Monday, September 12, 2005

an hour of orange juice

This weekend about 10 of my friends met up at a cabin off on Lake Michigan. It was right off a beautiful beach on the east side of the lake. Friday night we shot off fireworks from the beach and had a bonfire. Saturday we went to a couple wineries for wine tasting, played bocce ball on the beach and swam. Around 9:00 p.m. dinner was ready. One of my friends had made jambalya and rice. I had one serving and it was great. I was still hungry so I ate more.

After dinner we are all giddy from wine and end up dancing around the house like fools. Around 10 I check my blood sugar. I can't figure out why I decided to check it then. I wasn't feeling low and I still had an hour to go before I normally check after eating. 49. shit. shit shit shit. Okay, don't panic. I just need some orange juice. Oh man, I'm going to need a shit ton of orange juice sine I'm at 49 right now and still have one hour or more that my insulin will be dropping my blood sugar. Once I realize this and realize how long it's taken me just from checking my blood sugar to determine this I grab my friend Amy. Amy is a doctor. I tell her I'm having a low and it's going to be an hour until my blood sugar will be stable. I needed someone to know what was going on, just in case. I grab a glass of orange juice (8 oz) and sit on the couch. And we begin the eating/waiting game. After the first glass of oj and 10 minutes later I check my blood sugar. 53. great. more orange juice, 10 minutes later 58. This is a really fun game. I end up drinking another glass of o.j., eating peanuts, half a pita with cheese and when i'm about to get sick from all this crap I've eaten (after two servings of jambalya too) it's been an hour and I'm at 99.

This was the worst experience I've had so far. The whole time I was coming up I felt horrible. Nauseous, tired, angry, scared. Trying to determine, with a foggy, low brain, what I had done to get this drastic of a low. Poor calculation on the dinner and then follow up with dancing. Scared about what would have happened if I hadn't checked. At a cabin in the woods in the middle of no where. The only thing that settled my mind was that I WAS with a doctor, tipsy as she was on wine. About 1.5 hours after the initial low I checked and I was at 132, after all the food I had eaten.

Also, when coming out of my low, in the 80's at this point, my friend Amy noted that I should really carry a glucagon kit around with me all the time. Well yeah, I do! She noted that it doesn't do any good if people don't know where it is. Well, my roommate Emily does (who I'm sitting next to). Emily looks at me with a blank face: No I don't. Gah! It's in my bag! It's always in my bag right next to my meter! In the bag I always carry around, with sugar tabs and a granola bar! It was frustrating to realize that while I've talked to her about all of this before she really doesn't remember. It was a scary realization.

I guess I just got scared. It's a wake up call of sorts. I haven't wanted diabetes to define me, so I didn't talk to all of my friends about what to do. They know I'm diabetic, but I think now they need to know what to do. In the midst of that low I was so confused and angry and I didn't WANT anymore juice. I didn't WANT any pita! While all the lows I've had previous to this I've handled fine on my own, I realize that my friends need to know for the times I can't handle it on my own.

stupid diabetes.


At 7:41 AM, Blogger Kerri. said...

I'm so glad you're okay!

I've found that drinking (wine or beer in particular) makes my bloodsugar plummet about an hour after I start drinking. It takes mass amounts of juice/food/patience to get the numbers up again. I constantly find myself stuck under 80 mg/dl for most of the night. This is pretty much why I don't drink as often as I'd like sometimes -- I have a hard time keeping my lows at bay. I've learned to make sure (learned the hard way, like you have) that my drinking buddies know how to recognize and treat a low. It's scary to feel so helpless, frustrated, and destroyed. All at once.

Yet I'll drink with my pals again. Does that make me self-destructive?

Again, I'm glad you're okay. Keep those glucose tabs close!

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Tekakwitha said...

Thanks Kerri.

What's scary is that I've never had a problem with my blood sugar dropping b/c of drinking before. But now I know.

- t

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

I'm really glad you're all right. Just wish you didn't have to learn yet another crummy lesson from this stupid, stupid disease.

If it's any help, I've read that glucose tabs work much faster than juice (because the fructose in juice doesn't raise the BG as fast or as high as glucose).

Joseph carries a roll of 10 (40 grams) wherever he goes.

Though, after reading your post, I'm thinking he might need a whole lot more...

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous tiffany said...

Whoa, tek, I'm glad you came out ok after that!!

I second, third, fourth and fifth everything Kerri's said. Stupid insulin...stupid liver...ruining a good drunk-fest!
Just a suggestion: next time you do something like that (no Kerri, we are not self-destructive lol) temp your basal down at least half. And if you're having that low, suspend the pump right away until it comes up. Alcohol ties your liver up from producing glucose (KISS version) so you become seemingly super-sensitive to insulin. On top of that, I like to cut boluses by about 20% if I know I'm going to be drinking.

Good luck next time! ;)


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