Low Day (Literally)

So it’s currently half 12 at night and I’m wide awake in bed, despite having to be up at 6am for work. 

Why? Because, and not for the first time in my life, I’m genuinely scared to go to sleep tonight. All day I’ve suffered low blood sugar after low blood sugar, despite over treating, dropping my insulin and basically refusing to do anything other than bare minimum. On more than one occasion today my blood sugar was too low for my monitor to read, which means it was below 2.2mmol (When I should be sitting at about 5).

To make matters worse, I had an assessment in work today for a potential new role, and I was low throughout the whole thing, so God only knows how much I’ve screwed it up. I’m trying to be optimistic, but on days like today, it’s really hard. (I’ve already considered any nerves / stresses about the assessment playing a part, but it doesn’t seem likely to me). 

As per usual with this delightful disease, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason for it. I’ve done all that I possibly can, I’ve tried to factor in any possible reason this could be happening and I’m coming up blank. To make things worse, my hypo awareness has gone out the window. I’m not realising I’m low, it’s only that I’m being so tight on my bloods that I’m catching them all. No shaking, no blurry vision, no slurring, nothing. Those symptoms are all I’ve got to rely on to wake me up if I go low in the night. Without those, I could sleep through and slip into a coma, or worse, not wake up at all. It may sound like I’m being a drama queen, and trust me, I really can be, but this is a very real and possible situation for me tonight. 

Of course I know I’ll probably be fine. I’ll wake up in the morning to do it all again and just chalk today off as a bad day. But it’s hard, and it’s draining and it can really wear you down. 

I apologise for the moany post, but it’s just my way of trying to put across the realities of this disease, I started this blog first and foremost to raise awareness and sometimes it’s hard to put a positive spin on a rough day. 

Type One Diabetes From The Sidelines

Today’s post is written by my better half, to give an idea on life as the partner of a Type One. Having been good friends for a couple of years, we decided to give it a go together in February after a change in circumstances for us both, and neither of us have looked back since. 

I’ve spent nearly my entire life completely ignorant of Diabetes. My mother suffered from Type 2, but I never really made the effort to find out more. I was one of those that diabetics hate. I associate it with poor diets, obesity or plain old hereditary bad luck. And then I met her.

When we first started becoming friendly, she mentioned being a diabetic. I’ll be honest, I never really thought too deeply about it. At that time, I had no idea how close we would become and just how much I would learn. As time went on, we grew closer. I started to learn from her tone when something had happened and how it had affected her. I decided to read up and I was startled to discover just how serious it could be. 

We’ve been together six months now. In that time I’ve learnt so much. I know the difference between high and low blood sugar. I can spot the signs of a hypo sometimes even before she can. Mood
changes, especially suddenly becoming almost aggressive with no warning. I’ve not done anything wrong (that I know of!), and it’s totally out of her hands. She might go cool and clammy yet break out in a sweat. Slurring words or struggling to put sentences together. Struggling with balance or complaining of headaches that have come on quickly. These aren’t a definitive list by any means, but they could all be pointers to an oncoming hypo. I know the basics of treatment and try to assist in any small way I can. I still don’t know nearly enough.

There are so many things you can’t, and won’t ever see as an outsider. The mental scars borne out by an invisible illness that can confuse, frustrate and torment even the most experienced diabetic. The times when all logic says their blood sugar should be stable but they just can’t get up above hypo level. This can be the hardest time as the partner of a diabetic. You want to do whatever you can to help them but they can’t even tell you where to begin because they don’t know themselves. The anguish is writ large on their face and all you want to do is make it better for them, to take away the pain for even just a day to give them a break. Knowing you can’t even do that, it hurts.

You might be like me, a partner/spouse. You might be a parent, you might even be the son or daughter of a T1D. You’ll know the immense feelings of pride at how they cope day after day with injections, finger pricks, carb calculations, stress management, exercise regimes, dietary planning, logistics involved in just leaving the house. You might look at it like I do and think “I couldn’t do that.” So what can we do from the outside looking in? I’ve found just being there, doing the small things helps massively. What seems insignificant to you, getting a bottle of Lucozade to treat a hypo, holding a hand while during the fifth insulin injection of the day, just being there and listening to them as they cry and get out all frustrations, these things mean the absolute world to them because it reminds them that they aren’t alone. 

Every day that goes by, I learn something new. The more I learn, the more I want to help. The more I want to help, the more I learn. It’s a positive cycle. I’ll never have to fight the battles that she does every day. But by understanding more of what she goes through, it puts me in a better position to help. While I wish for her sake I hadn’t had to learn anything, I’m so glad I have because it’s helped me get to know the strongest person I’ve ever met.

Back at it again…

How much can change in 6 months!

Last time I wrote about my little world, I was sat in a freezing cold flat, on my own, hating life. Nothing seemed to be going right and I couldn’t catch a break. Fast forward 6 months and I’m sat in a cosy flat that I share with a dashing Scotsman, whilst a crazy little kitten sits next to me batting at my fingers on the keyboard.

Turns out, things are much easier to deal with when you let someone help you out, who knew? I’ve managed to cram quite a lot into those few months, and the way I was feeling back then feels a million miles away. I quit my job that I was hating and ended up in a job I love and took a chance on my best friend, who has ended up being everything I ever wanted from life, and so much more.

I’ve written previously about the baggage it feels like I’m carrying when it comes to dating. It can be very daunting and almost off-putting to a lot of guys, and understandably so. However, having built a solid friendship for a couple of years previously, my better half already knew about all the ins and outs of what I deal with, and has more than taken it all on the chin since we began dating. From learning to recognise what my bloods are doing, just by how I’m acting, or how I look, to getting out of bed at 3 in the morning to fetch me a Lucozade and hold my hand whilst I get myself sorted, diabetes is just that little bit more bearable with him around.

A new development in the world of Diabetes has also played a massive part in making my life easier lately too. CGM’s (Continuous Glucose Meters) became available to buy! For those who don’t remember, or haven’t read my old post on Pumps &  CGM’s (and if not, why not?) I’ve written in the past about wanting one in my life, and since then, they became available for just about anyone. My Auntie is also a Type 1 Diabetic so when her and my Uncle bought one, they also treated me to one too. I was so excited and so, so grateful and I can honestly say that they are one of the best things I’ve ever known as a Diabetic. I’m going to do a follow-up post all about it with some more information cause there’s so much to say, so keep your eyes peeled!

I’ll leave it there for now, but I’ll be posting the CGM blog in the next couple of days, so if you haven’t already, please subscribe and share etc, as always. Thanks guys!