I'm Here To Pump…You…Up…

DumbellWhen I think of steroids, Hans and Franz comes to mind first. Then a guy that I knew in school who took steroids to make himself supposedly look like a better bodybuilder, but only made him look like a complete jerk. Then the whole discussion of steroids and diabetes…

And then I’m dizzy.

I’ve always been a “no way am I going to take steroids!” because I don’t want to deal with the “just how much insulin will I have to take to keep my blood sugars within a normal range” factor. I even refused steroids after the birth of my daughter because I wanted to bask in the glow of her rather than my insulin pump light. But I changed my mind last week. Here’s why:

My shoulder still hurts. Stupid frozen shoulder. Adhesive capsulitis. Whatever you want to call it. The manual manipulation under anesthesia and physical therapy worked for a while, but it’s back to being a constant ache and still wakes me up at night. A visit to a new PCP after moving to get non-narcotic (but still heavy) pain meds refilled was a bust (in more ways than one, but that’s another tale for another day), so I schlepped it over to a new orthopedist for a consult and advice.

He was sympathetic after examining me, even wincing a little himself when he cranked my arm a little too far and I yelped like a bichon frisé (That’s the epitome of yappy dog to me, so I apologize if you have one. They’re cute and adorable…and yappy.).

“Wow, I can’t believe you’ve been living like this,” he comments. (Super D-Girl, that’s me. The D obviously stands for dumb.)

“Yeah, well, I’ve been rationing out Tramadol at night to keep it from getting too bad, but I’m figuring that I’ll need physical therapy again.” I roll my eyes, because while I liked my last physical therapist, it’s a huge time suck going to PT. (Please don’t start the lecture on what’s important and taking the time to do this. I’ve already had that from at least three people…)

“Look, let me ask you a question. How controlled is your diabetes?”

I glance slyly around to see if I’m on camera. Will I win something with the right answer?

“It’s controlled, which is a subjective term.  Why?”

“I could give you a cortisone injection into your shoulder which will help with the pain and the inflammation. It won’t help with your blood sugars. You’ll need to do physical therapy and we’ll reassess in six weeks. If it doesn’t work, then it’s surgery and this time, I’ll go in and remove scar tissue.”

I sigh. I didn’t want to do the steroid thing, but my back (or my shoulder) is up against the wall. I want to be able to do things with my kid and not feel like a ninety-year-old woman (looking fine for ninety, but…). I don’t want surgery, especially arthroscopic.

I nod.

The nurse plunks me down facing my daughter, who is up until this point, enthralled with the iPad. (Any port in a storm, right?) The doc steadies me, a numbing spray hits my skin and then…

“Ohhhh…..myyyyy….goooddnnnesss…..that……HURTS.” I clench my teeth and think of England. The Kid looks up at me and quips:

“Deep breath, Mommy.”

The tension is broken. I smile and while the needle hurts like a son of a bitch, I’m reminded that I have a smart toddler. I had forgotten to breathe.

Over the next twenty-four hours, my CGM and pump tag team my blood sugars. I am a little higher than what I want to be, but still under 200.  Gosh, I say to myself. This isn’t so bad.

On Saturday night, all hell broke loose.

I started temp basaling at 150% with correction boluses. Three hundreds. Two hundreds with megadoses. Temp basals go up and blood sugars go down, then creep slowly up..up…up.

But my shoulder hurts way less than it did before. Physical therapy begins tomorrow.

I just can’t decide if I’m Hans or Franz.

(Franz. Going with Franz. Yup.)

  1. Personally, I think you’re Wonder Woman who can kick both Hans and Franz collective asses!
    Sweetie, I’ve been there and you have to do what works best for you! I’ve done the cortisone dance several times and it’s a lot of work & temporary basal rates are a godsend.
    But cortisone can really help! I’ll DM you my cortisone post – let me know if you need any help or just some one to bitch too!

  2. you are so much fun to read. and wow, steroids sound like they suck! and that shoulder tissue—yow! but those suckers are balanced with the good things in life: writing, deep breathing advice from a baby, iPads, and being such a hot 90-year old.

  3. Been there, done that… Twice. (And once on my wrist.) I saw elevated sugars for about two weeks, but this was before I became a BG-Nazi, so it really didnt matter at the time. I ended up raising all ratios and basal rates across the board on a different “pattern.” (So I could turn it off once I started dropping off.) Funny thing is, those patterns remained in tact even after the drugs were out of my system. Turns out I didn’t have enough basal support.

    Anyway, I’m still a big fan fan of massage therapy and acupressure for my shoulders.

  4. I wrote a long comment over whether I thought you were Hanz or Franz, then realized how stupid it was and deleted it. So let me get to the point: I hope this treatment works for you and that you’ve got enough insulin in your reservoir to cover it. Your daughter, your doctor, and all of us believe you can do it. Now you just need to convince yourself.

    (Hanz is the shorter, blonde-haired one and is definitely a leader of the group. I think you’re Hanz).

  5. The ‘roids have a place in care and that place starts and stops with informed patient consent. We have had our kids given them as a mater of course by HCps (Small p ’cause it wasn’t very professional) after our express withholding of consent, because… well…. that was just their routine. Oh and here is the bill.

    Guess what word I used?

    The is a role for ‘roids, they can work wonders and they eff (close to the word used) up blood sugars. The choice is the patients. I hope all choose as wisely as you have.

  6. […] into bed and snuggle.”) and the blood sugar roller coaster I’ve been stuck on since the steroid shot for my shoulder. I want my money back. It’s a sucky ride. Most of this roller coaster had had me stuck up on […]

  7. […] diabetes medical team appointment in July, it’s been a rough blood sugar ride. Highs from the steroid injection for my frozen shoulder and lows from overcorrecting and gastric delay has me wondering what my A1C will be and if […]

  8. […] I should also be shaking a finger at the current me. When I sat down with my CDE and talked about my cortisone injection and the crappy blood sugars that went on for weeks, she told me to stop berating myself for the A1C […]

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