Yesterday, in a bit of a panic, I reached out to friends and family because I was scared, really scared. The ugly cry kept me from sharing my real fears – was it just a gallbladder episode or something worse? Within an hour, I was headed to the ER, but not before packing a bag – insulin, needles, pen needles, extra sensor, skin tac, tester, test strips, healthy snacks, low BG snacks, journal, phone charger and head phones. Continue reading →
We’re an analytical bunch. Numbers flow through our brains alongside most thoughts. Numbers can dictate our emotional states–ever been feeling great, get a blood sugar, see it’s at 250, and then start to feel high? That blood sugar number courses through everything we do, everyone we meet, and everything we think. But, does it have to? Continue reading →
Whether you view dating as an enticing, fun experience or there’s nothing more you’d rather run and hide from, diabetes may be one extra thing to consider (and it’s important that you do)! As a young adult who has lived with type one her whole life, albeit minus 4 years, there are many questions I ask myself when it comes to dating:
When/How do I tell them about my diabetes?
What if there’s an emergency and they don’t know I have diabetes?
I feel like a broken record because I’ve written numerous posts on the effects stress has on my blood sugar, but a few events last week reinforced how diabetes can take over your life. My life/work scenario forced me to take a seat on an insanely large BG roller coaster and I’m still waiting for the downhill plunge.
I believe a timeline is in order to help you understand.
Thursday – BG 214.
Odd because it’s usually around 120 – 150, my preferred roll out of bed BG. Maybe I have an infection??? Continue reading →
It’s been a few months since the first installment, The High Handbook Rule #1. Don’t be disillusioned–I’ve been high plenty of times since then, only of the blood sugar variety to clarify. Here is the quick, diverse rundown of high blood sugar stimuli: tubing disconnected from pump, pump site ripped out, pump site clogged, allergies, altitude, and white rice. One might think, “That Ryan guy has a CGM, why does he still go high?” To that I reply with a few experiences. First, the CGM isn’t always accurate or timely. Second, the CGM isn’t counting carbs for you. Third, the CGM doesn’t contain you when the blood sugar’s in the 50s and the whole cabinet beckons.
Okay, now that I’ve established how high blood sugar is still an inevitable part of my life, let’s get into Rule #2: Continue reading →
Today, I introduce a handbook. This is by no means an official guide, just a few realizations found through experience. Being high–when said like this in mixed company, expect perplexed looks and possibly explain our meaning of the “high” word–is an emotional and physical battleground. Confusion, anger, disappointment, and fatigue top my list of expected symptoms.
In a world with a pancreas who cares, we wouldn’t have to worry about being high. Since we don’t know anything about that, I figure it’s a good idea to have a handbook–a guide that presents a plan for how to react next time you’re high. Without a plan, we react on those emotions mentioned earlier. This handbook helps us respond. With that said, let’s get to Rule #1. Continue reading →
Since joining the DOC (diabetes online community), I am continually impressed by the uplifting encouragement dished out daily. Really though, it’s amazing. It usually goes a little something like this:
Person 1 on Twitter: “I seriously hate being high! I’m so sick and tired of my pump clogging. It’s all my fault for not changing the site! #theworldisending”
Person 2 responding to Person 1 on Twitter: “It’s not your fault! Things just happen. Remember, this will pass and your sugar will be good in no time! #keepyourheadup” Continue reading →
What’s the fastest, most-efficient way to derail your day? Go low or go high. This is our beast. Don’t wake it up. Don’t taunt it. Learning to preserve your creativity and momentum is critical as a modern student, professional, and parent.
Here is the goal: Do whatever you can to maintain your zone, especially when you need to be your best. Of course imperfection is inevitable. Occasionally, your blood sugar will be over 250 for no reason. You will go below 80 when you should not have. This is the grind. But, when you have established control–firmly entrenched in a comfortable blood sugar zone–you must do everything possible to preserve it for productivity sake. Continue reading →
I’m admittedly stubborn when it comes to going to the doctor and am sure it stems from years at Children’s Hospital. When I scraped myself together yesterday and headed to Urgent Care, I was prepared for the worst. I’ve had a hacking cough for 5+ days, but the previous two days included dizziness, nausea and exhaustion. I attempted to get out of bed on Saturday afternoon, yes afternoon, and almost tipped over because my equilibrium was off and then I threw up. BOOOOO.
I was unable to eat much on Saturday and tested my blood sugar often, in fear of a serious low. That was not the case at all, my blood sugar was over 200 for most of the day, which made me think my body was fighting an infection. As a T1D, it is pretty common to self diagnose, but I was willing to relinquish all control to find out what was going on. Continue reading →
The date was January 28th, 1984 and I was on my to way to Dr. Abbott’s office because my mom was worried. I’d lost 8 lbs. and word on the street, I went from being an obedient, sweet child to a total nightmare. I demanded eating and freaked out if I was denied food or drinks. I have NO recollection of this part of my life. My 600+ blood sugar confirmed my doctor’s worst fear, I had Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Abbott cried as she explained what this meant. My only response was, “You mean no more Snickers?” My mom was given two choices:
Oftentimes, exercise can be treacherous–inciting low blood sugars immediately after, then the resulting high blood sugars, and leaving us wondering why we signed up to exercise in the first place. It’s time to provide clarity to something we all need and crave in our lives: movement. Matching personal experience with research, I’ll provide a few generalizations that will help you traverse the exercise path with optimum, never perfect, glucose management.
Periodically, I’ll ask Amber about a recent observation about my own T1D life, “When X happens, do you feel like X?” She promptly shoots me a quizzical glance and responds, “You always say things like this to me and I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced that specifically.” If you’re not following me yet, be patient, this is where diabetes gets weird.
Our bodies are complicated. The king of this complexity is the nervous system–especially the sensory feedback. Being a T1D presents unique insights into the nervous system. These insights are everywhere.If you listen carefully, you find your language. Your language is different than mine. It’s full of clues. What drives the language? Blood glucose levels. Continue reading →
If you have diabetes, you know the Dawn Phenomenon. Perhaps you haven’t been mindful of its occurrence, unconsciously adjusted for its presence, or have just thrown your hands up in the air in frustration. Before we get into the research behind its existence–close to 200 research articles have been published on this–let’s look at how this usually evolves in a diabetic day. Continue reading →
With the CGM alongside, I now understand the speed at which insulin operates. Yesterday evening, my glucose trended up towards 200. I corrected with a unit of insulin. At the moment, I was attempting to study, which invariably leads to a search for any excuse not to study. Insert CGM. I kept looking to see if the insulin was working. It didn’t initially. Fifteen minutes later, I could see the readings crest and begin trending downwards. This is the indicator to stop giving insulin unless you enjoy being low, or well… crazy. Continue reading →
The DDG was recently out and about at a September institution: The Oklahoma State Fair. Amber took in the sights during a weekend afternoon and Ryan reveled in the Friday night lights. What we saw, well, isn’t all that surprising I suppose–all things fried, parents spanking in public, and 14 year olds smoking cigarettes. All that being said, only judgment through diabetic eyes was passed. Here’s our list of the most disturbing observations from the fair:
#1 – Deep Fried Gummy Bears
Do you really need to deep fry something that is already so unhealthy? What joy does a deep friend gummy bear bring to someone? Wouldn’t they taste better normally? Please explain.
#2 – Corn Dog Stands
While making an hour long lap around the fair grounds, I counted 18 corn dog stands. Do we really need that many options for battered, fried meat on a stick?
High blood sugar sucks. Really though, it changes who you are. You become angrier. Patience has no meaning anymore. The idea of a nap rules over everything else in the world. Things that you love, my example would be cycling, sound detestable. Someone could ask me to go cycling and I’d want to respond with “I hate bicycles!”.
Okay, I know you get it. So how do we still function as human beings while high? I have a few hacks that I’ve learned via trial by fire over the 15 #blessed years of my life:
1) Repeat “Life is impermanent. How you feel now, will soon change.”
– Just reminding myself that all will be okay again is reassuring. It’s easy for us to believe that our current struggle will last forever but it’s just not reality. It always gets better. Continue reading →
I’ll admit that I could be more without diabetes. Not acknowledging that, to be blunt, is ignorant. Don’t mistake me, I subscribe to the power of positive thinking, knowing that it improves the quality of each moment. However, I will not use that methodology to convince myself that my life is better with the disease.
Diabetes is a grind, never ceasing. Yet, it’s forged who we are. Most of us will give it responsibility for great things in our lives. Still though, deep down, on occasion or daily, we ask the question, “Could we be more without it?” Being content knowing that we could, that’s the Zen in diabetes. Continue reading →
I recently woke up in the middle of the night and realized my mouth was SUPER dry. First thought – high blood sugar. I scrape myself out of bed and test my blood sugar. I was relieved my blood sugar was 107, but was left wondering what was causing this sudden dry mouth. I went back to bed and woke up a few hours later and realized I had been sleeping with my mouth slightly open.
BINGO – sleeping with your mouth open = incredibly dry mouth. I pray I didn’t swallow a spider.
As a diabetic, I constantly second guess everything in my life (dry skin, blood shot eyes, even a minor scrape). Every once in awhile when you discover that your recent ailment is just allergies or something “everyone” else experiences, it is kind of nice.
Before high school football games, my blood sugar was manic – 110 during warm-ups and then 315 by gametime (I used to pee at least 10 times in the two hours before a game. Great for in-game hydration). Intuitively, I knew stress/adrenaline/anxiety/excitement was responsible, but honestly I just read the number and reacted as best I could. Physicians would always mention adrenaline as the culprit. Was I ever given resources to reign in my excitement? Not exactly.
When I began taking medical school prerequisite courses in college, the dots connected. Cortisol is the X factor of diabetes management. Responsible for the random highs. Responsible for the sugar issues with the flu. Responsible for the elevated sugars before the big presentation.Responsible for elevated sugar after your cup of coffee.Responsible for the 300 number after a two hour run. Continue reading →