Saturday, February 13, 2016

I'm So High Right Now, Part 2 of ??? AKA: The Part Where I Explain the High that we are clear on what I'm actually talking about when I bandy about the term "blood sugar," let's talk about high blood sugar aka "a high" as we in the know folks like to say. Some who are in the know might prefer to say hyperglycemia, but to them I say...take your fancy medical degree and shove it!! This is my blog and I'm the expert here.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) gets a lot of hype and paramedic attention, but high blood sugar is also very deadly and also much more common and feels worse. Which is why I'm turning my attention to it here. For all you poor people who love/like me and are now feeling concerned like, I thought all I had to worry about was when to stab her with the glucagon needle???...well, enjoy.

A recap: Normal people's BG is typically between 70-120 mg/dL at any given time. Mine?? Well, I do my darndest to stay between 80-160 mg/dL during the day, but it's rare that I have a day where I don't hit at least 190 mg/dL. At least three times a week I can hit 250 mg/dL. I've hit as high as 487 mg/dL before, and I've also just gotten HIGH on my meter because it doesn't read above 500 mg/dL. So you might be thinking, why....what do u mean when you're telling me these numbers (s/o to JBiebs!)? What do these numbers mean to you?

Well I'll tell you. There are different types of high blood sugars. There are those that hit fast, like really fast, where I can literally feel the sugar flooding into my body. Those moments feel almost like getting on an elevator going up just a liiiitttle too fast when you're also pretty hungover. Once my sugar is stable, but still high, things feel different depending on just how high I am. It's also all relative--if I've had a lot of high blood sugars recently, then they stop feeling so shitty because my body is used to them. But if I've had things relatively under control, then I'll start feeling worse way earlier.

When my blood sugar is just a little bit high (160-250 mg/dL) sometimes I won't even notice really, for the aforementioned reasons. I'll generally feel a bit tired and thirsty since my body is not absorbing glucose to use as energy and it's also not absorbing water to hydrate me. I might also feel annoyed because my Dexcom is buzzing at me and/or I might not know or like the reason why my BG is high. If you're someone who likes to hang out with me, here's what you need to know if you notice this is where my sugar's at: I'm fine. I'm fine. You may hear two long, slow buzzes from my Dexcom. I may huff some Afrezza and/or adjust my insulin doses. I may roll my eyes. But let's just say it one more time: I'm fine.

When my BG is pretty high (250-350 mg/dL) I feel quite crotchety. Seriously. It's not my fault, grumpiness is a well-documented side effect of high blood sugar. I'm also probably feeling really tired and unmotivated. I probably have a slight headache and if I'm over 300, I'm feeling kind of woozy. I might also be feeling kind of snacky, either for salty things (because I'm dehydrated) or sugary things (because I am always craving that). Here's what you should know: I'M STILL FINE. You don't need to ask me if I need to take some insulin because guess what, I've probably already considered that option and I'm doing what I need to do. Sorry if that sounded defensive. What would really help right now would be the following: offering to fill my water bottle and/or take a long walk with me if it's feasible. Both these things help speed up the effects of insulin and lower my blood sugar. Also, accept that I'm not at my most organized or highly functional. It's not a great time to snap at me for making silly mistakes.

When my BG is very high (350+) I feel bad. Imagine post-Thanksgiving level exhaustion, plus flu-like symptoms (aches, chills, sore throat), extreme thirst, fogginess/wooziness. I am generally always annoyed at this point, because this is going to take some undoing. If I don't have Afrezza available, then I'm going to be feeling the effects for 1-3 hours. Here's what you should know: I'm still not going to go into a diabetic coma and crumple at your feet. Here's what you can do: The water and walk offer are still helpful, but at this point, maybe just be sympathetic and offer to watch a TV show with me or accept that I'd like to go take a nap until I feel better.

Is it always this way, you might wonder. The answer Duh. Because variability is the nature of this disease. And the spice of life. So, if I'm really involved in what I'm doing, or busy, or stressed out, I might not notice the effects or feel the symptoms as fully. My Dexcom will let me know what's up though, and I'll be taking care of things. I'm not incapacitated. But I am also expending some extra energy in order to be focused/present/attentive/pleasant when I'm around you and having a high blood sugar. I do it because it's part of living my life. I do it because there's no such thing as calling in high blood sugar to work. I do it because sugar doesn't dictate my life. I do it because I love you (I've accepted that only my family reads this blog). I hope these posts help you to understand and love me back. 

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