Doing what we do

Well done Renza!!! Monumental!!!


This morning, I sat in a restaurant in New Orleans with three of my favourite peopleand diabetes advocates. If anyone could bottle the tenacity, passion, determination, guts and cheekiness of these three women, they would make a fortune and be able to solve all the problems of the world.

I listened to Anna, Christel and Melissa- who I am lucky enough to call friends – talk about their work and we discussed the US health system which made me shake my head in disbelief and confusion. I don’t understand it; I doubt I ever will. But these three not only navigate the system themselves, they are doing it for others as well as they trying to improve things.

All week I have been around people who are involved inimportant and life-changing workin diabetes care. From those who are developing smarter devices, using data better, improving access and doing reseach, the…

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Midnight and Lows

I wrote about this hypo experience before I got my CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) and so these days crashing blood sugars are not coming at me like oncoming trains and I am able to get off the tracks in time.

A few nights ago, I experienced the feeling of watching a “train wreck” coming towards me and not being able to avoid it. The problem, I think, the fact that I had too many options available to me in trying to prevent my imminent hypo that I didn’t know which one was best to choose.

Normally, when I check my blood glucose level two hours after my dinner and they are above my post-meal target, I know that some more insulin is required. On this occasion it was 3 hours after dinner and I was even more sure that I needed more insulin. See the 11.5 mmol (207 mg/dl)

HOWEVER! Approximately 60 minutes after I had given myself more insulin, the big red dot and the sharp dip in my mysugr app told me that my diabetes was not playing by the rules!  My blood sugar level had dropped sharply to  6.1 mmol (110 mg/dl). An otherwise respectable BG number but at this moment in time, especially with the remainder of my insulin dose to activate, I knew I was in trouble and that a hypo was coming for me.

I was already tucked up in bed with my teeth brushed. So, I reduced my background insulin by 50% for an hour and a half to counter the over correction of insulin. (Note to self; that wasn’t the right choice – always go for the fastest acting glucose available).

At 12:13am, perspiration steamed off me. Thankfully, I had the wherewithal to check my blood sugars again revealing a 3.1 mmol (56 mg/dl). I took 3 dextrose tabs and lay back waiting for them to kick in. But, the heat coming off my body made me grab 2 more a couple of seconds later.

I tried to lay there waiting again but I became more agitated at having to wait…. and wait, and wait, for the heat and sweat and “jitters” to subside. The seconds felt like hours!

I decided to wait the 15 minutes out downstairs and suck on some boiled sweets to, maybe, trick my brain into thinking I was shoveling glucose into me hand over fist and avoid over-treating the hypo. I pulled out the laptop and tried to document this hypo 😉 Another effort to avoid over-treating-keep my hands busy.

12:37am, 5.8mmols (104mg/dl), still feeling shaky and mildly damp but can safely go back to sleep. After brushing teeth…. again.

And yes, I had the over-correction high blood sugar reading the next morning. Sometimes, you just can’t win. But you try, and try to learn:-)

Happy New Year from Gráinne

Post Christmas Blood Sugar Hangovers

Blood Sugar Hangover

The Christmas holiday lasts one whole week if not two in Ireland. Most businesses close their offices from Christmas Eve to the day after New Year’s day to give their employees a well earned break.

 The schools close for two weeks. This is where my diabetes can become troublesome. I’m a stay at home mother and when my children are in school I have a routine and I get out most days for a good head-clearing walk! It does my head good and it does my diabetes good.

During school holidays, getting out for that little but very important 30 minute walk is…. mmmm challenging. I could do it. If I really, really, really tried but there’s always something else I could do too.

A two week holiday is more than long enough for my body, and my diabetes to figure out that my exercise has been all but forgotten and give me a bit of a telling off.

The grey-ness and the wetness of the Irish weather for the last month did not help either! Let’s just say we would not have been surprised to see a giant ark after having SO much rain for SO long.

This holiday, my BG’s started rise just before New Year’s, at a time when I thought I’m almost there and I got away with it. My insulin to carb ratios need to be reduced radically and using trial and error the kids will be back in school before I have it figured out.

I’m also feeling a little of the January blues. The lack of exercise and my elevated blood glucose levels are leaving me deflated and unmotivated to do absolutely anything…. except declutter my house (figure that one out?).

So, I’m anxious to get back to school, I mean for my children to get back to school. 🙂

I’m itching to get out for that first regular walk of 2016, to have a routine again and reclaim familiar BG patterns so I can make adjustments.

I also need to come up with a feasible plan for the extended Easter break we will have this year (it’s 2 and a half weeks long starting on St. Patrick’s Day).

I think I just found my new years resolution! And I think I’m finding my way back.