Recently I went to bed with a blood glucose level of 7 mmol and set my alarm on my phone, as I do every night, for 3am. Sometimes I set it for midnight or 1 am as well, if I am uncertain about what they are going to do, but I had a fresh well working pump site, and had been steady on 7 mmol all night. This seemed a perfectly reasonable place to go to bed, as long as I woke up at some point to check, which I usually do.
I tossed and turned a bit after a few hours and at 3am I woke up and checked, feeling like my mouth was as dry a desert and a bit off….my blood glucose was 15 mmol! What? How? Why?
There is no reasonable explanation other than insulin pump site issues, of which I have quite often due to scar tissue…so I turn on the light, change my site with groggy eyes in the light of the bedside lamp, hoping I am getting the needle in correctly. I get up for some water and a wee, and head back to bed with a bolus on board. I get up at 5.30 am but set the alarm for 4 am, so I can check the new site is ok and things are going in the right direction. At 4am it is now 12 mmol and on the way down and by 5.30 when I get up, 7 mmol. I have avoided getting up in the morning with ketones and a rough day. But still I feel rough, worn out, buffeted about by my body which turns on me like this sometimes.
Have you experienced something similar? It is easy to let it get to you and destroy your day or week, or even longer.
Here are 5 ways to handle unexpected blood glucose levels:
- Deal with the immediate issue – seek medical advice if you are at risk of any danger, whether high or low – treat the low and the high as you usually would.
- Problem solve – what may have led to the high or low levels? Can you try to avoid it happening again?
- Tell someone – share what happened so you can let your emotions about it loose and let them go.
- Be gentle on yourself – it is all too easy to move on and do whatever you would usually after a very high or low blood glucose level – and that is cool, I always do, but sometimes you need to stop and take some TLC time and remember you are dealing with a very difficult condition and may need a little down time today, especially if you are feeling unwell or washed out after the event.
- Put it into perspective – don’t beat yourself up, don’t think you did something wrong. Diabetes management is still an imperfect science and we are expected to master the art of mastering it, with these imperfect tools. You are a human being first and you happen to have a faulty pancreas – really not your fault.
Most of us have crappy days with diabetes, it is par for the course. Take it in your stride but also notice it, recognise the impact it has on your physically and emotionally and cut yourself a little slack
How do you handle unexpected BGL’s?