Diabetic days – always thinking

By | 16 November, 2011

Those with a working pancreas only tend to see the big stuff when it comes to diabetes. The dramatic hypos, scary injections and lots of stabbing and bleeding. What I find really hard to explain is the minutia, the constant drip, drip, drip of diabetes related thoughts and activities that take place even on the most uneventful of diabetic days. Take last Sunday for example…

– 0730: Wake up. Blood test, bolus.

– 0800: Realise that while I spent most of yesterday thinking about changing my infusion set, I never actually did it. This has the pleasant upside of meaning I can have a properly naked shower as it’s sensor change day too. Wince like a complete wimp as I pull off the sticky from my sensor and infusion set and then feel strangely liberated. Put CGM transmitter on charge.

– 0820: Out of shower and dried, remember to insert new infusion set before putting moisturiser on otherwise the damn thing won’t stick. Dither over where to put infusion set, I’d like to move it to my bum but we’re going to a christening and I’m wearing a dress, which means tights, which means I’m more likely to pull the thing out if it’s on my bum. Put infusion set into leg instead.

– 0825: CGM transmitter is charged, time to insert sensor. Preferred sensor location is my back, but this isn’t ideal when wearing aforementioned dress. Normally my pump is clipped to my waistband somewhere, either front, side or back, so it can always pick up the signal from my transmitter. But wearing a dress means no waistband so the pump moves to the bra. And my body is too dense to allow the CGM signal to pass through from back to front, so the transmitter needs to be on my front. Stick sensor in stomach, on the same side of my body as my infusion set so I don’t have to pull the tubing across my body.

– 0845: Bolus for breakfast, wrap christening present, paint nails, eat porridge.

– 1000: Convince husband that as I’m carrying my pump, it would be lovely if he would carry fruit pastilles in his suit pocket rather than me having to carry them. Love husband lots, he lets me get away with being a lazy diabetic when it comes to carrying stuff.

– 1002: Get into car.

– 1003: Realise I’ve not picked up my meter, get out of car, collect meter, get back into car, depart for christening.

– 1015: As we are being godparents decide that vibrating boobs around the font would be quite inappropriate so silence all CGM alarms. Forget all about diabetes.

– 1155: Take advantage of a trip to the loo to retrieve pump from bra, turn CGM alarms back on and check blood sugar on CGM.

– 1200: Spy post christening buffet challenge. Attempt to calculate how much I might eat. Confidently estimate it will be somewhere between 20g and 150g of carbs. Give up trying to guess, bolus for 40g as a start.

– 1220: Buffet plate in hand, realise the christening cake has been made by a very good local baker and therefore is bolus-worthy, bolus for another 40g and try to exercise some self-restraint.

– 1330: CGM alarms to say I’m an 11. Seize the opportunity to put the new godchildren to good use. Spend 15 minutes chasing them barefoot around the hall and throwing them around a bit. Thankfully the godchildren are 4 and 6 so are much better at helping to reduce blood sugars than babies.

– 1700: Home. Realise I haven’t used my meter all day, instead have been relying on CGM results. Test blood and calibrate CGM. CGM says 5 and dropping, meter says 4.3, that’ll do.

– 1705: Not in the least bit hungry but need some carbs to fight off impending low. Eat second piece of christening cake, it’s tough, but someone has to do it.

– 1930: Christening cake did the job, so salad for tea. Tiny bit of insulin to offset slight upwards creep.

– 2230: Test, remember I need to order more strips, calibrate CGM, sleep ready to start all over again tomorrow.

So there you have it, even a relatively uneventful diabetes day is still packed full of diabetes thoughts. It’s quite amazing I have any brain power left for anything else. But I suppose at least it gave me a blog post, otherwise I’d have been stuck with “Went to christening, became godparents, enjoyed it”.

9 thoughts on “Diabetic days – always thinking

  1. Annette A

    This reminded me of the last christening I went to. Pump tucked in bra (due to posh frock). I’d got hold of my ittlest niece (who was the christenee) – 3 months old, fast asleep snuggled up in my arms, head resting on my pump. I was on a temporary basal at the time, so the pump beeped every hour, on the hour, just in case I’d forgotten. Ever seen a 3 month old jump out of her skin? I couldn’t stop laughing at her. Bless her sould, she looked around startled, then snuggled back (into my pump) and went back to sleep. Can’t have been comfy for her, but she didnt seem to mind…

    Reply
  2. Annette A

    It’s amazing how much time it takes, just ‘Being’ diabetic. Never mind all the extras (hospital appointments, major hypo/hyper problems, etc), just the everyday minutae that adds up.
    But if I relied on my husband to carry my glucotabs, I can almost guarentee that when I needed them, he’d have wandered off to talk tech or cars or something to some other like minded geek, and I’ve have to find him whilst in hypo fog. So I always carry my own…Do you keep yours on a leash @alison ? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Alison Post author

      I find a leash is the best way Annette, I thought everyone did that? 😉 What actually happens is I convince him to carry them when I know we’ll be at the same event in a relatively small space. I find it pathetically liberating not to have to carry my own fruit pastilles on occassions, it’s sad really but that’s my guilty pleasure!

      Reply
  3. Mike

    All sounds about par for the course (though I would never have managed that well with a buffet – always causes complete BG meltdown).

    I’ve only just become aware of the brilliantly stupid temp basal reminder. Is there no way of turning that off?!? You set a temp rate for a defined amount of time and the darned thing insists on bleeping or buzzing at you every so often. Makes them completely unusable at night for me. Rubbish!

    Reply
    1. Alison Post author

      I hate the temp basal reminder too. I know I’ve set a temp basal for 4 hours, so why do you feel its necessary to remind me of that fact every hour on the hour? It irritates the hell out of me.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        First time it happened I thought it was an *actual* alert, then thought I’d imagined it… eventually I had to look it up in the manual. Should be optional at the very least. Tch!

        Reply
    2. Paul

      I don’t have that many alerts on a temp basal on my pump, it only alarms when its ending.

      However there are a stupid number of confirm this, snooze, ok to that, snooze, yes damn it I know that already alarms to deal with on it – delivering a basal & having the cartridge run out is always a fun one.

      And being alerted every 30 secs when the pump stops is always annoying – why not every 5mins, if my blood sugar can change from 30secs of basal loss I’ve got bigger issues!

      [End rant]

      Reply
  4. Caroline

    This is a fabulous post Alison! Thank you. I have never taken my pump for granted, and this just makes me want to celebrate it even more. Remember before your pump, when you say ‘bolus’, that would be ‘calculate bolus in head using ratio cooked up without much trial and error for fairly randomly counted (because let’s face it, what’s the point) carbs, then take out injection, dial up calculated amount, stop and think about whether you will round your calculation up or down to the nearest whole number, pull up/down clothes, stick needle in self, push in insulin, cope with any ensuing sting, remove needle and wipe up any ensuing insulin leakage/blood, deal with horrified glances from fellow diners/train travellers/squeamish family members, put all kit away in bag, and bob’s your severely over-burdened uncle’. Aye, I love my pump. ‘Bolus’ now means ‘input blood sugar to pump wizard, press buttons to do what it suggests, put pump away in bra again and deal with any horrified/admiring glances from boob phobes/enthusiasts’. Life is sweet.

    Reply
    1. Alison Post author

      That shows how much I take my pump for granted now, I hadn’t even thought about how it was pre-pump.

      Reply

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