The sure-fire sign that I’m developing a cold is when my throat begins to tingle.
It’s subtle, but unmistakable. It won’t go away with a few sips of water – it lingers, and worsens over the course of a day or two. That’s when I know that I’m coming down with something, and that I’d better brace myself for the symptoms that will come on next: a stuffy nose, aches, coughing, and so forth.
What I was less prepared for this time around (which hit me right on the heels of my Nashville trip) was much higher-than-normal blood sugar levels.
Let me back up a bit. It all started with the aforementioned sore throat on my second-to-last day in Nashville. I knew I was coming down with something, but I also knew I couldn’t do much about it other than try to have fun the rest of my trip (which I certainly did). By the time I woke up the day we were due to fly home, I was seriously struggling as congestion settled into my ears and head.
The next four days were a blur as I slept on and off, went through multiple boxes of tissues, and took both Benadryl and Tylenol to combat my symptoms. I also went through copious amounts of insulin as a new symptom emerged: high blood sugar levels.
I wasn’t surprised by the high sugars; after all, I was barely moving and not eating much more than the dusty cans of soup sitting in my pantry. But I was definitely frustrated as I couldn’t recall the last time that I had to deal with both “real people” sickness (also known as any type of sickness that is separate from diabetes) and turbulent blood sugars. That’s why I ended up contacting my doctor just to see if there was any advice (or medication) that I could take to make all my symptoms more bearable.
Fortunately, my doctor was able to confirm that I didn’t have covid, strep, or the flu – a major relief to me – but unfortunately, she had no other help to give me other than reassurance that continuing to stay hydrated, well rested, and on top of my levels would be the best way to beat this. So I doubled down and listened to my body’s needs (I think it was rebelling against me for the way I treated it with little sleep and too much overindulgence in Nashville – more on that later) by doing just that, even though it meant completing a couple of pod changes a full day earlier than normal because I was using so much insulin.
My perseverance paid off, and by day 6 or 7 of my cold, I finally started turning a corner. While my cough and the remnants of congestion are still hanging around, at least my blood sugar levels returned to normal, along with my daily insulin intake. A huge relief, and a solid sign that I’m doing a good job at taking care of my overtired immune system as well as my ever-needy diabetes.