Thursday, October 29, 2009

Testing, Texting & Tweeting (Updated)

We have diabetes and must deal with it, every single moment of every single day. But just as significantly as D-bloggers, we have taken on a role that is often intertwined with that of our diabetes management. We connect ourselves with an online community, which is made up of many people navigating similar paths in dealing with diabetes. That's a positive evolution in the overall diabetes care world - its gives us a place to share and vent, to learn what others are experiencing, and even a way to change our own and others' habits dealing with this disease and living our lives with it.

My Thursday morning experience illustrates this. Thankfully, it was not quite like Wednesday morning's adventure.

After a reaction the previous morning (as detailed above), I was ready for work and pleased that I hadn't sunken down into the Land of Lows and Reactions. A quick test before getting behind the wheel and venturing off to work kidnapped that excitement, though.

Blood sugar: 35. At first, I didn't believe the meter. Had to check the pump to make sure it wasn't lying. It wasn't.

I felt fine, but another test confirmed where I was at. Apparently, my threshold for low-sugar coherency is about 35 - the night before a 33 brought me to the reaction-stage while I seemed fully-functional at 36. Now this.

(Sidenote: Six Until Me writes Thursday afternoon that she experienced a 29 mg/dL without any symptoms - wow. Saved by her Dexcom beeping.)

Anyhow, with my morning dip to 35, my mind was somewhat clouded likely an effect of the low. But I was still thinking pretty clearly and knew exactly what was happening. I jumped into action at ninja-like speed... Actually, I moved that way only in my mind. The rest of me: stayed sitting in front of the computer.

You see, I'm a D-blogger. A writer. A journalist. Someone who follows Facebook now just as closely as my many online newspapers and CNN and local news sites.... So, I had to get the message out. Though on the edge of coherency that any moment could mean not being fully-functional in my right mind, I couldn't quench that desire to stay connected. And to share...

Instead of rushing to get the trusty orange glucose tabs or something else to boost the blood sugars, I turned to Twitter. And Facebook. And I started thinking about the outline for this newest blog. Scribbling notes, updated with a couple Tweets. Someone asked if I'd yet become a member of TuDiabetes. Took five pictures of my pump and blood meter proclaiming "35" - both with my digital camera and the phone camera. I decided not to pose. A cold wave hit, and I began being distracted by the house temperature that seemed too low. Returned a few work-related emails. Wondered where the dog was at... Saw the cat, who eyed me suspiciously as she jumped to the windowsill to look outside and wish about escaping from my stupidity.

Returning briefly to the inevitable reality of the situation, I decided the low-bloog sugar probably needed more immediate action. I could feel my blood sugar dropping even lower, and I moved downstairs to the kitchen to avoid unexpectedly bottoming out.

No cereal, as the fridge alerted me we were out of milk and the little left in the gallon was out-of-date. No bagels. Used to have little apple juice boxes, but I greedly sucked them all down a few weeks ago. The Apple Cider from the night before somehow had been abducted, probably by the aliens who realized their plan to dominate my world had been foiled. Instead, I took refuse in 4 pieces of toast coated with peanut butter. And some trusted orange glucose tabs, though I resisted the urge to make a sandwich out of the ingredients.

20 minutes later: 66. (Ah ha, progress! I can feel the sugar rush.)

In all, it took about a half hour to get myself balanced out and into the vehicle for the drive to work. Kept the pump suspended for an hour or so. Hours later, after attending court arguments, a pre-lunch test revealed a 251 reading. (Figures)

There's several lessons here, but some more glaring than others. One is the question of should a diabetic experiencing a low immediately go for a sugar-boost, or a text and status update (or Vlog in Kerri's case at Six Until Me)?

I had already learned a lesson that when there's even a slightest chance you could be low, DON'T GET BEHIND THE WHEEL. Lesson learned in August 2009.

But specific to the ever-ongoing rollercoaster ride of daily diabetes management, here's what we may have learned: A.) My overnight/early morning basal rate(s) is too high; OR B.) by bed-time correction is too high. Time to explore that in the push for tighter control. Going on the mantra that three times makes a pattern, we nearly have a trend here. Hopefully we can learn the needed lessons from this, without a third time that I guarantee probably wouldn't be a charm. It would be a D-charm.

Still, no matter what's learned, there's always a place to share the experience online. Thanks for listening. And LOL. See you on Twitter or Facebook, or wherever this online community takes us.

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