Tag Archives: hypoglycemia

“we bonded over pumps.”

It’s a connection that’s often sought after, but rarely achieved. It’s a cosmic collision of two insulin-dependent forces, the chance meeting of two strangers drawn together by broken beta cells. It’s the betes bond.

We discussed where our pumps were hidden (her momma gave her a little more to shake than mine did, so hers was concealed in cleavage, mine was awkwardly placed in my armpit); we reminisced about nights of low-sugar fridge-raiding that ended in consuming things we weren’t proud of (cough::spoonfulsoffunfettifrosting::cough); we admitted we maybe sometimes don’t change our pump insertion sets quiiite as often as directed (and we both felt less guilty about it); and we realized that she was a fan of my shamefully abandoned blog.

Hence, this update. Nothing like a Sally Field “they like me” moment to get a girl’s butt in gear. In fact, it’s so in gear, I’m going to post twice this (gasp!).

And here’s a treat–an image I’ve been saving to use on this very blog at just the right moment (which is apparently right now):

the ancient insulinosaurus. roar.

(Thanks, Courtney, for letting me use it!)

diabetics: they’re just like us!

They go shopping on Black Friday!

Straight from The Weekly, the neighborhood newspaper of Peachtree Corners/Norcross/Berkeley Lake/Duluth, Georgia, comes valuable and timely insight: holiday shopping is intense for everyone–but just imagine how it must be for those diabetics! It’s like shop ’til you drop…on the ground…from a severe bout of hypoglycemia because you’re so intent on getting that two-for-one blender special at the K-Mart, you forget about breakfast! Am I right?

Thank you, Marc Wolf, for bestowing your wisdom upon those of us who both want to shop for our loved ones AND have a lack of beta cells. I’ll be sure to print out your tips & techniques this Friday to keep in my purse, which will be sure to match my close-toed and supportive shoes.

Bravo, to The Weekly, for completely unnecessarily separating diabetics from the rest of the shopping population this holiday season. Happy shopping!

of dogs and diabetes

Last week we all learned a bit about how to recognize signs of hypoglycemia (that’s low blood sugar for anyone who was not paying attention).

This week, we learn about an elusive super-creature who doesn’t need to read silly words to learn when his friend might be in trouble:
The canine glucometer.
The blood-sugar-hound.
A [diabetic] man’s best friend.
THE BIO-DETECTION DOG!

Just when a British type 1 diabetic named Cherry (not to be confused with the infamous Cherry who was locked in a freezer playing hide and seek) thought his uncontrollable diabetes and inability to feel rapidly dropping blood glucose would be the end of him*, in came dundundun Zeta the diabetic hypo-alert dog, to the rescue!

Sure, there are continuous glucose monitoring systems (essentially glucose meters that stay under your skin and give readings) that can tell you if your sugar’s heading south, but they just beep or vibrate. They don’t lick your face or pant beside you or show serious concern in their little faces. So, if Cherry is dangerously close to passing out from low blood sugar, his pup can sense it, and before said passing out and possibly coma occurs, he’s warned. But he’s lovingly warned.

The Cancer and Bio-Detection Dogs research center is in Aylesbury, England, and they train dogs like the one pictured here, presumably all adorned with multicolored hair clips. photo credit: Hypo Alert Dogs

Dude, these dogs can even detect cancer…sometimes. Now, if only this talent extended into the feline community, I’d be quite a content diabetic.

*figure of speech, sort of.
(Thanks, redOrbit, for introducing me to the betes-dog.)

high & low blood sugars: a PSA

I know what you’re thinking. You’re sitting there wondering: How can I tell if my diabetic [friend/coworker/dad/cat/cousin’s girlfriend] is in trouble; you know, sugar trouble?
By asking that question and possessing even the slightest urge to understand the answer, you’re already a good [friend/coworker/daughter/pet owner/boyfriend’s cousin].

Here, I’ve compiled a basic list of warning signs* for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, or “betes rage,” as it’s known in my circle of friends) and hyperglycemia (aka high blood sugar, aka narcolepsy).

When experiencing hypoglycemia, subjects may feel:

  • dizzy
  • light-headed
  • super giggly
  • livid at you/the world for no logical reason (hence, betes rage)
  • like they’ve been huffing paint or glue
  • super shaky
  • the urge to devour every bit of sweet food within reach
  • insatiable hunger
  • like the heat’s been turned up—way up
  • that their muscles are made of Jell-o

Now what? Feed.them.sugar. Something with at least 15 grams of carbohydrates and protein is good for them; whatever they’re craving is good for you. (Remember, volatile situation here. Subject probably does not mean what she is saying…or how she is glaring at you.) Then wait. It takes a while, and there’s no better way to cause a full blown betes freakout than asking, “feel better yet?” every three seconds. Eventually, make sure the subject checks her sugar with a glucometer (nerd alert!!), just to be sure.

When experiencing hyperglycemia, subjects may feel:

  • insatiable thirst
  • tired to the point of legit narcolepsy
  • like their limbs are weighted down
  • the need to urinate every.ten.minutes.
  • annoyed (at everyone and everything) that they can’t just go to sleep, like, right now

Now what? Ask subject if she has checked her blood sugar, as it is possible she’s just tired, thirsty, and in a shit mood. (While this may actually worsen said mood, it is indeed necessary. Be strong.) If sugar is somewhere over 200 (note: varies depending on subject), a proper dose of insulin should be administered. Other ways to decrease blood sugar: vigorous exercise, vigorous water chugging, though the latter is not recommended.

If hyperglycemia isn’t treated, the body may start burning fat to gain energy, since, without enough of our pal insulin, glucose (street name: sugar) can’t be the muscles’ source of energy. While this is a surefire way for a diabetic to eat and drink all she wants and still shed quite a few pounds, there’s also that tricky little side effect called ketoacidosis, which has its own side effect: diabetic coma (street name: near-death).

*Serious (no, really, not a joke) disclaimer: List of symptoms comes from my own betes-sperience and is by no means complete[ly factual]. As I’m not a cat, I can’t speak for the feline diabetic population.

This message brought to you by the National Council of People Who’d Rather Not See Their Friends In Diabetic Comas.

photo courtesy of lolcats.com, obviously

photo courtesy of lolcats.com, obviously