Friday, February 3, 2012

Don't Be A Human Pincushion

Here's a basic day in my life as a Type 1 diabetic*.

BASIC DAY

6:30 am
, Wake up, check blood sugar (prick arm/finger with lancet)
Evaluate blood sugar: Too high? Guess at the reason why. Too low? Guess at the reason why. If over 270, or below 80, I must delay normal exercise routine until I get it lower/higher.

7:15 am, If blood sugar was O.K., determine whether or not I will be doing anaerobic or aerobic exercise. If doing anaerobic, must take 1 unit of insulin via pump before exercising. Disconnect from pump.

8:15 am Must re-connect pump within an hour of taking it off, or blood sugar levels will rise.
8:20 am Re-check blood sugar
8:30 am Disconnect pump for shower, reconnect ASAP
8:45 am Determine carbohydrates in breakfast (using measuring cups, scales, guide books or nutrition info on package), take appropriate amount of insulin via pump

12:00 pm
Check blood sugar. Evaluate number, take more insulin if needed.
12:10 pm Determine carbohydrates in lunch (using measuring cups, scales, guide books or nutrition info on package), take appropriate amount of insulin via pump

4:45 pm Check blood sugar. Evaluate number, take more insulin if needed.
5:00 pm Determine carbohydrates in lunch (using measuring cups, scales, guide books or nutrition info on package), take appropriate amount of insulin via pump

7:30 pm Determine carbohydrates in evening snack (using measuring cups, scales, guide books or nutrition info on package), take appropriate amount of insulin via pump

9:00 pm- 6:30 pm
If I wake up to use bathroom, force myself to take blood sugar and adjust as needed.

But I hardly ever have a basic day, because I must factor in many variables:
New/more intense exercise can cause a low blood sugar
Illness may cause higher blood sugars
Miscalculations of carbohydrates can cause high blood sugars
Stress can cause high blood sugars
The week before my period often causes high blood sugars
The day of my period can cause low blood sugars
Over treating a low blood sugar can cause a high blood sugar
Missing an insulin dose can cause a high blood sugar
Taking too much insulin can cause a low blood sugar
My insulin pump site must be changed out every three days or it will heal over
I must take back up insulin, batteries, and food with me if I leave the house
I have to change the battery on my pump every month
I have to change the batteries in my blood sugar meter every 3 months
If I have bubbles in my tubing, I may have a high blood sugar
If I leave my pump in the bathroom while I take a shower the insulin in the tubing will go bad

And on, and on, and on ...

So with a incurable disease often described as a roller coaster, I do my best to find some balance.

I know I make being diabetic look fun & awesome, but I really don't recommend it. Avoid it at all costs, or at the very least, take mine.


*Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar but arrived at by differently. In addition, Type 1 has no cure, while Type 2 may be reversed with weight loss and diet changes.
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