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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose

Tuesday was an awesome day for me, diabetes-wise.  I'm pretty sure I even had a no-hitter, but I haven't downloaded my numbers to confirm.  My in-range trend continued into yesterday, and I decided to reward myself with a regular Snickers bar (not dark Snickers?). 

Big mistake. 

Since I had a meeting soon after lunch, I got my Snickers bar and bolused accordingly without waiting the standard 30 minutes for my insulin to kick in.  Of course, I sky-rocketed to 325 mg/dL before I started coming down.  But since the last few days had been rock solid on the insulin absorption front, I started coming down fast . . .  too fast.  Even without a correction, I was still dropping so much that I needed to drink some juice before I left work. 

Riding this glucoaster left me so drained when I got home, that I punted on making dinner and declared it "Leftovers Day" (we both ended up eating a bowl of cereal, but I digress).  But it seemed no matter how much I ate, I couldn't get my BG back up AND stable.  It seemed like my numbers were playing some sort of virtual tennis game, and whenever I would hit 100 mg/dL my trend immediately started going down again.  It got to the point where I was literally sick of eating, and just wanted to go to sleep. 

When I was ready to go to bed, I was 89 mg/dL with a straight arrow down.  I didn't want to eat anymore, especially in the middle of the night, so I set a 50% temporary basal for 2 hours.  Constance did go off about 30 minutes after I was in bed, saying I was 69 mg/dL--right under my low threshold (I was kind of annoyed that I was "Low" but just under.  I just wanted to go to sleep, and being woken up from a 69 mg/dL was like "What?!  You couldn't be one or two points higher!").  I tested but my meter said I was 99 mg/dL.  I corrected Constance, and she compromised at 85 mg/dL but still with a southeast arrow.  I figured my temporary basal would kick in soon, so I went to sleep. 

This is where things went to crap.  According to Constance, I jumped to just under 350 mg/dL and stayed there for 3 hours!  What scared me most is that I didn't wake up.  This is exactly the kind of situations I wanted to avoid with a CGM.  I finally got up at 3 AM when Constance woke me up at 276 mg/dL.  Luckily, my meter said I was actually 181 mg/dL, so I'm hoping that Constance was overshooting that 3-hour, 350 cruise.  The thought of being at that number for that long just makes my stomach turn.  My first thought when I woke up (at 127 mg/dL, I didn't correct the 181 for fear of going low again, I was comfortable just cruising until I woke up, basal rates may need tweaking) was I wondered if these past few bad days was going to mess up my blood work that I'm going to get done on Friday. 

A recap of my bad day.  (I wanetd to label this pic "crappy_day" in my Constance folder, but I already had one labeled that.  So this is crappy_day2, ducking fiabetes.)
I hate days like this because I worry about what damage I'm doing to my body with these numbers.  And it's not just the persistent highs, it's the bouncing from low-normal-low-normal-high etc.  I notice that my body takes time to get used to "normal" and having days like this (sick days, stress days, Snickers days) makes me feel like I'm starting all over. 

I think next time, I'll just reward myself with a diet soda.  =( 


  1. Dude! We are having similar problems. I hate it when the Dexcom wants to compromise with you when it's waaaay off. I also get quite annoyed being woken up for no-I'm-actually-not lows. Oh, Dexcom.

    Although I'm sorry to hear that this is happening to you, I'm secretly a little bit relieved that I'm not the only one. :)

  2. My body takes time to settle into normal, too - I call it diabetic detoxing. After a day or two of glucoastering, all of a sudden random foods make me spike and I have mid-grade not awesomes (like, 140s and 150s) that are awfully sticky and hard to get rid of.

    My CDE also said that a low will eff your numbers for the rest of the day. I'd always wondered why she was so super aggressive about my lows when I was logging, and she said if a low will basically make the numbers for the rest of the day completely useless for patterns. I've been watching since she said it, and yep. That's the case. Darned liver.

  3. I'm having a similar "false alarm" experience and have the burnt test strips to prove it! It started with the sensor I put in last Wednesday and it's been fun fest of inaccurate "LOW" alarms ever since, all varieties, small (< 70 mg/dl), medium (< 55 mg/dl) and large (< 39 mg/dl). I was blaming the sensor location but maybe it was a bad lot? Mine was lot #5009871. I'd be curious to see if yours (and anyone else's) was the same. Probably I should yank the sensor and put a new one in, but yeah, that would be too logical. I bet the cost of the extra strips has outweighed the sensor cost by now!

  4. Fiona, I have been having a similar issue with this pack (I'm not quite sure which lot it is), but it's been giving me false low alarms especially at night. I actually had to call Dexcom and replace the first sensor because it kept giving me ERR1 on the 6th day. This one is a little more accurate so far, but it's only on 4.

  5. I'm on Day 8 with this one. It got to the point I actually had a conversation with Mr. Gaeta (my Dexcom) about the boy who cried wolf. Out loud.


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.