Bad Timing

Sometimes, diabetes interferes with life in the worst possible moments.

When we're already late to work. Trying to make an appointment. Just as we're going to bed. Intimate moments. Driving your car. Mowing the lawn. Exercise adventures that must be delayed or cancelled. Working diligently on deadline and trying to read complex documents. And so many more.

Lost Time is a common dilemma for those of us living lives with a faulty pancreas, and one of these bad timing moments materialized for me recently.

My mind just wasn't where it should have been, my temperature gauge was off, and it was quite possible that I was either Way Too High or Way Too Low to focus on what was needed.

These things happen, and in this particular moment it wasn't exactly a shocking surprise - my SWAGing for an uncalculated amount of carbs and unusual exercise in the hours before were likely culprits.

But the timing sucked.

So, I opted for a blood test and my meter laughed at me while displaying a 49 mg/dL.

Glaring at it, my mind flashed to the image of my pummeling it against the wall or onto the tiled floor. I decided against that, but this really set me off. My fists clenched. I wanted to scream, but was trying to mind my surroundings and not draw unnecessary attention to myself or situation.

Anger. Guilt. Embarrassment. Depression. Cynical dark humor, as I tried to balance it all out and see some positive that "it could have been worse." Restart of the cycle.

Wannabe Oreos  and apple juice came to my rescue, and despite the ability to ONLY eat and drink enough to bring myself to acceptable levels, I just wanted to be far from that 49. So, I drank two juice boxes and several double-stuffed Os (somewhere around like 90 grams of carbs, I'm guessing.)

No bolus to cover it. Because frankly, I just didn't care.

At least twice, the words "I Hate You, Diabetes" passed through my lips in a whisper. Draining the juice boxes dry by straw, I used my clenched-fist mentality to crush them and slam them down in frustration.

That all gave me a few minutes to calm down and find my inner Chi once again. I went back to my regularly-scheduled tasks of the hour, though what needed to be done was already moot. So this time, diabetes screwed with my life and interfered and just put me in a bad mood. The resulting 200 mg/dL hours after the cookies and juice boxes wasn't too bad of a consequence, but the timing still sucked and there's nothing that can be done about it.

Looking back on it now, maybe it all wasn't really that big of a deal. Maybe I was over-reacting. But at the time, it sucked. People not living with diabetes might not get that. It might just be an "oh well" moment, one where you have to simply move on. Yes, we do have to move on. But none of that takes away the fact that, in those moments where we need to be on the ball or at our best, we simply aren't in control. Diabetes gets in the way and takes away our normalcy, no matter how much we may plan or do what we're supposed to or stay on task 99% of the time.

So it is, another day in the life of a diabetic. Life goes on regardless, whether we move on or not. So we do our best as often as we can, knowing that even though we sometimes Lose Time because diabetes gets in the way, it won't conquer our world.

There's always the fact, too, that when the timing is crappy, at least we have some juice boxes to squeeze senselessly while devouring some chocolate cookies.


Kaitake said…
Ain't that the truth! This lack of "normal brain" time for me is a big part of why I choose not to drink. I spend soooo much of my time clawing my way back to "normal" "useful" operating ability that I just can't see the sense in purposely moving away from that goal :P

I mean, it may not sound like I've thought this through, what?! give up alcamahol? Yup. Think of a low or high blood sugar (especially an unexpected one) being a bit like all the bad effects of being drunk, only you don't get to have the good bit first, or choose when it happens. Yeah, so not fun in a job interview, meeting, or any sort of mental or physical test!
Sandy said…
I always worry about the hubby going low when we are attending something like church, movie, wedding, funeral etc...he actually ran high in our own wedding to avoid any catastrophies
Fae-Mom said…
I get the angriest when it interrupts a holiday. Like when it sky-rockets on Halloween and the conservative correction didn't work so I then do a full correction to result in a low while he's trick-or-treating. Or when we're decorating a Christmas Tree and the high, diabetes, decides to get in his mind and confuse him so that we have to stop and give him time to come down and back to reality.
Simon said…
Great post Mike,
It is incredible how often I find myself in exactly the same place. It seems, for me at least, that there are lows and there are LOWS. I always seem to get the worst lows when I'm not prepared or willing to deal with them. Like your good self sometimes I blatantly overtreat and don't care because it's just too much to think about.
I never cease to be amazed how posts like yours resonate and make me feel better. Thanks for sharing it, it has been an honor to get to know you both through your posts and on Twitter.
Cara said…
Some days it can be an "oh well" moment. But some days it is just a pain in the you-know-where. I think it just depends on the circumstances. And some days it annoys me just because.
Scott S said…
Frankly, an occasional rebound high is easier to deal with than a debilitating low, but we've all been there -- they suck!
Lilly said…
Thanks for sharing this. As upset as I can get with hubby when his "mood swings" because of highs or lows hit, I only know how it affects ME. I can't truly know how it feels to be him at any given moment. I do feel I have to intervene sometimes though, as he won't "stop" correcting when it is low, and then he gets dangerously high and downright sick. I guess no matter how you cut it, diabetic lows suck for everyone involved!
Trev said…
I sooo hear ya buddy! I have lost all brain capacity numerous times and consumed a whole row of cookies, like a ravinish beast, growling under my breath the whole time about how diabetes sucks.
Take care.
Kelly said…
Sometimes those lows do just force us to say SCREW YOU DIABETES and eat whatever the hell we want to stop the low in its tracks, Even if we know we may pay for it later. Been there done that too many times!
Jess said…
yes. just yes. i was late to work this morning because of a low. was having cgm trouble so i didn't catch it in time.

sometimes i wish i could just quit D, ya know?
Unknown said…
In those moments, I wanna SHOVE food at my girl. EAT IT EAT IT EAT IT!!!

I can feel my heart rate speeding up, panic grumbles in the pit of my stomach, and my brain feels fuzzy.

Like I said...I WANNA...but I try to remain calm and APPEAR to have it together. She's trusting ME. She's looking to ME. She's feeding off ME.


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