Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cause and Effect(s)

Rain falls.

Sun shines.

Grass grows.

Type 1 drags mower out for one last shearing-of-the-lawn before winter.

3 hours later...

Meter reads 112.

Put on temporary rate, go to bed.

Awake sweating like the dickens. Rip pump off, go on 1:30 AM eating spree and check blood sugar while doing so.

22 mg/dl.

Panic, consume more candy corn. Grab phone, fall back into bed wonder if it’ll kick in anytime soon or if anyone would find me(days later). The phone is comforting though, it is my link to the outside world(and even if I’m fuzzy headed I would still know how to press 9) Fortuantly, its never come to that.
Feel better, go back to sleep.

Wake up 579. Hate morning, work, diabetes, and everything else(in that order)

Check ketones. (None)

Take corrective bolus(put pump back on)

Feel rotten till 10 AM, and which point the just eaten breakfast has obviously not effected the massive amount of insulin still floating around in your system from 4 hours earlier. You’re headed low, and its time for another snack.


- - - -

The greatest fear of every PWD...

Is not blindness.

Is not retinopathy.

Is not an empty wallet.

Is not stroke/cardiovascular disease.

Is not amputation x 2.

Is not “Dead in Bed” Syndrome.

Is not El Stupido Insurance Company.

Is not further Autoimmune Adventures.

Is not making a hypoglycemic idiot out of oneself at the lunchroom at work.

No, the greatest fear of every PWD is this.

It’s a simple, powerful story, and it makes me cry every time. Read the CWD review
of James Hirsches book(Cheating Destiny) and I knew I have to get it on Amazon. Any review that so completely sucks me in within the first two paragraphs I just gotta get the book/watch the movie.

How would you react, if there was no insulin available?

I’d like to say that I’d take it calmly, but from past experiences I’ve disproved that little illusion. When I’m high, I take water + insulin like it was going out of style + I’m really, really, cranky in the process.(diagnosis + last year proved that)Back in the later part of 1999, when the entire world was going a little nutso over the Y2K computer deal, I worried about whether I’d be able to get the medical supplies I needed.

Me: In January, if I can’t get test strips should I still take my insulin?
Pediatric Endocrinologist: (looking alarmed) You should ALWAYS take your insulin, don’t stop, you will get very sick! Promise me you’re not going to skip your insulin doses?
Me: Ok, I promise.
(thinking) How am I going to pull that off, if I can’t test my blood sugar? I need to test, otherwise I will not know the right dose of insulin to take. I will really suck at guessing.
(Yes, I’m very much a PWD of the Age of Glucose Monitors- and back then, I was very new to D as well)

Fortuantly for all of us, Y2K came and went(with no major problems). But I’ll admit it, dying from DKA is not on my list of ways to go. No, I’d not be calm + resigned to the situation, I’d be pretty hysterical.
Someday, the world may be faced with that situation again- or another disaster scenario befall this country. The television shots of Hurricane Katrina reminded us all of that. Who can forget the poignant Need Insulin sign?+ the teeming mass of humanity in need of diabetes supplies? People out there are still dying from it, simply from the lack of medication/supplies.

I am lucky.

I am lucky that I have insulin, a pump, testing supplies- and an insurance company, (even if said insurance company is a major pain in the gluteus maximus). So many people don’t have any of those.

I am lucky to have a great diabetes team- ranked one of the finest in the nation. Dudes(and Dudettes), I love ya all.

And I’m lucky to have the OC- and a blog, where I can vent out all my frustrations. Thanks for listening, guys.

And I can’t forget that, no matter how many insulin reactions(5) I've had in the past 24 hours.


Anonymous said...

That is a scary low and a scary high! You must of felt terrible.

It's a horrible scary thought to think what would happen if something happened and insulin couldn't be made. I always said that if it really was true I'd kill myself with an OD of insulin. Like bottles of the stuff. I probably wouldn't have the guts though.

Hmmm, such a cheery topic. Yeah, I'm thankful too that I have a pump etc...

julia said...

Thanks for that link - that looks like a great book.

That's a very scary low. Very scary. And I'm a total ostrich about the no supplies scenario. I keep stocked up but I don't like thinking about it. At all.

Anonymous said...

22 is really stinking low. I know how those feel! 579 is even stinkin higher ,and it takes HOURS to recover from that low and that high! I love that link I want that book! Thanks~

Minnesota Nice said...

I distinctly remember a big long article in the Diabetes Forecast. magazine many years ago about Eva. It said the insulin that they got from the water buffalo pancreas was brown, like coffee. How strange.
I'm also vulnerable to night time lows. I keep glucose tabs everywhere in my bedroom, yet when I'm whacked-out and not thinking straight I always go to the kitchen and look for them........

Scott K. Johnson said...

What a scary low! And a completely exhausting roller coaster ride afterwards. Yuck.

A very amazing and inspirational story about Eva. Incredible. And yes, I agree - being cut off scares me, real bad.