Sunday, June 25, 2006

Diabetes: What Fun!

Since I started the new insulin on Thursday, I've been checking my blood a little more often, including between meals, just to gauge where I'm at on the new stuff. Every time I tested, no matter what time of day, I was under 200, which is quite respectable, and it was usually near or below the perfect 100-150 mark.

Today I wandered into my room after an afternoon walk to Borders and found my sugar had spiked to 317.

My sugar hasn't been above 300 since I was in the hospital.

When it hits 400, you're supposed to call the doctor.

I tested again, and once more on my other monitor. Still over 300.

How the hell had this happened? Sure, I had a lot of coffee today, but I have lots of coffee on weekends (caffeine increases your body's insulin resistance), and yea, I added some chicken nuggets to my usual soup and sandwich lunch, but even with BBQ sauce, that shouldn't have come out anywhere *near* where I was.

So I put in half an hour on the elliptical machine while watching Gormenghast, and that brought me down to 260. Better, but not great. I tested half an hour later, and I was starting to go up again, to 279.

WTF had happened?

Then I remembered how I had trouble finding my insulin this morning. I store it in the refrigerator, but last night, I got distracted, and somehow it ended up spending the night on top of the television stand, next to the phone (it was a really distracting day). If insulin gets too hot or too cold, it loses its potency, but this place was nowhere near 88 degrees last night, and that's the upward temp where it starts losing potency.

So I popped open my second bottle of insulin, had an early dinner consisting primarily of salad, and went for a walk around the graveyard out here by our place. I came home, and my sugar was 222. Still not ideal.

I stared glumly at the elliptical machine again.

Did *another* 30 minutes of cardio.

Came back down to a reasonable 138.

Now I'm eating some string cheese and nuts because I'm freakin' starving; sadly, these are the only low-glucose snacks I've got around. I don't even want to risk the low-carb yogurt or berries. I just want my freakin sugar to stay even.

I'm so tired of being a defective person. I just want to nail down this goddamn routine. I just want everything to work the way its supposed to. I can work out half an hour every day, fine, fine, fine (my regualr weight routine is great for building muscle, but it doesn't lower sugar immediately the way cardio does. In fact, in the short term, my sugar goes up when I lift weights).

Even on weekends? Seven days a week? My whole life? For an hour on days when things are bad? Can't I lie around in bed on weekends? Why can't I sit around and drink coffee and write ten pages and not worry about my goddamn blood sugar? And why the fuck did I have to get a disease that everybody's going to hear I have and immediately think, "Oh, she must not take care of herself?"

When Stephanie told her mom I had Type 1 diabetes, her mom said, "You mean *Type 2* diabetes."

Oh, fuck you.

What I hate about this disease is that it takes away my choices. If I want to be anything like healthy I *have* to exercise an hour a day. I *have* to eat mostly salad. I *have* to blah blah blah or my feet will get chopped off.

I don't want to *have* to do anything just to live like a normal fucking person. It kind of takes the fun out of exercise if you *have* to do it, if you'll die without it, if your blood becomes sluggish and turns to acid if you don't (look, I have a superpower!).

And I hate it. I walked around the graveyard (oh, the irony!) with an internal monologue that went something like, "I should just be fucking dead. I should be dead. They should have let him die in the hospital. I'm a freaking genetic freak. We shouldn't reproduce or even exist. I'm defective. Why the fuck am I still here? What fucking purpose does it serve? Am I just here because it makes other people happy? I should just let myself die. I hate this. I hate this whole thing. I hate my stupid dead pancreas. I hate myself for being alive. What the hell is there to do when you're a genetic freak? Isn't that the whole idea of evolution, to get rid of people like me?"

And on and on and on and on and on and on.

I have to work harder. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

And the alternative is not to do it, and get my feet chopped off.

And you know, I really like my feet.

I just have to work harder.

Every. Goddamn. Day.

And there are days when it makes me really fucking frustrated.

7 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hang in there and one day you'll totally be fitted out with a replacement pancreas grown from stem cells or assembled by nanobots. Me, I'm waiting for the replacement brain!

Anonymous said...

Pf. That's the difference between being humans and being "lower animals"; in theory, we contribute more to our community than transmission of clean genetic material to future generations. Such as art, and writing, for instance.

As for the exercise, exercise changes your insulin requirements, as I found out when my diabetic co-worker started going to the gym very regularly, and had more than one bizarre meltdown during a work meeting while her insulin dose was being adjusted to her new physical workload.

Is there any way for your endocrinologist to work out a "weekend rest day" insulin dose for you, or is it somehow cumulative?

David Moles said...

Not to mention plenty of other perfectly good genes.

Unsane said...

If it helps you to realise it (though it's not the same thing, I know..) I can't eat anything I like either. I get sick if I eat anything with wheat in it -- so no bread,sandwiches, kebabs, pizzas, desserts, cakes. I have trouble digesting dairy products too. So light on cheese, chocolate, etc. And, if I don't exercise, I come udner the control of my allergies, getting increasingly sicker. So, exercise is not exactly just q choice for me, either.

Kameron Hurley said...

re: health privilege.

You know, I kept hearing people say it, but until I actually *lost* my health, I didn't realize what a fantastic gift it is. I'd very happily go back to being 250 lbs if it meant getting my pancreas back.

re: insulin changes on the weekends.

You know, ideally my "exercise" activity for the weekends would be sex (happily, half an hour of sex is just as good for sugar levels as half an hour of any other heart-rate increasing activity).

But Jenn's in Montreal until Wednesday, so my options are limited. Also: I'll be living on my own again as of August next year, so the regular sex option will go away again.

The upside is that I've finally decided to get myself that indoor punching bag I've wanted for the last, oh, two years. I could never justify the expense.

Now I can.

Gee, you think health insurance would cover that? :)

David Moles said...

Just to be clear, K (you know what I mean), I totally support the punching bag. :)

Kameron Hurley said...

Well, David, I'm certainly glad there's *something* we can agree on... heh heh