About Last Night…


The Kid had a temperature of 102.3 and would only sleep if I was her human teddy bear.
My father had knee replacement surgery and I ate a Clif bar for dinner waiting to see him in recovery.
I was exhausted. I muffled the Dexcom under my pillow so The Kid wouldn’t wake up.
It didn’t wake me up.
Bedtime BG: 98.
12:45a BG: 39.
A stupidly large glass of grape juice and a few cookies.
1:20a BG: 159.
Temp basal of 70% for two hours. Go back to bed.
4:38a BG: 465.
Remind myself that just 8oz. of that juice is 40g of carbs. Not going to even talk about those cookies.
In the process of rage bolusing, I run out of insulin in my pump.
The Kid wakes up and watches me refill a cartridge, dose, and drink a large (but not stupidly large) glass if water.
6:45a BG: 226.
Cup of coffee. Dose for cream.
9:14a BG: crash.

My blood glucose is now back to normal this afternoon, but I’m not.

Stress + stress + stress = the sad graph on my Dexcom.

(Dad is fine, The Kid is better, and I need a long nap.)

My Juice…

My juice*buzz buzz buzz* It vibrates on the mattress next to me.

I am somewhere in that hallowed space between awake and dreaming, pulling myself up out of the mist to silence the alarm of the Dexcom before it…


wakes my daughter who was sleeping peacefully next to me.

“Oh no! Dex! Dex, Mommy!”

She clambers over my jelly-filled limbs to snatch the device out of my reach and stare at the colors. Too young to read numbers correctly, but she’s aware enough to recognize that red is not good.  Her brow furrows. I fumble for the front-line juice box that patiently waits on my nightstand, pierce the top with the plastic straw and begin to suck greedily. (When I am this low, glucose tabs become anathema.)

“My juice! My juice! My juuuuuuuu-iiiice!” She swats at my hands and we play tug-o-war with the one thing I need right now. She loses and as I pull it away and begin to ingest the too-sweet apple juice, I learn something new about her.

She is a sore loser.

The wail rises in intensity and swirls furiously out of the bedroom and into the rest of the house. John opens the door to an awkward tableau of his two girls, fighting over a tiny juice box.

“She won’t let me have my juice.”

That is what I say.

I am not two-years-old like my daughter, but I am unfocused and beginning to panic. John recognizes the shake in my voice and the inability to look him in the eye.

“We’ll get you some more. Come on, sweetheart.”

He scoops our munchkin up in his arms, holding her close as they walk off to the kitchen. I hear the refrigerator door open and slam shut, rummaging in the pantry, and a scared, little voice saying: “Mommy sick? Mommy need medicine?” John reassures her that everything will be fine, as I am shaking and cycling through crazy ideas while not being able to move.  The familiar sound of a plastic straw wrapper being removed shakes me out of my stupor, then my hand is wrapped around the box and more juice floods my mouth.

I am not fully coherent when I push buttons on my pump to set a temp basal. Three hours at 20% would prevent me from dropping into the low vortex again, I silently mumble. If I had waited, I wouldn’t have made that calculation, deeming it inadequate and idiotic for the amount of carbs I just ingested.

I don’t hear the Dexcom for the rest of the night. It’s shoved under the pillow. The occasional alarms going off are handled by my phantom hand pushing the button. Usually, I’ll push a little insulin when I’m over 180, but I am wrung out and let it ride.

And it did.

It rode off into the sunset, or in this case, sunrise.


My eyes close and I search for just a few more minutes in that hallowed space, where I am whole and perfect.

I can’t find my way back.

I'm Blaming It On The Shower…

ShowerDex died a heroic death on Saturday morning, desperately trying in his last gasps to give me an accurate recap of my post-breakfast spike before it sputtered and quit. The sensor had a good run (except for a few “You might be low, but…. Oh, hey, you’re low…” moments) and I meant to insert a new sensor that afternoon.

Life gets in the way of my diabetes management at times. Saturday whizzed by in a blink and Sunday arrived with plans to build an ark along with a downpour and thunderstorm that shook the house. The kid and I played indoors and I didn’t get to shower. (I put in a sensor or a new insertion set after a shower; the warm water helps to soften my skin and, while I’m sure it’s all in my head, it hurts less.) When I collapsed into bed that night, I realized that it Day 2 of no sensor and just frequent blood sugar checks. I have become very attached to my Dexcom and I knew that I had to pop a new sensor in soon.

But Mondays are always a little hectic. It’s our “run around like crazy people while jumping and learning to interact politely with other kids” class and someone didn’t want the shower turned on at all. We were going to be late.

“Let’s go take a shower.”

“No. No. NOOOOOO.” She runs around, naked as a jaybird, streaking through the living room like Will Farrell in Old School. (Caution: the link is inappropriate for small children or easily offended people. Click at your own peril.)

“OK, then I’m going to go take a shower by myself.”

“NO. NOOO. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” She is no longer a toddler. She is now a pterodactyl, flapping her arms and screeching until my ears bleed.

I calmly walk into the kitchen and check my blood sugar before I get into the shower. 162 post-prandial. I’ll take it. She’s throwing small balls of Play-Doh at the ground while muttering something about doggies. I’ll take that, too.

The showering commences and now she is sobbing pitifully on the other side of the curtain. I ask if she wants to come in and she nods yes while running away. The cries grow louder and I peek around to see her in full-force snot production.  While I’ve shampooed and scrubbed and gotten perfunctorily clean, my post-shower routine will now involve consoling my snotty dinosaur.

Guess who didn’t put her sensor in?

About the time we’ve pretended to eat strawberries and drink tea and are ready to go under the parachute with the other kids, my right eye blurs. I ignore it. This is what my brain says: “I can’t have dropped that much in such a short time. I’m tired. And we need to sing silly songs with hand gestures. You’re fine.” Of course, I’ve been jumping around with her and participating, but my brain thinks that’s not exercise. Silly brain.

My stomach growls in time with the chirping children and their off-tempo clapping. I begin to think of the jellybeans stashed in my purse in the cubbies at the other end of the room. By the end of the class, I know I shouldn’t have listened to my brain. I’m low. I grab the Ziploc of jellybean goodness and shove a handful into my mouth while the munchkins line up to get stamps on their hands (and their bellies, because two stamps are never enough). By the time we get to the car, I’m coming up, but feeling down.

You see, I love that my little ball of energy can brighten my day, even when she’s chanting: “Naked! Naked!” and not minding me. But I have to mind my diabetes, otherwise I won’t be able to smile at her and roll my eyes before asking for the umpteenth time to keep her diaper on. I don’t want her to have to worry about me or get freaked if I pass out in public – or worse, in private.

So, the sensor is back on. And the next time she screams about not wanting anyone in the house to shower, we’ll have a talk about how Mommy needs to put Dex back on and the shower helps. She likes Dex. So do I.

There Are Days…

The title of this image is "Angry Mop". And it's exactly how I feel today. This low wiped the floor with me.
The title of this image is “Angry Mop”. And it’s exactly how I feel today. This low wiped the floor with me.

There are days when I feel I can take on the world and win.

This is not one of those days.

My blood sugars are fine today. A beautiful straight line on my Dexcom mocks me. “Hey, you’re stable, but you feel horrible. Ha ha!”

I had a minor low last night. My CGM perked up around 2am to alert me of a “70 and dropping” scenario, so I dragged myself out of a warm cocoon, navigating the living room minefield of Legos and things that make noise if you step on them to grab a juice box out of the fridge. A half-hour later, I’m trending up and went back down…to sleep.

I feel like I’ve never woken up, even though it’s mid-afternoon. I’ve got the “hit by a Mac Truck” post hypo blues and it’s really bothering me today. It’s not as if it was a severe low blood sugar. I caught it well before it got into the danger zone. I’m nauseous and tired and dizzy…but yet I know it’s not a “normal sick”, so I can rule that out. It makes me angry that even when I treat my hypoglycemic reactions responsibly (I didn’t “eat all the things!”…), I end up paying for it.

So instead of feeling like I can take on the world, I am focusing on taking on myself.

And I’m losing.

Do you ever feel like this?

HAWMC Day 18 – There Is No Swimsuit Competition In The Miss Ugly Universe Pageant

HAWMC_2012Day 18

Today’s Wego Health prompt: Write about a time that you lashed out at someone close to you because of frustration/fear/anger resulting from your health condition and you wish you could take it back. Forgive yourself and let it go. 

Giggling and silly discussions about not wearing socks are my normal low blood sugar activities. The goofball hormone kicks in, transforming me into a six-year-old Mae West. I get spacy and snarky and am generally a good time. People around me think I’m pretty funny when I’m chomping on a glucose tab or two. You know how people say: “Aww, he’s a happy drunk.”?  I’m a happy hypoglycemic. 

Except when I’m bullet-train-to-hell low. 

Around 45 mg/dl, a switch in my head gets flipped. Adrenalin and cortisol have flooded my system and with every pounding heartbeat, I hear a whoosh of blood and it’s a screeching cacophony. Good time girl is gone and in her place shakes a wild-eyed mumbling zombie. All sense of comfort and safety runs to the hills and without someone who understands that my only focus is “Get. Sugar. In.”, I can become ugly.

Ugly TiaraI won the Miss Ugly Universe pageant on Sunday. (There is no swimsuit competition. Thank goodness.)

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had a bunch of lows in a short amount of time. My Dexcom graph looked like a mowhawk. (Love those on babies and hot bassists. Hate them on my Dexcom.) I narrowed it down to one reason: delayed gastric emptying.

My gastroparesis saga will be left for another day. I’m not sure why it’s back and I’m angry that it’s happening now, because the kid and I are on vacation with my family and don’t want to spend it feeling nauseous. 

The CGM alerted me two hours into the drive of my first low and I attacked a juice box. Glucose tablets don’t work fast enough when my stomach isn’t working and even juice takes a while to kick in. We stopped for lunch an hour later and it buzzed again while we were waiting in line for a table. “We’re going to eat soon. I’ll get something when we sit down.” Five minutes later, I knew I had made a horrible miscalculation. 

Even though my dad has seen me through thirty years of diabetes, he’s never seen me have a bad low.  My stepmom has (I love this woman for so many reasons; her cool as a cucumber attitude when all hell is breaking loose is one of them.) and when I whispered: “I need juice. Now. Please…”, she understood that this was no fire drill.

The waitress was kind, saying: “Oh, honey. I have diabetes, too. I’ll get you some OJ right away.” I am sweating and trying not to show any fear for my daughter’s sake, but I am now wondering how long before I begin to cry – or worse, pass out. Then my father asks:

“Why are you so low?”

My head swiveled 360 degrees. I pointed my finger at him and raised my voice loud enough for the surrounding tables to hear: “Don’t. You. Start. With. Me!!! I already had juice in the car and it wasn’t enough!!!! And now I’m dropping too fast for the CGM to keep up!!!!” I unclipped my Dexcom from my jeans and whipped it across the table at him. “Here! See for yourself!”

Ever the peacemaker, my stepmom gently pulled me close to her while sliding the Dexcom back towards me and said: “She’s low, honey. Her stomach isn’t digesting. Let her get juice in. We can talk about this later.” He grumbled something under his breath and turned to keep the toddler occupied until her mommy stopped being a raving bitch. 

She then murmured into my ear: “Where is your glucagon?” I bow my head, tell her it’s in the car, and force myself to take huge gulps of the only thing that will help. I want to abdicate the crown that is firmly planted on my head, rip the sash from my chest, and crush the roses beneath my feet. I hate this ugly feeling. 

Two frosty glasses of orange juice sucked through a straw. She and I watched the numbers on my Dexcom waver between 46 and 40 for a while. My meter after the second glass announced that I was 50. Twenty minutes later, I was 100. 

And ashamed.

And embarrassed.

And sorry that my father bore the brunt of my fear and anger. He knows now that in the question round of the Miss Ugly Universe pageant, I totally rock it with my glucose starved brain’s answers. Because as much as I want to, I can’t take them back. 

And I hate that just as much as the disease.