A few weeks ago, I wrote a post promising to explain how I ended up with a blood sugar of 433. I’ve been putting it off because it means explaining a really bad habit I have that I should try harder to break. But, some habits, once they get started, are so difficult to break….

When you first get an insulin pump, the educator warns you not to change your infusion set before you go to bed because you need to make sure there are no problems with the new site…ie, clogs or whatever that might cause you not to receive the basal insulin that is infused every few minutes throughout the day and night. I have, actually, changed my infusion set at night, but I really try not to. Not because I don’t want to risk not getting my basal while I’m sleeping, but because that late at night it just seems like so much work. So, when I notice that my insulin is low, but it will likely last until the early morning hours, I have gotten into habit of not changing the infusion set until after a full night’s sleep. I like to change my set after my morning shower because it means one day of freedom from being concerned about knocking the set off while shaving or using an exfoliating puff…

So, this one Friday night, I had eight hours of insulin left. I decided to wait until morning to change it. I woke early…about 8…to the alarms going off on my pump. Low Reservoir. I did that little thing–push esc and act to reset the alarm–and went back to sleep. A few hours later, the little syringe icon was empty. Fine. I was up, I was going to enjoy a cup of coffee (no cream or sugar) and get in the shower. I’d be without insulin for, maybe, an hour or two.

The best laid plans….

I ended up putting off my shower longer than intended–emails, kids, and other things took priority. By the time I got in the shower, my sugars were likely high, over 200. Not a real problem, I could bring that down easily with a quick correction dose when I had my new set put in. But when I got out of the shower, I felt like total and complete crap. I don’t usually feel the effects of a high other than thirst and a little increased urination, so I didn’t think about it. I put in the infusion set, but continued to feel really bad. So I checked my sugars.

433.

That’s the highest I have been in a long time. Unlike most type 1s, I was not that high when I was first diagnosed. In fact, my blood sugar on diagnosis was 140. Most of my highs for the first seven years of this lovely condition were restricted to the low 200s. I had a few 300s in those years, but not many. It wasn’t until after my pregnancy with my fourth child that I began to suffer real highs. Once I was almost at 600. But my numbers have been well controlled since getting my pump eighteen months ago and I haven’t had a sugar over 270 in that time. Until this particular day.

What a crappy feeling. And it took forever to get it to come back down.

I’m not a stupid person. I know, in this particular instance, I did this to myself. I know that not having the basal insulin for more than a few hours added to the problem. But, I guess people in the DOC and society in general are not the only ones who put us in categories. Sometimes I forget that, although I am a type 2, that my sugars can, and will, rise rapidly without insulin.

I could have avoided the whole situation if I made my diabetes more of a priority. Somehow, it often gets pushed to the side. I have to work to pay the bills, like every other responsible adult in the world. Every month we fall farther and farther behind on those lovely bills, so I take more and more freelance work only to find myself struggling to meet deadlines that overlap and make it impossible to make everyone happy. And then there are my kids. My daughter has an ear infection that required a doctor’s visit. My daughter-in-law texts me four or five times a week needing to talk about her loss. My sons are always reaching out at the worst times (not that I don’t enjoy talking to my kids, it just happens to interrupt deadlines and force me to work too late into the night). And then there is the seven year old who begs to be enjoyed before these precious years pass us all by.

I’m not sure where diabetes fits in. How do you make yourself a priority when it seems so selfish in the light of the reality of family life? I know it seems like such a small thing, changing an infusion set once every few days, but sometimes it seems like a heavy burden in a life that is already too burdened…

Some days, I just really hate this Diabetes….

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