Well, my final installment of my little blog series "Diabetes AND", which will be titled Diabetes and Love has been temporarily derailed due to some blood sugar issues I've been dealing with.
As you saw in an earlier post from this week, I've been experiencing some persistent lows on and off for the last several days. I decided to take my insulin pump off this week and was receiving no insulin (no slow-acting insulin or fast-acting insulin), but was still able to maintain normal blood sugars. Still had lots of lows, too. I wasn't bolusing after eating carbs, but still, my blood sugar kept going low. How on earth does that happen? I had no slow or fast-acting insulin for almost 18 hours, and even ate 2 pieces of cake with frosting back -to-back just to see what would happen, and had LOW blood sugar afterwards. And despite having no pump on over night for 2 nights straight, I woke up with a blood sugar of 112 and 114. What the what?????
Over the course of a few days, even though I was treating the lows, and mostly overtreating with 45-50 carbs each time, my blood sugar continued to go low. Let me tell you, that is scary stuff; lows that won't turn around. So here's what's happening.
As I mentioned, I had an appointment scheduled at the Mayo Clinic on Thursday, which was originally scheduled as just my 3-month diabetes checkup. But in light of the low blood sugars issue, it ended up turning into a 2 1/2 hour appt.
In short, my doctor says that my pancreas is now producing insulin. Am I cured, I asked. Nope. Is it the "honeymoon" phase? Nope, not that either. Unfortunately, my pancreas has apparently lost it's mind and gone rogue. At least that's how I can best describe it. What the doctor explained is that while my pancreas is now producing insulin, it is not in a controlled fashion. It is sporadically here-and-there producing it, and not always when it should be. So, for example, it isn't just producing insulin when I'm eating. It is producing it when I haven't eaten anything. It's also producing insulin when my blood sugar is already low. And sometimes when I eat, it appears to be producing 2 or 3 times the amount of insulin that I actually need to cover the carbs. And unfortunately, it isn't doing anything consistently enough for them to be able to treat it. There is nothing they can do about it. Why is it happening? They don't know. But he did say that he doesn't think it will continue to do this long-term. I sure hope not.
So for now I am not supposed to use any basal insulin (slow-acting insulin), and he had me reduce my insulin-to-carb ratio to a mere 1 unit for every 50 grams of carb, if I take a bolus at all. This is to prevent getting insulin from my pump AND from my pancreas at the same time. To achieve this, I need to leave my pump off and stop using it temporarily, because with the Omnipod you cannot turn off the basal insulin rate. You can suspend it for a 2-hr period, at which point it will turn itself back on.
It's a (scary) pain in the butt right now because I don't know when I should bolus for a meal, since I'm not sure if my pancreas is secreteing insulin. So for the most part, I haven't been bolusing for meals. Which feels so crazy not to do. Tonight, I had a 6" (gluten free) sub sandwich with soup and a bowl of ice cream. With no insulin on board, my blood sugar 2 hours post is 109. It makes me scared of the overnights, because if my sugar is only 109 after eating almost 90g of carb, what will it go down to tonight while I'm sleeping and not eating? That's why I'm checking it often.
I've been eating like a pig these last few days to keep my blood sugar high enough to be "in range." I shudder at the amount of extra calories I've ingested this week. But really, right now my main concern is preventing lows, or at least getting them turned around quickly, which right now feels like a 24/7 job. Yesterday I checked my bg a total of 16 times. I'm blowing through my test strips supply, but don't really think I have a choice. I need to check and re-check every 15 minutes when lows occur. And at nighttime, I'm waking up frequently to check it, for fear my cgm might not catch a low. But I must say how fortunate I feel right now to have a cgm. It has been a miracle for me these last few days. I don't know what I would do without it.
Hopefully, I'll be back to my normal nonfunctioning pancreatic state soon (so weird to wish for that).
Onto other things. Today was a good day. No persistent or unmanageable lows and was also the first night I did some volunteer work for my church. I was nervous with the low bg situation about being on my feet and running around for a few hours, so prior to volunteering I ate lots of extra-unbolused-for-carbs, and drank juice boxes while I was there. It was a fun opportunity. I've lined up several volunteer activities over the next several weeks. Most are with my church, and one is with the Animal Humane Society. I think I have more anxiety than I should sometimes, and I also have a tendency to obsess about unimportant details in my life, so I decided to put my energy to better use.
I hope to put up my final "Diabetes AND" post tomorrow. I also thought I'd throw in a Grocery Haul post just for fun. It think it's neat to see what others with either the 'betes or celiac eat. I always get good ideas for food/snack items from blogs.