4.2.15

The High Handbook: Rule #1

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.

RULE #1: DO NOT IMMEDIATELY TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHY YOU’RE HIGH

Reasoning:

  • It’s best to correct first. Get insulin in the system, then see what happens. If nothing happens in within the next 30 minutes to an hour, now it’s time to find out what’s going on.
  • Emotionally, we’re already upset. No one likes to be high. Most of the time we don’t even expect it, enter the  “Oh Shit” Moment. When emotional, this is not the best moment to troubleshoot. That leads into the third point.
  • Troubleshooting is difficult. Is your pump clogged? Are you sick? Am I exercising enough? Did you miscalculate carbs? Is it time to change your insulin ratio? Is there even a reason?
  • Rash decisions are made when high. We’re desperate. All we want is to feel better. This is a good time for a story:
    • A couple of weeks back, I had one of those random high blood sugars. I immediately put in a new pump site. I just knew the old one was clogged! A couple of days later, after two days of great blood sugars, I realized that I’d been wearing the pump connected to the old pump site, that I forgot to remove two days prior. The “which is the old/new site” trick got me again. Turns out it wasn’t the site that was the issue. I was just high for some reason that day.
  • Usually, the answer to why I am high comes to me later on in the day, when my blood sugar is back in range, and my brain opens back up.

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

6 thoughts on “The High Handbook: Rule #1

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