Blood sugar MADNESS - what's the problem?

For the past two days, I’ve been in Atlanta for a conference. Yes, this meant flying, sitting, and eating according to someone else’s menu - all things that can usually put a bump in the good blood sugar plans. But then there’s always been my trusty NovoLog to even it out (well, at least since May when I finally let my doctor make me take it).

BUT NOT THIS TIME!! I can’t seem to get below 200 after eating. After eating less than 10 carbs in a complete meal, and all in the form of vegetables. After crazily overestimating my bolus and STILL ending up at 269 two hours after my lunch of chicken salad and veggies. After eating the driest meatloaf known to man and the soggiest broccoli ever slopped in an airport restaurant bowl, I STILL ended up at 239, up from 130 before “dinner.”

I don’t get it, and I’d really appreciate some insight on this one, my friends.

I couldn’t have become extremely insulin resistant overnight, right? I threw out my last flexpen of NovoLog right before I left because I was having similar crazy high readings for about a day - so I got mad, blamed the heat, and threw it in the trash with an appropriate amount of gusto. I double checked with another meter, and the last reading with accurate. CRAPPY, but accurate.

I think I’ve shot up over 40 units of NovoLog over the past two days in about 8 different corrections. For perspective, I keep it low carb and usually only shoot up maybe 4 units a day with one shot. This is ridiculous. Oh yeah, waking up at 228 and 158 was great fun too.

My pulled from thin air guesses are:

  1. Something having to do with my period (though never happened before)
  2. Bad lot of insulin - does this actually happen?
  3. Something because I haven’t exercised according to my normal routine in two weeks
  4. My basal is screwed up - maybe I should just start randomly increasing my Levemir
  5. My little Type I self became super insulin resistant almost overnight

I’m on 24 units of Levemir (12 units, 2x a day) and an I:C ratio of 1:10. And I’m at the absolute end of my rope. When do I call my doctor? When do I just start screwing with medications? What happened to my blissfully good control that I’ve had for the past two months? And is all this my fault?

Thanks, guys…

It could just be the stress on your body of traveling. I know that happens to me when I travel and get thrown off my schedule.

It could easily be all of those options!

To start with, you’re on a change of schedule, which means a little stress to your body. If you’re under any stress because of what you’re doing, or general life right now, then that can raise your BGs.

Periods can definitely play with your BGs. Big time. I go high for a week or more, very insulin resistant, easily doubling (sometimes tripling) my normal doses. Then I drop real fast and stay low for a few days. I’m not alone in this… there are many variations of this story among diabetic women. It would be strange if you normally don’t get this sort of trouble, but then maybe it’s the mix of a few things at once that’s making it obvious - it might happen all the time but you never noticed it to that degree? Or it may just be it’s normally a tiny or non-existant change for you, but due to other factors it’s gone a little nuts for you this month. Diabetes is just too unpredictable and changeable!

The lack of exercise definitely plays with your BG too. Exercise will make your insulin much more productive, so a lack of exercise is going to mean you need more insulin.

Bad insulin is possible, but not really likely. Depends where you get it from, how you store it, how it was stored before it got to you, the weather… etc. If you suspect the insulin, can you pinch one from someone else to test your theory?

All in all I suggest you test as often as your fingers and your budget will allow, and play with your insulin doses while staying safe and not over correcting - it’s horrible to be high, but it will all be over at some stage and you don’t want to drop too fast or too low when it happens.

Good luck!! and NO it’s not your fault! We all get times like this. It’ll fall into place when it’s finished playing with you…

You could be getting sick. I always have horrible trouble keeping my blood sugars good about 3-5 days before I feel bad. When I see a spike like this I try to take it easy and hope it passes before I end up really getting sick.

Traveling could also really effect you too.

Did you travel to a different time zone? I’m on the west coast and whenever I travel back east my blood sugar runs high at certain times of the day (because by basal patterns vary so much over the course of the day). Also, I just started experiencing my blood running very high exactly one week before i get my period and for a day or two after it ends. On those days it’s tough to get it down no matter what I do. Good luck figuring this out!

Next time you give yourself a shot, leave the needle in there a bit longer than normal.
When I was on shots, I used to have insulin leak out after giving myself a shot. (Such a pain, because you totally have to guess how much leaked out. 1 unit? 4 units? Then you have to give another shot.)
See if that’s the case.
I agree with the sick theory as well. I’m normally higher about 2 days before I start getting a fever.
And hey, you pay your DR so go ahead and utilize him/her. That’s what they’re there for.

Erin, interestingly enough, it happens to me too. I’ve got copd and prednisone induced diabetes, type II. The only difference between ‘regular’ diabetes and prednisone induced is that sugars tend to be higher after meals and fastings are rather normal (that fact almost had one doc discontinue my insulin when I went home from the hospital, even though ‘bedside’ readings were averaging 180!). I rarely get ‘notice’ when I’m going to be sick (another “gift” of prednisone) - I literally go to bed feeling great and wake up sicker than a dog - for me it usually means a COPD flare and pneumonia (or infection of some kind). This last hospitalization was different…I felt bad the day before, and my sugars, 36 hours before, 5 out of 6, were 250+ Now that I think of it, it happend a few months back, too, where my sugars were high a few days before I was hospitalized. I’ve had pneumonia now 5 times since February 08 and 3 x from 9/07 through 12/07. GERD, sleep apnea probably play a big part since they say most are aspirant.

Sometimes I have a series of days when I stay high and sometimes I have a series of days when I stay low. It seems like no matter what I do, my BG just does its own thing, and then out of nowhere, it returns to some predictable pattern. And that’s without traveling or a change in activity level. I just do my best to correct things, and if my attempts to correct a 237 result in a 219, I try to console myself with the fact that my 219 could have been a 294. Conversely, there are days when my schedule is wacky, and there’s something unusual about what I eat, but my BG stays pretty stable. You just can’t necessarily find a good explanation, and you’ll drive yourself nuts trying to. Do the best you can, and sometimes you have to accept results that are less than what you hoped for. The important part is that you do your best to manage it, and you’re forgiving of yourself and your diabetes when you don’t get the results you expected. It will never be perfect, and you can’t expect perfection from yourself. That’s the way to live peacefully with it… at least that’s how I’ve come to live peacefully with my diabetes. My management is good without sacrificing my mental health and peace of mind. This kind of approach may not work for everyone, but having tried many other ways to approach it with less than desirable results, this is working well for me.