Diabetes: A Day In The Life

OK. Let’s forget that I have an insulin pump in a box – for a while. Before we journey though that adventure together I would like to explain how my everyday routine is like now – before using a pump.

My day begins with a finger stick and a blood test to show my ‘fasting’  sugar level.  DiabeticDailyChart  I write this number down on t0day’s page in my booklet of blank diabetic charts. Blood sugar readings are only one of many rows & columns this sheet has.

Sometimes, like this morning, I wake up early with low blood sugar. I hate this because at 4:00AM I do not want to have breakfast. I drink 1/2 cup of juice, and I try to go back to sleep. Not happening. By 8:00AM my blood sugar is way high before breakfast. Why? Because my liver panicked and dumped glucose into my blood stream. At least that’s what I’ve been told. So, now I not only have to figure out how much insulin I need to take care of breakfast, but how much I need to correct the “high”.

So.. I guess I should have eaten breakfast at 4:30AM.  There are no columns for glucose dumping livers on my chart, so I need to jot down that question for my CDE. And I should get a large piece of paper!

There are three calculations I have to do to give myself NutritionLabelthe correct dose of insulin. The first one is to figure out the grams of carbs I plan to eat.. The second takes the # of grams and divides it by my insulin to carb ratio, which is 1:12 currently. And then I test my blood sugar. If it is over 160 I must add the correction dose [ (BG – 150) / 40 ] to the carb ratio, giving me the total number of units of insulin to inject. All these numbers + the foods I eat are written on my chart.

NovologSyringe  Now I can inject my insulin (into my stomach, as I’m told it works more effectively that way), eat breakfast and take oral medications. Prior to lunch and dinner I repeat the above. If at anytime during the day I feel “icky”, I test my blood and treat any low sugar incidents..

Before lunch and dinner the above steps are repeated. If I happen to be out and about at meal time the routine goes on. I carry my glucose meter, insulin “pen”, meds, emergency juice/glucose tabs and a snack, with me at all times, because I never know if plans will change. And they almost always do. I really need a bigger purse!

Medical Equipment
Entourage for a Diabetic

Around bedtime, my phone alarm goes off to remind me to take my long acting insulin (Lantus). I must have the alarm because I can’t seem to remember. For years, I used to take it in the mornings and even though I’ve done it in the evening for years I often forget until very late at night and that screws up the routine, don’t ya know.

Well, that pretty much sums up a regular day.  It gets really interesting when I have to travel or go to a convention where my schedule is not my own.  Sometimes it feels like all I do is poke myself with needles. Oh wait – that might be quilting… 😉

BTW – quilting pins hurt WAY MORE than diabetic needles!

photo credit: Jodi Lea
photo credit for vial & needles: NapInterrupted via photopin cc

photo credit: marlana via photopin cc