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Running on Fumes.

November 28, 2007

I feel exhausted right now.

Yesterday, I decided to do a random 3 a.m. check just to see how the overnights were going. My blood sugar was 156 mg/dl. I did a slight correction and woke up at a stunning 126 mg/dl.

Last night, I went to bed at 254 mg/dl. I had been high all evening for some strange reason, and I blame the 254 on me compounding the problem by eating pasta and ice cream because, well, I wanted to.

Because I had woken up in the middle of the night, I was more tired than usual and since my overnight was such a good number, I though my active insulin would bring my blood sugar down and I would stay stable all night.

I was wrong.

I woke up nauseated and more tired than usual, ringing in at 300 mg/dl. I did a correction bolused, dressed and went to work.

Once I got to work, I had my usual cranberry oatmeal and some hot chocolate in my nifty Merck mug I got at World Diabetes Day. I absentmindedly forgot to bolus for my breakfast until half an hour later.

Even with the bolus, I only came down to 203 mg/dl. Because I was running late in the morning, I bought lunch instead of packing my own. I had a sandwich and a bag of potato chips and estimated I had 70 carbs (it was a large sandwich with a slice of cranberry sauce so I went a bit over than my usual estimation for a sandwich). I even bolused early as I rode the elevator back to our floor.

Now, I’m 315 mg/dl.

I don’t know what happened. Yesterday, I had a great numbers. After the wake-up 126, I hit 87 mg/dl and then 97 mg/dl before skyrocketing to the stratosphere. Nothing in my activity has changed. I’m not sick – in fact, my corneal infection is completely clear now. I’m not eating anything different. I have not changed my ratios and I have not changed my basal rates. I am counting carbohydrates the same way I always have.

I feel terrible when that little green bug of annoyance creeps into my heart, but I just can’t help it when I read comments from newbies (scroll down to the comments from AJ) who say: “If you want to eat 200g of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, then ratio accordingly and dose the proper amount. Check an hour or 2 later to be sure and re-dose. Problem solved. Quit whining.”

Or even: ” Life is what you make of it. I have chosen to minimalize diabetes’ effect in my life by shaping my perception of it. I’m sorry if it came off as harsh, but I thought a little slap in the face might make some people realize that your attitude shapes things more than you think, and focusing on how hard it is rarely helps.”

I did count my carbohydrates.

I did use my bolus ratios.

I do wear that magical little contraption at my hip that is supposed to solve all my problems.

I am a happy, well-adjusted diabetic doing her part to help a community deal with depression and burn-out.

But dammit, it doesn’t always work.

And who’s fault is that? Is it my fault? It sure feels that way sometimes.

I tried. I try every damn day. Maybe diabetes would be just a chore if it didn’t make me feel so lousy. I can feel it. Not just in some far-off future where my limbs are missing or I’m blind, but now. In the present. While I’m at work and trying to hold things together. When I’m with my friends or my family, laughing and having a great time. I can feel the aches in my hands and dizziness in my head when I’m low. The tingles in my feet and queasiness in my stomach when I’m high. I can feel the pricks on my fingers and the itchiness when my set has been in too long.

No one who knows me could accuse me of not having a positive attitude about diabetes. My blog is titled “Lemonade Life” for crying out loud.

This isn’t just something I do and then put away. It’s still there.

And I feel exhausted. Sometimes, I just need someone to hold my hand and pull me along, just for a little while.

Edit, 5:53 p.m.: Now my blood sugar is 346 mg/dl and I haven’t eaten anything since lunch. Raise your hand if you think my set is kinked.

I also edited the post to make it clearer who this person is and that they have diabetes, and are not a non-diabetic.

  1. November 28, 2007 4:41 PM

    Sigh. I’m going through the same shit the past two days. I suspect a bad batch of insulin from Caremark. Here’s hoping that the BG blues go away soon…

  2. rubyredgirl permalink
    November 28, 2007 5:07 PM

    I can totally relate to everything you are saying. I wish it were as easy as it sounds to non-diabetics or newbies. Yes, you bolus according to your ratio and it seems like if you count your carbs correctly everything would come out ok. Too bad most days it’s not like that. If it were just a simple math problem then diabetes wouldn’t be such a big deal. Well hang in there, you know you’re not alone.

  3. November 28, 2007 5:54 PM

    Diabetes has a mind of it’s own. Non-diabetics know nothing, if they tried to live a day the way we have lived for years, then they could have the right to say bs things like that. It’s frustrating enough to deal with this day in and day out without idiots to make it worse. By the way we are all here to hold your hand and pull you along until you can do it for yourself again. I’ve got my pom-poms out for Team Allison!

  4. November 28, 2007 5:55 PM

    Sometimes you just have one (or even -gasp- more) of THOSE days. You’re doing everything right – you know that. I have no advice, just hang in there and maybe tomorrow your body and your pancreas will cooperate.

  5. November 28, 2007 5:56 PM

    I think you need a sussy. Send me an address!

  6. Allison permalink*
    November 28, 2007 5:57 PM

    No, no, this was a NEWBIE. These comments were from a person who has had diabetes for a little over a year (follow the link and scroll down to see the comments from “AJ”). This is not from a non-diabetic, that’s what makes it so infuriating. I think I may go back and bold newbie just so people catch that…

  7. November 28, 2007 6:09 PM

    Hi Allison.

    Sorry about the absurd numbers situation you’re going through. It wears me down, too, when going precisely by the mathematical book leaves me over 300, and even a humongo-bolus doesn’t bring me back down to earth. Everything, all our senses, go absolutely nutty on these kind of days, and we feel like we’ve been hit by a bus.

    I hope you’re feeling better quickly, and I’m glad your corneal ulcer is history.

  8. Sara permalink
    November 28, 2007 7:42 PM

    Sorry things are sucking right now Allison. I remember being more of a newbie (now at 5 years I think I am a bit less of one) and wondering why it was so much easier for me than all the other blogs I was reading. 😐

    Now I remember more recently, a few weeks ago when I wanted to throw my pump against the wall. What the post below does not mention is that does troubles were followed by a leaking reservior. Ugh!
    Get the sussy – they help! 😀

  9. November 28, 2007 8:20 PM

    Give the newbies about 25 more years living with this, and see if they are so optimistic then! Call it cynicism, but its definitely not because we’re just negative, this condition is not so much controllable as it is manageable … as Jillian notes, this disease has a mind of its own! Its not “control” when you follow the rules, and the numbers do not work out correctly, its frustrating!

  10. November 28, 2007 8:47 PM


    Sorry it’s such a struggle for you right now. That stinks.

    I hope it passes soon. Today was a bit of a challenge for me. I needed to re-adjust my basals after adjusting about 3 weeks ago because of an upward drift. The dexcom helps there, but it ain’t no working pancreas. I’d like one of those.

    Any plans for Christmas?

  11. November 28, 2007 8:52 PM

    I went to AJ’s post and clicked on his initials to go to his blog. Went nowhere. Methinks AJ = Anonymous Jerk.

    One of the biggest frustrations of this disease is that even many of our healthcare providers try to lead us to believe exactly what AJ is saying…that it’s all a simple formula and if it’s not working, we are not being conscientious about our math. Only experience shows us how wrong that is some days. Hope you are headed for a nice even BG plateau soon, Allison.

  12. November 28, 2007 11:43 PM

    First, I want to say that I totally hear you on being frustrated with those numbers. It is soooo annoying when you try everything and they just won’t respond they way you want them to, or expect them to. Or when they do one thing day one and another day two. I had been heading in the right direction towards my goal A1C until mid-October when I came down with a sinus infection and bronchitis at the same time- and my numbers haven’t been the same since. So, needless to say, my A1C when it’s drawn in about 2 weeks will probably be back up there and I’m annoyed about that. Hang in there and remember that you are trying your best, even when your body doesn’t respond the way you want it to. We can’t control it all the time- we are human- imperfect yet wonderful at the same time:)

  13. November 28, 2007 11:52 PM

    Hang in there. I know how those days are–and they are not fun. And there will be more of them, but they will pass, too. Oh, and you better take Beth up on her sussy offer. She rocks and sends the best stuff! 🙂

    Glad you changed the site and it helped a bit. Diabetes is tough and doesn’t always make sense. Our bodies are complicated and what worked one day doesn’t always work the next. Grrr….

    sometimes even lemonade tastes awfully sour!

  14. November 28, 2007 11:53 PM

    Hi Allison,

    Sorry it’s such a struggle right now.
    I hope it passes soon.

  15. November 29, 2007 2:17 AM

    Dam it Allison, no matter what any body says – you are 100% right “IT DOESN”T ALWAYS WORK!” It just doesn’t. We try out best, we do everything we can…….and still it doesn’t work. Then, at least I think, I have done something wrong or I must be a weirdo or I have some weird kind of diabetes…… NO, the truth of the matter is that IT JUST DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK. And that always isn’t so infrequent! Sigh. The only thing that I have noticed is that days that start off with a good test continue good, ie generally need less insulin that tdays that start off bad and that patterns of good/bad behavior seem to stick. There seems to be some medical explanation for the latter, but I do not understand it enough to explain it – something like that cells have a memory and react accordingly. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Pls reply about whether you no anything about that conference or send me an email!

  16. November 29, 2007 7:45 AM

    Yup, days like that suck. I hope I don’t have one today, but honestly, it is shaping up like one already. I just woke up & checked my blood sugar and it was 276. No reason. Didn’t eat unusual or anything. Sometimes it just isn’t predictable!

  17. November 29, 2007 9:24 AM


    I remember a time, probably about 6-8 months after Riley was diagnosed, when I thought “What is everyone complaining about? It’s not really that hard. We don’t do much work at all and he has an awesome A1C.”

    Fast forward a year and a half and we are struggling to get his A1C in the lower 7s. I try to be every-vigilant, but even so, we’re human, we screw up. And, even when we don’t screw up (ie: count every carb correctly and bolus accordingly) diabetes still has the last word.

    My advice to AJ is enjoy it while you can.

  18. November 29, 2007 9:33 AM

    Diabetes is predictably unpredictable.

  19. Kathy (araby62 on TuDiabetes) permalink
    November 29, 2007 12:58 PM


    It’s a cliche, but some days we just do the best that we can. Hope tomorrow is a better one.

    Kathy (25 yr Type 1)

  20. November 29, 2007 1:42 PM

    I hope things are going better for you today. I’m so sorry you are having such a bad time. As a newbie myself, I’m also sorry another diabetic newbie was so callous.
    Even as a newbie, days don’t always go according to plan. Every now and again my pancreas spits out a little unexpected insulin resulting in lows. Just a reminder that we do the best we can, and we’re only human.

  21. Kelly permalink
    November 29, 2007 3:52 PM

    Hey Allison,
    I’m one of your “friends” on Saw you list your blog, so I just popped in to see how you were doing! I can totally relate to your frustration. It *is* frustrating at times.

    The first thing I thought of though when I saw this post was… Have you thought to move your site? I know sometimes I seem to get a “bad spot” and if I move my site a bit, my
    numbers will improve!

    Hang in there! Feel free to rant and rave to your heart’s content…We’ll listen. 😉

    (missingmywings on TD)

  22. November 29, 2007 7:50 PM

    Bernard and I are planning on writing a letter to Santa and see about that pancreas thing I’ve heard so much about. You want in? 🙂

  23. November 30, 2007 3:26 AM

    In the mail to you is the World’s Best Sussy. Expect it next week.

  24. December 7, 2007 10:17 PM

    Hey Allison,
    I have those days/(weeks?) too. I used to always assume that I was just a bad diabetic and that everyone else had perfect numbers all the time. It has been a relief to know that we all struggle with this, even though I’d still rather we all had perfect BG’s. I also sometimes forget to bolus which would seem inconceivable after 19 years!!! I also forget to correct sometimes, which is even more basic. I guess it comes from a fear of dropping too low.

  25. December 9, 2007 2:44 AM

    Hi Allison, this is my first time I reply to any blog, but yours caught my eye. Your situation is very much like mine, I’ve been a diabetic for 38 years and started pumping in 2001 . Before then I didn’t even check my sugars but was starting to feel complication. If you want to discuss more please E-mail me at I’m not a weird-o just a guy with similar problems and my friends don’t understand hope to hear from you Sincerly Glenn

  26. JackieDee permalink
    December 9, 2007 11:45 AM

    I’m a newbie (coming up on 9 months) and I feel overwhelmed by this hateful disease. I keep tight control of my BG and my A1Cs have been below 7. But it’s exhausting. I have to have this disease on my mind 24/7. I’m sick of eating bland food. I’m sick of the highs and lows that have no logical reason for being. I’m sick of worrying that I won’t be able to keep doing what’s necessary to manage this sometimes unmanageable disease. I’m afraid of the horrendous complications that await me if I don’t. I have this terrible guilt that I brought all of this on myself because I was once overweight. Sometimes I think I can’t stand it another minute but I do. I’m a newbie but I understand your frustration.

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