Blog Entries With Tag: low blood sugar


Posted: Nov 1, 2013

Last week I had gone to my local clinic (CLSC) for my blood work for my endo appointment I had on Tuesday. Two hour wait – fasting – wanting to pee like a horse – but I held fast – and wished I lived in Cornwall, Ontario – where you can make an appointment for a diabetic blood work – no waiting.  Welcome to my province of Quebec – where we diabetics get NO RESPECT !!  It's like lining up for a loaf of bread in Russia in 1915 !

Fast forward to this week – and I’m waiting in anticipation for what my results are.  Don’t we all go thru’ this (well – maybe not for you folks that can get your results the next day).  Here in my province in Canada – unless you go private - $$$ - or have private insurance coverage - you out of luck - you wait).  For some reason, I lucked in on only waiting 10 minutes (usually it’s much longer) – and my endo called my name. 

The first thing he said to me as I entered into his office …. “You’ve put on weight – what’s happened?”

I wasn’t really shocked by that statement – since I know I’ve been gaining weight (thryoid tests are normal - I'm just perimenopausal).  It's not from over eating – my habits haven’t changed - I actually am eating less due to work load – but my emotional state of being over the past year has been abit fragile plus … I’m a lazy cow (the job I do requires a lot of sitting on my behind).

Of course, as I explained this to him, he nodded, saying “Good excuses Anna”.  Onto the scale I went – since my last visit to him in July – I’ve blossomed.  I’ve never ever been the weight that I am – even after I’d had my DKA experience as a teenager – where I’d put on weight (memories of my Mum buying Hefty Boys corduroy pants for me always makes me cringe).  My Mum was often picking on me about my weight, and made me feel guilty about eating – sigh.  Writing these blogs sometimes brings back memories I don’t like to remember.

Promptly he took my blood pressure (BP) and this is sometimes the worst part for me – as I have the well-known ‘white coat syndrome” – my BP is never as good as what I have at home.  His first reading out of the corner of my eye was something like 185 over … at that point he said something that wasn’t good.  Meanwhile, in my brain I’m going WTF???  He retakes it on another machine – the regular wall version (before he was using one of the home versions we can buy) – and this time – it’s abit better – but still higher than my normal readings – 135/120.  Of course, at home, mine are in usually in the 115/70 area – sometimes lower.  I’ve never had a problem with high BP.

Of course, he says this is all to do with my increased weight (jab, jab, JAB) – and then asks – “do you eat a lot of processed foods?”  I tell him no, that I rarely eat processed foods;  when I have time/money I try to do all my own cooking without adding extra salt, etc.  Hmm, but inside my head I think … I DO LOVE CHEESE - which is high in salt!!! 

So, the jist of the whole visit was that I’ve REALLY got to lose weight - especially with his concern over my BP.  He stressed that I become active (he still insists that sailing is a lazy man’s sport – which in away – as a cruiser – it is – you don’t do much – not like he does with his golfing – where you have a goal – to find the hole).

And yes, my A1C despite my DKA episode over my holidays this summer – was pretty good (he says normally A1C will rise due to DKA) – it was abit higher – but still excellent.  And he admitted, if I’d been on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – that probably the DKA would never have occurred – which I totally agree with him.  Pumps do have their benefit - but not when they don't alarm for an occlusion, etc. like George Michael apparently didn't do in my case.  

So, now I’m off to test my BG, hopefully accomplish a 30 minute walk, then test my BG again, and post my results for the Big Blue Test that I partake in every year.  I’m hoping unlike the other day when I did it, I don’t drop in BG to the point of hypo land, and will be reducing my basal rate on my insulin pump abit (thank you Petronella Peach for that suggestion).

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Posted: Jul 22, 2013
I am really saddened at this news report of a woman (Revina Garcia) in Santa Fe, New Mexico - who apparently was having a low blood sugar (the news media is calling it a "diabetic episode") - which caused her to have a car accident.  


Yes, many of you will go - she should have checked her blood sugar (BG) before driving - maybe she did - maybe she didn't - as the news video and article do not state too many details.  Still it's very sad the way she was treated - and hopefully those officers who "attended" her - will in future - NOTtreat a person this way - before seeking more info if the person is not responsive (e.g. was she wearing an ID bracelet - wallet ID??).  

I know that I am aware of my BG variations - I can tell when I'm going low - I can tell when I'm high (though sometimes when testing - I'm not high - but in a good zone - just dehydrated).  I don't always test my BG before going on a short errand around town - maybe I should start this practise - maybe all of us should?  When I am driving a long trip - by MYSELF - I am very anal about testing my BG - pulling over to check every few hours (this is where a CGMS could be useful).  I always have quick acting food close by - incase I can't pull over safely.  Do you do the same thing?

Here's the link - (http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/dashcam-video-shows-womans-arrest-during-diabetic-episode/-/9153762/21042682/-/n9uafd/-/index.html)

Image of handcuffs
F
or more info on driving as a diabetic - you can check out the links below - that may help you understand more - why perhaps the police suspected Ms. Garcia had been under the "influence" -

1) American Diabetes Association - Diabetes and Driving
2) Canadian Diabetes Association - FAQ's on Diabetes and Driving
3) Becton Dickinson webiste - Driving and Diabetes 
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Posted: May 3, 2013

So, if you read my Twitter / Facebook feed you’ll know that for some reason –  for about 5 days earlier in the week – I thought I was perhaps CURED after almost 50 years with Type 1 diabetes (T1D).  I wasn’t the only one having the same thing happening – other T1D mates of mine were having the same lows like I was – tho’ for me – I wasn’t rebounding up (e.g. blood sugar spiking high) – but I was having the opposite – of going lower or not moving at all from a range of 3.5 – 4.5 mmol/l (63 – 81 mg/dl).  Sometimes I would go lower, and this was just on my basal insulin – which currently is Lantus while I’m taking a siesta from George Michael my Animas 2020 pump since the beginning of the year.


Of course, things have gone back to normal, but still, times like this, where we feel like we are detectives, trying to figure out what is the cause of the crime is sometimes so frustrating that at that point – diabetes takes over your life – as you try to accomplish what you want to do – but blood sugars (BG) are not cooperating.  Even worse for me, with the onset of menopause and thyroid acting up, I’ve been told to shed weight.  This is so hard to do, trying to lose weight, when you are having to stuff your face with sugary things to keep your BG in balance.   Of course, after having a low blood sugar (hypo) it makes some of us exhausted, sleep head folks.  I’m very lucky that of course, these 5 days of being low, were during my days off from work, when I have so much to do at this time of the year with Spring clean up, getting ready for the sailing/motorcycle season.  If you heard a lot of screaming coming from up north in Canada – that was moi – frustrated as all hell, as I laid on my comfy couch in the spare room, cat in my crotch purring with contentment of a human pillow.  I feel so unproductive at times like this – when I have so many plans – and poof – with a low BG’s that last more than just 1 day but goes on for many- … this is when I hate being a diabetic!!!   This is when FatCatAnna is not a happy cat like she appears to all she meets and greets!  On top of dealing with hormonal changes, I’m surprised during those 5 days I wasn’t ready to be locked up with the ups/downs of mood swings .

Now that the warmer weather is occurring (Spring is very short here in Montreal, boom, suddenly we are having summer like temps) – more of my neighbours that I chat to during the year are coming out of their homes.  One of my neighbours is a Type 2 diabetic (T2D) – and her sister who lives close by is always coming to me to ask for advise on her.  She says her sister eats too much bad food, doesn’t test her blood sugars enough, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I always ask her, is she seeing her doctor, is she getting ill frequently, is she happy?  Of course, the answer is, yes, she’s doing fine.  So, I try to tell the sister that if she’s okay – then not to worry too much - but that she is a good sister for caring.  Now, if she was losing weight/gaining weight drastically, getting ill, then there would be concern to worry I told her.


My neighbours sister asked me how I was doing.  Of course, I told her about having low blood sugars and saying I’d been CURED (I was joking of course).  She looked at me and wondered how could I have diabetes – since I look so healthy.  Nice compliment I told her, but sadly my T1D doesn’t just go away like that – I’m on insulin for the rest of my life.  She then cried out when I told her that I’d had T1D for almost 50 years.  

I explained to her the difference between
T1D & T2D.  T1D is an autoimmune disease - - and your body makes little or no insulin at all and then T2D is usually age related or being overweight along with insulin you produce not being used efficiently She then went onto tell me that 2 of her other sisters also have diabetes and just on pills.  I’m not sure if what I told her will be retained in her memory banks – but like many T1D’s – we always have to explain “our” type of diabetes against the more common T2D.  If I really wanted to confuse her, I could have gone on about the other forms of diabetes – but that’s another day of my advocating about diabetes. 

On with staying balanced in my little world of cat nip and sunshine!

 

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Posted: Jun 23, 2011

Wow! It's amazing going over stuff that I forgot I still had.  Because of having moved around - I only had so much room that I could keep of childhood memories.  Those memories are all stuffed into a box that normally you would buy paper for your office printer. It contains the first 20 years of my life that I was able to save before my parents could put it in the trash (they aren't professional pack rats like me)!

I have only started looking at few items, but I was curious to see what my diary that I had at the age of 11 contained.  I thought that there might be more mentioned about my diabetes, but there is very little in there, except for a few scribbles about my 2nd year at Camp Banting when I was 11 near the end of the small notebook (6" length x 4" width).  I was amazed to see that I actually was missing my parents (don't think they were) and the fact that we weren't allowed to make calls home (I can't see that happening today at a camp grounds).  I mentioned about having to have my diet changed four times, probably due to my being more active is the only reason for that.  Oh and my loving the orange cookies we got once in awhile for snacks (we had more the year before at camp I wrote).  There was one mention of a fellow cabin mate having a bad hypo and all of us running to get 4 camp counsellors at 2:00 a.m. to help her (obviously none of us 11 year olds had Life Savers or orange juice in our cabin - nowadays I think we would have those with us).  Near the end I wrote, I was getting bored of camp, and never wanting to go back again (but I later corrected that entry in red - that it wasn't so bad ).   

What surprised me even more - was that not only had I been to diabetic camp that year for 2 weeks - but a month prior - a 2 week ocean holiday with my family in Maine (which I loved so much according to my scribbles).  I didn't realise that I had two holidays in one summer that year - boy oh boy - was I spoiled - since CDA camp was not cheap in those days to attend.

So, below is a picture of me that I found wedged in my diary - standing outside a little place we always would stop off at on our 8 hour road trip from Ottawa to Higgins Beach, Maine.  The Farmer's Daughter Gift Barn on Route 2 in St. Johnsbury, VT - chock full of great stuff to amaze your friends with - and always a place to stretch your legs abit.



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Posted: May 4, 2011

I’ve been joining up to more Facebook pages that are aimed at parents with diabetic children and I have had to hold my true comments back due to not wanting to upset the parents.  Well, I’ve decided to roll the dice and bare it all.  I have written about this subject in the past as well as in various forums within the D-OC (diabetic online community) as I was diagnosed just as I entered Grade 1 – so bear with me if I repeat myself (remember – I’m now ½ a century old ).

What has lead me today to write this post is seeing a parent say they are battling a horrible disease.  It hit me like a brick in the face reading that.  I wrote on my Facebook page that parents with that children are likes sponges and to be careful with what they said or thought.  I was once one young like your own son/daughter – and could sometimes hear the whispers (I have Super Power hearing – remember I wear a cape ) of my parents behind closed doors as they tried to fathom what they were up against –if they were bad things – luckily I had shoved those words into the deep recesses of my brain.  Back in the 60’s when I was diagnosed, we had much less knowledge about diabetes in young children (sometimes I think it was hit or miss), we were only 1% of the population compared to the now almost 10%.  I was a cute novelty in the hospital I went to in Ottawa, where mainly Type 2’s were being taken care of.  I darn well took advantage of that as well – I knew where the bread was buttered.

Other than that diabetes was just something that was part of my life and I didn’t really think much about it.  Injections then were just once a day.  Testing of urine a few times a day (I can’t really recall – it just was something I did – just like tying up your shoe laces – wait – now kids use Velcro).  I was a kid just like any other kid.  I wanted to explore, play with my friends!  Luckily my parents pretty well let me do anything I wanted to do.  I was I guess what you would call a wanderer – a parent’s worst nightmare.  I was always off exploring in the woods, going on organized bicycle trips in the summer time with the youth camp that was at the park across my street.  I was just plain active.  Do I remember much about having hypos, etc.?  Nope, all I knew I was a kid having fun, playing with my friends.

I think my parents giving me this independence probably is what made me stronger with coping with life with diabetes.  They did not make a big thing out of it.  Perhaps now-a-days due to all the medical advancements – parents perhaps know too much – and it worries them with trying to keep their child’s A1C at that “perfect” number along with blood sugar readings.  I don’t really recall too many hypo episodes – when they did – it was jelly bean time – yippee!!!  I really don't remember many bad episodes (well - one of my Mum chasing around the house when I had a hypo and my vivid imagination thought she was a giant chasing after me and she's only 5' 2" (1.6 metres).

Of course, in my teen years, life became abit more difficult with peer pressure, etc.  I mean, what parent doesn’t experience problems with their teenager, diabetic or not?  Our hormones are way out of control – we want to be adults NOW – we don’t want to do what our parents tell us to do.  With diabetes, it’s abit more complicated, but I managed alright and was holding down 2 part time jobs along with school.  Again, maybe due to my parents letting me take control of my diabetes much earlier than many parents do today helped?  Was it a good thing?  I don’t know.  I’m to blame I know for going into DKA and coma at the age of 14.  Again, this memory is vague, probably not a pleasant experience for me to remember (or for my parents as well plus as my Mum says - it's too long ago to remember for her).  I survived though; it was a learning lesson, and luckily no devastating results except for what they say a few brain cells lost for earlier memories and my knotted hair got cut short (I was always ahead of time with fashion ).

So, the point of my writing this to all you parents out there.  Please be careful with what you think/say around your children.  After almost ½ a century of being a diabetic – I can attest that I think having diabetes for most of my life has made me a much better person and hopefully the same will apply to your children with having a positive attitude to the ups/downs of what diabetes can bring.  There are also so many great discoveries being made in the 21st century that astound me sometimes, that it makes me excited to keep on living/mentoring/educating about diabetes and I want to be able to try new products and make my life which I already consider is really good, even better!!!   




Picture taken in 1968 when my Nan came for a visit us in Canada
(she thought I was a terribly spoiled child and bought my Mum
a paddle to keep me in place)

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In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries  |  My first month with Bowie my Dexcom G4 CGMS  |  My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's  |  Miss Idaho is Defeating Diabetes  |  Sugar and Your Health  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy  |  When You're Hot, You're Hot  |  My First Night with Dexcom G4 CGMS
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