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Posts tagged ‘Diabetes Blog Week’

Making Magic – Early Alert Canines’ “1st Annual 2-4-1 Walk”

At the starting line EAC's 1st Annual 2-4-1 Walk

At the starting line
EAC’s 1st Annual 2-4-1 Walk

Have you ever had that feeling from deep within that you know you are helping to create something magical?  This feeling truly came to light for me this past Saturday at the Early Alert Canines “1st Annual 2-4-1 Walk” (2 feet, 4 paws, 1 cause!).  About 75 people, escorted by 15 dogs, came together as a community to share their support for EAC, and show their enthusiasm for training diabetic alert dogs.

As we walked around the small lake, admiring the fountain and enjoying the sunshine, we talked.  Here are a few of the stories that were shared with me:

Lalu, a very vocal black lab-golden mix that was teamed with her young (about 6 year-old) partner and her family in April, alerted from across the gym as the little girl’s blood sugar sky-rocketed while she was performing on the uneven parallel bars at a gymnastics event.  This was somewhat embarrassing since Lalu’s vocal volume increases with the intensity of her alerting.

Again, Lalu, who is terrified by water, alerted while her young charge was swimming.  Lalu’s alert for dropping blood sugar is to raise her paw and touch.  As Lalu was alerting, she was walking toward the pool on three legs as she kept her ‘alerting’ paw raised, calling the whole time.

Jedi, was also placed with his new family in April (his young diabetic responsibility is 7). He is the classroom’s favorite ‘visitor’ each day he is bought to work there with his new ‘mom’.  Apparently, all the kids were incredibly disappointed when “Just the Mom!” came on their field trip to the zoo, with no Jedi.  (Bringing a service dog to the zoo might evoke the “pray instincts” in the caged animals.  It is recommended they not be taken to places with wild animals – even caged.)

Both Jedi’s and Lalu’s ‘parents’ expressed how much comfort is having the dogs.  They said there are no words to express what it’s like to have another set of eyes (or nose in this case) looking over their diabetic children.  And the peace of mind knowing they’ll be told about potential problems before a true emergence happens, even if it means being awakened at night, is a great relief.

On a different note, it was great to hear that one of the EAC trainers is making an ‘office-call’ to try to help resolve an alerting issue that is arising at someone’s work.

Even us “old –times” shared stories of our own: my dog, Rainie, alerting me while on the beach; and the quiet assurance provided by Norm to his T1D ‘dad’ who lives alone.  And Jason, is full of stories of how “Eli” alerts him while he’s traveling for work – regardless if it’s on a plane, in a restaurant or hotel, etc. And, yes, Eli even alerts at home and in the car.

It was an incredible honor/pleasure/moment-of-pride for me to see so much participation and enthusiasm for what EAC does.  I want to thank our ‘new recruits’ (dogs in the process of being scent trained), the families fostering them, the newly placed teams, the training/office staff, us “old-timers” and everyone else who have ever supported EAC or donated to our fundraiser.  I hope that everyone realizes that you, too, are helping to create some magic.

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Accomplishments Large and Small

Accomplishments Large and Small – Diabetic Blog Week

Blue   The color of diabetes awareness

Blue
The color of diabetes awareness

How often are we given the opportunity to acknowledge our accomplishments, or are actually encouraged to share our pride?  And, how often do we toil to learn a difficult task, one that we should be proud of, just to have it become routine and ho-hum?  For example:  Not many of us remember learning to walk or run, and then stop gracefully – which are all huge feats, if you think about it.  But now walking is routine, and taken for granted, and the effort it took to learn, long forgotten.  I believe, once a habit has become routine, it is human nature to disregard the fact that we had, at one time, accomplished a huge task.  Let’s take today to celebrate where we are, and the path we took to get here.

When I look back at all that I (and my family) have accomplished in terms of living with my diabetes, I can easily become overwhelmed.  Since being diagnosed as a very young infant in the 1950s, these are a few of the skills that I’ve had to practice:

  • Giving (and getting) shots
  • Using Test-tape (we/diabetics used to test our urine to check for sugar.  That was the only way we kind-of guestimate what our blood sugar  was.)
  • Performing and interpreting finger-stick blood sugar testing
  • Adapting to constantly changing eating regimens, and personal likes and dislikes
  • Learning how to count carbs
  •  Learning about different types of insulin and when they peak and valley
  • Learning how to juggle diet (with insulin), exercise (with insulin), emotions and stress (with insulin) – all a work-in-progress, while…
  • Constantly figuring out how to correct my ‘mistakes’ when I over eat or give/get too little/too little insulin or when my blood sugar doesn’t like the color of my sox (or something), etc.
  • Mastering (sort-of) the pump, dealing with depression, dealing with complications –  for me it’s happening mostly in my eyes
  • Finding other diabetics to talk to, and
  • Getting a diabetic alert dog

Wow!  Those are a lot of skills, and confronting each one deserves a moment of pride, if not a medal.

However, today’s topic for Diabetes Blog Week is to discuss my biggest accomplishment.  This one is easy!  My biggest accomplishment is that I am no longer ashamed that I am diabetic, and that I am no longer bashful about telling people that I have diabetes.  For this momentous step forward, I can thank my diabetic alert dog, “Rainie”.

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As a young child I was taught to hide my diabetes at all costs.  I was taught that it was shameful and something not to be shared.  I grew to be a self-reliant “chronic child,” never asking for help, even when I needed it badly.  Despite desperately wanting to go, I was not allowed to go to Diabetic Camp.  My parents wanted me to think of myself as a ‘normal child’; but instead, I felt felt very isolated, defective and alone.  Unfortunately, I sub-consciously kept these beliefs about myself throughout college and nursing school – even after I’d specialized in diabetes.  It was only after getting married that I learned I could ask someone (my husband) for help – he loved me even though I had diabetes!

This was when I began realizing that I have diabetes and I’m ok!

I continued to evolve and open up about who I am.  In 2010 I decided to apply for a diabetic alert dog.  One of the ‘things’ we were warned about is that when you have a service dog’s leash in your hand, people will ask very personal and inappropriate questions: “What is your dog for?,” or “What’s wrong with you?” or many other questions like that.  With a service dog, it’s more difficult to ‘hide’ the fact that you are different.

Happily, I’ve learned to take these questions in stride.  In fact, when people ask me about Rainie and what she does, I’ll usually say, “This is Rainie.  She is a diabetic alert dog and smells for changes in my blood sugar.  I am diabetic.”  From here, the conversation can turn towards Rainie and diabetic alert dogs, or toward diabetes.  It usually turns toward Rainie.  It’s funny because not too long ago, my daughter mentioned that she couldn’t believe how easily I admit to being diabetic.  “Mama,” she said, “It’s not like you.  You’ve changed.”

I’ve been teaching about diabetes to patients, families and groups for years; and finally, after over 55 years of living with ‘type 1’, I’m finding I can proudly say, “Yes.  I have diabetes.”  And I’m glad I finally can.

I have diabetes and I’m ok!

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Blog Week: Memories

Diabetes Blog Week, “Memories”

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.~~~~~~~

Me  at about 3 years old

Me
at about 3 years old

 Since I have had diabetes my entire life, I have many memories to choose from.  I am going to pick a positive memory from ‘way back on “Memory Lane”…’  This is what I remember as a young child (age 4-ish) in 1961:

I remember my dad coming home one evening, after checking on his patients in the hospital.  He said he had something in his pocket to show me.  Like any little girl waiting for ‘one of those gifts Daddy brings home from a long trip’, I danced around in anticipation.  We went into the kitchen where my “mommy” was feeding my baby sister.  The kitchen was darkening in the late afternoon as my dad pulled two chairs up to the small table.  As I crawled up on mine, perching on my knees, my dad unfolded a clean towel and placed it on the table.  He then took one of my glass syringes, and laid it out.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I had already had my ‘shot’ for the day; and my mom was getting upset because she had just finished laboriously boiling/sterilizing my two glass syringes, as well as re-sharpening the syringe needles.  (I was always fascinated as she drew the needles across a cotton ball to check for barbs, then would meticulously sharpened them on a special dark-gray stone.  These, too, were put in the pot with the syringes to be sterilized.   Since they were hand-made, the plungers had to be paired to the correct syringe barrel by matched the numbers etched into the glass – it was quite an ordeal.)

My dad then placed a large paper envelope next to the glass syringe.  He had brought home two of the first disposable syringes.  This was not quite the sort of gift I expected, but my dad was excited, and, therefore, so was I.  We peeled the envelope open, and there was a thin, plastic syringe with the needle already attached!  It was so much smaller than the glass ones I had.  He showed me how to pull the cap off – the needle was so sharp and thin!  I was excited!  My shots had always been the most traumatic time of the day – they hurt, they were big, and the skin on my legs was already bumpy and forming scar tissue. (Only later did we learn that I was allergic to the beef  the insulin was made of in those days.  And, even though the ‘new disposables’ were much smaller than the clunky glass ones, they were still much bigger than today’s.  In those days, the insulin was U40 – 40 units per cc, where today, the insulin is U100, or 100 units per cc.)

The next morning I got to use the other new syringe.  I don’t know if it truly felt better; or if it felt better because I wanted it to.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use the disposables for a couple more years because they were too expensive – 19¢ a piece.  I was too young to know the value of 19¢, but I do know that using the disposable syringes was something I looked forward to.

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I had originally intended my blog, “RainieAndMe,” to explore my life and experiences with a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD).   However, during the Diabetic Blog Weeks, I will muse about my life and experiences as a diabetic.

 

Diabetes Blog Week: What Would You LIke Your Endocrinologist to Know?

I had originally intended my blog, “RainieAndMe,” to explore my life and experiences with a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD).   However, during Diabetes Blog Week, I will write about  my life and experiences as a diabetic.

Diabetic Blog Week: “Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes?” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whenever I meet new endocrinologists or diabetic educators, I ask them ,”What made you decide to go into diabetology?”  Truthfully, I’m always hoping their decision was due to a personal experience; however, the answer is usually something like, “Well, it seems like diabetic control is all about math.  If you can just get the math right…  The worst experience I’ve had was meeting an endocrinologist in my town who believes she knows what it’s like to be diabetic because she wore a pump filled with normal saline for one whole week!  She is adamant that she knows what life is like and that insulin control is completely about math – and, therefore, should be completely predictable.  If your blood sugars are out of control, it is your fault!  And, I must admit, that the one time I saw her as a patient, I decided, was one time too many.

What I wish any health care practitioner in the field of diabetes could do is feel what diabetes is like – the mood swings, the fatigue, the food cravings, the frustrations that come along with not feeling good, and the fragility of living with unpredictable blood sugars.  How would they deal with the sense that, at times, they are trudging through each moment, as if walking through physical and psychological mud — decisions are hard, one’s balance is off, nothing seems easy because life is hard when the blood sugar is out of control .  I’d like them to live with the unknowing and the fears – questions like:  Am I going to be able to get home if I go on a long bike ride?, or, Is my blood sugar in a good range so I can confidently take this test?, Am I safe to drive?, or, Will my diabetic child be ok going on a field trip/ to a slumber-party/ or swimming or jumping on a trampoline?, or, Will I/my child/my friend or spouse wake up in the morning?

I think just one week of these experiences would awaken compassion and give our health care providers true insight into our lives.

What does it feel like?

Twin Sisters
Leslie and Rainie
Both Diabetic Alert Dogs

“What does diabetes feel like?” This is a crucial question when you’re caring for, or dealing with diabetes, and its life-impact. If you have your own experiences, please comment, so that more of an understanding can be shed.”

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Sometimes Rainie’s nose amazes me! I was driving past the kids’ playground to get to the part of the park we hike in every morning when Rainie uncurled from the floorboards, and frantically began smelling the wind coming through the open window. She was obviously in some distress, so I pulled into the parking lot, leashed her, and let her out. She immediately led me to the play area, and began alerting on a little girl who was running up the slide with a pink pump clipped to the back of her pants. Little pink-sweatered arms soon encircled Rainie, as I talked to “Emma’s” mom. Yes, her blood sugar was low (65), after having refused to eat breakfast. As Emma’s mom and I talked, she mused, “I wonder what it feels like for her when she goes high and low?”

This is a question I’m often asked, “What does it feel like?” It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to explain the answer . I’ll try to describe how it feels to me. (Please remember that I’m describing this as an adult diabetic. When I was young, I had the same feelings, but no words to describe them with.) And as I describe the differences between ‘low’ and ‘high’ blood sugar, please realize that a diabetic often fluctuates between the two states many times a day due to the nature of diabetes.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, might be fun if it weren’t so scary and disorienting. Hypoglycemia is potentially life threatening because the brain’s only fuel-source is sugar, and with too little sugar, the brain cannot function properly. Therefore, most of the sensations of low blood sugar are brain-based. If my blood sugar (BS) is dropping slowly, the symptoms may be unnoticeable at first and slowly become stronger;  and if my BS is falling rapidly, I catch the symptoms as soon as I can. The first symptoms tend to be a general ‘fuzziness or blurriness’ in my thinking and perception. It is very easy to not even realize anything is wrong, and slowly become agitated and frustrated because ‘things just aren’t right’. I may also get very cranky or whiny.  One of  the most aggravating symptom of low blood sugar is frustration.  I like to describe it by saying, “On a scale of ‘one-to-ten’ my frustration tolerance is ‘a negative-three’.”  It gets in my way of dealing with every aspect of life, including my ability to make decisions that involve taking care of myself.  Everything becomes annoying – kids, traffic, choices, loved-ones (and others), work, my low blood sugar alert dog, etc.  I often figure out my blood sugar is falling because I’m so easily frustrated.  Living in this frustrated state is especially infuriating on those days when my body is extremely sensitive to my insulin, so I’m dealing with low-blood sugars for many hours at a time.  These periods of insulin sensitivity often happen for no reason I’m award of, and cannot be planned for or avoided.  When they do happen, it’s difficult to be patient while taking care of myself, and dealing with others.  I can only imagine what it is like for other people having to be around me! As my BS continues to drop, my thoughts and reflexes get slower and slower, and my coordination becomes poor.  It becomes more difficult to understand conversations and new ideas. I may also make relatively impulsive decisions. These are the times I’m glad I have my low blood sugar alert dog, Rainie. Her alerts keep me from doing things (like driving) when I’m still feeling ok, but could easily put myself, or others, in danger. (I am not drunk – although I may look that way.) As the blood sugar continues dropping, I become physically unstable, emotionally fragile, and easily overwhelmed. I’m dizzy, clumsy, disoriented, teary, sensitive to light, easily confused, and unable to make up my mind (which is really bad because it means I can’t even decide what I want to eat in order to correct the situation). Even though my lips and fingertips may be numb and my vision may be blurry from the low blood sugar, I get angry when people begin to question me and offer help – often becoming defiant. And I need help! And at the same time, I’m somehow unable to take care of myself. And I’m scared! If things were to continue, there is a good possibility I would become unconscious, go into ‘shock’, and, in the worst-case scenario, die.

The symptoms of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, are much more physical than low BS’s are. The first thing I notice is a deep headache. Then I get thirsty and agitated – very ‘squirmy’ and unable to concentrate and be still. I crave water to try to dilute my sugary/syrupy blood. I’ve noticed my tongue feels like it’s a dry cotton-ball sometimes. Then, my body begins to ache. Every part of me feels toxic, as if I’ve got the achiness of the flu. I don’t want to move because it feels ‘too hard’ – like walking through mud. And my brain feels that way too. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a dark, cool room and not move. If my BS gets high enough that I begin to ‘spill ketones’, I can get very nauseated and vomit. High ketones are poison to the brain. I’m also very sensitive to the fact that a few hours after high BS begins, my vision gets blurry because the sugar in the blood makes the lenses of the eyes swell.

High blood sugars can be very stubborn and not respond to extra insulin the way low blood sugars respond quickly to sugar. Often, with high BS, the body is resistant to the insulin because of adrenaline released as a protective mechanism by the liver. This can happen as a response to low blood sugar, exercise, excitement and all sorts of emotions like fright/fear, crying and laughter. And at other times, I am extremely sensitive to my insulin and am ‘low’ for hours on end and have a hard time bringing my BS up. Frustratingly, sometimes blood sugar control seems impossible, as if it’s influenced by the weather or color of socks I’m wearing – there seems to be no rhyme-nor-reason to it. Unfortunately, even though it may only take a few hours for the blood sugar to ‘get back under control’ with either insulin (for ‘highs’), or sugar (for ‘lows’), it takes many hours for the cells in the body (and the emotions) to get back into balance.

It’s easy to get wrapped up with the severity of diabetes. But it’s a part of life, just like joy, laughter and friends.

Life with diabetes is a true seesaw. High and low blood sugars happen. It’s part of living with the disease.  If you have diabetes, or know someone with diabetes, please be patient, and be present. We all have ‘one of those days’ occasionally; unfortunately, for someone living with diabetes, ‘those days’ happen almost every day.

Please help me explain what it feels like for you – whether you’ve got diabetes, or are part of the community that knows and supports someone with diabetes. ~h

Self-Reflection (post Diabetic Blog Week)

Last week I (partially) participated in the “3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week”.  It was an eye-opening experience, and I learned a lot about myself and others with diabetes, and the parents of children with diabetes:

  • I realized I was raised to not talk about my diabetes, nor show any of the paraphernalia involved with it.  I believed it was almost shameful for me to have the diagnosis.  Although I am finally growing through this belief (mostly due to having the opportunity to talk about my diabetic alert dog, Rainie), I’ve discovered that I usually discuss diabetes only when I’m in the ‘educator role’, or with close friends.
  • One of the ‘topics of the day’ was to post photos that portray your diabetes.  I’m still having a hard time, wondering why  looking at pictures of other people’s pumps and meters and test-strips, CGMs, pump insertion sites, needles, syringes, glucagon packages, and bottles of glucose and insulin is interesting, especially when I can just go look at my own.  Again, however, I see how my upbringing may have a lot to do with my attitude about this.  Maybe it’s supposed to be a ‘bonding experience’.
  • And, to add onto the above statement, I noticed very few photos of diabetic alert dogs!  I can’t help wonder why there aren’t more of these life-saving dogs being trained and working out in the community saving lives?  Again, I might be biased on this topic…
  • I was surprised by what people shared about living with diabetes – the mundanities like out-of-control blood sugar readings, calculating meal boluses, trouble shooting, and the constant and continual trials and tribulations of living with diabetes, as well as the triumphs and utter fears involved.  But, when I think about it, these issues are constant and continual trials and tribulations!  We live with them every second of every day!  And if support can’t be found in a safe place  like the forum of  Diabetes Blog Week, where can it be?  I realize I’ve become so isolated from my own feelings about having diabetes for so long, and my habits have become so ingrained, that I forget that I’m not alone, and there is a world of ‘people like me’ ready to talk to and listen to me (and not as a teacher, but as another individual dealing with the 24/7 ups and downs).
  • And finally, the last’s day’s topic was “Who is your Diabetic Hero?”   And the only true answer is: WE ARE ALL HEROS!  Whether we are adults or children with diabetes or family caring and supporting that person , caring friends, teachers, endos, politicians, researchers for a cure, or volunteers, everyone who supports someone at some time with this autoimmune condition called “diabetes” is a hero.  And I thank you all, for your time and support and patience, understanding, smiles, hugs, hand-holds,and anything else that may be a ‘plus’ in a diabetic’s life.

` I love you all, Hilary

What does it feel like? (Diabetes Blog Week Con’t)

Today is day 3 of the Diabetes Blog Week, and the question of the day is, “What is one thing you would tell someone who doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”  I’m going to repost this blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago in response to a question that each of us with diabetes has been asked.  (Being a nurse, I’m asked it professionally as well as socially.)  The question is, “What does it feel like?”

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IMG_2620 Sometimes Rainie’s nose amazes me! I was driving past the kids’ playground to get to the part of the park we hike in every morning when Rainie uncurled from the floorboards, and frantically began smelling the wind coming through the open window. She was obviously in some distress, so I pulled into the parking lot, leashed her, and let her out. She immediately led me to the play area, and began alerting on a little girl who was running up the slide with a pink pump clipped to the back of her pants. Little pink-sweatered arms soon encircled Rainie, as I talked to “Emma’s” mom. Yes, her blood sugar was low (65), after having refused to eat breakfast. As Emma’s mom and I talked, she mused, “I wonder what it feels like for her when she goes high and low?”

This is a question I’m often asked, “What does it feel like?” It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to explain the answer . I’ll try to describe how it feels to me. (Please remember that I’m describing this as an adult diabetic. When I was young, I had the same feelings, but no words to describe them with.) And as I describe the differences between ‘low’ and ‘high’ blood sugar, please realize that a diabetic often fluctuates between the two states many times a day due to the nature of diabetes.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, might be fun if it weren’t so scary and disorienting. Hypoglycemia is potentially life threatening because the brain’s only fuel-source is sugar, and with too little sugar, the brain cannot function properly. Therefore, most of the sensations of low blood sugar are brain-based.

If my blood sugar (BS) is dropping slowly, the symptoms may be unnoticeable at first and slowly become stronger;  and if my BS is falling rapidly, I catch the symptoms as soon as I can. The first symptoms tend to be a general ‘fuzziness or blurriness’ in my thinking and perception. It is very easy to not even realize anything is wrong, and slowly become agitated and frustrated because ‘things just aren’t right’. I may also get very cranky or whiny.  One of  the most aggravating symptom of low blood sugar is frustration.  I like to describe it by saying, “On a scale of ‘one-to-ten’ my frustration tolerance is ‘a negative-three’.”  It gets in my way of dealing with every aspect of life, including my ability to make decisions that involve taking care of myself.  Everything becomes annoying – kids, traffic, choices, loved-ones (and others), work, my low blood sugar alert dog, etc.  I often figure out my blood sugar is falling because I’m so easily frustrated.  Living in this frustrated state is especially infuriating on those days when my body is extremely sensitive to my insulin, so I’m dealing with low-blood sugars for many hours at a time.  These periods of insulin sensitivity often happen for no reason I’m award of, and cannot be planned for or avoided.  When they do happen, it’s difficult to be patient while taking care of myself, and dealing with others.  I can only imagine what it is like for other people having to be around me!

As my BS continues to drop, my thoughts and reflexes get slower and slower, and it becomes more difficult to understand conversations and new ideas. I may also make relatively impulsive decisions. These are the times I’m glad I have my low blood sugar alert dog, Rainie. Her alerts keep me from doing things (like driving) when I’m still feeling ok, but could easily put myself, or others, in danger. (I am not drunk – although I may look that way.)

As the blood sugar continues dropping, I become physically unstable, emotionally fragile, and easily overwhelmed. I become dizzy, clumsy, disoriented, teary, easily confused, and unable to make up my mind (which is really bad because it means I can’t even decide what I want to eat in order to correct the situation). Even though my lips and fingertips may be numb and my vision may be blurry from the low BS, I get angry when people begin to question me and offer help. And I need help! And at the same time, I’m somehow unable to take care of myself. And I’m scared!

If things were to continue, there is a good possibility I would become unconscious, go into ‘shock’, and, in the worst-case scenario, die.

The symptoms of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, are much more physical than low BS’s are. The first thing I notice is a deep headache. Then I get thirsty and agitated – very ‘squirmy’ and unable to concentrate and be still. I crave water to try to dilute my sugary/syrupy blood. I’ve noticed my tongue feels like it’s a dry cotton-ball sometimes. Then, my body begins to ache. Every part of me feels toxic, as if I’ve got the achiness of the flu. I don’t want to move because it feels ‘too hard’ – like walking through mud. And my brain feels that way too. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a dark, cool room and not move. If my BS gets high enough that I begin to ‘spill ketones’, I can get very nauseated and vomit. High ketones are poison to the brain. I’m also very sensitive to the fact that a few hours after high BS begins, my vision gets blurry because the sugar in the blood makes the lenses of the eyes swell.

High blood sugars can be very stubborn and not respond to extra insulin the way low blood sugars respond quickly to sugar. Often, with high BS, the body is resistant to the insulin because of adrenaline released as a protective mechanism by the liver. This can happen as a response to low blood sugar, exercise, excitement and all sorts of emotions like fright/fear, crying and laughter. And at other times, I am extremely sensitive to my insulin and am ‘low’ for hours on end and have a hard time bringing my BS up. Frustratingly, sometimes blood sugar control seems impossible, as if it’s influenced by the weather or color of socks I’m wearing – there seems to be no rhyme-nor-reason to it.

Unfortunately, even though it may only take a few hours for the blood sugar to ‘get back under control’ with either insulin (for ‘highs’), or sugar (for ‘lows’), it takes many hours for the cells in the body (and the emotions) to get back into balance.

It’s easy to get wrapped up with the severity of diabetes. But it’s a part of life, just like joy, laughter and friends.

Life with diabetes is a true seesaw. High and low blood sugars happen. It’s part of living with the disease.  If you have diabetes, or know someone with diabetes, please be patient, and be present. We all have ‘one of those days’ occasionally; unfortunately, for someone living with diabetes, ‘those days’ happen almost every day.