LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Monday, December 19, 2005

Guardian and cherry slices to the rescue

The low alarm. I'm never sure I'm describing the sound right. I call it flying saucers landing. Debbie says to her it sounds more like fireworks corkscrewing down out of the night sky on the Fourth of July. One afternoon when I had a low alarm at the lab, Molly stuck her nose into my office, "are you playing video games?" But whatever you call it, Martins, fireworks, games; it is a unique sound. One that wakes me up in a flash.

I love that sound.

It is 2:24 am. The girl wakes me up: low alarm. My eyes flash open. I snatch her off the night stand, flip the case open with one hand and quickly silence her. My fingers have learned to find her buttons as surely as they know the keys of my laptop.

Her call: 74.

Time to double check. Is this the real deal or a false alarm? I fumble for the little red flashlight. On. Now I'm the U-boat commander in the conning tower, bathed in red-light, searching out my prey. Ah, there is the vial of test strips. I untangle the pump from the oversized T-shirt I sleep in. It is a XXL. The scary thing is that it used to fit. I now wear a medium.

Test strip into the port. Code number 13. Finger stick. Nada. Try another finger. No luck. Well....third time is the charm. The dot of blood looks black in the red light. I touch the edge of the strip to the dot. Ziiiiip! The strip sucks in the blood and the pump quivers in my hand at once. Wow. That was fast. This is no false alarm.


Ok. We'd better double check that number. Test strip into port. Code number 13. Finger stick. Got blood. Ziiiiip! The pump vibrates almost the second the blood is gone.

52. No sweats. No shaking hands. No falling elevator. I feel fine.

Cherry slice.

Just before midnight I took a three unit correction for high BG, a souvenir of dinner in town with my mother, who’s visiting for a few days. I tried something new on the menu. Didn’t work out so well: for either the taste buds or the blood sugar. Now at 2:26 am there is still over one unit of insulin in play with a tail that will stretch out for another hour and a half. So much for the night time correction ratio.

One slice may not be enough. I get up to write this post, and to wait for the inevitable second alarm. In twenty minutes the girl goes off again. She’s now at 70. Still trending down. I check BG again with the Cozmo. It clocks me in at 66. Well that’s moving up, but pretty slow with a lot of insulin on board. I can probably ride it out and be OK, but I eat another cherry slice to be on the safe side.

It is now 3:09 am. The girl shows me at 88. The Cozmo at 121. We are in the clear. BG is shooting up. It may go a bit too high, but I think the insulin still left will eat it up. Maybe a half slice the second time would have been OK, but when you’re in the 50’s in the middle of the night it is better safe than sorry. Besides, they are rather tasty...

You know what? I’ve bitched, growled, complained, and nit-picked about the Guardian. And I will probably continue to do so. But tonight she earned her keep. Literally and figuratively.

This girl is here to stay.


Blogger Kerri. said...

Sometimes I think about your out of pocket costs for The Guardian. Sometimes I wonder if the expense and the site rotations are worth the trouble. Sometimes I ponder the psychological effects of wearing so many medical devices...

And then you write about your impaired hypoglycemic awareness and I am so thankful that you have The Girl and she keeps you safe and sound. It's worth every penny.

Stay safe, my friend.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Wil said...

Thanks, Kerri (she's one of my favorite word-smiths, even her comments read like poetry. Smooth use of words, like fine whiskey...)

I'm holding the girl close and staying safe. The family, who had been back and forth on the worth of the system earier, are now 100% behind her. Sometimes you need a kick in the head to get priorities in order.

6:09 PM  

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