Day two was eventful, but day three was a damn spectacle.
The biggest problem I’ve had adjusting to my new OmniPod insulin pump at this point has been hypoglycemia. It seems saying “this machine is wonderful ” out loud inspires my blood sugar to drop 50 points.
Yesterday – my first full day with the pump – went pretty much as expected. I got low when my workday picked up, specifically before lunch. I treated, got back to work, ate lunch and finished my day without any more issues. My blood sugar was even close to what it should have been two hours after lunch.
… 4 p.m. came and it was 37. Yes, folks, 37 – dangerously low. Normally, a “low” for me is 60 or mid-50s or occasionally the 40s. Thirty-seven, however, leaves me almost praying the regular soda or table sugar or pancake syrup or cake icing or any other variation of simple sugar I can get my hands on quickly makes its way into my blood stream before I lose consciousness. I’ve passed out in the 50s, so something in the 30s is downright terrifying.
… I survived. In fact, I made it to dinner with a glucose level of 155, which is higher than preferred, but more than welcome after 37. Two hours after dinner, I was 151. Again – higher than it should be, but not life-threatening. The evening, all in all, went pretty well for the second day on the pump.
I even said so.
And that, I suspect, is why I was 55 at bedtime.
I treated, waited for it to come up and went to sleep. At 3 a.m. (yes, I have to check at 3 a.m. every night until this thing’s straightened out), I was 160. When I woke up at 6 a.m., I was 208 (dawn phenomenon). I ate breakfast, allowed my pump to calculate a dose to offset the carbs and correct the hyperglycemia and went on my way.
Two hours later, it’s 109.
“Wow, this is great.”
I’m 48 a half-hour later.
Great. Down goes a 12-ounce coke.
Then I got scared.
Thirty minutes later, as I’m waiting to meet with the diabetes educator, I start to feel like I’m floating. The room is spinning. I check. It’s 51.
So as I’m swallowing handfuls of Skittles faster than I can chew the stupid things, I become concerned: how does one drink too much regular soda to treat a low blood sugar (technically, you’re only supposed to drink 6 or 8 ounces) and remain hypoglycemic?
“Suspend” went my basil rate. Why should I allow more insulin to enter my body if that’s what’s making my blood sugar too low?
A few minutes later, my educator came to the waiting room to let me know she was ready to meet. Good, I thought. We have much to discuss.
“I understand it’s going to take some time to adjust this,” I told her. “But let’s start by giving me less insulin than we know is needed and working from there.
“I can’t handle these lows. I’m going to die from low blood sugar or from eating too much garbage loaded with sugar.”
And that is where we’re at today. After some gentle convincing by me (okay, I wasn’t exactly gentle about it), we lowered my insulin-to-carb ratio as well as the correction factor. Even my basil rate couldn’t escape the appointment without a hack job.
That makes me feel much better – much safer. I may wake up tomorrow with a blood sugar of 250, but that’s a heck of a lot better than not waking up at all.