The hours.

When I find myself with a really high blood sugar I know I am in for hours of fighting.  Hours of waiting for my blood sugar to come down, while trying to go on with my day like nothing is wrong.

There is almost no way, in todays age of diabetes tools, that I will be back down to target anytime within the hour.  Often times it seems to take half of the day to get things back down to a reasonable reading.  It is never a “quick fix” situation. 

Is my insulin wrestling with some undigested food that keeps pushing upwards?  Is there some trouble with my infusion set?  Is there some trouble with the actual insulin?  Am I getting sick?  Stress?

Or maybe it’s just a matter of bad timing.  Carbs that are digesting and skyrocketing my blood sugar far too high and much faster than what my insulin can cope with.  Those cases suck because I really don’t want to take more insulin even though the first thing I REALLY WANT TO DO is take more insulin.  It’s a tough situation. 

We’ve all been hit by the impatient bus.  It usually comes a couple of hours after I’ve impatiently surrendered to a rage bolus or serial bolus.  It comes by and literally runs me the hell over.  No questions asked, no scheduled stops, express route to hypoglycemia.  When I get myself up and dust myself off, I swear to never again be so impatient. 

But the fog of high blood sugar tricks me into too much insulin more times than I care to confess to.  It’s as if I happily agree to experience a nasty low blood sugar later simply to get some relief from the yucky feeling of the high blood sugar.  My attitude is usually much different when it’s finally time to pay the piper. 

At least at this point I’m done with the high blood sugar, unless I overtreat the low (at which point it starts all over again).

The whole experience is extended and prolonged if I am troubleshooting some technical issue, like a kinked(sp?) cannula, blockage in my pump tubing, bad insulin, or whatever.  This happens because I need to try a resolution, then wait and see if it works.  If it doesn’t, and I’m still high, I need to try something else, then wait and see if THAT works.

Some might argue that I should take a good old fashioned injection at this point, and in some situations I agree.  But I still need to get to the bottom of whatever is going on, and that just takes time. 

It is hard to be patient while waiting for things to get back to normal, and that is the first thing I hate about high blood sugars.

 
  • Brett

    Yep, there are probably 10 different things that could cause the high, and thats what makes immediately figuring it out and fixing it impossible. Was it a tiny bubble in the pump, etc. etc. etc.
    We even had one time we found the tubing had a tiny tear right where it connects to the pump. Even large boluses can’t fix that!
    I think these are the biggest reasons when the real time sensor helps – so you can immediately see when blood sugar starts to turn up or down. Speaking of which, I promised 4 times I would get Caroline back on that again…

  • http://www.ninjabetic.com George

    It is like weight loss. Why is it that I have to bust my ass to lose 2 pounds but I can EASILY gain 6!
    I share your frustration.

  • http://donnabetes.blogspot.com Donna

    A bad high just wipes me out for the day. I hate those! It is best to try to figure out why it’s happening before having a panic attack & over-bolusing. Then I end up with a horrible low. But I’m guilty of that, too. Glad I’m not alone…

  • http://countrygirldiabetic.blogspot.com Cara

    Oh, I so understand. I have a high and it seems to just go all day long! And like you said, when the low truck comes to hit me, I end up over treating.
    A low can be fixed relatively quickly. It’s the highs that take forever. And I don’t think I stood in the line when God was handing out patience. :)

  • http://www.damdiabetes.blogspot.com Molly

    It’s like watching paint dry when you’re low.
    Doesn’t matter if you fan or blow, it still doesn’t dry fast enough.
    You’re right on. It’s hard to be patient, and it’s hard not to be emotional about it. (what did I do wrong, why is this happening!?)
    Here’s to bs’s in the ideal range! :-)
    After all, it’s warming up!

  • Karen

    Scott,
    OMG, exactly. I am glad you posted this and others responded as I sometimes feel I am the only one that takes what seems like a lifetime to get highs down and yes of course I have done the bolus rage and serial bolus as well. I do wear a sensor and sometimes the highs just come so quickly you cannot catch them in time. Today I was 120 after lunch for 2 hours and I thought wow this is grand, then at 3 hours my sensor showed 150, I said okay not bad, so I tested and 278, WTF, I tested again because I was in disbelief. Then I looked at the sensor again and it said 198 with two up arrows, grrrr. I wanted to shoot 5 units, but I knew I did not want a low, so I did the respectable, 3 units and waited and waited and waited until now, 3 hours later and I am sitting pretty at 116, but….guess what it is time to eat again. Have you tried the super bolus technique? I am going to go read about it again, but I hate messing with my basals.

  • http://insearchofbalance.wordpress.com in search of balance

    I absolutely agree… the waiting is maddening! :(

  • Anonymous

    Could not have said it better myself! Ahhh, good to know I’m not alone in my over-zealous bolusing to get those HBS’s down!

  • India

    I totally understand this. I keep going as best as I can and act as normal as possible when sometimes a hi wipes me out I just want to sleep, or a low reduces me to a quivering wreck. I named my hypos too. the ‘hungry hypo’ is a devil because its utter desparation to get out of that state for one and then for two in trying to lose weight I was doing ok till that ‘hungry hypo’ came along and I hit the pantry with vengence!!
    what is the SUPER BOLUS TECHNIQUE?
    thanks

  • Karen

    SUPER BOLUS
    Using more insulin upfront to get a high down or when you are eating a high carb meal and the lowering of your basal rate, so you won’t go low later. Here is an explanation.
    http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_technology/super_bolus.php

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  • http://sugarsick.blogspot.com Kendra

    Super bolus is great, but it just doesn’t work sometimes – like you were posting about, there are too many variables and often times I find that everything is fine…it’s not the amount of insulin, it’s just that the insulin is flat out TOO SLOW to keep up with whatever screwed up thing is happening with my digestive system.
    The wait time for high is maddening for me as well, even more so during this pregnancy. Even two hours is too long, and like Karen said…you’ll get it down and then it’s time to eat again!

  • http://www.diabetesmine.com AmyT of www.diabetesmine.com

    I got chills on this one, Scott. You SO understand my life — SO much better than most people around me. Aaargh!!

  • Laura G.

    Waiting out a high is the worst!! My best method to speed things up seems to be my own version of the super bolus. I leave my basal rates at their normal setting, but I give the pump’s full recommended correction for a high plus enough extra insulin for a full meal, all at once, without eating. If I have any intuitive sense that it’s a site problem (I’ve had too many of those lately!) I’ll use a syringe, add even more correction insulin if I notice a little headache or ketone nausea, and change the site right then. If I’m pretty sure it’s due to food or post-exercise spiking or something else physical, I’ll just use the pump. Then I test often and and keep an eye on things and when I see things heading downward, I eat the meal amount I bolused for to avoid a low. So far I haven’t screwed up and forgotten about the insulin time bomb I’ve set up, and this trick has helped me cut down on the hours of dehydration and stupidity from a high.
    Still sucks though…

  • http://diabetesaliciousness.blogspot.com/ Kelly K

    Waiting out the high SUCKS, big time!
    Whether they are caused by kinked canulas or a plate of pasta, the high blood sugar waiting game is chock full of anxiety!
    k2

  • Karen

    Ahhhh, all of the above, as I waited out another high after lunch today, it is sooooo annoying to me and my mind goes right to vascular damage every time and now I see the freaking highs on my pump because I am using the CGM. I did manage to get it down, but it took 4 hours to get it to normal, then it was time to exercise, carb up and hope for the best, and the high was not after a god awful meal either, grrrrr.

  • courtney

    has any one ever tested more then one figure and got diffrent readings for me I can get one very high and the next figure will be slightly under I have talked to my dr about it she didn’t know go with the best one she says
    I know that stress afects sugars as well I have a lot of that and their isn’t away to reduse.
    I hate the waiting game too because when I am hungry I would like to eat . and lossing weight also seems like a un winning battle

  • Colin

    Yeah man i hear you, anyone ever forget to resume their pump after a shower? Like 3 hours later you get that smell that aweful like 290 smell ughh… anyone out there….

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