Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year, New "Gift".

It's almost a new year, and I've got something to adjust to besides writing a new date:  a new diabetes issue.

I've noticed it happening here and there over the last several weeks, but didn't think much about it as a pattern until recently.  I've reflected on why it's happening, and it's a reasonable guess that it is a result of my recently-tightened blood glucose control.  I'm also coming up on a quarter century with the worst roommate ever (because diabetes and I live together in this body, you know), and I guess I was bound to lose some of my magical diabetes powers at some point.

I'm discovering that I'm not always able to feel my lows anymore.

A little help, here?
Every time I'm at the doctor, I get that same question:  "Are you still feeling your lows?".  I had always thought of it as a silly question - how could anyone not notice that eating a horse, on a rollercoaster, while drunk feeling?  But as I interact more and more with the DOC, I'm discovering that it's apparently fairly common, especially when you've had diabetes as long as I have - which is frightening.

If I didn't have a CGM to alert me otherwise (Thanks, Jim), I'm sure that more than a few of these episodes would have gone on a lot longer than they did.  Walking to dinner the other night, I had a ridiculous low of 35 mg/dL that I hardly felt.  This morning, I woke up to a surprising 51 - which felt completely ordinary.  Which is a scenario that is entirely unordinary, for me.

A part of me feels a little bit defeated.  Having 24 years of diabetes with no major complications is something I've been proud of, and I feel like that's slipping away, bit by bit.

Where do I go from here?  It's scary to think that taking a break from my CGM now is risky, rather than just inconvenient.  And it's even more concerning, knowing that I tend to sleep right through the low alarms while sleeping.  Even though the feeling of hypoglycemia may be unpleasant, I'd rather feel that than feel nothing.

It's a "gift" I'd rather not receive.

8 comments:

  1. Oh no, that is something you really do not want. I noticed over the years (32y in Feb) that signs of low tend to change. So maybe ( I hope...) this is happening to you. Do you feel things you do not think of belonging to a low? But maybe they do from now....? I really hope so for you....

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  2. That's why I'm afraid to do much w/out my CGMS. However, I've discovered actually having the CGMS has made my ability to feel lows come back a little bit. I think mostly cause I wasn't having as many wild swings as when I didn't have CGMS. But occasionally they still sneak up on me and if it weren't for my CGMS, I'd be in a world of trouble.

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  3. I know what you mean. The medical field all want us to have super tight control, but no lows? DOesn't make sense. So, yeah, it is a problem among D-vets but the CGMs to help a lot! I seriously don't know what I'd do without mine, especially now!

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  4. Interesting post. I have started to have a few undetected hypos myself. My control has also started to get better over the last two months and I have been caught off guard a few times by some lows which is almost out of character for me.

    I don't have a CGMs and have never used one - I guess I don't know what I am missing but it would be great.

    Thanks for sharing...

    Tim

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  5. Once I got into tighter control and esp. now that I am preggo, I don't notice some of the lows and some of them are BAD (i.e., I was 25 the other day and didn't know it!). When I don't have the high highs anymore, the lows don't seem so bad. When you can loosen up a little, they do seem to come back. At least it did for me after I had my 1st kiddo.

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  6. That's scary. Thank goodness for Jim.

    Have lows more or less always felt the same for you? Mine are different. With some, I'll get shaky. With others, I just have malaise. Then with others, I know them only because I'm getting easily frustrated.

    But since I have Dex, they're rarely bad lows. Maybe if I didn't have Dex and my lows had a chance to get lower, I'd start notice more consistent symptoms.

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  7. Frederike - When this happens, I don't feel remarkably different from how I normally feel. The feeling is easily passed off for "excited", or "anxious", or "hyper" - they aren't the same symptoms I've come to know. :(

    Elizabeth - Yep, they have always tended to feel the same, but are progressive. My symptoms in the 60's are pretty consistent, as are my symptoms when I'm in the 40's - they're just much worse!

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  8. The docs also say that the more lows you have the less noticeable they will be, which happened to me.

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