Oh the Irony

I have this ritual. Almost every time that I go for a long grocery shopping trip, I treat myself to a cold bottle of diet A&W root beer on my way out. I don’t drink a ton of pop and root beer has always been one of my favorites. Having performed this ritual enough times, I’ve come to recognize the diet bottle just from the color of it. I was finishing up a particularly epic grocery shopping trip and grabbed the A&W from the cooler as I got in line to pay, confident that it was the right one.

Parched from my long shopping excursion, I got into my car and immediately cracked open the pop and starting chugging, relishing the cool and refreshing taste. With half the bottle gone, I glanced down at the bottle. Something was off. I didn’t see the “Diet” sign anywhere! Shit.

Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind. Well technically first I silently cursed myself. But then my first thought was “What a waste of calories!!” followed by, “Holy crap that’s a lot of sugar!” A bottle of regular A&W root beer is a whopping 80 carbs! And here I had just drank close to half.

I took out my insulin pump and immediately started figuring out how much insulin to give. It looked like I drank half, but the top half of the bottle is skinnier than the bottom half, so maybe its not actually 40 carbs. I decided to subtract some to account for bottle shape and gave myself some insulin.

Within 5 minutes Gigi (my CGM) was already buzzing, displaying the two upward arrows showing that my blood sugar was rising quickly. I cursed again. Maybe I should give a little more insulin. I could just picture my blood sugar rocketing to the 300’s. I was pissed. What a stupid, careless mistake. Really I was thinking that if I was going to have that many calories and sugar, I would have preferred ice cream or at least a root beer float!

I went about my afternoon and tried to put the incident behind me. That is until about an hour and a half later.

Something wasn’t right. Gigi was being quiet, but all of the sudden I did not feel well. I got out my glucose meter and tested my finger. 37. Ummm what?! The low caught me off guard, as I was sure that I had given the appropriate amount of insulin according to the label. I needed sugar, and fast.

The bottle that only an hour earlier I was cursing, was now my salvation.

Ohhh the irony.

A1c Accuracy

“So how have you been?”

A seemingly innocent question asked by my endo as she sat down across from me. I never know quite how to answer this. I’ve been good. Really I have. My new job is going well, I’m enjoying living on my own in my new apartment, my weekends have been filled with fun events with my friends. I’ve been trying to get back into working out, I’ve been getting better at cooking and trying new healthy foods, things are good. But that’s not really what she wanted to know.

“I’ve been good.”

“How have your blood sugars been?”

Ah now we get to the real question.

Have they been high, low, are you having any problems, do you notice any patterns?”

“Shouldn’t you know?” I thought, assuming that she had at least looked at my graphs and A1c (which in fact she hadn’t since they were still being downloaded).

“They’ve been high lately, higher than I want, but I haven’t really noticed any patterns.”

“What about lows?”

“Yea I have them after the highs, probably from over correcting. Lots of roller coasters.”

We talked a little and made some adjustments and she got ready to wrap up the appointment.

“I was just wondering, what’s my A1c?”

“Oh I hadn’t even looked yet. (Ummm what, why not?”) It’s actually pretty good, 6.9.”

“Seriously? Are you sure?? That doesn’t make sense.” My doctor turned the screen so I could see it on the computer. I looked at her perplexed. “I’m shocked, are you sure that’s right?” It’s not that I didn’t believe that it could happen, after all almost exactly a year ago I was at 6.7, but I know what my blood sugars looked like then and I knew how they have been the past couple months, and something just wasn’t adding up. But I was hoping that maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was just remembering the worst of the past few months and in general I was doing pretty well. “I want a re-check,” I joked.

Yea I’m pretty surprised too, that doesn’t really make sense based on these graphs.”

I’m not going to lie, I kind of wanted my doctor to prove me wrong, to not agree with me. To point to some trend or something that showed that I wasn’t as off as I thought.

“We’ll have them test it again.”

In the 13 years that I’ve had diabetes and the over 50 A1c checks that I’ve had, I never really had a reason to doubt the accuracy of the test. But here I was, getting my first recheck. As I sat there waiting for the nurse to come back with the results I debated in my head whether it was better to be right or wrong in this situation. Right in that ordering another test was the correct decision, that the first result wasn’t accurate and that I know my numbers and my body. On the other hand, I was hoping that I was wrong. That I was doing better than I was giving myself credit for, that maybe my A1c was 6.9, a number I’ve been working to get back to.

The nurse walked in and I looked up expectantly.

“It’s 7.3.”

“Yea that makes more sense.”

Slightly disappointed that I wasn’t 6.9, I was still okay with that number. It’s been where I’ve been stuck at for the past 9 months so at least I wasn’t doing any worse. Okay, 7.3. it’s not my best, but it’s not my worst. I said the number over and over in my head…and then I let it go. I’m trying to use my numbers to guide me, but not get caught up in them. So instead, I thought about what I need to do different between now and my next appointment in 3 months. Rather than focus on the number itself, I thought about what I can do so that the next time I see that 6.9, I won’t doubt its accuracy.

Diabetes Blog Week- Day 2

“This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes.”

CGM, Go To Bed

An ode to my continuous glucose monitor

10:30 pm:

I put you on my nightstand, I lay you down to rest,
In case I don’t feel well, my blood sugar you will test.

My blood sugar is steady, not too high and not too low,
That ice cream after dinner, I hope you will not show.

An undisturbed night of sleep is what I really need,
A steady line on your graph in the morning, I truly hope to read.

Slumber is upon me, I’m drifting off to sleep,
I beg you CGM, a quiet night without a peep.

1 am: Buzz buzz buzz

Double arrows pointing up I awaken with a start to find,
Of all the arrows, up and down, you’re my least favorite kind.

Not much I can do, laying here with insulin on its way,
Groggily back to sleep I go, and hoping this time to stay.

2 am: Buzz buzz buzz

My eyes spring open, you caught me quite off guard,
My bg’s now over 180, you just had to make this hard.

My number is too high now, but I’m hoping not for long,
It may start to drop too fast, but hopefully I’m wrong.

4:30 am: Beeeeeep Beeeeep Beeeeeep

From my nightstand I hear your sound, which can only mean one thing,
“You’ve dropped below 55, wake up, wake up!” your beeps eagerly sing.

I take my fruit snacks and into my mouth I dump them all,
For the last time tonight, please back to sleep I hope I fall.

4:45 am: Buzz buzz buzz

Now you say I’m under 80, well at least I’m on the rise,
Maybe giving insulin for that high wasn’t all too wise.

Please CGM, let this be all, I’m really very sleepy,
If you wake me up one more time I may get a little weepy!

7:30 Ringgg Ringgg Ringgg

You’ve got to be kidding me, what is it now? You haven’t had enough?
With all the ups and downs this night, my sleep has been quite rough.

It’s my alarm! Time to get up; to work I must get ready and go.
Oh what’s that on the graph? A perfect number NOW you decide to show!

The Forgotten Pancreas

How could I have been so stupid?! So careless. So irresponsible. So forgetful?

I was cursing myself for a mistake that I had made. One that I have only made about 4 other times in the past 13 years. I was in a rush to get to a friend’s BBQ, I couldn’t be late because I had the hamburger meat with me. I scurried around my apartment collecting everything that I would need, including my belongings for the weekend since I wasn’t planning to come back to my apartment for a couple days. Meat? Check. Pasta salad? Check. Duffle bag? Check. Keys? Check.

I got into my car, driving the hour to my friend’s house, getting there just in time for him to put the hotdogs and burgers on the grill. My friends began to arrive, bringing an assortment of delicious foods. I filled my plate and got ready to bolus. I reached into my pocket only to realize that my pump wasn’t there.

Where is it?! I ran out to my car, ruffling through my duffle bag hoping that it had fallen in or was in the pocket of the pants I was wearing earlier. No luck. I checked the floor of my car and all around, but it was nowhere to be found. I must have left it on my bed, forgetting to reconnect it after getting dressed.

I went back inside distraught. It was only 8 pm, I had the whole night ahead of me. It would be a 2 hour drive to go back and get it and drive back. Would it be worth it? If I went back to my house, I probably wouldn’t want to come back. There goes my whole night, a night that I was looking forward to for weeks.

“I have to go home.” I said, feeling defeated.

“What? Why??”

I explained that I didn’t have my pump, and I needed it.

“But you have Gigi right?”

I explained that I could test my blood sugar, but that I didn’t have a way to give insulin. My friend that’s a doctor chimed in, do you have insulin, what about injections?

Of course! I could give shots. I had a vile of insulin and a couple syringes just in case. While the thought of giving multiple injections over the course of the night was not ideal, it would at least get me through the night. I gave a shot for the food and a correction for my high blood sugar and waited. I watched as my blood sugar continued to climb.

My anxiety rose with my blood sugar. What if the shots didn’t work? I was starting to feel sick and told myself that if it didn’t start coming down soon, that I was going to leave and drive home. But sure enough, the arrows started pointing downward and my blood sugar began to drop. I made it through the rest of the night with injections and opted to drive home at 1 am knowing that I’d have my pump through the night.

I know we all make mistakes. We’re all forgetful from time to time. But essentially leaving your pancreas on your bed is a mistake that I hope I don’t make again any time soon.

The Obscure Train of Thought of a Slightly Panicked Diabetic


My voice sounded strange as I answered my phone. It was 10 pm. I realized that I had not spoken out loud since leaving work 5 hours earlier. Since moving into my own apartment, I’ve been getting used to living alone. The solitude, the freedom, and the silence. Without any immediate person or animal to talk to, I realized that I could now go hours without hearing my own voice. It’s still a strange concept.

But the lack of chatter is just one aspect of living on your own. And while I admit that there are moments when I miss human interaction, I know that this is a time of immense learning and growing for me. Every problem, big or small, becomes my responsibility. Whether that means calling a friend or parent for advice, calling a repair person, or problem solving a solution myself, it’s up to me to fix my own issues.

But fixing a leaking sink or figuring out how to set up my cable are not quite the same as problem solving health obstacles on your own. And while obviously I have concerns about my diabetes, these instances are not always related to that. But I have also found that when I do have these moments of “panic”, my mind goes straight to the most obscure details. Allow me to demonstrate:

I was sitting in front of the TV eating nachos. Immersed in the TV show I was watching, I took a collection of gooey chips from the bowl without looking down and put it in my mouth, swallowing with minimal chewing. But rather than going down smoothly, I could feel the lump get stuck in my throat. I wasn’t choking, I could still breathe, but the lump had become rather painful. I coughed, hoping that it would  help the food move down my throat, but it only made it hurt more. I took a sip of water. No luck. Now I was starting to get worried. I’m not really sure what the normal thought process would be, but I started thinking about what I would do if the food remained lodged in my throat. I thought about who I would call. Should I go next door and see if someone is home? Since recently moving, I’ve only met one of my neighbors one time. But realistically what would she do? And what would I say? Should I call my parents? “Hi dad, so I’m not reallllly choking, but there’s this lump of nacho painfully lodged in my throat. Suggestions?” Which piece of furniture would be best to throw myself over if I needed to do the Heimlich maneuver on myself? Would that even work? Wouldn’t that be funny marketing if a furniture advertised, “Great for if you ever find yourself choking and alone in your apartment!”  I sat there considering my options when the food finally dislodged and the pain disappeared. Phew, crisis averted.

A few nights earlier, I had another obscure train of thought while contemplating my predicament. My blood sugar had somehow skyrocketed, I mean wayyyy out into space. It was the middle of the night and I felt soooo sick. My stomach was killing me, I kept switching from being hot to cold and back again, I was thirsty, and just overall in pain. I had given insulin hours before, but my blood sugar had only continued to climb. I decided to give a shot in addition to the insulin that my pump may have delivered. Watching my blood sugar continue to climb as I laid in excruciating pain, I started thinking what I would do if I couldn’t get it to come back down. My first thought though was if the emergency room has valet parking. What do I do with my car? If I drive myself to the hospital, do I go park in the structure then walk to the emergency room? Having only ever gone with my parents, these logistical details seemed extra important in the moment. Then do I email my work that night or wait until the morning to tell them that I may not be in? What the heck, why am I thinking about parking and emails right now?! I continued to lay there for another hour before I saw the encouraging downward arrows on my CGM. I finally drifted back to sleep and awoke to a beautiful line of blood sugars hovering around 100.

The mind truly works in random, mysterious, and clearly entertaining ways. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to act on any of my obscure thoughts!

Going to Extremes

Two nights ago I had one of the highest blood sugars that I can remember in years. I wrote a whole post about what potentially may have led up to it, where my self-management went wrong, and just how horrible the experience was. I was ready to publish the post today, but then last night I had one of the lowest blood sugars that I’ve had in years as well. I can only think of 2 other times in the past 13 years when it was this low. I went from 515 one night, to 22 the next (for those who aren’t familiar with blood sugar numbers, I strive for a blood sugar around 100-120).

Both numbers are scary. The 22 was much more of an immediate danger, but the 515 was disappointing, perplexing, and just overall awful. Both numbers are extreme. Both are dangerous in their own way and both have left me feeling out of sorts.

As I write this, my blood sugar is at a comfortable 125, clearly recovered from both incidences. I’m mad at myself, especially for the high number. I know that it’s my fault. I wasn’t as vigilant and careful as I should have been, and because of that, I faced the consequences. Looking back there are certain moments where I could have intervened earlier so that the results weren’t as catastrophic, but at the time I did not realize how important those moments were. Even with the low, I heard my CGM buzzing, but I ignored it because I felt fine.

The high number was in part a result of my first spinning class.  Before I started the class I checked my blood sugar. It was 248. This number is too high, but I figured the intense exercise would lower it (my first mistake) and didn’t want to drop low during the class. So I didn’t give any insulin and disconnected my pump.

When I finished the class, I took out my CGM Gigi, but it was giving me the out of range signal and hadn’t been tracking my blood sugar. I should have tested my blood sugar at this point, but I didn’t. I went home and ate a low carb dinner, but I forgot to bolus for the few carbs I did have, only making the situation worse.

It was now a little before 10 and I started to recognize the symptoms of a high. I took out my meter and tested my finger. 439. WHAT?! That can’t be right. I tried a different finger, 498. Shit. One more finger, 515. At that point a said four letter word that I will not write here. I immediately took out a syringe and gave myself a shot of insulin and changed my infusion set. At this point I started to feel really sick, the nausea had started to set in. I laid in my bed feeling awful. It wasn’t until around 1 am when my blood sugar finally returned to normal.

I honestly don’t know what caused the 22 or why I didn’t feel it sooner. I must have overbolused for my dinner and just didn’t feel the symptoms early enough. I didn’t believe the number on the screen at first, testing 2 more fingers for confirmation. What was so strange about this low was that even though it was so drastic, the symptoms weren’t as strong as even when I’m in the 40’s or 60’s. Probably why I didn’t catch it earlier in the first place. I know that much lower I am at risk for passing out, so I ripped open 2 packs of fruit snacks and chugged some orange juice. I didn’t care if I went high, I just needed my blood sugar to go up. And it did, it kept going up and up until I was woken at about 2 am with a blood sugar now in the 300s. Clearly stuck on a roller coaster of highs and lows, I gave insulin and went back to sleep, waking up to a low in the morning. Low, high, low…it’s exhausting. And frustrating. And annoying.

No more extremes. I can’t take it. Even though it feels like my diabetes is all I think about at times, I have to do better. I have to be more vigilant, more cautious, more disciplined. I know it’s my responsibility. I cannot have another night like the past 2 nights, I hope that I never see either of those extreme numbers again.

The Problematic Pizza

I’ve always tried to make my diabetes fit into my life, not fit my life around my diabetes. It’s a subtle distinction, but it makes a big difference. I generally haven’t changed my diet much since being diagnosed 13 years ago. I stay away from juices and regular pop and moderate what I do eat, but I rarely say no to foods. My philosophy has always been give enough insulin and anticipate the spikes in blood sugar it may cause, but you can still eat it. I’m not saying this is the best philosophy by any means, and my blood sugars have reflected that. But it’s the philosophy that has gotten me through my teenage years and early 20’s. I’ve read blogs where people talk about skipping meals because a blood sugar was too high, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve never been one to do that. “If it’s high, I’ll just eat and give more insulin, it will come down eventually,” was my thought process. Maybe not always the best decision for my blood sugars, but it was the decision I would make…until yesterday.

I had just finished my workout. Typically exercise drops my blood sugar, so you can imagine my surprise when I poked my finger and saw the 350 on the screen. I wasn’t feeling that well, and I realized that the feelings I had attributed to my workout was actually being caused by the high blood sugar. It was time to change my set anyway so I put in a new site and gave a correction. Then I went downstairs for dinner. It was pizza.

Pizza is a nightmare when it comes to blood sugars, for me at least. With all the complex carbs, it tends to skyrocket my blood sugar and I even change the way that I give insulin for pizza. Pizza is risky with a normal blood sugar, but starting in the 300’s is just asking for trouble. Even though in the past I probably would have given insulin, eaten it, and hoped for the best, I knew I couldn’t do it this time. So I refused the pizza, a difficult feat because it looked and smelled so delicious. I told myself that I could have a piece when my blood sugar was under 150. So I made myself a salad instead, allowed myself a small bread stick, and waited. I waited, and waited, and waited. Pretty soon it was time for bed, my blood sugar lower, but still at 190. No pizza for me.

I know people make dietary choices like this all the time. I know there are diabetics that would never dream of eating pizza. But for me, this decision was a big one. It felt like an “adult” decision and I was proud of myself for making it. Had I eaten that pizza, I probably would have faced high blood sugars for many more hours instead of the steady decrease that occurred instead. Although I gave up something that I wanted in the present, I knew I was making the better choice for my future. I didn’t get my piece of pizza, but life went on. And before I knew it, it was breakfast time with a blood sugar of 75.

The Voices in my Head

I have voices in my head. And I would argue that you do, too. I have an inner dialogue that to me is the voice of reason, logic, health and morality. It’s the voice that tells me to offer to help the woman who has her hands full as she tries to open the door, to help those that are less fortunate than I am by giving my time or money, to right the wrongs that I see happening, and to be an overall good person.

It’s the same voice that tells me that I should probably order the side salad instead of the fries, that I should turn off the TV and go workout, that one cookie is enough. Oh actually, it’s telling me that one bite is enough.

This voice is not always a popular one. After all, it’s usually telling me not to do something that is inherently pleasurable: eating unhealthy but delicious foods, sitting around being lazy, not drinking too much. Instead, it’s telling me to do something that isn’t always the most fun, easy to do, or popular: getting enough exercising, eating more vegetables, putting on sunscreen, wearing a seat belt or helmet, the list goes on. But what I have to remember is that this inner voice always has my best interest in mind.

The thing is though, I don’t always listen to this voice. I mean I try to, but I have my moments of weakness. This is especially true when it comes to food and my diabetes.

“You probably shouldn’t eat that, it’s going to make your blood sugar soar.”

“You are going to eat pizza now?? Your blood sugar is already high, what are you thinking?!”

“Pasta!? Tsk. Tsk.”

“DO NOT order that frozen coke. Walk away.”

Enough already. I get it. I’m probably not making the best choices all the time, but I know the consequences of my actions. It’s just hard to ignore that inner voice, especially when I’m staring at a table full of treats and just want to indulge.

Which is why what I’m about to tell you is maybe one of the only perks of having diabetes and the rare moment when my inner voice has no choice but to shut up:

Low blood sugar when you are right in front of a dessert table/bake sale/ice cream sundae bar/etc.

This rare event is the holy grail of type 1 diabetes. You see, when you have low blood sugar, your body needs sugar. It’s not a choice, it’s a medical necessity! And it just does not make sense (to me at least) to find glucose tablets or a glass of orange juice when there is a plethora of food items with the sugar that you need right in front of you. Which baked item to eat doesn’t become a pros and cons list of taste and size versus calorie consumption, it becomes the sustenance for survival. And my inner voice cannot not argue this fact. So for these rare occurrences, I take extreme pleasure in my inner silence and relish the permission to indulge.

Of course after a few bites, that inner voice begins to warn me not to overcompensate for the low, but those few indulgent moments are just so very sweet.

One Annoyed Biker

Dearest Gigi (Dexcom G4 CGM),

I apologize for how long it has been since we last talked, but really I saw our lack of communication as a good sign. Things were going so smoothly that I felt no need to address you personally…that is until recently. I think we both know what I am talking about, but allow me to refresh your memory.

It was the day of my big bike ride, 36.5 miles, an organized ride through the city of Detroit put on by the health system where I work. I had been training for weeks for it, building up for the long ride. I was prepared. I had plenty of fruit snacks and granola bars stored in every pocket in case I got low. In order to save room in my little bike pack, I decided to bring you, Gigi, and forego the bigger and bulkier finger prick glucose monitor. I figured you’d be perfect for this type of event. I could glance at you and see what my blood sugar was and if it was rising or falling. I wouldn’t even need to stop riding to check you. Plus you are so much smaller, you could easily fit in my pack.

My blood sugar had been running high, but I wasn’t worried. I knew that biking for 3 hours would drop it. I was just hoping that it wouldn’t drop too low while I was riding.

I checked you right before the ride started at 9 am. You were giving me the “out of range” sign, which made sense since I had walked away from you. The race started. You were stored under my seat in my bike pack. I didn’t think about you for the first 10 miles or so. Then I pulled you out to see what my blood sugar was doing. ???. You were giving me the question marks. Are you kidding me? Why weren’t you working Gigi?! I needed you. I had no other way to check my blood sugar on this ride.

I rode on. I paid attention to how I was feeling. When we got to the halfway point, I could hear you yelling at me from the pack. “Low, under 55.” I knew that wasn’t true, I didn’t feel low, let alone that low. I ate a banana and half a granola bar, but didn’t give any insulin. I didn’t know what my blood sugar was, and you couldn’t be trusted. You were suppose to tell me, Gigi! Maybe I should have eaten the whole granola bar. I didn’t know!

We were at 28 miles. I was starting to feel “off”. Was I dropping low or just getting tired? Gigi, you could have answered that question. I wanted to be safe so I ate a pack of fruit snacks and kept riding. We finally reached the end. It was a little after 12 pm.

Then the craziest thing happened. You started working! And you have been working fine ever since. But Gigi, where were you when I needed you the most?! It’s as if you were trying to spite me, working right before and right after my ride, but nothing in between. And you’ve worked fine on other bike rides, so I don’t know what your deal was today. Your behavior today was unacceptable. I’m disappointed in you and frankly kind of pissed off. Thankfully everything worked out fine, even without your help. You also reinforced the lesson to always bring back up. When I finally tested after lunch, I was 144.  But you completely abandoned your primary task and purpose and really let me down.

So no thanks to you Gigi, I successfully finished my first bike tour! All I can say is that next time, you better show up!
One annoyed biker

The Suspicious Symptoms

It was the middle of the afternoon and I was spending my day off from work sitting next to my dad waiting for a movie to start. Prompted by the previews to silence your cell phone, I checked my CGM to see if I should be expecting it to vibrate during the movie. I wasn’t pleased with what I saw: it was 280 with an upward arrow. We had just gone to lunch before and was battling a high blood sugar (272), but I had prebolused a sufficient amount of insulin. The upward arrow had me concerned, but I put it away as the movie started.

Fifteen minutes passed and I discreetly checked again, hiding the bright light in my purse as to not disturb those around me (there weren’t many for a Thursday matinee).

305 and still rising. This wasn’t good. I was hoping that it would at least begin to level off or start dropping.

I began to worry, I didn’t want to correct too much just in case it was about to peak and then drop, but I decided to give some more insulin anyway.

I tried to focus on the movie, but every time I checked, my number continued to climb. 320, 350, 380, the number reached the top of the graph, reading HIGH, a number above the 400 that can be displayed on the CGM. Obviously my body isn’t getting any insulin, I thought.

I started to feel sick. I was nauseous as well as experiencing physical pains in my lower abdomen, something that happens sometimes when my blood sugar soars.

I started to run through my options in my mind:

  • I could tell my dad that we needed to leave since we drove together
  • I could call to see if someone could pick me up or bring me supplies to change my set
  • I could give more insulin and wait and see if it would start to come down on its own
  • Or I could use the insulin from my pump to give myself a shot. 

I stared at the screen and the dots that were now riding along the very top of the graph. I knew that I had syringes in my purse and decided that I would use the insulin in my pump to give a shot and then change my set when I got home.

I got up from the movie and walked to the bathroom. I sat down and took out my glucose meter to test my finger. If I was going to give a correction through an injection, I needed an exact number so I would know exactly how much insulin to give. I watched the meter count down, expecting a number somewhere in the 400s.

250. Wait, what?! That’s definitely not in the 400s, and that number is lower (although only slightly) from what I was before I ate lunch. Therefore, the insulin was in fact working. I decided not to give an injection and instead gave a correction through my pump. I went back to the theatre and sat down, slightly confused.

Were the symptoms I was feeling actually associated with my number of 260, or was there a placebo effect happening? Was thinking that I was in the 400s enough to cause me to feel the symptoms of that dramatic high?  While 260 is definitely too high, I don’t normally experience the type of symptoms that I was with that number.

Soon after, the down arrow on my pump appeared and I began to feel better. My blood sugar continued to drop throughout the course of the movie, leveling out right around 100.

Although there is often a discrepancy between my CGM and glucose meter, its rarely that large of a difference or that drastic of a high. I started to think back to how I was feeling earlier.

Was it possible that my physical symptoms were in fact psychological? I had watched on my CGM as my blood sugar gradually rose to over 400 and believed that it was true. Was that belief enough to make me experience those symptoms? I’m not sure. Research shows that people can feel better while taking placebo pills, merely because they believe the pill will help them. Was that what happened to me, but in reverse?

It’s an interesting phenomenon and question that I don’t know the answer to. I haven’t had the same kind of placebo effect since, but I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience.