Sloppy Evenings, Low Blood Sugars, Guilt, and Fear

This has been an active week for me. It feels good. My body feels good.

Four days of basketball, with one seriously kick ass weight session afterward. Four days of tossing a football around with my son and shooting baskets with my daughter. One short bike ride back home after taking my old pickup truck to the repair shop.

As far as exercise, I’m doing it. And it feels good.

But I get sloppy in the evenings. High carb foods combined with estimated carb counts and ballpark boluses PLUS a lot of exercise and activity equals an evening full of lows that leave me feeling fat, guilty, foolish, frustrated, helpless, stupid, and scared.

The first low blood sugar I treat with glucose tabs. But because I’ve been so sloppy with my insulin dose, they are not enough to do the trick. So I have food.

But then I worry about having over-treated, and I’m sure I’ll be sky high later. So I toss a little more insulin into the mix. You know, to balance it all out.

My blood sugar never crawls above 96 mg/dl (5.3 mmol/L), but because I’ve got all of that insulin working, it’s not long before I’m low again. I’m full, and the last thing I want to do is eat more. But I’m low (again) too, so I eat. Glucose tabs, wait, regular soda, wait. Doritos then ice cream. That should do it. That is enough to fix all of the low blood sugars of the DOC combined!

As I come to my senses, I start thinking about the doritos and ice cream. Slow food. Fatty food. So I program some insulin to be slowly delivered over the next 4-5 hours to help curb the rebound high that is sure to happen. My CGM is all confused, reading just enough lower than my blood sugar to trigger the unchangeable 55 mg/dl (3.0 mmol/L) alert over and over again. Not wanting to be pestered by false low BG alerts as I try to fall asleep, I turn it off.

But I can’t sleep. I start thinking about my daughter lying next to me, and those that we’ve lost overnight, and start praying that tonight is not my night. That I wouldn’t want her to be the one to find me, cold and grey and gone.

What the fuck. Am I losing it? Something not right. Something nagging at me. God told me to check my blood sugar.

No rebound high. More low. Ironically, it is 55 mg/dl (3.0 mmol/L). Right where my CGM had me pegged before I shut if off.

I’m still full. I’m sleepy, but with a weird adrenaline edge to it. I’m jittery and exhausted.

I’ve packed in a fourth dinner and really don’t care how high my blood sugar will be when I wake up. My stomach is bloated enough to push doors open before I walk through them. I feel miserable.

My activity level and sloppy insulin dosing led to a world of trouble tonight, and I know better. There is a lot of guilt and frustration I’m dealing with, because I know better. But I need to let it go. It is not my fault. My pancreas is broken, and our very best attempt is still not as good as the real thing.

I need to try and remember that my activity level does not grant me a free pass to eat less responsibly. In fact, with diabetes, it probably requires MORE attention and precision, more thought and planning for the rest of the day and night.

If I would have simply done a better job of counting carbs for dinner, this spiral of crap would have been much less crappy.

Even though I’ve had all of this trouble tonight, I have every intention of exercising again tomorrow. I’m also going to try my best to be smarter about my actions after exercising. That’s where it all comes together. Even if I can’t get it perfect, it will surely be closer than I got tonight.

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18 thoughts on “Sloppy Evenings, Low Blood Sugars, Guilt, and Fear

  1. I went to bed last night, after being ‘sloppy’ all evening, and woke up in a pool of sweat at 6am with a blood sugar of 51. I chugged some OJ and though great, I caught this before I bottomed out. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I wasn’t starting to go low, I was bounching my way back up from my low and by 10am this morning, I was feeling like crap with sky-high blood sugar. I have been a T1D since January 1980, and am making the same mistakes you are, but like many have said before me, don’t be too hard on yourself; NO ONE is perfect at this. You just do the best you can, be kind to yourself, and be thankful for the good days.

  2. 2:56am and I’m facing a nice 33 sugar I somehow woke up too since I had silenced my sensor on top of everything else! I know how you feel Scott. We will NEVER be perfect enough no matter how long we’ve had this disease or how many times we go low then high because we’re trying to just get through because we’re trying to ENJOY life 🙂 Don’t beat yourself up.

  3. So I turned on my computer this evening, just to peek at your website–to see if someone is struggling as I am. Thank you for your honesty and realism: I’ve been encouraged to pick up and go on. And of course, feel sad about the crap you’ve been through, the crap that we all with D go through and don’t speak about so much. I agree with what you and others have said about the value of exercise–but how to keep it up without paying such a huge price? The exhaustion of trying to figure it out is what I’m dealing with as well.

  4. Sending you love and prayers to keep on doing your best. Tomorrow is another day to practice being good to yourself. All the best Scott.

  5. All those feeling just swirl around over and over and it is exhausting.

    I am so sorry you have to deal with this crap. I am sorry for all of us that do.

    Diabetes plays dirty because it not only screws you up physically, it also screws you up emotionally and mentally.

    Take care brother.

  6. Hi Scott, It’s comforting to know that I am not the only one who really F’s it up sometimes. That even you, someone who is so educated on Diabetes management and has his own blog, etc can end up eating Doritos in the middle of the night. I have been there too. Thanks so much for your honesty and for your communication skills. You nailed it.

  7. UGHH!! It’s so frustrating that exercise (of all things) is so hard to deal with. A stroll around the block, fine. Anything more intense and things just go haywire for me, and usually ruins my bloodsugar for entire portions of the day. Even though I know the exercise is so good for me, I have to wonder when I look at my Dexcom graphs. Why can’t something good just be good?? Don’t beat yourself up for a difficult night — you deserve so much credit!!

  8. “But I get sloppy in the evenings… leave me feeling fat, guilty, foolish, frustrated, helpless, stupid, and scared.”

    Dude, it doesn’t get any truer than that graf right there. Thank you for sharing this. I feel exactly the same way, except minus the exercise component because I’m still too damn lazy and haven’t done what’s needed. So, instead, I spend all evening and overnight and even into the morning running High and feeling like crap.

    You are an inspiration on the exercise, and I so need to be there. I think it’s tough to not relax after a day of doing what we need to, and for me that’s the toughest part – keeping up the routine at night. Here’s to hoping we can balance things out. Best your way, my friend.

  9. the good intentions of mice and men lead to many “fu** ups!”
    my friend as another who has ridden that low train straight into the depths of hell i forgive you.there are those of us who have woken up in a place where we werent to start with that have a real hard hard time with treating a low the right way.i can only admit to the fear of having a bad low again and not wanting it to happen.and the fact that time has no meaning when the “feeling” strikes.5 min 10 min 30 min .its all the same. none of it is fast enough to make the feeling go away.
    sigh. i try to focus on the fact that the good thing is/was i didnt lose it.
    lol whats interesting is the vicious cycle we go through. plan.screw up.plan.fix it more.screw up.replan .fix it more!

    a wise man said this:
    “Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes.”

    take care my friend.

  10. Ugh Scott – been thru’ the same trip over the years – and why we have to be so hard on ourselves is something I don’t understand about us D’s! I “now” try to not overcriticise myself – but it’s a hard habit not to break. Just know you’ve got the D-OC to talk to – we hear you – keep on doing what you are doing – kicking diabetes blip blip blip!

  11. Thanks for sharing this Scott. The is a great example of the things that we go through that we don’t usually tell anyone about. Stick with it brother, you’re doing the right thing by analyzing and acknowledging where you can make improvements. All that was yesterday, and today is a brand new day.

  12. People (loved ones, medical professionals, etc) tell us PWD to exercise. That we NEED to exercise. And I know, we all know, that it does our bodies good. What they don’t touch on is that it’s such a huge balancing act that it can be completely frustrating. I think we’ve all been in your shoes to one extent or another. You’re not alone Scott. And we are only human. We have to keep learning and “training” ourselves what is best to do. I hope today brings you less sloppy evening, low blood sugars, guilt and fear.

  13. Don’t be too hard on yourself! When you’re really bottoming out, it’s hard not to over-treat. It’s good that you’re aware, and that you’re exercising and checking blood sugar. And don’t keep Doritos in the house :).

  14. I SOOOOO know how you feel. I had a disastrous April (not exercise related, just a bit of illness followed by being all out of routine). Walking the D tightrope is tricky enough, but once you start wobbling it can be really hard to get your balance back.

    Mike