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.


  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....

  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.

  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!

  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...


  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.

  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.

  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!

  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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