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A Bad Day In The Life Of A Diabetic

Posted by on Jul 19, 2009

I am a Type II diabetic. Every once in awhile, I write about things on this blog related to diabetes. That’s not necessarily because I feel I need to tell people about my struggles and successes, but because I don’t think that people who aren’t diabetic know what we can go through sometimes.

When I talk about it, I don’t only talk about things that affect diabetics. I have talked about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar alcohols. But I did talk about the day I was diagnosed as being diabetic, and I have given some diabetes information here and there.

Now I’m going to tell you a quick little story about my day, just to give you an example of why it’s important for me to try to pay attention to what I do, and what I go through here and there.

During the week, I’ve been sticking to a recent eating plan. My glucose was out of control for maybe three weeks, and I know stress brought some of that on. One thing that helps me overcome stress is putting myself on plans and schedules. In this way, since I set it up, I tend to follow it closely enough to get things done, no matter what they are.

Some quick numbers, since I’ll be talking numbers in this tale. A good glucose range is supposed to be 80 – 120. Some people don’t necessarily do well in that range, and I’m one of them. For me, I should be between 100 and 140. When I’m lower than 100, I get lightheaded and just don’t feel well. That doesn’t happen often, but once last summer I got down to 44 after a very strenuous walk in a lot of heat, and in late spring the same thing happened again, only I didn’t have anything to check the level, but I remembered the feeling after recovering some.

Anyway, during the week, I was averaging around 155, which isn’t bad; slightly high, but way better than the 244 I had averaged during that 3 week period, and better than the 223 I had last Sunday. I give myself the weekend to kind of be worse than perfect, but I might have to rethink that strategy a little bit.

This morning, after a day where, I’ll admit, my wife and I weren’t quite perfect, my reading was 238. My wife gave me breakfast, which was grilled cheese sandwiches, which is good and bad at the same time. I had it on wheat bread, but it does have a touch of HFCS and enriched white flour, another thing not quite as healthy. Then she gave me a cookie she’d bought at the farmer’s market yesterday. I took my medication, which includes my injection, and I figured I would be fine.

After about 90 minutes, I got overly tired. It can come on quickly, and so I went to lay down. My wife said she was leaving to go to do some shopping, and it’s Sunday so I figured it was a great day to take a nap. I went to sleep and slept for about an hour. I woke, but I was extremely groggy. The phone rang, and I barely grabbed it; it was my wife asking if I wanted anything while she was out. I hung up the phone, felt like I just couldn’t move, and went back to sleep. I slept for another hour, awoke, and still felt just as bad. I knew this wasn’t good.

Timing is everything; my wife came home within a couple of minutes, and once she made it back to the bedroom I asked her to bring me some water. Cold water sometimes helps me snap out of it, and with the cold water, I at least felt like I could move again. I came to the computer, ready to do some work, and I noticed problem number two; I couldn’t read the screen. With the browser, I can make the letters bigger, but for TweetDeck or Mailwasher, which I use to check my email before downloading it to my computer, you can’t increase the size. I couldn’t read either, and that was a warning sign.

I knew I had to check my glucose, which I did, and it was 311; ouch! That doesn’t usually happen if I inject when I eat, but today it did. I knew that the water had probably brought it down a little bit, which allowed me to get out of bed in the first place, but that was scary.

I knew I had to eat again, as it had been 5 hours, so I got something to eat, then gave myself a second injection, a smaller dose, which isn’t part of my plan, but I had to get this under control. My wife and I also went out for a walk, to try to stimulate the blood flow. At least I was fully awake at this point, and the walk went smoothly enough.

We got home, and I came to the computer; I could see again. Whew! Now, the thing is that I’m supposed to wait at least 2 hours until after I’ve eaten to check glucose again, and I’ve just checked after 2 1/2 hours; my glucose is at 91; ouch! I’ve brought my glucose down 240 points in 2 1/2 hours, which might be a bit extreme. It’s easier lower than where I want it to be, so now I have to eat something again. That’s not a bad thing because during the week, when I’m doing well, I eat every 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours anyway, smaller meals to stimulate the metabolism, which also helps me lose some weight, along with the exercise. But I hadn’t thought that, even with the exercise, I would see a number like that.

For more information, when someone has high diabetic numbers, the blood thickens, and doesn’t run through the body all that well. That can make one sluggish, but it can do a host of other things to people as well. For me, it makes me logie, but if it gets too high it can also affect my eyesight. I don’t need to be doing that sort of thing all that often, as it’s not good for me, or any diabetic, long term.

However, it’s better lower than higher, so I’m not all that upset right now. At least I can see, and I can eat something and bring it back into a normal level. Still, this is what some diabetics go through, which is why I wanted to mention it here. This isn’t a joke, folks; sometimes, it’s pretty scary. And another scary thing is that there are a lot of you walking around right now, suffering some of the same things, meaning you might be diabetic, and you don’t know it yet, or aren’t paying attention to the signs. I know many people who found themselves in the emergency room with numbers in the 500’s because they kept ignoring signs until they finally crashed.

That’s a terrible thing to have happen to you; read my story of how I learned I was diabetic, which is one of those links above. Please pay attention to what’s going on with you, because the sooner you find out, the sooner you have a chance to take care of it.

Oh yeah, it sometimes brings on depression also; I need to keep a check on that as well.

Bayer 561440 Ascensia Breeze 2 Blood Glucose Monitor System

Bayer 561440 Ascensia Breeze 2 Blood Glucose Monitor System






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19 Comments »

John Dilbeck:

Good evening, Mitch.

I hope you’re feeling better this evening.

I know, for a lot people, that diabetes can be a lot of trouble. It’s what killed my grandmother, for instance.

I’ve had a couple of bad times with it a few years ago, but, fortunately, I’m able to keep mine in control by watching my diet. I used to live on cokes and peanut M&Ms, but those days are long gone.

When I had to stop putting sugar in my coffee, I thought I’d just stop drinking it. Now, after years of drinking my coffee black, I can’t even imagine putting sugar in it.

Hang in there Mitch. You can control it; it doesn’t have to control you.

All the best,

JD

July 19th, 2009 | 9:51 PM
Mitch:

Thanks John. I will be monitoring myself better this week, and next weekend, let’s hope I remember what happened today.

July 19th, 2009 | 10:21 PM
Monique:

Mitch, I see why you made that comment about the teleseminar. That’s got to be pretty scary. How did you know whether to take a walk or go to the emergency room? I’ve never had the doctor tell me that I had issues, but when my blood sugar gets low, I can’t function, think straight or anything. It work I used to keep granola and peanut butter crackers, but people didn’t understand. I’m not snacking just to be snacking, I need be able to function. My dad has been telling me about avoiding the high fructose corn syrup. It seems like everything has that in it – it’s crazy.
I’m glad you’re better! Talk to you soon.
.-= Monique´s last blog ..The Chris Brogan vs. Seth Godin Debate =-.

July 20th, 2009 | 5:50 AM
Mitch:

H Monique. I’d never go to the emergency room for something like that, unless I was totally unresponsive and my wife got me there somehow. Truthfully, if I were alone and had one of the “low” moments, I always have something in the car like Altoids or some hard candies to take, which would help eventually. But I’d get by.

I hope you’ve made sure you’re okay long term; have you had your glucose checked lately?

July 20th, 2009 | 8:52 AM
Jake:

I have family and friends that are diabetics but never really heard or read an experience like that and how things play out… I can’t imagine how it feels to have to struggle with that daily!

Having anxiety problems and taking meds for those and because of family history, I get my blood work done every 6 months so hopefully if that problem ever arises, it’ll show up and I can get it under control quickly!

July 20th, 2009 | 9:13 AM
Mitch:

It’s a good thing to do, Jake, especially if you have family history. I knew I was going to be diabetic because it ran in the family; I just never really thought I’d get it as soon as I did.

Good day today, though; full control.

July 20th, 2009 | 6:21 PM
Trey - Swollen Thumb Entertainment:

Hi Mitch. Even though I have been around diabetics before, and know what they go through, your story was inspiring. Inspiring in the sense that we should all be more aware of how we take care of our bodies, and what we put into it. We shouldn’t have to wait until we have diabetes to understand that there’s a cause and effect relationship between our food, our activities, and our health.

I am glad that you are familiar enough with the way that your body works to know the warning signs, and to take care of yourself.

July 20th, 2009 | 8:29 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Trey. You know, though, I really do need to be better, and had I been better when I was young and knew it ran in the family, I might not be dealing with some of this stuff now. I know that if my parents had known it ran in the family when I was younger that we’d have eaten way differently than I do now. Turned out no one else in the family mentioned they had it until Dad got it and told everyone. Then everyone else stepped forward; that’s old school families for you.

July 21st, 2009 | 7:31 AM
Andrew:

Hi Mitch, thought I’d stop by to say thanks after reading your comment on my blog (I’ve replied to it) and I noticed this post.

What can I say that you don’t already know or haven’t heard before?

My mother was diagnosed with diabetes very late in life and I helped her to manage it up until she passed a few years back. I can somewhat relate to what your dealing with from the experience with my mum.

It sounds to me like, even though you have your no so good days, you know exactly how to handle your situation with your clear understanding of your body and your treatment.

I hope you have your glucose levels back to a normal and manageable level soon and wish you all the best of health for the future.
.-= Andrew´s last blog ..We ‘dofollow’ comments =-.

July 21st, 2009 | 4:45 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Andrew. You know, I do have some bad days, and it’s weird because I’ve found that I can eat the same exact thing every day at the same exact time, and the numbers won’t be the same. They can be better, though, and during the week, they are better, which tells me I might need to decide not to take all that many weekends off anymore. I’m sorry to hear about your mother going through this mess also.

July 21st, 2009 | 7:33 AM
Andrew:

Like I used to tell my mother, if you have a positive mindset it won’t ever set you back too far. Just concentrate on living your life on purpose and take action when necessary to be in as much control as possible.

P.S. I’ve made the changes you suggested. Thanks.

July 21st, 2009 | 11:29 AM
Gryfino:

I know people who neede diabetees to make them realise that maybe looking at what you’re eating is a good idea. Most of my friends eat whatever they can get their hands on.

July 21st, 2009 | 5:34 AM
Mitch:

Hi Gryfino. I hope your friends are young, and at some point can figure out how to turn it around. I’ll say that it’s not easy, and though I’m a better eater than I used to be, obviously there are still those lessons that I need to learn and continue following more often.

July 21st, 2009 | 7:34 AM
The Gooroo @ Finance Advisory Stop:

Mitch,

I hope you feel better within the next few days. I have had quite a few friends who had diabetes, and I see exactly what they go through. You’re a strong individual!
.-= The Gooroo @ Finance Advisory Stop´s last blog ..Moving – For The Better Or Worse? =-.

July 21st, 2009 | 6:24 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Gooroo. I’m fine; got everything balanced once again. Just have to be more cognizant, and my wife says the same, since she gave me the big cookie in the first place. I’ll almost never turn down a cookie. 🙂

July 21st, 2009 | 7:35 AM
Blogging Tips:

Sorry to hear what happened, Mitch. I guess I will never understand the pain associated with it.

Hope all is well and if time permits, start a niche blog on diabetes and share your experience where others could benefit from it.

Just a thought!

Yan
.-= Blogging Tips´s last blog ..TSB Gone Thesis =-.

July 21st, 2009 | 11:41 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Yan. Actually, no pain, just drastic fear every once in awhile of how my body is reacting and my feeling like I have no control.

I thought about starting a diabetes blog, but there’s a lot of other people writing about it, and the only people reading are other diabetics. I think it helps others if I write about it every once in awhile here, as it’s one of the fastest growing problems in the world for everyone.

July 22nd, 2009 | 1:47 AM
Rafael:

My dad is suffering with the same problem too. He’s been diabetic at quite a young age. So I’m aware about the pains you might be experiencing everytime your blood sugar goes high. Just curious, did I read and understand it right? Stress can affect your blood sugar?

July 29th, 2009 | 10:43 AM
Mitch:

Yes, stress can affect your glucose levels, as can not sleeping well, which is one of my biggest problems.

July 29th, 2009 | 11:01 AM