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Alcohol & Patience

November 16, 2014

On World Diabetes Day, I couldn’t get away from diabetes. Every social media outlet was all about diabetes, and most of them not addressing the major issue with diabetes: that not everyone has access to insulin. I know it’s not normally my platform or my goal, but it should be. Because then I thought “what if insulin hadn’t been discovered?” Which led to “would I have made it to my fourth birthday?” It was a deep, dark hole and I couldn’t get out of it. I’m pretty sure that my lack of interacting with people during the day did not help.

(Not from this party, but you can see a drink and a Dex if you look closely!)

(Not from this party, but you can see a drink and a Dex if you look closely!)

I had a decision to make. Did I go home to mom & dad and escape and probably keep thinking the same way? Or did I go to the party that my friend was having? I made the decision to see my friends. All I said was that it was a bad day and that’s why I took the T in vs. driving. (I live a stupidly long T commute away from my friends.) I drank my drinks and I bolused for the first, and half a bolus for the second, and then continued to drink without bolusing. At one point I looked around and one of my friends from JDRF was there. It was awesome. I was able to tell her why it was a bad day with her knowing how easy it is to go down that hole, and why. It was something I didn’t want to burden my other friends with. By the time I thought about food, only cupcakes and other gluten filled items were around. (Here’s why it matters right now.)

I had my Dex in my pocket the whole night, and looked at it when it buzzed, but didn’t do a damn thing. I think one of the hardest parts of drinking with diabetes is to remember that you can’t bolus for your number or the carbs in your drink because you will crash and crash dangerously. Alcohol raises you and drops you. You just have to be patient. By the time I got back to the T to get home, the doors were locked. This only matters because I crashed on a friend’s couch and I didn’t want the high alarm to wake them up. Through skiing, I’ve learned that I don’t wake up for high alarms, but everyone else does, no matter if we’re in the same room or not. At that point, I was coming down from a blood sugar near 400. So I turned off my high alarm. I know it seems crazy, but drinking & diabetes requires patience. Lots and lots. (I should also tell you that I forgot to restock my test strips and didn’t have any left with me.) I woke up around 10 with a blood sugar somewhere over 250. Off I went on my trek home, and ignored the Dex in my purse. When I got home, I took a fraction of a bolus. Based on my Dex, I was still falling without bolus insulin, but I wasn’t comfortable with how high I still was. Around 4:00, I flatlined around 125 and stayed there. All in all, this was a 19 hour process. Having a sensor can make life both easier and harder. I knew how high I was. I also knew not acting is what I needed to do. Our bodies are machines, and we have to let them work the way they’re intended to work. Even if we don’t like the current, real time number.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2014 3:53 PM

    The Dexcom buzzes when you’re buzzed! Ha! You are always inspiring. I am sorry it was a cruddy day.

    Other happy part: that you live close enough to the T to drink your drinks.

  2. November 16, 2014 10:17 PM

    I just like that you’re so smart. And that you got to enjoy time with friends. I’m kinda jealous.

  3. December 8, 2014 7:22 AM

    Thanks for the info about how to bolus (or not) for alcohol. I’m always nervous about drinking because I’m not really sure how to handle my insulin.

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