Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not the way I wanted to start the day

This morning I was awoken in an unwelcome way sweating and feeling very cold.  I bet you guys already know what that means.  I pulled the blankets off of me and trapsed into the kitchen at 2:19 to find my blood sugar meter.  I pricked my finger and waited an endless five seconds to see 56 on the screen.  Dammit!  Why was it low?  I was doing everything I was supposed to do.  It should have read somewhere between 80-120.  Maybe it will take time for my body to adjust to the changes in my diet.  Instead of doing a freak-out, I calmly reminded myself that I know what to do by now.  I found my bottle of raspberry-flavored glucose tablets and had four of them, just like the doctor's office told me to do.  Each one is 15 calories, which is a far better choice than having a regular soda or something else to raise my blood sugar.  After I ate the tablets, I climbed back into bed, turned off the light and fell back asleep.  Two hours later I woke up, absolutely drenched in sweat.  My hair all clung to my head.  My chest looked like someone had splashed water on it and I was shaking.  Tears stung my eyes because I knew that I was worse than I was when I fell back to sleep and I just felt so out of control.

I went back to the kitchen and retested my blood sugar, which should have been elevated by then.  This time the meter said I was at 52. I stood there dumbfounded.  It was 4:00 in the morning by this time, so I know I was groggy.  I sat there and thought, "Okay, what did I do wrong?  Why is it going down instead of up?"  I also wondered if my blood sugar had dipped lower than what registered on the machine and maybe that it was on it's way back up.  I just didn't know what was going on.  Then I remembered - I'm supposed to have something to eat along with the glucose tabs to not only get my blood sugar level up but keep it there.  So, I had 5 more glucose tablets (I guess I felt the need to have an extra one to make sure it worked).  Then, I had half a banana and a little baggy of organic apples.  It almost felt like a binge to me, although I know it wasn't.  It was just weird eating sugar tablets, then more sugar, although in it's natural form, when I had the banana and apple.  Even though I now was in a little bit in panic mode, I told myself that I needed to lay down and try to go back to sleep so that I wasn't queen of the walking dead in the morning at work.

Somehow I was able to fall asleep, although I definitely didn't need the electric blanket that was roasting on my bed.  My alarm woke me up at 6:00 and I gingerly walked back to the kitchen to find out how my blood sugar was doing.  I did have hope that it went up because I wasn't sweaty or feeling disoriented.  This time the meter read 86.   Thank you God above!  I just stood there with my hands on the counter in the kitchen and I cried.  I don't know how all of this happened and, in that moment, I just didn't know what direction to go.  One thing I could have done last night was check my blood sugar right before going to bed, which is something I didn't do.  Maybe it would have told me where I was already and I could have been more proactive before going to sleep.  I promise that I will do that before I go to bed tonight.  Talk about feeling out of control, which is hard for a person with a type-A personality a lot of the time.

Speaking of bedtime, my doctor put me back on a medication that I had stopped taking because it was making me sleepy and it made me gain weight before.  A lot of weight, actually.  However, she wants me to give it a try again and to stick with it more than just a couple of weeks.  It's called Nortriptyline.  Typically it's used as an anti-depressant.  However, in a lower dosage, it's used to treat chronic pain.  Read some of these side effects:  Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, excess sweating, heartburn, unpleasant taste, weight gain, or an increased appetite especially for sweets.  I don't know about you, but when I read that, I think the words that came out of my mouth were WTF?!?  Now, I know my doctor doesn't want me gaining weight because she's the one that has been talking to me over the years about the need to lose the weight.  Yet, she does understand the type of pain that I'm dealing with in my legs everyday and she did say that this medication does work for a lot of patients with chronic pain.  So, I will be giving it a try again.  Since I am well aware that it can make me drowsy, I'm going to ensure I give myself enough hours to sleep.  Who knows, maybe it'll help me sleep through the night, provided my blood sugars don't wake me up.  And as far as weight gain, I know what happened last time so I'm going to need to monitor that very closely.  My doctor also reminded me that if concerns come up, all I have to do is pick up the phone to call her or send her an e-mail.  She always responds to me within the same day, so it's not as if I'm doing this all on my own.  That's an important factor for me to remember - I'm not doing this on my own.

The rest of my day went relatively well, although, of course, this whole blood sugar situation weighed heavily on my mind.  I couldn't stop thinking about it, to be honest.  Sometimes I worry about going to bed because there's this fear in me that my blood sugar will drop so low that I won't be able to wake up and will end up in a diabetic coma instead.  I know, it's morbid thinking, but it's an honest concern.  I don't live with anyone, so there's no one here to check on me.  Obviously if I didn't show up for work, I know my friends I work with would be concerned and it wouldn't take them long to drive up to my house to check on me, especially those that know what's been going on with me.  I'm trying my hardest not to worry and to just turn this all over to God, but that's so much easier said than done.  I am carefully watching what I'm doing though.  I know that I can't be flippant about taking care of my body.  It's sort of comical in a weird way that I spent so many years with high blood sugar that I couldn't get down to a normal level.  Now I'm dealing with blood sugar that's too low.  I pray I find a place in the middle very soon.


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