Doubled up on poor planning.

On Sunday night, or rather the wee hours of Monday morning, I was woken up for the third time by my DexCom alerting me to another low blood sugar.

Damn” I thought to myself in the haze of yet another low. “This is one stubborn low.” I stumbled to the kitchen and pulled out the can of vanilla frosting I’d already visited twice that night. It was 5:30 in the morning. My alarm would be going off in about an hour and since I’d been woken up at 1am and 3am already, it was safe to say I’d had a horrible night’s sleep.

At 6:30 when my alarm rousted me yet again, the DexCom began to beep for a fourth time. I backed it up with a finger stick and found myself at 42mg/dL, after treating my last low just an hour before. I quickly ate a banana and some juice, because the thought of two more sickeningly sweet tablespoons of frosting made me ill. I dragged myself to the shower and stood under the stream of water hoping it would somehow magically wake me up. I thought back to the day before, wondering what the heck I’d done to myself to be low literally the entire night. Had I over-bolused for sushi the night before? Miraculously grown new beta cells overnight? What the heck.

Then it hit me. I’d been at a pool party all day Sunday, and had removed my pump and taken a shot of Lantus around 10am. At the time, I’d made a mental note to turn down my basals once I put a new pump on that evening so as not to double up. And I’d indeed put a new pump on around 6pm on Sunday night, just in time to bolus for dinner, but I hadn’t turned down my basals. I’d been distracted by friends and the need to get ready for the upcoming week and dangerously had double the amount of insulin needed on board. I was mortified at the dangerous error I had made, but more than that, I was just worn out.

I’d been trying to make diabetes work for me. I’d wanted to wear a bathing suit and no pump at the pool party, and was trying to make diabetes cooperate with my lifestyle, just for six hours of my life. It felt like I’d been duped by diabetes, even though I was trying to make it all work. And I hate it when my diabetes makes me feel like I got gotten by it.

More than that, I was exhausted, and I knew I was in for a loooong and tired day at work. All those lows had physically worn me out, and the lack of sleep wasn’t helping the situation. Not to mention I was also feeling the mental guilt of having three lows in one night that were completely my fault. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that the lows would contribute to more hypo unawareness and oxidative stress on my body. Not good.

Having options with our diabetes care is one of the greatest things about living here and now with Type 1. But there are times when too many options can cause confusion. Looking back, I’d have been better off just staying off my pump until 10am the next day, or leaving the pump on for the pool party. In this case, trying to modify too many things led to a dangerous error. Next time I’m sticking to one strategy. Sometimes with diabetes, you have to control the controllables. Because as evidenced, life will get in the way of the best of diabetes plans sometimes.

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Comments

Sometimes I have found that trying to be clever or try something new without some way of reminding myself of possible pitfalls is dangerous.

I scored some free eggs last week and thought- cool, I’ll try that low-carb thing a few days. It worked fine for a few days. Then, I forgot that I wasn’t eating my normal breakfast of 60g of carbs, but was having half that. I took my normal insulin (5 units) and proceeded to eat a breakfast I should have taken 2 units for. Then, to compound the problem, I went for a walk to the bank.

You can guess what happened. I had a BG of 47, and had to just sit down at the corner of an intersection and hope I had enough candy.

That’s the first time I’ve ever overdosed myself. I’ve been trying to figure out strategies for situations like this, but I can’t count on the fact that I’ll be able to think rationally in the moment.

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