Cotton Candy Stash

You would think I'd learn my lesson. Never take insulin before bed unelss I eat something. But no. I don't. And every time I do, this happens.

Sometimes before I go to bed, my blood sugar is high. Last night it was 249 and I thought about it for a second before unclipping my purple medtronic pump from my pocket. Should I? Shouldn't I? So I started hitting the buttons. I was supposed to get a few units of insulin to get it back down to normal. Instead of taking the recommended dosage that my pump calculated, I said, Naw, I'll just take half. For some reason, I expected to drop because for some reason, I always do at night.

I go to bed.

This morning, a whole 45 minutes before my alarm goes off, I wake up and have no idea what's going on. Disoriented, I stumbled into my kitchen. I felt drunk. Unbelievably drunk. Where you can't stand up straight and you have to hold on to something to regain balance. As I pricked my index finger and put the little drop of blood on the strip I cursed as I saw the number: 35.

Remember, normal is 80-110 and hypoglycemia is anything below 60. I was definitely hypoglycemic. I went to the fridge to grab my draft of orange juice and poured myself a mug full. And that's when I saw it: The purple, deflated cotton candy. I ripped it open and grabbed at the sticky chunks, putting it in my cheeks and feeling the grainy sugar dissovle around my teeth. How gross! I sipped and dissolved, sipped and dissolved. This was a diabetic dream!

I laid down on my bed and covered myself up. Another sign of hypoglycemia is a desperately nasty and cold sweat. If you looked at me, I looked like I had run a mile. Giant drops of sweat rolled down my forehead like raindrops on a windshield. I laid there, cold and feeling like I was about to die. And really, I don't know what dying feels like, but I was shaking, had a stomach ache and couldn't relax. That's the worst. I stopped eating because I already knew I had enough. I didn't want to over do it then sky rocket into the 300s, because that DOES happen a lot of the time.

I just needed to relax. I fell alseep for another half hour before getting up late, showering and STILL making it to work on time. The whole time, even after I got to work, I was still shaking internally. I could feel it. I checked my sugar: 113. Perfect, but my body hadn't yet recuperated. Just so you know, it takes 24 hours for your body to recuperate from being under stress like that and the main priority is to get it up to a normal level, but not over shoot. THAT, my friends, is incredibly hard to do. But somehow, I did it.

The situation here is that, I know that I drop at night, but when my sugar is as high as 243, I feel gross. I get headaches, I have to urniate all the time, yet, when I cut the recommended insulin dosage in half, I still dropped ridiculously. The moral of the story here is that even though we diabetics seem like machines and may work like cyborgs, we're not. And that's the most complicated thing of all. You CAN'T always predict what will happen even when you do everything right, but you have to educate yourself enough to know what to do.

  • One thing that people don't know about hypoglycemia is that you can slip into a coma and die from it. You can die faster from dropping than from having high blood sugar! Please know this and be careful when in these situations. Hypoglycemia, a lot of the times, affects Type 1 diabetics more often than Type 2.
  • If you're diabetic and ever feel crappy, the number one thing you do is CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR. That little finger prick and number will tell you everything you need to know and what you need to do.
  • Carry around glucose tablets, hard candy or even some juice. Always have rapid acting carbs in your house (aka your cotton candy stash). You never know when you'll need it.
  • If you know someone who's diabetic and, God forbid, they pass out from having a low blood sugar, you should call paramedics immediately then rub the fast acting carbs (anything super sugary like cake frosting) on the inside of their cheek. This is where carbs are absorbed most quickly and make their way into your blood stream.
  • Then there are glucagon injections that every diabetic should have (I need to get me one of these!). Glucagon injections do not inject sugar into your system. Glucagon itself is a group of 29 amino acids that trigger your liver to release glucose so that your system is always at a balance. When people pass out, the injection, which is concentrated glucagon, tells your liver to release all its stored up glucose so that your body jolts itself back to normality. 

When my grandmother was still diabetic (it's in remission now. Type 2 has the possibility of having that happen.) she had a hypoglycemic episode. My aunt asked for her glucose meter to check her blood sugar and sure enough she was at 45. I grabbed a glass of juice for her and asked her about her symptoms. Of couse she didn't like the feeling, but I told her to just relax and drink the juice and it would all go away. I always told her, if you feel weird for any reason, check your blood sugar. Diabetes is the main reason for things going wrong in your body, and the communication with that and your mind is a blood sugar reading.

Relaxing is important when either going to high or dropping too low. Stress has an impact on the body and blood sugar reading. You don't have to make it worse by worrying and panicking. Knowing that you should either take insulin, eat something or just sit down for a second is the best thing.

Well, that's my tale. If you have any ridiculous stories like passing out or waking up to paramedics, I'd like to hear them. If you know someone who's diabetic, please look up those links I posted within the blog so you can learn about what to do.

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    As a person with Type 1 diabetes for the last 20 years of her life, Christina or "Kiki" for short, decided to take it upon herself to write about her findings, experiences and struggles with her disease. Her inspiration to educate people about all types of diabetes can be found communicated in this blog.

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