Mexico Recap V.3 – Hoping to Survive to the Next Day

Part of having diabetes is experiencing low blood sugars. As hard as I try to avoid them, sometimes they sneak up on me when I least expect it; some not so bad, others, bad. The first Sunday we were in Mexico (of course we were on vacation!), I experienced a low blood sugar like I’ve never experienced before-that’s still on my mind. It was by far the worst low blood sugar I’ve had since I was diagnosed 7 1/2 years ago. I was honestly fearful that I would not live to see the light of the next day.

We were walking back to our room from another area of the resort, and my Dexcom alarmed telling me I was low, I thought, that’s funny I sure don’t feel low. I tested and sure enough, I was in the upper 60’s-totally manageable I thought! When I got back to the room, I sat down and treated with Glucolift tablets (YUM). Then I started to sweat profusely and shake. I sat, in a puddle of sweat, and I waited. Then I started to feel really bad. I got up, got the glucagon out of my supply bag, and handed it to Seth, I said, “if things get bad, here’s the glucagon.” I sat back down, trying to harness what was left of any cognitive function to will this horrible feeling away, and then all of a sudden I was reduced to a puddle of tears. I couldn’t take it. It was awful. All that was going through my head was, please, please, let me survive this. Let it be okay. Test, 44, arrow down, re-test, still down, 48. A terrifying eternity. I ate chocolate, I also ate a whole lot more Glucolift tablets. I ate, and ate, and cried, and cried. IMG_5559[1] IMG_5558[1] IMG_5561[1] IMG_5563[1]

I have never in my life cried during a low blood sugar. I sure as hell hope I never do again. I’m so thankful I survived, but the emotional and psychological ramifications of that low are still very present and raw. Hopefully with time they’ll heal.


Reminders that I have type 1 diabetes…and sometimes it wants to be a complete asshole. My bgs have been a little wonky lately, so this past Monday I just decided I was going to manifest awesomeness…which I did! Funny how that works.

Then, I’m laying on the couch last night with my ankle elevated (long story) and all of a sudden boom, my heart is racing and I’m really hot. I think, hmph I should probably test my bg. Sure enough, 54. That’s the lowest low I have had in probably 1 1/2 years? I have maybe 1 low per month anymore. I went into the kitchen, treated, and then came back to elevate my ankle some more. I said to Seth, “it’s really hard to not walk into the kitchen, inhale everything in it, and then curl up in a ball and go to sleep and not wake up.” This has always been the best way for me to attempt describing my cognitive thoughts when I’m low – I literally want to curl up and go to sleep, and not wake up 😦 Doesn’t happen often, but it is the worst feeling in the world.

On top of all of that, having manifested my bgs back into submission…I still rebounded from that low, and ruined my Dexcom graph (HATE THAT!). So, that’s what I get for not inhaling the entire kitchen to try to save myself.

Reminders. Reminders of the mental burden of this disease, and just what it has the capability of doing.


Diabetes Blog Week 2013 Day 1-Share and Don’t Share

Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?

Diagnosed in adulthood, and having lived with type 1 diabetes for 6 1/2 years, I feel as though I’ve been on auto-pilot for roughly the last 3 years. I don’t really worry much about my diabetes, it is what it is and tomorrow is a new day. Still, there are times when it just creeps up on you in the slightest of ways and you’re overwhelmed before you know it.

Fortunately, I have a great endocrinologist, and although I only see him once maybe twice a year, I know if I need him, he’s there. I still get bloodwork 3-4 times per year, ordered by my wonderful primary care manager to keep myself in check, and she also will send prescriptions if I need them. I’m lucky.

Though, if my team could peer into my diabetes life, I think I’d like for them to live in my shoes for the 1,440 minutes in the day that I’m thinking about my what my blood sugar is and what it’s doing…where it’s going, so they could see and feel how all-encompassing and totally consuming type 1 diabetes is. Although I’m on auto-pilot, it’s auto-pilot with everything that type 1 diabetes management demands slipped in anywhere and everywhere possible.

I’d like for my healthcare team to manage their health with everything else that life throws at them daily. Consistently maintaining their blood sugars between 80-180 the entire day (and the extra effort if it ventures beyond those Dexcom lines), while exercising once and maybe even twice, commute to and from work in rush hour traffic, have a stressful day at work, then head off to a meeting outside of work, still cook three healthy meals each day, then change their infusion site before bed, only to find that the new site hurts, having to change it 2 more times. And still be mentally coherent and stable at the end of it all. I’d like for them to see that management requires so much that they do not realize, and can’t possibly imagine without having lived with the disease.

I can’t think of anything that I wouldn’t want my healthcare team to see. For those that don’t know me, I’m a pretty open book, willing to share and connect to possibly help anyone I can.

Dinner with Ryan Reed

Several weeks ago, Seth and I were fortunate enough to have dinner with up-and-coming Nascar driver Ryan Reed and his family while they were in San Diego for an event. We met them at Roy’s on the Bay Downtown, and ended up having a wonderful evening filled with fabulous conversation. It was like we’d known their family forever. Truly down to earth people, on an important mission.

Seth, Myself and Ryan

Savanna (Girlfriend), Myself, Ryan, Jodi (Manager), Karla (Mom) and Mark (Dad)

Ryan, 19, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 17 years old and thought his racing career had ended until he met Dr. Anne Peters. He quickly learned when armed with proper healthcare, education, and technological tools, his dream of racing could become a reality.

In addition to founding his own organization Ryan’s Mission, he is involved in the diabetes community in varying ways, building relationships and collaborating to improve the lives of those living with diabetes and raise awareness:

  • JDRF, Celebrity Advocate (if you’ve seen him race, JDRF is all over his car!)
  • ADA
  • The Iaccoca Foundation (involved with researcher Denise Faustman)
  • University of FL Diabetes Center of Excellence
  • Diabetes Hands Foundation
  • TuDiabetes
  • TalkType1
  • Athletes with Betes
  • IDF
  • Marjorie’s Fund
  • No More DIabetes Foundation
  • Type 1 Rider (Tony Cervati)

You can find Ryan on Twitter @driverryanreed and on Facebook:!/driverRyanReed

Working at Dexcom, and experiencing firsthand how the device has changed my life with diabetes, it was inspiring to meet Ryan and learn how his use of the Dexcom System has helped his career progress. Seth and I are anxiously waiting to hear what’s next for Ryan!

Myself and Ryan, Go Dexcom!

We can’t wait until they’re in town again 🙂