Monday, November 25, 2013

Low Glucose Suspend . . . .

It’s been just over a week since I’ve been using the MiniMed® 530G with Enlite® system. I’ll admit that at first the Low Glucose Suspend feature kind of scared me.  In my mind, this feature is for emergency use only.  Unless I’m passed out cold I’m going to treat my low as usual and take my pump out of suspend mode.  (When the CGM reaches a pre-set Threshold Suspend setting, between 60 and 90, the pump alarms, blaringly loudly as it suspends.  The screen displays the option to continue suspend mode or resume your basal.  If you choose to continue suspend mode, the pump does not deliver basal insulin for two hours.  Once the two hours are up, it resumes normal operation.)

But I started to get curious about how my blood sugars would react if I let the pump suspend itself instead of treating a low.  And hey, it might make for a good blog post, right?  So when my pump began alarming at 3:45 a.m. Saturday I decided it was the perfect time to give the Low Glucose Suspend a whirl.  (Also I just wanted to go back to sleep instead of dealing with the low.)  I did a finger-stick to verify that my blood sugar was really 60, which is where I have my Threshold set.  I was actually 68 but trending down, so I decided to let the Suspend do its thing.

I woke again at 6:30 to use the bathroom.  My pump was back to delivering insulin and a quick check clocked me in at 72.  That’s a little low, but I figured the 2 hours of missed basal was still working to bring me up so I just went back to bed.  I woke up at 8:30 and did my fasting check, which revealed . . . .


I couldn’t have asked for better.  I posted to Facebook and InstaGram and got a couple of interesting questions.  Was I nervous to let my pump suspend overnight?  I wasn’t, because I have a bad habit of ignoring low alarms in favor of sleep anyway.  So for me, knowing my pump was suspended was better than knowing I was just ignoring a low.  Also, the CGM will still send out high and low alarms if my blood sugar isn’t rising or is rising too much. Did it feel uncomfortable waiting out a low to go higher by the insulin suspend rather than the quick fix of juice?  If I had run this experiment during the day, yes, I’m sure it could have felt very uncomfortable.  But in the middle of the night, I just went back to sleep so I didn’t feel any low symptoms.  (And often I don’t feel them anyway, because I’m fairly hypo-unaware.)

All in all, I’m thrilled with how well this worked for me.  As the  morning wore on my blood sugar stayed pretty level - 115 at 10:10 and 107 at 12:45.  In the future  I don’t plan on using it as a regular low treatment - I do think I’d rather treat lows myself but know it’s there in case of emergency.  At least during the day.  I have a feeling I will be pretty tempted to let the pump suspend when I’m low during the night, so that’s something I should probably run by my health care team for a little more guidance.

If you have any questions I didn’t address here, feel free to leave them in the comments!

** My Medtronic disclosure can be found here. **

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tired . . . .

I thought I was just distracted and busy.  Wrapped up in the kitchen remodel and the excitement and stress that goes along with it.

Then I thought I was just having a bit of writer’s block.  Feeling like everything I could say I’ve already said before.

Then I felt guilty.  What kind of diabetes blogger finds herself at a loss for words during Diabetes Awareness Month?

tiredBut the more I think about it, the more I realize that I’m just very tired.  Tired of all the finger sticks.  Tired of the carb counting.  Tired of feeling too high and too low.  Tired of waiting for better.  Tired of learning to adjust to new devices and new treatments.  Tired of the fight and the effort and the every single day of it all.

This will pass.  It has to, because diabetes isn’t going anywhere.  I’ll find my motivation again.  I know I will.  But today, still, I am just plain tired of diabetes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prepping . . . .

Today is World Diabetes Day, and in my own little diabetes world there is some excitement.  Because I’m prepping for training first thing tomorrow on this  . . . .

It’s taken every bit of willpower I have not to just tear open the boxes and wing it.  But I know it’s important to be properly trained . . . . so I will.  Tomorrow.  Yay!!

** My Medtronic disclosure can be found here. **

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Lows I Despise . . . . .

All lows are not created equal, and Sunday I experienced one of the lows I despise.  It was the kind that has me feeling absolutely terrified until my blood sugar comes back into range.

The number wasn’t all that low, at least not for me.  I’m fairly hypo-unaware, so I usually don’t feel a 61 at all.  (In fact, I just did a finger stick before starting this post and saw a 65 and I feel just fine.  Don’t worry, I’m snacking on a Clif Bar and should be back up in no time.  /digression)  The 61 on Sunday, however, was not the least bit fun.  I was trying to get ready to go out for brunch (since we still don’t have a functioning kitchen) but this low was not having it.  I felt completely terrified.  I felt like any minute I was going to drop dead.  It was the worst feeling in the world.  I treated and then I treated a bit more.  Then I curled up on my bed in the fetal position.  I tried to be logical and tell myself I would be just fine, but my mind wouldn’t accept that fact.  I finally called out the window to Pete, who was in the driveway installing new wiper blades on his car, and asked him to come inside and sit with me.  I hate when diabetes makes me feel needy and weak.  Of course, by the time he finished up with his car and got inside, I felt just fine and was doing my hair so we could go eat.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  You should know that sometimes low blood sugars aren’t so bad.  I treat and move on with my day.  But sometimes, they feel completely terrifying.  Sometimes they leave me curled up in a ball waiting to die.  Luckily for me, lows like that are rare, but they happen.  And nobody should live like this.  We need a cure.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Free Stuff Friday at Lauren’s Hope

Things have been a little quiet over here on the blog while the big kitchen renovation has pretty much taken over my life.  Noise, dust, workmen and lots and lots of mess is the story of my life these days - but I do know it will be so worth it once it’s all finished.

However, you can find me today over at the Lauren’s Hope blog, kicking off Diabetes Awareness Month by explaining how the different seasons can turn diabetes management upside down.  Even better, if you leave a comment over there you can win a $50 gift certificate toward your purchase of an awesome Lauren’s Hope medical I.D.  Check it out!!