Friday 29 June 2012

Middle of the night lows

Last night I woke up at 3:00am dripping in sweat and my heart was pounding.  I knew right away that I was low and reached for my meter to check.  After fumbling around with my shaky hands I managed to test and was at 2.4 (why do we do this?  Even though I know I am low I still have to check...).  I wolfed down 5 Dex tabs and after I had stopped shaking and was able to get my thoughts together I padded down to the kitchen for a yoghurt to get me through the rest of the night.  I woke up about four hours later and was at 5.2.  Even though my BS was good, I felt like I had been run over by a truck!  Head pounding and slightly nauseous.  As the day has gone on I have felt somewhat better, I think my lunchtime 10km run helped, but I definitely feel off.  First time a low in the night has affected me so much the day after.  As I have been exercising a lot, I have lowered by basal and always make sure I have a good BS before bed, however you just can never guarantee what is going to happen!  I am thankful that my body wakes me up and I have what I need within reaching distance.  I am glad that this does not occur often as man it really makes you feel like a pile of steaming crap!

Have a good long weekend everyone!  I have been working on some posts and look forward to posting more :)

Tuesday 19 June 2012

New "Diabetic Team"

I was a bit nervous going into yesterdays appointment.  After I was diagnosed I was assigned to the endocrinologist that had taken over my care in the last two days I was in the hospital.  He is a nice enough man, but after a couple of visits with him I knew we were not going to be a good fit.  When I asked him about adjusting my insulin for long distance running and other intense exercise he told me that I would be best giving those activities up now that I had diabetes.  I told him that I was not prepared to do that and he basically told me that when someone gets diabetes they often have to give up things to adjust.  Good thing I took this advice with a grain of salt!  There is no way I was about to change my lifestyle and stop pursuing my passions in life.  There were other things he was unable to help me with which I feel are important.  I asked him about how to adjust my lantus for "that time of the month" as I was experiencing extreme highs about a week before it came.  He told me that I would just have to play around to see what works.  For a newly diagnosed diabetic that made no sense to me at all! I was scared to start playing around with my insulin as I really had no idea where to start.  Another major deciding factor for me to move was the fact that he does not support pump therapy and felt that I would do fine on MDI forever.  I know that I want to go on a pump as it will suit my lifestyle better.  The dietitian I had access to was not very helpful either and was unable to help me in figuring out my carb ratio and correction factor. I went to my family doctor and was referred to the Grey Nuns Diabetic clinic.

From the moment I stepped into the clinic I got a great feeling.  The staff were very friendly and in fact most of them are diabetic themselves.  I spent two hours with the nurse and she was amazing.  She took my meter right away and downloaded the previous month of BS readings (other place did not do this).  We went over my numbers and she brought my attention to some of the trends.  In particular that I was going low in the middle of the night regularly.  Once she had background around my exercise regime she advised me right away to lower my basal from 24 units to 22 units and to track that for a week.  If I continued to go low I was to call her to decide whether to drop another unit at a time until we found a balance.  She also noticed the highs I experienced the week before my period and told me for the next month to raise my lantus by a couple of units and track how that effected me.  If need be we could raise it more for the five days or so that was needed.  She gave me her cell and told me I could call her with any questions if that was not working so we could work it out together.  She was very interested in hearing about my running and goals to get back to the marathon distance and in fact she encouraged it.  We did talk a bit about the pump and the advantages I would find.  She arranged for me to attend their next pump intro class to learn more and is going to find out the different payment plans that are offered here in Alberta should the PC government not cover pumps as they promised. 

I was then passed over to the dietitian who was a goldmine of good information.  She had done a lot of study around diabetics with celiac as well and had tons of stuff for me to look through.  We talked about nutrition for before, during and after running and she gave me some things to try once I get back to running longer distances.  In fact I think I am going to take myself out for at least 16km on the weekend and try some stuff out.  She looked over my food diary and numbers and went over my carb ratio and what my correction factor is.  She wants me to track another three days using these formula's and fax it over to her for review and she said she will call me to go over it again.  I am scheduled to see my new Endo in three weeks as well (he was on holiday).

When I left the clinic over three hours later I had a big smile on my face.  I felt like these people "got it" and was even a bit overwhelmed with the support they offer.  I am looking forward to learning more from them and hopefully in the not so distant future getting started on an insulin pump under their care.  What a difference!!  I feel very positive :)

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Oh So High

Last week I experienced my first time being real people sick with diabetes.  Well, doesn't that just throw a whole new spin on things!  It started on the Wednesday.  My sugars were high in the morning and I could not figure it out.  By the afternoon I felt pretty crappy.  Starting to ache all over and occasionally getting the chills.  That night I volunteered for a corporate challenge event and by the time I got home I really felt like garbage.  I had not eaten much all day however my sugars were sky high and I was feeling the effects.  

Being the stubborn goat that I am I got up Thursday morning and went to work.  By noon I had no choice but to go home sick and surrender.  Despite bolusing small amounts of insulin throughout the day, my sugars remained high and I felt like utter garbage.  It was hard by this time to distinguish what was coming from being sick and what was from the high sugars.  My head was pounding, I was sweaty, shaky, weak, nauseous, ached all over and felt exhausted.  I had a fever and did my best to keep hydrated.  I was also extremely frustrated with the high sugars, always feel such disappointment in myself.  I slept most of the day away, woke up for a bit, continued to fight the high sugars and headed back to bed.  Although I did sleep I was very restless and having a lot of dreams, some bordering on nightmares.  Sometime early morning I woke up and the room was spinning. I knew I was going to be sick.  Spent the next hour or so being sick and feeling worse by the minute.  Needless to say when my alarm went off for work I called in sick and stayed in bed.  My sugars that morning were 19 and climbing.  Took more insulin and laid around all day trying to fight the flu and the blood sugars.  I tested for ketones and it read that I had moderate keytones.  Shit!  I called the diabetic nurse and she told me to keep monitoring the keytones and if they went to moderate/high to get myself to the hospital.  On her advice I doubled my fluid intake and hoped things would improve.

Finally by Friday evening I started to feel much better and my sugars started to drop into the low teens.  I was able to eat real food and the aches and fever went away.  By Saturday morning I felt pretty much back to my old self and no longer had any ketones.  My sugars stayed on the higher side of the next couple of days, but were much more manageable.  I am very glad that I was not sick for long as it was becoming difficult to manage.  So frustrating to see all those high readings despite the insulin injected.  Yet another thing that diabetes makes so much harder!!

Thursday 7 June 2012

Diabetes Etiquette

I found this link which is an etiquette card for people who don't have diabetes however have someone in their life who does.  I think it is fantastic and wanted to share.  Now I wonder if the people in my life, particularly ones that I work with that don't know me that well, would be offended if I left this on their desks :)

Monday 4 June 2012


I was thinking over the weekend of all the changes I have noticed since being diagnosed.  I did not realize how sick I was, or looked, before I was diagnosed.  Looking back at some photos from my summer holiday last year I was taken aback by how ill I looked.  I was so thin and washed out looking.  My arms and legs, which used to be muscular, were so thin, like twigs.  All of my clothes looked like they were hanging off of me.  My hair was dull and my eyes did not shine.  Not only did I feel exhausted, I looked it as well!  I remember early last year being in the bath and looking at my toes and noticing I had no hair on them anymore.  At the time I thought this was just lucky!  In the nine months since I was diagnosed I have drastically changed.  I have regained the weight I lost (with some extra due to the neurontin - working on that), I have colour in my face and my hair is shiny.  My eyes look healthy again and I have back the curves I lost.  I am slowly toning and regaining my muscles due to exercising again and yes, the hair on my toes came back!

Not only have my looks changed, but the way I feel inside has changed.  I have a ton of energy again and no longer have a need to sleep 12 hours a day.  When I exercise I do it because I want to and enjoy it, not because I feel I should.  I feel motivated at work again and in other aspects of my life.  Doing chores around the house is no longer the huge pain it was, I just get things done.  I feel happy and upbeat!  So many people have commented on how great it is to have the old Jocelyn back.  Once again I feel the fire and desire to love life once again :)