It’s 1am. I’m writing this on my phone instead of my computer because I’m desperate enough to write about this that I’m willing to type it out on my phone instead.
I’m so frustrated.
Diabetes has been something I’ve dealt with since I can basically remember. It was 2004, and I was 10, almost 11, when I was diagnosed. I don’t have the greatest memory, so I don’t have too many memories prior to my diagnosis.
Some days and nights with diabetes are okay and run perfectly smooth, no problems. Some days and nights are absolute hell. I had a day from hell last Monday, and tonight is my night from hell. Apparently I need to skip over Monday’s from here on out. Fine with me.
Last Monday started as any normal Monday. I woke up, tested my blood sugar, 181. A little high for waking up, but nothing to cause alarm. I got some mini donuts (I know, not the best choice but I was in a pinch for time and the gas station I stopped at didn’t have fruit..) for breakfast as I stopped to get gas while I was already running late to get to work. A few hours into work, I started feeling sick. I though oh great, the kids at the daycare have given me another illness. My first thought was to check my blood sugar to check on things. 498. Okay, maybe I forgot to give my myself insulin for my donuts, as I’m human and forget from time to time. I check, and there was a dose history for those donuts. I should not be that high, even after having a breakfast like that. Something wasn’t right. I gave myself a correction to bring down the high and waited a few hours. During those few hours, I felt terrible. I was pale, nauseas, and exhausted. High blood sugars wreak havoc on my body. I was also trying to take care of the little babies at the daycare (thankfully my coworker was amazing and did the hard work of changing and feeding them and allowed me to just sit and play with them, knowing I wasn’t feeling well). A few hours later, my blood sugar was still 442. My pump site was not working. I had to get ahold of my mom to have her bring me new supplies, as this happens so rarely with me (lucky.. Usually.. Knock on wood) that I hadn’t thought to bring extra supplies to work in an event like this.. That was since changed. By this point, I had been without insulin for at least 5 or 6 hours. I was feeling worse than terrible. I put in a new site after my mom stopped by (bless her heart for driving the 35 minutes to my work) and thankfully all was well and my blood sugar was back to normal in a few hours.
Tonight, too, has been extremely tough. I came home from work knowing I was running low on insulin and would need to change my site after having dinner. I ate and gave insulin as usual and carried on with my night: I watched a little tv, did a little internet searching, and then went to change my site. I always like to give myself a little bit of insulin after each change to make sure the set seems to be working (usually if my sites aren’t working correctly, I’ll get a ‘no delivery’ message on my pump so I know things aren’t right). After the first change, I got the dreaded no delivery message. I was tired, ready for bed, and not wanting to deal with diabetes anymore today. Begrudgingly, I got up and change my site once again. My test dosage of insulin went okay, and I thought I was in the clear. I got comfy into bed, and 25 minutes later I was alerted that this set, too, was not working. I can feel my frustration building, as there is no reason these should not be working. I decided to open a new box of sites, and changed my site for a third time within maybe an hour. This one (fingers crossed) appears to be working just fine, so I’m thinking that I got a faulty box of sites that I’ll have to send back and get replacements for. But now my blood sugar is over 500 after a few hours of no insulin, and I’m feeling yucky again as I write this. I will also need to set an alarm for a few hours from now to check my sugar and confirm that this site is working as it should.
This disease is no joke, people. It’s more than simple carb counting and insulin injections. It’s calculations, it’s constant setting changes, it’s days and nights like you just read about, it’s worrying about the future and the effects that this disease can have on the body (if you’re not familiar with this, Google long term effects of type one diabetes. The possibilities keep me up at night). It’s relentless. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t care whether you’re at work or a young child at a slumber party. High blood sugars will strike. Low blood sugars will send you searching for any type of carbs you’ve brought along with you. This is why we need to continually fund research that can bring a cure. A cure is something I’ve dreamt about since I was in the children’s hospital over a decade ago after my diagnosis. I dream of a day where I can have an icecream cone and not worry about the potential effects of it on my blood sugars. I dream of a day where I won’t have finger pricks every day, a pump hanging off my hip, or the worries that accompany having an autoimmune disease that takes over whenever it decides it wants to. Our technology is amazing, but it isn’t a pancreas. I shouldn’t have to be doing the work that a pancreas normally does, but for now I have no choice. It’s my only option.
If any of you feel so inclined, you can donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation here, and I will forever be grateful to your help in finding a cure for myself and millions of others like me.