A Change of Scenery

A lot has happened over the past week. The most prominent thing being that I was on “vacation”. It’s difficult for me to use that word because I don’t have a job to vacation from, and I wasn’t spending my time in total relaxation and fun. But I guess it was a vacation in the sense that I was out of town and not doing things I normally do everyday.

On Monday night I was plopping down on the couch and the side of my abdomen just so happened to rub on the arm of the couch successfully ripping off my CGM transmitter and sensor. It didn’t hurt, but I sure did feel it. I decided not to put in a new one right away because the next morning I had a stress test, so why not just wait until after that to insert a new sensor.

The week really started off with a stress test at my cardiologists office. I really must remember to ask if they can give me the IV stress test from now on instead of the treadmill one. It is really painful to run with my neuropathy, but I noticed this time that my doctor was a bit discouraged because I could not keep running due to pain and leg fatigue and we had to stop before my heart rate got quite high enough. He was still able to get good enough readings to determine my heart is healthy, though.

After my test I headed up the hill with my mom to spend the week at her house in the mountains. My reasons for going up there include just getting a change of scenery for awhile, fresh air, and to help her get some cleaning and organizing done, especially sorting through her mountain of recipes. It was when we arrived at her house, 1.5 hour drive from my house, that I remembered that my CGM transmitter was still sitting on my coffee table.

DOH!!!

So my vacation week included a vacation from my CGM.

On the way up the hill we had chatted about anything and everything. Of course the conversation included diabetes. One thing she mentioned to me that totally threw me for a loop was that my aunt (a type 1 diabetic) had been a brittle diabetic. This threw me off because 1) I spent my entire life up ’til this moment not knowing this detail about my own aunt, 2) I had never even heard the term ‘brittle’ diabetic until two years ago and here I find out my aunt was one!

WHAT ELSE DON’T I KNOW?!

For those of you who do not know, brittle diabetes is a sub-type of type 1 diabetes. It is particularly hard to control; those people who have brittle diabetes experience frequent, extreme swings in BG’s, causing hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

So, of course now I wonder if my difficulty in controlling my BG’s may be an indication that I am brittle… but then I’ve always blamed myself for my poor control. I do know that physical activity tends to drop me very fast and sudden, and even the smallest amount of carbs shoots me sky high even when I carefully count them and bolus properly…my BG’s are just always all over the place no matter how careful I am.  But I always assume it’s because I’m just a terrible diabetic or because I have hormonal swings, etc.

I doubt brittle diabetes is hereditary…even if there are 6 type 1’s in my family.

I think I’m just being a tad bit of a hypochondriac here. It’s easy to get that way when you really do have a ton of health issues.

What else is wrong with me?

That evening I had another rip-it-out moment. I used the restroom and as I was pulling my shirt down I managed to catch my pump line. I tugged plenty hard enough to rip my set right out..and bleed a bit. It hurt a tad, but not that bad. I was just upset that I had to go and waste a set.

I helped my mom get her house really clean and organized for her bible study. I really didn’t do a ton of physical work; mom did most of the cleaning while I did a bunch of organizing and then spent most of the time making sure she kept on task. She tends to get distracted easily. The next day I fully intended to attend the bible study but I was so wiped out I could barely stay awake, then my BG dropped to 39 so I ate a Drumstick ice-cream. When my BG came back up I became so exhausted and sleepy that I napped for over 2 hours!

That’s not normal for me. I really need to figure out why I get so wiped out from just a tiny bit of activity…and why I am so freakin’ tired all the time regardless.

The next day I began to work on the recipe organizing project with my mom. At this point my super low-carb diet had thoroughly gone out the window and I was snacking on high carb goodies all morning. We decided to take a little break from sorting and I helped my mom drag her trash cans about an acre to the trash bin and dump them. This all only took a few minutes or so and was by no means considered heavy activity, but by time we got back to the house my BG had dropped significantly and I needed to eat.  I was shocked at this because I had been eating jelly beans, candy corn, peanuts, etc, all morning.  Even though I had bolused I should have been high, not low.

In between cleaning, organizing, overeating, etc., I did get a lot of relaxation and visiting in. At one point I asked my mom if she remembered any real details about my diagnosis. I recently had been looking through some old photos  and they brought up the question of exactly what year I was diagnosed. I have always believed I was diagnosed at age nine (1988) but I found a photo of me from when I played soccer, I only played soccer for one season and I specifically remember being diabetic during that time…but that was 1987, which means I was 8 years old.  So which is it? Mom really couldn’t remember.  Not that it really matters, but I would like to know.

20a2
Soccer, 1987

On Sunday one of my brothers came up with his kids to visit for awhile. This is my brother who is also a type 1 so we have something special in common. We talked a bit about our pumps, CGM’s, BG’s, and sundry other diabetic (and non-diabetic) things. It’s nice having someone to talk to who gets it. Really gets it.

16a
My brother and I, 1985

So, there you go, that was my week. I had a lot of fun and relaxation spotted with work. It would have been nicer if I could have truly vacationed from my diabetes, but, alas, life is not fair.  LOL

Now I am home and settling back into routine and better BG’s.

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Author: Tamra K. Garcia

Stephen King says to "Write what you know." I know diabetes, I know me; so this is what I write about.

1 thought on “A Change of Scenery”

  1. I don’t know how we ever lived without my daughter’s CGM. We ran out of sets for one week (my fault for not ordering in time) and that week was a nightmare – we were nervous wrecks not knowing what her blood sugar was every minute or where it was headed. I hope it never happens again!

    Like

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