This past weekend I took E’s Girl Scout troop camping. We had a great time .. but with all of this “resdiscovery” of my diabetes I’ve been doing lately .. I was even more aware than usual how it.is.always.there. In every single thing I do just about.
“Hey girls, wanna go for a hike? Ok, great! Let me make sure I have everything I need first.” Check blood sugar. Pack meter. Pack water. Pack glucose tablets. Pack snacks.
I want to send a shout out (and a big thank you!!) to my friend, Suzanne, who was on the trip with me, along with her own T1 daughter, E. Suzanne and I stayed in a room at the opposite end of the shared lodge we were staying in. Friday night, she set an alarm for midnight to check her E’s blood sugar. Came running back down the hall because it was 44 and she needed to get her some juice. Got her all taken care of and then we fell asleep.
Until I woke up at 2:50 am. Drenched. I was zipped up in my sleeping bag. My meter was sitting next to me on the bedpost. I knew it was there, but couldn’t make my arms get to it. I knew I needed to unzip the sleeping bag and try to get across the room to get my glucose tablets. But I was sooo tired. Could I just close my eyes and go back to sleep? I don’t want to get up. Then I finally came to my senses enough to know I needed to at least test to see what I was dealing with here. I had heard my CGM alarm going off a few minutes earlier, but I silenced it because I knew it was telling me I was low. Duh.
I fumbled around to get my meter and it’s pitch black in the room. I can check my sugar in the dark, no problem. But not this time. I couldn’t get the strip in the meter. Not because it was dark, but because I couldn’t focus on getting it in there. After many attempts, I got it and then saw that I was 41. Ruh roh. So I start to unzip my sleeping bag. It was stuck. Ruh roh again. By now, the zipping noise woke up Suzanne and she asked me if I needed help. I told her I think I did, and she asked what my sugar was. When I said 41, she was up like a lightning bolt asking me what I needed. I asked if I could have one of E’s juice boxes because that should work fast (and it was convenient.) She brought it to me and I slurped it down (first time I’ve had a juice box in … I don’t even know when.) Then she had me eat a couple of glucose tabs, to top it off.
After a couple of minutes I started to feel better and could have a somewhat legible conversation. By then I was starting to shiver because I wasn’t sweating anymore, but my sleeping bag, pj’s, and pillow were soaked. So I couldn’t get back inside the sleeping bag. Luckily I had brought a light blanket that I was now covered with .. but I was still shivering. Finally fell back asleep, and when I checked again at 8 am, I was 121.
I learned a lot about myself and my diabetes this weekend.
Suzanne and her E are still relatively new to this journey so she is absorbing as much information as possible, and I am benefiting from that as much as she is. I have not seen a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) in about 15 years, if not longer. I have seen a nutritionist a few times over the years, but only so they can tell me how to read labels and what an “average” diabetic should eat. I have never had someone look at my numbers and say “You should add a protein ‘here’ or ‘there'” and it might prevent this low.” (as an example) I have always just know/been told the basics – “You went high here, because you ate (eat) too many carbs.”
I have logged everything the past several days. Everything I have eaten, everything I have drank (except water), my site changes, etc. Hopefully we can compare that to my CGM graphs on Wednesday when I see my Endo.
Suzanne told me that she sees me blossoming. I am trying. I really am. Back to the “work in progress” mantra. I do feel like so much of this is new to me. Even after 19 years. And it’s my fault for not taking the reigns sooner, but at least I’m doing it now. 🙂