In the past week, my diabetes has gone all Jekyl and Hyde on me. Ideally a diabetic should keep their blood glucose as close to 4mmol-7mmol as possible. This will mean less risk of complications such as eye damage, kidney and heart disease and nerve damage. High sugars destroy the blood vessels, which unfortunately we are covered in! Inside and out. For me, I know that 4mmol is a little low. It's so close to a low, that I can begin to get low symptoms and don't feel at my best. So I like to aim for between 5mmol and 8mmol, although anything up to 10mmol is 'ok'. 7mmol seemed to the magic number in the three days leading up to Mr Hyde's appearance. 7mmol when I woke, 7 mid morning, 7 before lunch and again the afternoon. So what happened Saturday? I went to the gym. I tested my sugars before going to the gym and the result showed I was, what else, 7! So I grabbed a cereal bar and hit the cross trainer. By the end of my workout my knees were already beginning to give way. I was pretty sure it was because the last time I hit the gym it was still 2009 (Anna hangs her head in shame). However, on getting home, I whipped out my OneTouch Ultrasmart and tested my blood again. 2.7!
Any diabetic who has had the disease for a while and is being given the proper information, will know that a low sugar will always result in a high one. This is because when you go low, your liver kicks out a substance called Glucogen. Glucogen is basically just a sugary substance, designed to raise your sugars and stop you from going into a coma. In diabetics however, it seems to kick in a little late. So by the time you stabilise your sugars and treat your low, your body will have had just enough time to release enough Glucogen put your body into what is known as a rebound. You can't stop it, you can't do anything once the wheels are in motion and injecting won't make a difference. Your body will develop insulin resistance when you rebound , another defence mechanism, so you can't continue to go low, so all you can do is ride it out. That's when Mr Hyde appeared. My Hyde this time appeared under the guise of yoyoing. My sugar went low, so I got the rebound. Fair enough. I know it, I expect it, I can almost set my watch by it and I accept it. The trick is to catch it on the way back down again to avoid the next hypo. That's where it gets a bit more difficult. When you're on the way down, if you don't manage to test, identify the problem and eat something, the same thing happens again.
So the aim of the game in the next couple of days is for Doctor Jekyl to try his hardest to gain control and try to calculate when Mr Hyde might have an opportunity to worm his way back in. At the gym, before a meal, if I'm a little stressed. He has many opportunities. I know that Dr Jekyl likes to be well behaved. He is the logical one. The one likes the number 7 (mmol)and knows he works best when he achieves it. But Mr Hyde is never far away. Sometimes he's predictable, sometimes he's not. He loves those 20s (mmol) and those 3s (mmol), but I'm giving him less and less opportunity these days. I test more often, I don't freak out when I see those highs and lows (making it easier to keep my eyes fixed on the bigger picture) and I'm thinking long term. Dr Jekyl can move in here anytime he likes. For Mr Hyde, it's the beginning of the slippery slope out of here.
Thanks for reading.
Anna (and Dr Jekyl)