Too High

I have been experiencing some different things I think is associated with my blood sugar being high. About every evening for the past week or more, I get a feeling where my vision seems to be blacking out and gets foggy although my vision only appears to be a bit more blurry than normal. When I feel this, it is like I am being swept in a wave and I am being dragged to sleep. A few days ago, I layed down on the floor and got body aches and cold chills when I got up. I sat infront of a heater and layed down again for about 5 hours. My blood sugar was high (in the higher 200’s) and I didn’t have any ketones.

Today, I had a diabetes check up. No adjustments were made to my rates, but I didn’t say anything about this. I tested while I was there and was 267. I corrected and dosed for my dinner. While riding in the car, my arm started to feel numbish. I had felt this way before in my hands and feet, but not to this intensity. I drove later on and my arm was very numb, I didn’t want to move it. I was yelling in pain. With some activity, it felt a bit better. When I was driving again, my blood sugar was 270 and it started numbing up again and now it is still feeling a little numb, so do my hands and feet. I have also been having trouble with my eyes. My right one is not seeing as clearly as my left like it usually does.
I am trying to get my blood sugar under control and will maybe try to call my doctor.

Has anyone ever experienced this before?

I just tested for ketones again and it said I have a trace.

Yes, blurry vision is a sign of high blood sugars, and the numb arm COULD be to do with neuropathy, or a trapped nerve in your neck. It is easy to say that you should have done something (mentioned it to your doctor), but I do understand that it is not always easy to remember things - so I would contact your doctor again with a written list of the times and circumstances and blood levels when these things happen. It is particularly dangerous to be driving with dodgy eyesight!

Yep, what you’re experiencing is due to high BG. Please do what’s needed to bring BG into a more normal range. Your readings are dangerously high. Eat less carbs & adjust your doses accordingly. Don’t need to tell you that this isn’t something to ignore. Don’t be shy about speaking with your doctor.

I’ve not had chills from high blood sugars. Perhaps you have a flu or an infection of some kind? Did you check to see if you have a high temperature? Both a flu and infection normally raises a Diabetic’s blood sugar. I remember when I had the blood poisoning, I had intermittent achy kidneys, was Really sleepy and had terrible chills. Once in the morning and then again the next evening. When I checked my temp it was 105.2 but I didn’t feel hot. My sugar was high. I threw up and then collapsed a few minutes later in our entrance. Just saying…

I hope that you feel better soon and get things back on track.

Never had chills from high BGs, but I have had blurry vision/vision changes as well as tingling and numbness in my arms and legs. Your readings are really too high and (as I’m sure you know) you’ve gotta get them down. Please call your doctor immediately. Is it possible that you’re getting sick or have an infection? Either of these can sometimes make my BGs go really high and be resistant to insulin.

Are the blood sugar numbers you wrote about typical, or are they isolated cases? If you run in that range all the time, it’s most likely the culprit. If not, I wouldn’t be too sure.

When I was in high school, I used to come home, extremely tired, and sleep until dinner. Part of it is being a typical teenager, but I found later that it was because of high blood sugars (the extreme tiredness, stiff body, yawns so big it makes your mouth hurt, etc.). I was in denial at the time – I ate a regular school lunch like everyone else (chocolate milk and ice cream after french-bread pizza and fries). I didn’t pump at the time; I just had twice-a-day injections of Regular and NPH. That was around 1990. Treatments are different now, but the effects can be the same.

Do you exercise when your blood sugar is high? That could certainly cause some soreness, though I don’t fully understand the scientific reason for that.

Is there any relationship to where you attach your pump/infusion set to where the soreness occurs? Maybe you’ve struck a muscle or some scar tissue.

These questions are just things for you to think about … you don’t need to answer every one. One thing you said though, concerns me a bit: "Today, I had a diabetes check up. No adjustments were made to my rates, but I didn’t say anything about this. I think we all have a tendency to lie, or hide things from our doctors, because they may yell at us for not being entirely compliant; I know I have. But ultimately, they’re not like your parents. They don’t have an emotional bond with you (at least mine don’t), and if you screw up, it doesn’t affect them in the least. With regards to your rates, you need to adjust them yourself based on your experiences. The docs can advise you and answer questions, but - especially with a pump - you’re in the drivers seat, and are free to take more or less insulin as you feel you need. It’s not like other medications where you take one pill 3x/day and forget about it.

I hope this doesn’t sound like a lecture. Dealing with diabetes is tough, and for an 18-year-old to understand it all today (with all the other complexities of life) it a lot more difficult than it was for me at that age – nearly 20 years ago. That said, you also have more freedoms and can feel a whole lot better than I did 20 years ago, if you make the effort.

I hope you think about what I wrote above, but if course it’s up to you what you do with it. One more story and I’ll end my rant:

About six years ago, I was at work and felt like my blood sugar was getting low. Mind getting a little hazy, vision a little blurry, and so on. I must have tested my blood sugar about 10 times (both hands) and the result was always normal – about 120. After some time, my right arm and hand were starting to feel numb as well; something was definitely wrong (but my blood sugar remained steady). I called up my endo in a panic, who suggested I get to the Emergency Room. My boss, also a T1, was on a phone call, so I left a note on my desk and got in the car and drove there myself (it was only 5 minutes away). Probably not the brightest idea, but I hate letting my D inconvenience others. Ultimately, the ER docs found nothing wrong, but piecing the story together, said I might have had a Transient Ischemic Attack, or TIA. They described it to me a a “mini-stroke”. It scared the crap out of me, and even thinking about it now, it still does. After a few hours, they said to make an appointment with a neurologist and sent me on my way. And to follow up with the endo. Well, the neurologist found absolutely nothing wrong despite a full battery of tests (electrodes stuck all over my head and body to see my brain reaction to various stimuli, and even a brain MRI) over the next couple of months. I’m not so sure it was a TIA… reading up on it, the symptoms don’t all seem to be there.

So, to this day, I still don’t know what it was. Nothing like it has ever happened again, but the fear that I had at the time was overwhelming … and it comes back as I recall the situation now. I wish I knew what happened, so I could make sure it doesn’t happen again – or to be able to predict what might happen in the future.

I don’t know if that story has any similarity to what you’re describing, but it seems crazy-familiar.