Daily diabetes issues become overwhelming
EDITOR'S NOTE: In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes. Two years ago in May, 2016 the GLOB Master was diagnosed with diabetes. This odyssey update is the first of four articles assessing the GLOB Master's current diabetic world.
I was lying on my small bathroom floor with my legs wrapped around the toilet in a pretzel like design with excruciating pain emanating from my twisted foot. "Roseanne Roseanna Dana is correct," I think to myself. "If it ain't something, it's something else." This is two Wednesday's in a row my hypoglycemic symptoms got the best of me in my early morning trip to the bathroom.
On the bathroom floor – in my underwear -- looking up to the ceiling, my cell phone charging in the bedroom, all I could think of is I have fallen down and I can't get up.
That certainly isn't the high point of the two-year anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis anniversary. It is more like a day, like all other days, in the life of Mike Sanford, Type II diabetic.
West Texas Flatlander singer songwriter Joe Ely is in my head often with singer songwriter Harry Nilson summarizing my life with diabetes perfectly in the chorus of his song Joy when Joe Ely sings, Things went good, things went bad. Things went good, things went bad, good, bad, bad, good...
I used the falling down events for a dramatic opening to this story. In reality I am usually upbeat and positive regarding my daily conflict with diabetes symptoms and complications. My life is full of diabetic highs and lows, good outcomes and bad outcomes, second guessing answers, follow up opportunities to try again:
I recognize it could be a lot worse. Some days it seems like my diabetes is my obnoxious best friend in my face from when I wake up in the morning until I take my nighttime meds and go to bed.
After six months of daily struggles I am currently not in the best of places. As Jim Morrison sings. I am ready to break on through to the other side of this blood sugar number-crunching madness.
Don't get me wrong. I am unbelievably happy with being the GLOB Master. I enjoy telling folks I am living the dream. I believe that.
Right now I am in the middle of a blood sugar funk I cannot get out of. You know how people say a little knowledge can be your worse enemy? Let me explain.
Last November my diabetes management process was not working. My blood sugar numbers were all over the place from highs over the 300 mark to hypoglycemic lows in the 40 range. I looked online as saw I was in fact having a defined issue called Diabetes Burn Out. Finding a definition of what was happening to me gave me license to surrender, give up all the good processes I have refined through the last 18 months of my diagnosis. I decided to wait this madness out until I see my doctor in February.
At my February doctor visit, I had an A1c test and my 90-day average zoomed up from the previous test result of 7.2 to 9.4. After some stiff, constructive lecturing, the doctor thought increasing my nighttime insulin dose by 5 units might help me get out of my present funk.
"Hopefully this increase will get you in the right place to start your day in a better mindset Mike," the doctor said.
Dr. Seitcheck was correct. I saw an immediate improvement in my morning fasting blood sugar number from 180-220 range down to 100, a double-digit, morning-fasting, first-ever score many times for the GLOB Master.
Shortly after my doctor's visit I began experiencing hypoglycemia symptoms in the middle of the night: Cold sweats, unable to sleep, disorientation, unsteadiness when I get up. They became regular nighttime sleep-over friends.
I did become concerned the first time I fell. But wrote it off as X-S+$+@ happens. When I fell again a week later, I reduced my insulin until I could see the doctor for help.
The doctor(s) then adjusted my insulin dose to a different level, which reminded me what Erica Corbett told me over a year ago. "You need to include some walking intervals, walking/jogging at a faster pace to make your vascular system stronger Mike."
"You need to include some light-weight lifting into your exercise routine to build more muscle mass," Erica said. "The additional muscle will burn more of the unnecessary blood sugar," the substitute doctor added.
I try to be a good patient. I can accept my new assignments and try to make them work. The alternative to not complying can be disastrous.
My diabetes positives are still great for me:
For the first time in my life I have maintained my weight loss for two years with no yo-yo-ing back to my original 250-pound weight. I am eating better and healthier and have a better understanding of how, why, and what I eat can have severe negative consequences. I have a daily struggle with blood sugar and some days I win, and other days the diabetes devil wins.
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AMY APONICK HAS WRITTEN AN ARTICLE discussing diabetes and the resources available for persons with diabetes.
AMY APONICK EXPLAINS THE ROLE of meaningful blood glucose testing and diabetes self-management.