The Emotional Roller Coaster (Otherwise Known as High Blood Sugar)

I tested three times in the span 60 seconds the other night.

Why?

High blood sugar.

That was the culprit. For five hours, I was high – over 300 mg/dL, to be exact. I still can’t quite explain how it happened. I didn’t eat more than my usual amount of carbohydrates at dinner. I didn’t deviate at all from my mealtime routine; the only thing that maybe affected this was the fact that I had to change my pod that night.

But still. It was maddening, sitting there and watching my blood sugar climb and stick to the 300s. I did everything I should do to correct it: increase my temp basal, take corrective boluses, drink water, refrain from eating. And yet, the high persisted. All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but I was afraid to. Yes, afraid to get the rest that my body needed! That’s what diabetes does sometimes – it instills fear that you can’t shake until those numbers change the way that you need for them to. It’s paralyzing; it’s helplessness in its purest form.

It’s why I ended up stacking my boluses that night, even though I knew it might not be a smart call. But I was so stuck in the high 200s and low 300s. What else was I supposed to do? I even tested THREE times in 60 seconds because I thought that my meter was wrong. I desperately wanted it to show that I was coming down, and felt tears sting my eyes when I realized it wasn’t. I had no choice but to wait some more, so I made myself comfortable in bed and watched the Gilmore Girls (because a nonstop dialogue and excellently obscure pop culture references are good for the soul). I could only get semi-absorbed in Lorelai and Rory’s back-and-forth banter though, because my mind was otherwise occupied by the nagging high blood sugars.

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I couldn’t help testing over and over again, hoping for any sort of positive change.

Finally, I saw that I was coming down to the mid-200s shortly before 11:30 P.M. I decided it was safe to close my eyes. But I didn’t dare do so until I set an alarm for about an hour from then, just so I could continue to monitor my blood sugar. I woke up when it blared, and let out a massive sigh of relief when my CGM showed I was floating down to 150 mg/dL.

I fell back asleep only to wake up again, two hours later: This time, it was because of a low blood sugar. I tested, saw that I was 67, and corrected it. But falling asleep wasn’t as easy this time around. Again, I felt fear – what if I continued to drop down? What if I corrected too much? I was so emotionally exhausted and consumed by the feeling that it took me well over an hour to drift back to sleep.

When I woke for work the next morning, I was 148. The evening’s episode was over. But my head was spinning as I did my best to analyze what I could and should have done better.

And this is when I told myself to stop. I had to stop beating myself up and going over every choice I made. I had to remind myself I did the best I could in that moment, and that should be enough. It is enough.

I pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on.

2 thoughts on “The Emotional Roller Coaster (Otherwise Known as High Blood Sugar)

  1. Love this post! I often feel the same way when my blood sugar climbs, and I don’t know why (and I’ve felt I’ve done everything right and it still won’t come down). It’s incredibly frustrating. And I appreciate your words of wisdom: “And this is when I told myself to stop. I had to stop beating myself up and going over every choice I made. I had to remind myself I did the best I could in that moment, and that should be enough. It is enough.” A good perspective, for sure.

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  2. lol OK this will be the second post as the first was apparently lost as it asked me to log in. I also have a blog here on WordPress. All that work, poof! You’ve been diabetic for roughly 20 years it sounds like, from what I gathered from your info. I was 8 when I was diagnosed so you were way younger. I’ve been one for 40 years so far so I win in that category. lol On to point, I understand your fear of highs. Its like mine of lows. I am terrified of lows. As for highs I do not worry t all about them. They just give me a cushion for the lows. I am very surprised I do not have more than the retinopathy in one eye. I am not blind just have a light sensitivity issue in that one. After about 15 years of not seeing a doctor about my diabetes I went to see one and found my A1C at about 10.5. That puts my average between 279 and 297. Recently I had it top out over 600. Like you I’ not for sure what happened but I believe I shot myself full of air. Lesson learned don’t let your sister distract you while setting up shots. I guess y point is to follow Tracy’s advice and try to relax about the high. Anything can happen and in my case usually does. I’d only worry about it repeats at the same time of day with no major changes in environment. I’m like you, I like to learn from other diabetics on what works for them and then maybe for me. My email is beast30.2000@gmail.com and my twitter account is @beast30_2000. You can also find me on Facebook. I’m hoping your post was more venting than true worry. If not take a breath and try to relax. It takes long term highs to do the damage they tell you will come from highs. When I first became a diabetic I heard all the horror stories of heart attacks and such I never thought I would live past 40. I’m currently 8 years past my expiration day and living life as much like normal person as I can. If I like it I eat it, high carb or not. I refuse to live a less than full life because I’m a diabetic. I hope to hear back from you on your experience in life so far.

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