What do you when nothing seems to work?

I suspect we all have this pblm sometimes. Despite all our efforts to remember to bolus, count carbs, take our meds, exercise, make sure our pumps are working, our insulin is “fresh”, our infusions sets aren’t clogged, yada yada yada, do everything we know we’re supposed to do, sometimes the BG just won’t come down! Today, I’ve ranged btwn 200 and 275 almost the whole d* day! Nothing works! I know that my A1c is good. I know my time in range is good. I know that in big picture terms I’m ok. But the big swings are hard on me, my endo told me last month. She wants me to tame them and I want to too. But sometimes nothing works!

I get so d* frustrated (and sometimes, like now, I know I’m just feeling sorry for myself) I almost get to the point where I think it just isn’t worth fighting any longer. I’m 80, I’ve had a good run, but I recall things like the old spiritual “All my trials, Lord, soon be over”. Or the line in Old Man River “I’m tired of fightin’ but I’m scared a dyin’ “. I think maybe I should just fill up the reservoir and

I want help. I want suggestions. Maybe all I want is a shoulder to cry on, but sometimes I just don’t know how to cope any longer with this d* disease!


I will periodically fast for two days. Just drink 0-carb liquids. When I do that, it kind of resets my body, and then everything starts to work again. During that period, I keep everything else normal, such as work, exercise, and sleep.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures!!!


Did you by chance have something to eat that takes FOREVER to get through your system? Pizza? Hamburger? White wheat Pasta? When you are that high (which in the grand scheme of things is not that high) , for THAT long, it is usually dietary. Don’t worry about one day, it happens to all of us. You need to splurge once in a while, now just worry about tomorrow and get back in range. One day at a time with this disease.


It happens to all of us, and so many things can cause it. The obvious is stress, lack of sleep, less exercise, infection, eating something high fat, hotter day etc. But sometimes it can be something not as obvious. I think you just have to accept, we aren’t perfect. In a normal, a body responds by making more insulin, but even a normal they’ve shown can have some wild variations. It can get you down, exasperation, a feeling no matter what you do, you feel like you aren’t doing it right. Personally I think you just have to accept that you are trying your best, and most of the time we get it pretty right.

I change my pod first, I figure if I go over 180 somethings wrong and I have been having a more continual problem with pods. I’m sure it’s the site and not the pod, but I have been known to have 2 in a row too. So I change my site, if it happens with a second pod, I change out my insulin too. For me that usually solves it and I drop to more normal numbers. Although it’s still was probably a site issue. I’ve had numbers go up when I’ve had a tooth infection I didn’t know about yet. And I just broke my wrist and wow, insulin for a couple of days acted like water. For me a higher fat food day and I am fighting more stubborn high numbers for up to a day after. Fasting or keeping to a very low fat food day does wonders in being more insulin sensitive. Exercise always really helps me too.

Good luck, you are not alone in these problems and many many hugs. Sometimes our bodies just decide we are wearing the wrong color of socks for the day.


This used to happen to me often while on insulin pump. 53 years T1 and 20 plus on pumps. My endo determined that I lost ability to absorb insulin through pump. Too much scar tissue. I went on pump vacation with MDI. Thought it would be a month or 2. 5 years and still on MDI. Still have days as you described but fewer. I know I am getting insulin with pen. It can go anywhere in body.

We are hard on ourselves, but must remember this is impossible to control. We do the best we can and must let it go. As another friend stated. Tomorrow is another day

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Sometimes I have weeks where I just give myself shots and continue to use the pump. If I was 275 and had several hours before I go to sleep I would just give myself a shot of insulin in the arm or stomach. Unfortunately we all experience the weeks where no matter what we do nothing seems to work right. I just try to avoid going to the high 200’s and avoid going to low. For me the pump and CGM allow me the freedom to also take a shot when necessary and typically I don’t crash.

had a day like that yesterday. I think it was caused by food. I had plain yogurt with fruit/blueberries, strawberries/blackberries. I guess I couldn’t process the fruit or the dairy. I really don’t know. Anyway, from like 2:00-8:00, I had to keep retesting, take 3-4 units extra, and walk. Then it finally came down within normal range (it had been as high as 262). by 5:30 or so it was 160. By the time we ate (no carbs at dinner) it was 110. Then had low sugar before bed. So I’ve come up with the conclusion that maybe I can’t tolerate dairy anymore, or dairy and fruit doesn’t work for me. Yes, I do know what you’re going through. And you just have to do whatever you can on your own, ask for help from the doctor if it doesn’t come down. Sorry that you are going through this. I’ve had diabetes going on 55 years this year, and that’s just how it is. Glad that you posted!


I have had T1D 59 years, A1C 5.8, and pumping for over 25 years. In spite of this experience I have days that I have resistant highs. No explanation. Could be a temporary blockage of the insert, where the insulin may flow around the insert to surface, or forms a pocket where it is rapidly degraded. Or a temporary blockage at the tip of the canola. Or I did not pet my dogs enough that day, whatever.

To handle the highs I take a shot of insulin - and try not to micro-bolus and risk a low later (still will go low though). The threshold for me is >2 hr high not handled by a couple of corrections.

If I think it is medically related I will increase my temp bolus rate to 140%. Last Friday I had a minor surgery that required general anesthesia, and for 3 days my BG was elevated; putting on a temp basel rate brought it down more reasonable high.

“Mama never told me there would be days like this”; paraphrasing a Joe Cocker song.
Patience grass hopper.
Practice mindfulness bolusing…(-: I.e., be kind to yourself. If it were so easy everyone would be doing it…



It’s really helpful to read everyone’s posts on this. “I am not alone,” “I am not some T1D weirdo.” That helps. I am always cycling mentally between feeling like I can handle things and my attitude is pretty good, to down in the dumps and wanting to give up, b/c, like you said, all of my significant efforts don’t seem to be working for days on end.

It’s really tough. Thing is, it’s one of those things in life that you have no choice but to not give up. You might say, “screw it, not gonna deal with it [for x amount of time],” but that only means you’ll be forced to deal with whatever repercussions at some later time. None of us has a choice of whether to deal with it. So, I just think, I might as well try to deal with things now and save myself even more trouble two hours, a day from now. And just forget about the past numbers/etc. up until now, b/c at this present point, those things that already happened can’t be changed. So whatever, take one more step forward, and then another after that, one day at a time, keeping in mind, inexplicable things will happen, sometimes for days on end, but will in all probability go back to being better at some point. And then all these cycles will renew and continue. It’s just the way it is, for better or worse.

Anyway, I share your frustration. I give myself moments to feel sorry for myself. We’re only human. Our bodies are super complex and don’t conform to our desires, frequently. And I’ve only had this disease for a few years! Ugh. But like you said, you’re keeping in mind the big picture, the overall numbers, your overall health, mental and physical, and those are the important things. You got this–you’ve gotten it for a long time already! I am motivated by how long you (and many others) have dealth with this disease (indeed, so many diseases and ill fortunes in life). Thank you for posting. Soldier on. -Becky


Another way to look at it is, from the perspective of giving up b/c nothing matters, anything you do at that point to better the situation is icing on the cake.

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Hugs! Hugs! Hugs! That is the first thing I send to you and to anyone who says, “I want help.” Know that we hear you and that we all care, and if you need a shoulder to cry on, use mine. That is OK.

Others have given you some good suggestions, so I sincerely hope you have tired some of them and that some have worked for you. I pray that by this time, your wonky blood sugars have settled down.

Know that you are not alone. You are not too old to continue the fight. (Heck, I plan to live to at least age 99 just to spite diabetes, and I have been in this fight for 57 years!) You are not in a helpless situation. You have the power to move forward and to do your best. Any if your numbers still are wonky, don’t panic. Better times will come tomorrow. If you are doing your best, that is all that anyone can ask of you.

Hang in there, my friend. And feel a final virtual HUG, if you need it.


@Tom_in_SC If it helps, I have similar feelings at times, as you say we all have our issues, some greater or lesser or different than others! I’m an admitted perfectionist with very high standards for myself and others. The fact I’m not in control of what is, to most, a normal body process drives me nuts on a regular basis. Add to that I’ve got a kidney doc that wants to wipe out the foods my T1 doc says are good for me doesn’t help (I’ve told him as much!). Add in I think I’ve developed Celiac for good measure (not an unknown combination, also auto-immune)…no wheat, rye, or gluten, basically just about any flour product…bread, muffin, anything coated and fried)…and my frustration level has pushed me to the edge a few times. My wife has taken the brunt of my verbalized frustrations, God bless her, (and that makes me feel even worse). Then…I see someone with significant autism or cancer or burns…had surgery or been in hospital multiple times… see a double amputee in a wheel chair or on prosthetics…and I wonder, “What am I complaining about?” I’m not saying you and I should be happy with our conditions, our complaints are not invalid, just mollified a bit. We may need to seek out someone to talk with or another outlet for our frustrations. Goes to show everyone needs support of others, some more so than others, some seemingly fine walking about life. I’d like to say I’ve got the cure, I don’t. I’d like to say I can make the frustration vanish, I can’t. What I can say, is your and my burdens, while greater than many, are less than others. It doesn’t make our burdens easy, but perhaps a bit easier, probably a bit more bearable if and when we can place them in perspective with the burdens of others. Would we could keep those perspectives in the forefront, it’s difficult to do, but we can try…

My wife and I used to say, “I want to grow old with you…” My dad used to say frequently, “Don’t get old!” Neither we nor he was wrong…just different perspectives for different times and conditions. I’m trying and hope to regain a good perspective! I hope you can too!


Hello, folks. Monday, Feb. 19. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have sent me so many words of encouragement, sympathy, and literal understanding of what I was writing about in my OP. I know I should write each of you a personal thank you, and I hope you’ll cut me a little slack for doing it all in one reply, but I really have found wonderful words of encouragement and also a lot of good practical suggestions for what to do when nothing seems to work!

Like someone said years ago in a totally different context, keep those cards and letters comin’ folks!

Thank you thank you thank you.


I keep a HighBG profile on my pump for this situation. The ONLY difference between it and my normal profile is that the basal is 5x of normal. The carb ratio and correction factors are the same. I use it sparingly. I wait for 24 hrs after a hypo to correct of any highs in any way.

Otherwise, if my bG is running high, I check frequently, every 30-60 minutes, and initiate a bolus, to see if there is a correction factor in the bolus. If there is and it is greater than 1 unit, I take it. I avoid eating until I see a downward trend and it gets below 250-200. Then I bolus for the carbs I’m eating and let it adjust for IOB, in case I have overcorrected. The X2 will give no more the 60% of a total correction bolus automatically. I find this routine of checking is more effective and I like being mindful and in control of the process.

If I can’t get it down or it is very high, like over 350, I’ll switch to the HighBG profile and watch it even more frequently. I am careful to switch back to my normal profile when it gets below 250-300. The pitfall is that I have, on occasion, neglected to switch back to the standard profile and wonder why I can’t get my bG over 80 no matter what I do. :roll_eyes: I have stopped using the HighBG profile at night or if I am tired.

I have noticed that my bGs are less stable in spring and fall. By the time summer and winter arrive, my body has adjusted to the changes in daylight hours. I also find my bGs tend to get stuck high near the end of a cartridge. If it’s high and I have in the ballpark of 50U left in the cart, I’ll go ahead and replace. It usually responds pretty well after that.

Hope that helps!


I am using Tresiba for about 2 years it was going fine. My rescently box 1 got didn’t seam to have any active insulin or degraded insulin. Dreadful on keeping numbers right.
Has anyone on here had that happen to them?

I’m so sorry you’re feeling so frustrated &, it seems, very depressed as well. Since I’ve been a Type 1 for about 45 years I definitely can sympathize & understand what you might be going through because it’s happened MANY, MANY times to me as well.

My best advice is :

  1. Try to remember that because diabetes is so very complicated, with so may variables (as you mentioned)-it is a giant pain in the butt to keep in control. Regardless of how conscientious you are, you, as well as thousands & thousands others, will have REALLY ANNOYING days when blood sugar control will not behave.

  2. The technology we depend on is not perfect. Maybe the CGM is wonky. Maybe you have a malfunctioning insulin pump. It’s close to impossible to know in the moment. It’s very difficult to decide if you should take an injection since it SEEMS that the pump isn’t working.
    Make the best decision you can. Be patient. It takes hours sometimes to bring down a high, right?

  3. While you’re struggling with a high, drink A LOT of water. It’s not as effective as an IV, but it can really help. Moving is better than not.
    Even walking around the house can help. If your sugar is not too high, & you’re up to it, take a brief walk outside. Even a very few minutes can help.

I hope some of this might be useful. It was a great move to post here. I expect you will receive helpful ideas from many of the others on this site. Let us know .

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