By 11:30am today I was starving. I asked Rich where he wanted to go to lunch and he suggested Fuddruckers. The idea of a big juicy burger sounded great to me so at shortly before noon we all headed out to hunt and gather lunch.
I ordered a half pound burger and fries (what? I was starving!). A Five Guys burger is 65g of carbs and their fries usually set me back another 15g or so because I don't eat a ton of them. So I figured if a Five Guys meal was 80g all told, I'd add a smidge and say my Fuddruckers meal would be around 90g of carbs. Seems reasonable. My blood sugar was a bit low (68 mg/dL) so I felt like I had some wiggle room there and dialed up 8.1 units of insulin about 10 minutes before my food arrived.
This is when everything went wrong. The bun on my burger was a little on the puny side so I don't think it was quite as many carbs as a typical bun from Fuddruckers. Also, by the time I finished my burger I couldn't eat very many fries so I only had about 3 or 4 potato wedges. I was absolutely stuffed but figured I would keep an eye on my sensor readings this afternoon and adjust from there.
We were back at the office a little before 1pm. By 1:30 I was just dragging. My whole body felt warm and I could barely keep my eyes open. My sensor said everything was fine, though, and my sugar was stable at 95. Maybe I counted okay after all.
I headed home to squeeze in a nap before my 3:30 conference call. By the time I got home it was around 2pm and I felt a little off. The sensor is set to alarm at 60mg/dL and it was reading 61. Checking my blood confirmed my sugar was indeed 61 and as I chugged a juice box (24g of carbs), my sensor dutifully alarmed. Thanks for the heads up, sensor. I've got it under control.
Unfortunately, I still felt awful. I was shaking and sweating and just wanted to do something to make it better. I can't nap if I'm feeling like this and I still had a conference call in a little over an hour! In times like this, I've tried eating something that takes me awhile to munch on and take the insulin to counter-act it. I dragged my laptop, cellphone and a ziploc back of vanilla almond granola cereal into bed and waited. As I snacked on the cereal, I finished off the last bit of my Sunny Delight that lives on my nightstand (about 15g or so worth). Watching the sensor, though, it had dropped from 61 to 45 and the arrow was still pointing down. There would be those 8.1 units catching up with me two hours later.
I estimated about 30g of carbs I'd had unnecessarily and took 2.7 units for them. I then curled up under the covers (I always get cold after a low), set my phone to alarm at 3:20 for my call and waited. By the time my call came around I was back up to 80. I knew it was climbing a little higher than I wanted, so I took a unit of insulin just before dialing in.
My "short" conference call was around 45 minutes. By the time the call was over my pump alarmed at 133. I knew that meant it was higher than that (the sensor is always delayed because it's measuring "nanoamps" and not sugar), but I also knew I had that unit from the hour before in me. I took another half unit and decided to wait, wanting to avoid another low. My sensor only alarms every 30 minutes if it's high (I can set that but anything more frequent would be really annoying). I thought it would stay about the same or maybe creep a bit, so I decided to roll over and rest my eyes for a bit.
At 5pm when the sensor alarmed again, it said 167. This was a 30 point climb in 30 minutes with insulin combating it. I knew things were going higher than I had hoped. I dragged out the meter and checked my blood and it read 203. I dialed up two more units of insulin, and promptly burst into tears.
I have already checked my blood seven times today and that's with the sensor. I can't imagine how many times I'd be checking to try to track or catch a high or low without it. It's already 7pm and I'm still recovering from lunch. My blood sugar has gone down but it's still up around 180 right now, two hours later. I don't want to take any more insulin for another hour, though, or risk another low that got me into this mess in the first place.
Even now, hours later with a bed full of cereal crumbs and a pump that wont' stop alarming, I'm crying again. Big wet tears are splattering all over my keyboard as I lie in bed typing all this (I'm sure AppleCare will cover the damage from that). It's just So. Fucking. Hard. sometimes. And what's the solution? Don't ever eat at Fuddruckers again? Check my blood 20 times a day even with the $35 sensor in my arm? I just got a bill today for $700 worth of test strips. That's for all the test strips I use that are above and beyond what my insurance will cover, and I have fantastic insurance.
Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order lifting the ban on stem cell research. In the midst of all this pain in the ass and frustration, that was just one little ray of hope for me. As much as I appreciate the insulin pump and the fancy glucose sensor and the millions of tests they can run on me, it's not a cure. And on days like today, that's what I'd really like to have.