Friday, February 4, 2011

The Diabetes Rollercoaster

It's been a week and two days since I got my pump, and I already love it.  It's made my life a little more normal, and as any PWD knows, that's no small thing.  We (my wonderful CDE and I) finally got my basal rate on the right track (yay for no more morning lows!), and I've done two site changes on my own with no issues.  Now the goal is to tighten my control even more and get rid of the higher numbers I've been having postprandial (after meals). 

Speaking of highs after eating, my husband and I ate at Texas Roadhouse last night, and although it was wonderful, I ended up at 341 afterward.  It freaked me out because I had turned up my basal rate (because we would be heading home afterwards, and the two hour car ride raises my BG) and bolused according to the nutrition information I found online...Therefore, there was no reason for it to be that high.  My first thought was that I had a kink in my infusion set or something of that nature, but everything appeared to be working correctly.  It took me until the end of the night just before bed to realize that my mealtime bolus was waaay off, and that was what had caused my high.  I should have used my portion estimation and carb counting techniques rather than relying on the dubious information I found online.  Lesson learned...The hard way.

Then at 11:30PM, I was back down to 113...And I had one of those "oh crap" moments because I had just given myself another 0.5u correction based on my BG before I took my bath (213).  By my calculations, there was a possibility (albeit a very slight one) that I could have a virtually nonexistent BG in the middle of the night, so I ate a snack that reliably raises my BG to match my active insulin and went to bed.  At 3:00AM, I was at 154 (just as I figured), and by morning I was back to normal again (96).  I suppose yesterday was just one of those days on the diabetes rollercoaster of highs and lows.

Diabetes seems to be full of "should(n't) haves"...I should have exercised more, I shouldn't have eaten that extra serving of (fill in the blank), I should have payed more attention to what I was eating, I should have bolused differently...Should have, should have, should have.  Unfortunately, all of those "should haves" don't get us very far, unless we can see their intrinsic value in learning from the mistakes we make.  All we can do is do our best, and if that isn't good enough, try harder next time.  It's taken me just about the whole five months since my diagnosis to become comfortable with seeing BG numbers as a tool for treatment rather than a grade for how well I'm doing.  Any Diabetes Educator, Doctor, or book will tell you that "there are no such thing as bad BG numbers," that they're "only information"...But that doesn't mean that seeing 340 on your meter doesn't suck.

Even though I still don't like the higher numbers I've had (and I'm talking the 140's-180's, not the super highs from last night), I can already see the difference the pump has made in my BG control.  Even with all of those highs thrown in, my average is 119, which should mean a 6.0% or under A1C if I keep it up.  Now that we've got the lows taken care of, we can start to focus on gaining even tighter control, and that's something I'm looking forward to.  I've always been a perfectionist, so that type of goal is definitely appealing to me!

Hopefully by May I'll have an A1C that reflects all of my hard work...I'm shooting for under 6.0% (an average of 126) so that if we're ready by then, my husband and I can start a family.  Getting on the pump is just the first step in achieving this goal, and I'm so thankful I have such a wonderful tool to help get me there.  I know it's not going to be easy, but all of the challenges (and inevitable failures) aside, it's a journey I'm so ready for.  What better motivation for having excellent control of your diabetes than another life depending on yours?  I will do whatever it takes to get where I need to be before we conceive, and to nurture and protect that life once it happens.  I feel more comfortable with this responsibility knowing that I have my pump to help me along the way, because it gives me an edge over a disease that never takes a vacation...well, besides the honeymoon phase, if you have one =)


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