So, what’s it like to have an off day as a type 1 diabetic? Well, not good, especially when it sneaks up on a person.  I bet if you asked half the people I work with they probably wouldn’t even consciously remember I’m a diabetic. I try not to live like a diabetic. I prefer to be a normal person that happens to have a faulty pancreas and requires a battery operated replacement.

15 years ago when I was first diagnosed I made the decision that, I would take care of myself, but, I would also live a normal life. I wouldn’t let diabetes rule my life, or lifestyle. Most days me and my spector of death get along. It helps to be a cyborg. Other days, well the bastard gets loose on me. Today seems to be one of those days. More on that in a minute.

My spector has never gotten so out of control that I’ve fallen over, touch wood as my friends in Scotland would say. But, I’ve come pretty damn close a couple of times. Nothing like waking up on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night with half a gallon of ice cream gone and the other half melting in my lap. It’s what happens when my sugars get so low in the middle of the night that I no longer have conscious thoughts and only work on the tiny hind brain still working. I have enough neurons left to save my life, but no higher functions. Eat sugar, eat lots of sugar, do it now, let nothing interfere. I’ve actually growled and mumbled angrily at Roberta in the middle of the night while eating ice cream on the kitchen floor. For some reason ice cream tastes good when I can’t think. Not much else does. Most things get a stong metallic taste that makes me nauseous, but not ice cream, I crave it.

 What I’ve been talking about so far is low blood sugars. Being a type 1 diabetic is a balancing act, and when I fall to the low side it can lead to a quick death if I don’t get control pretty quick. If I fall to the high side far enough often enough it can lead to a slow death of cut off fingers, blindness, and other fun things. If I go far enough high I can fall over and die if someone doesn’t find me, similar to going too low.  It’s my life. It’s what I live with.

So, what does this mean? Nothing to others really. It’s my balancing act, and it’s gone okay so far. I’ve had extreme lows and awful highs, but I’m still alive and have all of my fingers and toes. Well, today happens to be the highest blood sugar I’ve had in 3-4 years. If not longer. 500+. Normal is 80-120. Some people pass out and need assistance in the 400’s. I didn’t even know I’d fallen out of whack until I took my blood sugars a bit ago. I looked in surprise at the meter. Went and washed my hands and tried again. Sometimes having something on my fingers will cause the blood meter to wig out. Not this time. First reading was 506, second was 512. Damn.

First thing I did was pull the current insert from my belly. Put new insulin in the pump and put in a new insert and took a big old slug of insulin. It’s only been 30 minutes since then and taking insulin takes longer than that to get into my blood stream and get my glucose levels to drop, so now I’ll stab my finger every hour for the next few hours to make sure I get things to drop back down without dropping too far. Get myself back onto my balance beam. The biggest danger right now is that I take too much insulin and cause a blood sugar crash. Are we having fun yet?

I know I know. Quit my bitchin. It could be worse. As I type this next to my wife of 20 years as she battles with her demon called Cancer. Believe me, I’d much rather be a diabetic. I’ll die with diabetes, but I probably wont die from diabetes. Roberta can’t say that about her demon. It’s a much more insidious, evil demon.