would just have a yogurt at the office, but we were out for whatever reason, so instead of being responsible and going to get something… I just eat whatever I want… in the roughly 9 hours in the office I ate 1/4 bagel (I didn’t eat any more of it because it was stale), two chewy bars, and a bag of pop chips… and gave no insulin for any of it. So then I came home, and as you can probably imagine, I was running a bit high, so I figure out the correction and figure in what I’m about to eat for dinner (rice, black beans, chicken/steak… semi alright dinner), and round down and then give myself insulin… I know the ratios my doctor recommended are too heavy handed, but I don’t trust myself, even though it’s my body. I thought rounding down would do it. Nope. It took a few hours, but here I am, again. And now it’s time to go to bed. What if I go low in the middle of the night? Casey, while she can stare at me with an exasperated look, cannot administer glucagon if I wait to long and do not call for help. As my diabetic friend put it when I was telling her that I had hit 29 and been able to drink juice and been fine… “you didn’t know that the sprite would work fast enough, and if it hadn’t you’d be dead” — talk about a sobering thought (that statement is humorous because both of us are sober).

Well, now all that is left is for me to sign off and go to bed… wish me luck. Until the morning.

Update [Bad Night]:


Dinner and the ensuing crash, lots of snacks and then another crash. And close up proof of me being ridiculously irresponsible and ignoring the alarms all morning. And yes, I decided that now would be a great time to change out my sensor #notsobright #FuckDiabetes

Last night, in addition to my granola bar “insurance,” I drank another juice box… assuming that 58 carbs would be more than enough to safely carry me through the night. wrong. wrong wrong wrong. Here are some snap shots to help convey the madness.

So… that’s how my night went. basically, just shitty. I’m still weirdly hot. and I still haven’t eaten anything. call it rebellion. against myself. so really I’m just screwing myself and risking a hospital visit. or death. nbd. except actually a big deal. Fuck all of this. I feel like shit.

oh yeah… and I’m starting to regularly “snooze” my dexcom… which is not only unsafe, but also results in being woken up repeatedly, rather than actually getting back to sleep, which then results in me being exhausted and leaves me questioning whether the exhaustion is really exhaustion or just a symptom of the continued low blood sugar. Fuck me. Fuck Diabetes. Fuck Everything.

Dear Diabetes, this is really scary


I’ve been delaying finishing this post — I think it’s because I’m in “Low-Denial,” or at least I’m in denial as to how bad my lows have been getting.

I made this graphic after I hit 24 in the middle of the day last week, it was bad, but also a little funny because I was so out of it I ate half a bag on mini doughnuts, which in hindsight is still funny, even despite the ridiculous high that followed… Then I hit 24 again the other night, right as I was getting ready for bed. Thank god I wasn’t asleep already. It was more than scary, it was terrifying. I could not eat fast enough and then my meter kept reading “LOW.” Twenty minutes later, it’s still reading “LOW” — then I really start freaking out… “do I call a friend? no, I’m not waking anyone up at 1am… do I call 911? No, this isn’t a real emergency…is it? No. but is it? probably not. Am I going to die? If not tonight, is this how I’m going to go? What will happen if I die here, by myself? I don’t want to die. Sophie, you’re not dying, drink some god damn sprite.”

I did not die, as I am writing to you now, but I did get the pants scared off of me. Not scared enough to convince me that I need a pump, but scared enough to begrudgingly agree when my doctor brought it up, yet again, during my most recent appointment… more on that later.

The Hangover Type 1

cloudYesterday was a bad day — ranging from a low of 48 all the way up to a high of 390, needless to say, I was wiped out. Now today, I have a diabetes hangover. I’m exhausted, dehydrated, and completely fogged out. I want to share this because it has been a repeated experience for me — one that has been both consistent and consistently frustrating. I am fogged out and exhausted. I’m not in great shape to be doing anything, let alone writing or doing anything that requires brain power, but I need to feel better and writing here helps me to feel better.

Feeling like this, this hangover, makes me so angry at diabetes. I’m doing my best (sort of) and I get screwed. Let me qualify the “sort of” — I am trying to do my best, when I’m not throwing internal tantrums. When I’m throwing a tantrum against myself I eat whatever I want, whether or not I’m correcting, if I am correcting I over do it. If I am hungry, I eat whatever I want and then wonder why I feel like shit and am so exhausted that I need to nap (see: high blood sugar). Or I don’t eat because my blood sugar is fine and then I have no food to properly run my brain and I feel like shit and am so exhausted that I need to nap (see: high blood sugar). Then I realize that either option ends with me feeling like shit, exhausted, and needing a nap… so what’s the point in trying. Fuck this. On the few days that my blood sugar does behave, it seems to be only because I am consumed with getting right… and I can’t live like that all the time. So it seems that my options are a) Make my life revolve around my diabetes and have good numbers or b) Have a life and not have good numbers. I know that there should be a clear answer, but I don’t have one. I am not willing to have my life revolve around diabetes, just like when I got sober, I managed that in order so that I could live my life and I intend to do the same with diabetes, I will take care of it, but only because keeping it in check enables me to live a fuller life. So, no Diabetes, I refuse to make my life revolve around you, but I also need to control my numbers, so that I don’t die and/or suffer terrible complications… so right now it feels like I am at an impasse, but I refuse to pick one of the offered paths. In the least romanticized way, I have to make my own path. A path that will include not dying and having a life… I’m not sure what that looks like, so maybe I’ll just wander around in the “woods” until my own steps create a path behind me… this is way to much symbolism this early in the day, or possibly ever. Maybe my diabetes hangover is making me delirious… wait, let’s make that a statement. My diabetes hangover is definitely making me delirious. Fuck Diabetes. Fuck all of this. Fuck food and blood sugar and testing and headaches and hydrating and CGMs and marshmallows and lots of other things — because I’m angry and I need a direction to point it at, even if the marshmallows haven’t done anything… I don’t care.

And now enter the dull headache, starting behind my eyes, I know given some time it will creep forward into my temples and my ears… this afternoon is going to be fantastic*.


Dear Diabetes, Why do you hate food?

Sitting at my desk. Hungry. Today I’ve had a yogurt, a small sprite (blood sugar), and a packet of powdered doughnuts (sort of blood sugar) — that totals 550 calories. It also makes me that girl that tells you what she’s eaten today. If my blood sugar is at an okay level, do I need to eat? The answer is not yes or no, but another question — are you hungry? Do you need to eat calories? At 4pm today I was uncontrollably falling asleep, even though my blood sugar was fine… I was confused, there was an errant thought that maybe I haven’t eaten enough today, but I am convinced that that’s not it. I am hungry, but my blood sugar is okay, so I won’t eat anything. I’ll wait until my sugar is low enough that I have to emergency eat and then my sugar will spike up and again I won’t want to eat anything, because then I’ll have to give insulin and what if I give the wrong amount and then I crash, or if I don’t give enough and I go too high… the easy option is just not to eat anything unless absolutely necessary. My logical brain knows that this is the wrong choice, an unhealthy choice, but I’m scared and sad and mad and I have a headache. I feel like an idiot. Of course I don’t feel well… I haven’t provided my body with the calories it needs to function (enter excuses: but I’m at a fine/a little over weight or I ate yesterday, I should be okay). Again, my rational brain knows that this is not right, but I do nothing about it. I’ve been thinking about going to get something to eat for the last two hours, while my headache gets worse and I just sit here, whining about it to the internet. Everything I think of isn’t nutritious or wouldn’t be diabetic friendly. I’m so overwhelmed. Part of me doesn’t want to address this, but I know my current path/behavior is not sustainable. I hate change. my head hurts. I’m tired. my throat is dry and I’m stuffy and phlemy from allergies. I’m probably (definitely) dehydrated. Fuck Diabetes. I should probably get something to eat.

Apparently, a person needs about 2000 calories per day… so I’m roughly 1500 off the mark… Chipotle it is… now to convince myself to leave the house…

[Update: It took me another 2 hours to go get food… but I made it out of the house and ate. #GoTeamSophie #smallvictories]

The Dark Side of the Dexcom

FailMonday is sensor replacement day. It went well, the insertion hurt a bit more than usual, but nothing major — I was starting to feel like I had the hang of this…. #FAIL

I calibrated as soon as it was ready, and then got ready to go to bed… and then the alarm went off… fine, I was a bit low… juice box, lay down, sleep… and then the alarm goes off…juice box, lay down, sleep… and then the alarm goes off… juice box…waaaaiiiittt, this doen’t make sense, stop, no juice box, old school blood test… I’m fine…  lay down, sleep… the alarm goes off… old school blood test…  I’m fine…  lay down, sleep… the alarm goes off… old school blood test…  I’m fine…  lay down, sleep… AND that is how my night went, needless to say, I feel like shit today, both because I got no sleep and because my blood sugar is god knows where. Still all today my Dexcom is off — by anywhere from 50 to 150 mg/dL at different points so far… I thought this was supposed to help. This shit makes no sense.

I would love to say something like… “I’m sure it will get better” or “It will work out” or “As soon as I get settled in with the Dexcom” or  anything positive, but I’m pretty sure that shit is just going to be like this now.

Great. Thanks Diabetes. You Suck.

Solving world hunger

I just got home and my mind was spinning with all the things I wanted to get done tonight — make food, figure out food for the week, clean up my apt, finish unpacking completely, brush my dog, clean and care for my new tattoo, maybe go to a meeting, call my sponsor, pick out my clothes for tomorrow, watch some tv, relax, meditate, an accountability call with a friend, start an online learning course for coding, watch some TED talks and this other lecture I’ve been meaning to watch, write my weekly goals, add to and reorganize my task list, enter in my diabetes numbers for the past I don’t know how many days that I haven’t done it (does anyone have a good way to see trending without a continuous glucose meter?!)  …and did I mention that I’m supposed to go to the gym? My list might as well include solving world hunger. Next, to understand what really needs to be done, what is possible and reasonable to be done tonight, and what can be cut loose for now, and what can be dumped forever off the list. So, first thing off the list was the gym, I’m tired, I have a new tattoo… and I promised myself (also, out loud to my dog) that I would trade working out for going to a meeting, I figured emotional health for physical health was an okay trade for today. Next to tackle the tasks list, which should help to organize everything else… but wait, I’m hungry, does that mean I’m low? I haven’t fed my dog. shit. what was I thinking about 5 seconds ago. I must be low because my ADD is raging, or maybe I’m just tired, I should probably stop typing and take my blood sugar… 63… fuck [drinking juice]… I was 110 an hour ago… how did that happen… why didn’t I start shaking. I just remembered something else I was supposed to do, but now I forgot, shit.. fed the dog, finished my juice (out of a glass and not a juice box, since I keep finishing those and then I don’t have any to-go sugar options when I need them). Damn, I’m running through test strips recently, if I had been tracking my numbers right I could tell you how many, but all I know is that I’m on my last 50 and I’m not supposed to refill for another ten days, which could work… if everything is normal… but we all know if I count on a normal ten days, I will not have a normal ten days… I feel the sugar kicking in. All of a sudden my brain is coming off of warp speed and I can concentrate again… guess I should start with that task list… and get started on eliminating things…

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