Tuesday, November 20, 2012
I just got a blood glucose reading of 10.8 mmol/L. Do you know when they call it diabetes? 11.0. Ok, that is 11.0 in carefully controlled circumstances exactly two hours after 75g of carbs with you sitting calmly the whole time after eight hours of fasting after three days of carb loading. But still, this is a horribly high number, the highest I've ever had. I am feeling really scared right now but that is a good thing. I need to keep this level of urgency, this determination.
I had a healthy lunch of chicken and salad. But I'm supposed to have carbs with each meal, so then I had some rice crackers that I bought before last Wednesday when I was told they were high GI. I wasn't ever going to buy more, but a shame to waste the yummy ones I already had, right? I had the amount of carbs allowed for the meal. Less than an hour later I started to feel a bit odd. It's hard to describe, but I've come to recognise a certain feeling as meaning my blood gluscose is high. I tested myself, and it was 10.8 mmol/L. Way above the "normal person's" high of 8 (which is what I aim for), above the "acceptable for a diabetic" 10.
I went to pick up the kids, feeling scared and trembly and very self-critical for my stupidity. When I tested myself again my blood glucose was down to 9.4. I'm not sure exactly what time I ate the rice crackers but this is probably around the 2 hour point.
I am absolutely determined that this lesson is now learned. It is not just the amount of carbs, but the type that matters. No high-GI foods.
The snack cuboard has gradually filled again since I last cleared it. Mostly stuff for the kid's school lunchbox, semi-junk like muesli bars and fruit sticks. But quite a few blocks of chocolate; my own purchases and left-overs. Chocolate biscuits (mine). The rice crackers (now gone, I gave the rest to the kids). A few random lollies left from Aiden's birthday. Marshmallows for hot chocolate. Chocolates that Tim gave me. It's embarrassing how much is in there.
D&D was moved to tonight and I will put out everything in that cupboard that isn't for the kids (I'm not really tempted by their stuff) and keep one block of quality dark chocolate for myself. Anything not consumed will be thrown away. I can't have it in the house. I already ate some of the Doritos I bought for D&D when I found out it was postponed, I threw the rest away this morning because I didn't think an open packet would make it through the day.
I need to keep this level of panic. 11.0 might be a bit arbitrary for diagnosing diabetes, but at some point around that there is no going back. Prediabetes is reversable but diabetes isn't.
Another half an hour has passed and my blood glucose is 7.6 mmol/L, within normal limits. That's what high-GI means; a quick high then a quick drop.
later: I tested my blood glucose again after another half hour and it was down to 6, the bottom of the range (4-6 when fasting, like before breakfast, 6-8 two hours after meals). I should have had a snack. I didn't. I was just glad it was down. An hour and a half after that I was preparing dinner and I started to feel very odd, much like I did last week at gymnastics. I was trembling and it felt like my heart was racing. I felt very hungry, but dinner was only 15 mins away so that wasn't unusual. Then I started sweating heavily.
I went and checked my blood yet again. 3.9 mmol/L. I also, a bit later, checked the diabetes website. The definition of hypglycemic attack was under 4.0 and the early warning signs were:
*weakness, trembling or shaking
*feeling dizzy, light-headed
*tachycardia (racing heartbeat)
Four out of five. I was having a hypo. Presumably I did last week when I felt like this.
I had a chocolate biscuit and soon afterwards I had dinner. When I checked the website I found that chocolate is actually not so great because the fat in it makes it too slow-acting. Pure sugar, like soft drink or jelly beans, are better.
I am not a diabetic. I shouldn't be having hypos. Or peaks of 10.8 mmol/L. I am clearly getting worse.
Less than an hour after dinner I am back up to 8.2, a fraction too high but ok as long as it doesn't go higher. I am not getting this right. But I shouldn't have to be so careful. Very scary.
photo of blood glucose monitors by Bernard Farrell