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

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


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.

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.