A Bad Day In The Life Of A Diabetic
Posted by Mitch Mitchell 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.