Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Voice. A Day in the Life of a Diabetic.

Intro: I'm not sure when I wrote this. Obviously it was pre-pump and around Halloween but I'm not sure how many years ago. I was going through some documents in my 'Crap' folder and ran across this. I thought it was interesting. I also realize the change between insulin injections and the insulin pump. The pump offers much better control and even though it drives me insane...I am grateful I made the change. *Peace.

My Voice - Part 1:

This day will be a good day.

Thankfully, I wake up this morning to my alarm. I roll over and see the clock says 6:05am. I turn the alarm off and lie still for a moment to listen to my body. I am ok, for now. I climb out of bed, throw my hair in a pony tail and shuffle off to the bathroom. Ahhhh….good morning. I silently wish it was Saturday.

I walk to the kitchen, turn the coffee on and begin my day. I open my Accu-Check Aviva, insert a test strip and wait for the machine to register. It does so I prick my finger with a lancet and squeeze. I place a droplet of blood on the test strip and stick my finger in my mouth. As I wait for the results, I wonder where else I can prick. My finger tips always range between sore and numb. Today they are sore. My blood glucose meter beeps and reads 160. I write the number down in my diabetes record book and look at my chart.

100-140: Take 3 units of insulin.
141-180: Take 5 units of insulin.
181-220: Take 7 units of insulin.
221+: Take 9 units of insulin.

Take an additional 2 units per every 60 grams of carbohydrates ingested.

Got it. I wonder why I can’t ever remember this chart. I go to the fridge and grab my FlexPen. The FlexPen is my prefilled syringe. This makes it easy for me to carry my insulin everywhere I go. I twist the knob to 5 units and stick the needle into my arm. I inject the insulin. I now wonder where else I can inject. My arms are sore. This injection made me bleed and a small bruise is appearing. Ugh.

Coffee is done! Thank goodness. I fill my travel mug full, add a Splenda, some 2% milk and I’m ready to go. Amanda gets up, we hug and she fixes a bowl of cereal. She sits down to eat and watch TV. I go take a shower and begin my ritual of getting ready for work. It’s 7:00am and I am ready. I walk back to the kitchen while checking Amanda’s progress on the way. I fill my travel mug again, set my purse, lunch and mug on the counter. I do another blood test to make sure I am ok to drive. I go through the same steps as before, this time the machine reads 145. I am good to go. I shove the blood glucose machine and record book in my purse. We hop in the car and are off.

I pick Monica up and drop the girls at the bus stop. I then begin my trek to the other side of the world. As I drive I continue to listen to my body. I need to stay aware because I do not want my sugar to drop while I’m driving. The last time that I happened, I caused a 6-car pile up. I get to work, put my lunch in the fridge, sit at my desk and log on to the computer. I then walk to the kitchen to make my breakfast. I pass on the bagels and schmear that are on the counter. As good as they look and as badly as I want them, I pass. My sugar isn’t in the range and I didn’t take enough insulin to eat that many carbs. I microwave my scrambled eggs and return to my desk. I test my blood sugar again after I eat. 143. I am ok, for now.

Of course I am the office candy girl. Why shouldn’t the diabetic be the candy girl?? I have a black urn on my desk for Halloween. It is usually filled with random candy. I notice it’s almost empty. I restock with a mixture of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat’s, Almond Joys and Hershey Bars. I torture myself daily as I watch people walk up and grab a couple of pieces of candy. Why torture myself, you ask? Because I am the welcome to our office girl…and I’m nice. ‘Hi. Please have a snack and take a seat. I will let your party know you have arrived. Would you like a drink or some candy?’ The people in the office are also satisfied with a sweet trip to my desk to help them through the day.

Around 10:30am, I inject 3 units of insulin and I eat my snack. I took 3 units to cover myself with the carbs. I brought Flaming Hot Puffy Cheetos! Mmmm…..I eat about 20 of them. My mouth is on fire and my fingertips are red, but I am happy. I walk into the kitchen to wash my hands and see desserts everywhere. Mini éclairs, cheesecake and Halloween cookies. I grab a mini éclair. Screw you, diabetes. Yum-O! I go back to work.

Around 11:30am, I test my blood sugar again. The reading is 196. Crap. I shouldn’t have eaten the éclair. I register the number in my log book. I look at the chart and inject 7 units while I am sitting at my desk. I walk into the kitchen to see if there are better options than my bologna sandwich. There is a ton of food in there leftover from a meeting yesterday. There are a variety of sandwiches, pickles, chips, meatballs, provolone, sub rolls, cheeses, crackers, chicken skewers, veggies, new cookies and the Halloween cookies, the mini éclairs and cheesecakes, pasta salad and who the hell knows what else. Most of the stuff I can’t touch regardless of how much I want to.

I eat 4 meatballs covered with provolone, a piece of cucumber, a carrot and make a run for Starbuck’s. At the drive-thru I order one of the very few things I am allowed at Starbucks, an Iced Venti, 3 pump sugar-free vanilla, non-fat latte. I emailed them a request to offer sugar-free desserts. I got a ‘thanks for your suggestion’ email. I head back to work, happily sipping. I am halfway finished drinking my drink and check my blood sugar. 186. I write the number down in my log book.

At 3pm, I have my midday snack. A mixture of ricotta cheese, Splenda and vanilla. At 4pm I check my blood sugar again before the drive home. I prick my finger and squeeze. I don’t get enough blood and have to prick again. Damn it! I squeeze, place the droplet on the test strip and wait. 56. Crap!! I didn’t eat the right amount of a snack. I munch a mini Hershey because I don’t have time for anything else. The mini candy bars don’t have the ingredient content panel on the side so I eat another. I’m not sure how many grams of carbs or sugars there are in a mini Hershey bar. Ugh! At 4:30p, I prick & squeeze again. I can’t screw around. I need to beat traffic and get Amanda to dance. It’s 54. I risk it and leave.

The drive home is stressful as I am trying to focus on so many things at once. Driving, other people driving, my sugar level, my state of mind, willing the candy to take effect. Low blood sugar is more dangerous than the high. I ask the universe to help me make it home safely without killing myself or anyone else.

I get home and check my sugar again. 105. Not great but definitely better than 54. I change clothes and head out to dance. Dance lasts about an hour. Usually I want to walk or run during the class but today I can’t risk it. Plus, Steph is sick so I want to sit with her. I get home, go through the testing process again. 219. I guess it took longer for the candy to work than I wanted. I look at the chart again and inject 7 units of insulin. I chill and have a glass of red wine while I cook dinner.

We aren’t having anything out of control for dinner because it’s 7:30p. We have soup and biscuits. Usually I try to cook a well balanced dinner. Meat, veg & carb. Diabetes is about balance. Around 8:30p, I check my blood sugar again. 235. Considering I just ate and insulin takes about 4 hours to run its course, I settle in to watch tv with Amanda.

I don’t check my blood sugar before snack time. I always eat snack before bed because the time that my sugar drops the most and causes problems is when I’m sleeping. High is better and easier to manage than low.

At 9:30p, I am exhausted and ready to go to bed. I do my last blood test for the night. 293. Higher than I would have liked but I can’t take anything to cover because I’m going to bed. I'd rather go to bed high than wake up to a room full of paramedics. I take my daily insulin, 24 units. This is the insulin I take daily to cover me. I take it every night before I go to bed. The FlexPen is used to cover meals. It’s like a booster shot of insulin to cover what I eat.

Today wasn’t great, but wasn’t so bad either. I pricked my finger 10 times. I injected my insulin 5 times. Can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow.


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