Friday, November 14, 2008

World Diabetes Day - A Day in my Diabetes Life

Happy World Diabetes Day.  I'm all decked out in blue (excuse me for over-sharing, but I'm blue right down to my underwear).  I'm getting ready to write a diabetes post for my knitting blog.  But I wasn't sure what I wanted to post on here on my diabetes blog, until I read Kerri's post.  I'm going to steal borrow her idea and give you a Day In My Diabetes Life.  It will actually be a compilation of many days, so I can give you some really good examples of what goes on.

6:10 am:  Pea's alarm clock goes off.  He hits the snooze twice until I yell at him to get up.  While he's getting his breakfast together, I pop into the bathroom to wash up and take my iron pill and my blood pressure pill.  My doctor was somewhat glad the my blood pressure runs a bit high, because taking an ace inhibitor also helps protect my kidneys.

6:30 am:  I put on my workout clothes.  Then I change the lancet in my blood test machine and do my first blood test of the day.  91.  Good.  I make no adjustments, knowing that the 30 minute mile I'm about to do on the treadmill won't have much of a short-term effect on my blood sugar, although it will (hopefully) help keep me stable over the next 24 hours.

7:15 am:  With my workout done, I test my blood again to see where I am.  104.  Great.  I set up the coffee maker to brew while I'm in the shower, and I bolus 1 unit to cover the spike I get from the caffeine.  It's insulin pump site change day.  Not only do I disconnect from my pump for my shower, but I also rip my site out.  Ouch.  It's not exactly painful, but the sticky site doesn't want to let go of my skin.  It's like ripping off a stuck on band-aid.  It smarts a little.  Hey, what's that?  A few large blood droplets start to ooze from the site.  That usually doesn't happen.  But sometimes it does.  You just never know.  I grab a tissue, mop them up, and hit the shower.

8:32 am:  Shower is done, new site is on, and coffee has been drunk.  Now I'm ready for some breakfast.  But first, another blood test.  I test before each meal.  86.  Good.  I'm having yogurt (11g carb) and fruit salad (21g cab).  I try to eat less than 30g at a time, but it can be difficult.  Today I'll be happy with 32g.  The pump tells me to bolus 3.2 units for the food, but deduct .3 units because my blood sugar is only 86.  (It tried to keep me at 100.)  So 2.9 units it is.

10:45 am: I'm surfing the web reading blogs.  I want to leave comments, but I'm having a problem.  Every post I read is . . . well . . .crap.  The words don't make sense.  There is no point.  I can't figure out what everyone is trying to say.  Stupid bloggers - they usually write so well.  What is wrong with everyone today?  I'm so annoyed . . .   I think I'll go knit.

11:02 am:  Knitting isn't going much better.  My fingers just aren't moving right.  BEEP-BOOP-BEEP  My pump says it's time for my 2 1/2 hour after a meal blood sugar reading.  Where is my meter?  Oh, I left it in the kitchen.  Knitting in hand, I go retrieve my meter.  Doh, I left the ball of yarn on the couch, so a long string has trailed me into the kitchen.  I'm so aggravated.  My meter rings out . . . 55.  Damn.  Anything under 70 is too low.  As I slurp down my juice-box, I realize with some guilt that the bloggers are not stupid today - their posts were as witty and well thought out as usual.  It was my low blood sugar that made my head swim and caused nothing to make sense.  I'm sorry for doubting you, blog friends.  It's weird that I'm so foggy at 55 - usually I'm okay.  After all, the other day I was 27 and completely clear headed.  Why am I surprised?  I know diabetes often contradicts itself.  You never quite know what you are going to get.

1:28 pm:  Time for lunch.  And another finger stick.  155.  Well now I'm too high.  Darn.  I bolus 1 unit for the salad I'll be eating and 1 unit because I'm higher than the target 80 - 120 range.  Then I put my salad together.  A big bowl of Very Veggie salad blend.  A cut up cucumber.  A handful of sunflower seeds.  Some chicken and some shredded cheddar jack.  A dollop of buttermilk ranch dressing.  And a big cup of water.  Yum.

4:05 pm:  Time for the next blood sugar check.  118.  Great!!  Now it's time to get ready for our ballroom dance class.  I change my clothes, grab my shoes, and pick up Pea at work.

5:33 pm:  Better test my blood before starting to dance.  I've got a juice-box at the ready if I'm too low.  But no, I'm at 122.  The pump says to take .4 units to bring me back to 100, but I over-ride this because the dancing should do the trick.

6:20 pm:  Dance class is over and we're on our way home.  I test again, and am just where I want to be, 104.  Hurray!!!  However, the highway is at a stand-still, so we decide to hop off and stop for dinner at a near-by restaurant while traffic clears out.  Eating out can be tricky, as I have to guess on the carb content of the food.  And I really, really want the Fish and Chips.  I haven't had them in ages.  Fried food is hard to bolus for, because the fat messes with the carb absorption.  And French Fries are one of my personal arch enemies, always making me spike.  But I've been having a pretty good day with the blood sugars - and I really want the Fish and Chips, so I'm going to go for it.  I bolus 7 units using my pumps Dual Wave feature.  I let it give me 3 units right now, and release the other 4 units slowly over the next 1 1/2 hours.  This should help keep me level even though the fat will slow down the way my body processes the carbs.

9:00 pm:  Pea and I are watching TV when my pump reminds me that it's time to test again.  111.  Good, right on track.

10:15 pm:  Time for bed.  I wash up and take my cholesterol pill.  High cholesterol runs in my family.  And since I have diabetes, it's important to keep my levels in check.  And now, time for my tenth and final blood test of the day.  246.  CRAP.  So much for my good blood sugar day.  However, the pump tells me that I still have enough units of insulin in my body (from that extended dinner bolus) to bring me back into range.  I make a note however, so next time I can adjust the bolus and get more insulin sooner.  That should help me avoid a spike next time I decide to indulge in French Fries.  Of course, the chances of next time working like this time are always a gamble.

And so ends my sample Day In The Life with Diabetes.  I can guarantee you that if I do everything exactly the same tomorrow, I will get wildly different results.  That's the thing with diabetes.  No two days are ever the same.  You just do the best you can, make adjustments when you need to, and try again tomorrow.


  1. Wow, I envy you--that magic 104 usually eludes me :) Thanks for sharing and happy WDD!

  2. What a day in the life, Karen! People that don't have a clue I hope do now.
    Especially the last part. Do it all over again, the same exact way, different results. That is the key part as to why T1 is So hard sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep it up. ;-)

  3. Great post, Karen. Happy WDD! :)

  4. Awesome post!!!!! Great work!!!!


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