Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Just because it's invisible, doesn't mean it's not there. It's there, trust me. Not visible for outsiders, but absolutely present for the person with D and their beloved ones.

Today, my employer wanted to thank me for driving all the way to the beach to take care of their little girl. They know how I love to cook and bake and they decided to buy a wonderful rice cake from a good bakery. Right after noontime, they came home with the pie and offered me a slice. My numbers were still a bit high, since I had eaten lunch recently. So I decided to wait and told them I wanted to save my piece for later that afternoon. They looked a bit disappointed. I felt sorry for them but I didn't want to go skyhigh because of a piece of pie, no matter how appealing it looked. They had their piece and I couldn't wait to have mine, for it looked real yummy. My employer was a bit surprised that I couldn't have the treat right away. He knows I need insulin for the carbs I eat, but he doesn't know what diabetes really is about. It's about counting carbs and poking your fingers and trying to keep your numbers within range (70 - 120 mg/dl would be great) and feeling sick when your numbers are too high and loosing your mind when you're lacking sugar. It's about making decisions all day and trying to eyeball the carb contents of the food you're going to have. You are constantly aware of D since it haunts you if you decide to pretend it's not there.

My BG was pretty much within range and I had planned a long walk with Kiddo, so I decided it was about time to have that piece of pie. I estimated the carbs to be around 60 grams, but knowing I was going for a long walk, I decided to give insulin for 35 grams of carbs. After all, I didn't want to go low on the walk, for I am responsible for this little girl. Bummer! Not too long after I left the apartment to go to the beach, my Dexcom G4 warned me for an upcoming high number. I had not brought along my glucometer, for I didn't expect any highs at all. I did bring a bottle of glucotabs to help me beat lows, but they are pretty worthless when you're high... I guess I made the wrong decision. That's also part of D. Weighing pros and cons and making the best decisions you can at that time. I felt stupid for having eaten the pie and I cursed for having diabetes. My calves were real heavy and cramping and I had a hard time moving around. Little kiddo desperately needed her walk and I was too far off to go back to the apartment to get my glucometer. I could have bolused on my pump, but it was hidden underneath my clothes and not within reach. So I kept going and was very relieved to be home. I corrected that high right away and had like one liter of water to wash away those excess sugars in my blood.

On my way home, I was thinking things over and trying to evaluate the situation. Because that's what you do when you have D. You try to learn from every experience and you try to prevent things in the future. It's just always there, wherever you go or wherever you are. I had just attached my Dexcom to its car holder, when I saw the 86 with an arrow pointing downwards. Remember the 70 - 120 mg/dl range as being perfect? And 86 is within that range, right? Well, guess what? Wrong answer! This 86 is not perfect at all. My CGM is warning me of an upcoming low. If I would have read that 86 on my glucometer only, it would've been a perfect number. Now that it's on my Dexcom screen, it tells me something else. Of course it could be worse, showing a double arrow downwards. This was only a single arrow, but nevertheless: not safe enough to drive the car without having some glucose first. So I pulled over, opened my bag to see what I had left. There was the choice of candy, cookies, glucotabs, a sachet of hypofit (glucose gel) or a banana. I was hungry (that's what lows do to you) so I decided to have 20 grams of carbs eating the cookies. I waited some longer, checked my Dexcom to see the trend go up again and that's when I was ready to move on. That's what D is about. It's about coming late at your next appointment because stupid lows hit in. It's about pulling over your car because you need to fix yourself to prevent accidents from happening. It's always there... always... invisible to you, but very present to me.

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