Posts filed under ‘high blood sugar’

Pizza hubris

I messed up big, big time last night. I thought I was ready to attempt to cover pizza with insulin, but my body thought otherwise and I payed the price – mentally, physically and in cash at the rate of the eight dollars worth of Freestyle test strips I used testing and re-testing on my backup meter. I struggled the rest of the night to get back down from the high 200s. I was injecting directly (no I-Port in the equation – I’d attempted an upper-backside install but it left me in tears so I threw it away) yet it was as if the insulin couldn’t keep up with the digesting pizza (or my lack of patience). It was getting late so I set my alarm to wake me up an hour and a half after I went to sleep so I could check and make sure I wasn’t still high or going too low too fast, and it was back down to 140, so I gave up and went back to sleep because I was too tired to change my suspect Humalog cartridge and I knew my own basal insulin would eventually take care of the rest anyway.

I woke up this morning with an elevated fasting of 108, but I was ready to start clean – clean diet, exercise, new insulin cartridge, new I-Port… but I can’t get my head in the right place. I’m mad at myself and don’t feel like doing anything productive, and I am dreading the blood sugar see-saw that I’ll likely experience today. Writing about my mistakes always helps me move on, so now that I’ve confessed, I’ll make myself go lift some weights and try to make up for whatever horrible things I did to my poor body with that (to borrow a word from Monday) insidious pizza last night – which, by the way, left even my non-diabetic husband at 130 mg/dl an hour and a half after! How did I stand a chance? 😛

May 19, 2007 at 3:51 pm 9 comments

The Insulin Experience: Week 2

As my second week of insulin comes to a close, I feel like I am no longer in control of my body. Blood sugars are still all over the place, including a few really unpleasant lows this weekend. I have put on 3-4 pounds in two weeks, all of which seems to have all gone straight to my abdomen because my waist measurement has increased by an inch and a half. I wouldn’t mind the weight gain if it was a) better distributed and b) wasn’t such an obvious side-effect of the insulin. My well-tuned sense of hunger also seems to be lost in the shuffle.

Today I made enough Mediterranean chicken salad to feed me lunch every day this week, so perhaps eating the exact same carefully weighed, mid-low carb meal for lunch and breakfast for the entire week will help shed some light on the situation. I haven’t yet decided what to do about my beloved breakfast – do I change it or give it one more week? I started eating my current breakfast when my breakfast of over 2 years (whole 7-grain bagel with cream cheese) suddenly wasn’t cutting it with Starlix. I cut the bagel in half (to about 2 oz), and added some protein in the form of salmon and 1 egg, 1 egg white scrambled, which comes to about 30-36g carbs depending on the weight of the bagel. Starlix could handle it fine – insulin not so much. The only luck I seem to have with it is by splitting my bolus up into half the dose before and half during or after, but even then I’m still lingering in the 130s all morning (and now have twice as many bruises 😛 ). Possible options: a) cut the bagel down to a quarter-bagel, b) ditch the beloved bagel all together or c) try cranking my A.M. carb/insulin ratio up to 7g carbohydrate per unit.

It’s hard for me to admit that this whole thing isn’t going as swimmingly as I’d hoped, but with a week and a half left before I see my PA, there is still plenty of time for things to turn around and for me to be back in control of this mortal vestibule.

April 22, 2007 at 11:23 pm 1 comment

Lab Rat XS

Nothing much to report on the insulin front. Some days I feel like a lab rat with all these charts, graphs and needles, but I do like labs and some rats are pretty cute, so that’s OK.

The first few days of high blood sugar readings were tiring, both physically and mentally, but I think I’m starting to get a better feel for dosages and timing. It’s tempting to draw conclusions about carb intake right now based on the fact that the only good numbers I’ve seen this week have been after lower-carb meals, but I will hold my tongue and give it some time.

For my diet and blood sugar tracking, I’ve gone low-tech and started using some photocopied worksheets that the dietitian gave me. The upper third of the page is an area to plot my BG on,the middle third is a chart with a column for each hour of the day and rows for blood glucose, carbohydrates, exercise, insulin doses, stress, ketones, etc. The bottom third is for food and other notes. This format will be the easiest to fax back to my PA at the end of each week, plus I really enjoy connecting the dots on the glucose plot at the end of the day. I’m thinking of enlisting my husband to makes some improvements, notably a place to record where I injected. Right now I just randomly pick an injection site and hope I don’t hit the same place twice.

I’ve returned to FitDay for my diet tracking. Combined with the occasional quick lookup on and the handy recipe analyzer on, I have a decent system for carb counting and making sure I’m getting enough calories each day. I would still like to get some sort of pocket-sized nutrition handbook to carry with me and to keep in the kitchen so I don’t need a computer when I’m planning meals and doses – any recommendations?

These How-To articles on have been quite helpful in helping me understand that only time, patience and diligent testing and documentation will lead the way to normal blood sugars with insulin. Even though I have a newfound appreciation for the ease, simplicity and efficiency of Starlix, I haven’t resorted back to it – I’m just too determined to get the insulin to work.

April 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm 1 comment

Two small victories

I know I sound way too excited about such small, predictable “victories”, but it is always exciting to find some way to make the foods you enjoy fit into your diabetic life.

The first: Overindulged by eating three fajitas at dinner two nights in a row, despite knowing two is my normal limit. Tuesday night it left me at 155 an hour after (ouch), but only at 94 on Wednesday. The difference? Wednesday evening I exercised! Which makes me wonder, how would I weather a typical low-carb dinner post-exercise without any Starlix at all? More thoughts on that later.

The second victory occurred at lunch today at my husband and I’s weekly lunch spot, which we have eaten at several times since I started on my A1C-lowering endeavor but until today just couldn’t seem to find the right combination of food at to not leave me with highs an hour later. Today I hit the jackpot: I took my Starlix 30 full minutes before eating. We ordered our usual cheese dip, but instead of eating out of the basket, I picked out 7 large chips and placed them on a napkin. Once they were gone I didn’t reach into the basket again. For my main course I ordered 1 brisket and one carnita taco, which I opened, ate the contents of, but left the tortillas untouched. I felt great afterwards and just couldn’t wait the hour to check my blood sugar and checked at the 30 minute point instead: 107, followed by 93 at the one hour mark! You all must think I’m crazy for wanting to ditch Starlix when it helps me eat the things I love, but I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t accomplish the same thing with a fast-acting insulin taken at the right time before a meal.

March 15, 2007 at 5:31 pm 1 comment

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Subs

Just returned from a delicious lunch with coworkers and am feeling comatose. I ventured over to the Jimmy John’s website to see if they have any nutritional information and was happy to find not only nutritional information but a cool little feature where you can add and subtract ingredients to adjust the nutritional totals. Unfortunately this revealed that my lunch choice was a poor one: the Vegetarian on Wheat sandwich I just ate has a grand total of 75 carbohydrates! But here’s the strange part – if I would have ordered it on French bread instead of Wheat, it would have only (ha) had 57. Since when is French bread lower carb than whole wheat? Next time I get the Unwich and avoid the issue all together.

Thankfully I only ate half of my sandwich so I only have oh, 37.5 carbohydrates to process and a BG of 192 to come down from. It’s going to be a long afternoon…

March 2, 2007 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Hello Jello

Jello puddingNormally I avoid packaged, processed and chemically-enhanced “foods”, but yesterday in a rushed search for something to get my blood sugar up from the low 60s before exercising, I discovered a box of Chocolate Sugar-free Jello Pudding in the cabinet and decided to whip up a batch. I knew it didn’t have much nutritional value on its own so I added in a cup of cottage cheese and a scoop of whey powder – heaven! I was actually excited when my blood sugar went too low again after dinner because I got to eat even more. I’m definitely going to have to exercise restraint if I’m going to keep this stuff around, or perhaps make my own instead so I don’t have to fear an ingredient list that includes such gems as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, disodium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides (“to prevent foaming” – god forbid!).

Not sure what caused my lows last night other than maybe a little delayed Starlix action. My BG was way too high (174 – suspected culprit: frozen blueberries added to my plain yogurt) after my afternoon snack which was taken with Starlix, but then an hour later it fell to between 47 on one meter and 63 on another at 7. At 8:30, post- Jello/cottage cheese/whey (taken without Starlix) and exercise it was 111, then an hour after dinner (leftover White Chicken Chili, with Starlix) it hit 53! The strange thing about the 53 after dinner was that I didn’t feel at all like I normally do during lows (shaky, confused) – instead I just felt unusually sleepy.

I should also note that I just ate the Jello/cottage/whey concoction again with only a half a Starlix (fearing a repeat of yesterdays lows), and an hour later my blood sugar is 170. Too much carbohydrate (22g by my estimations) too fast I suppose – I’ll try again some day with a whole Starlix, but maybe my new love is at least for now best reserved for lows and post-exercise.

February 27, 2007 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

More on Exercise and Highs

This morning my fasting was a happy 76, but after my normal breakfast and two mid-morning snacks of 5 almonds each, my BG was 149. I ate my lunch (leftover Buffalo cheese burger on whole wheat, caramelized onions, spinach, condiments) anyway because this morning the scale showed that I’d lost a couple of pounds which is NOT a desirable outcome and seems to indicate I’m not getting enough calories. I’m wondering if this lack of fuel to burn could also be causing the post-cardio highs.

I’m trying to get a better grasp on the physiology of how the body fuels itself during exercise, and so far if I understand things correctly, the highs could be my liver dumping glucogen into my blood stream for fuel. I’m unclear on whether this is one of your body’s “last resort” fuel sources, or whether that is a normal response to vigorous exercise. It will be interesting to see later this week and weekend if the less intense workouts I plan to do also cause highs. From what I’m reading it sounds like most type 1s just add insulin before vigorous training, but unfortunately I don’t have that option (yet :)), so I plan to try eating some protein or a small meal (with Starlix if necessary) in the late afternoon, perhaps an hour or two before exercise time.

A few helpful links:

February 21, 2007 at 5:04 pm 3 comments

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