December 6, 2005


I want them. I need them. I rely on them to take care of my diabetes.

If it’s 2 p.m., I need X insulin per hour to hold me steady. I take Y units per gram of carbohydrate I consume. At 3:00, everything will change, but that’s okay because Nellie and I know the pattern. We will change too. We are self-informed, resilient, yet flexible. We are in control.

Reread the last paragraph in the past tense.

The patterns of Violet are askew. My body has, it seems, unpatterned itself.

All that basal testing described a few posts below is only helpful if you can find a trend. If the results shift and change, you can’t adjust. Give yourself more insulin, and the next day you might not need it. We all know what happens then.

Right now, for example, nighttime is crazy. One night I get a great 2-hour test after dinner, say 140, then find myself at 240 when bedtime comes (nope, no fat with the meal, but thanks for asking). The next night I fast to see if the basals are too low. They must be, right? No. At least not this time. I’m at 87 when bedtime comes, and I have to have a snack. Hmm.

Another night, like tonight, the 2-hour test is pushing 250 and I’m sick to my stomach. Why? I knew exactly what I was eating, gram for gram. Okay, it must be that my carb ratio is too low. But wait: last night I knew what I was eating too. And I was fine. Tomorrow the only thing I can guarantee is that the result will be yet another iteration: they’re infinite, it seems.

Without patterns I am at sea. I know myself but not how to take care of myself. And that is even more disorienting than moving from Minnesota to Brooklyn.


  1. No fun. That happens to me periodically as I lose weight. I eventually find the new patterns but it takes a while.

  2. Violet, I wish I could offer something miraculous here-- some element you haven't thought of (i.e., the glycemic index of the food you ate might be at play, giving you a late hit, despite having had the same # of carbs the previous night... yadda, yadda, yadda).

    But dang it, we're going through the same thing over here. Ryan was out of town all last week, during which time I reset basals and tested day and night-- with amazing results... no big highs, and NO lows.

    Now, it's just not working as well. Is it a surge of hormones? (seems unlikely given the, ahem, pattern)

    Is it the extreme cold temperatures? (But how could that cause the unexpected post-meal highs?)

    Did a few more beta cells just die?

    I don't know. But we'll keep trying (she writes, exhausted just typing those words).

    And so will you.


  3. V,

    You've experienced so much change in the last six months -- wait, check that -- in the last year. I'm sure stability is the last thing on your body's To Do list, while it's one of the first on yours.


    Yes ...

    Like Sandra, I have no magic advice. I can't pinpoint what might have made your sugars erratic. But I can say this: Diabetes is that constant balancing act. And you, just by being self-aware enough to question and write about it, can't be far from achieving some semblance of balance again.

    Fight that Good Fight, V.

    And do it covered in cat hair.


  4. V

    Everyday I have one (measured!) cup of Kashi Go Lean with milk for breakfast. Everyday, two hours after breakfast I'm in range. Except for yesterday and today with a 67 yesterday and a 253 today. My mom received my frustrations via an email filled with some words she might not have known before. Anyway, I feel your pain, if only on a smaller scale.

    hang in there.


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  6. The one thing that is so predictable about insulin therapy is that it is utterly unpredictable.
    It is one of the many reasons why we keep hoping for the discovery of something better.
    I think one doctor's said to me a long time ago, "Insulin is one of the most dangerous drugs to take" (He may have said "to prescribe").
    Congratulations to all of us out there who are still managing to cope with the original drug that was discovered in 1923 to cure people with diabetes, and lets keep working toward a future full of better drugs...if not the cure!

  7. Hey Violet,

    My search for patterns never ends. I especially love when I think I see one, go to the endo, and he totally sees something else. Kind of like a diabetes rohrshach (sp?) test.

    I'd love your take on my latest post at my blog.