Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A spin off!

Having read a somewhat moving blog by a good acquaintance about doing night time blood glucose checks on his two sons I feel that I should say a little on that subject.
As a young adult with type one (young adult, damn it I hate that term, rant aside let me proceed) night time tests are a necessary evil that can range from a minor inconvenience to a full blown shit storm.
When I do a night time test it's usually at the classic hour of three in the morning. Classic in the fact that this is the time of night at which your blood glucose is lowest. Or so goes the theory. On the lowest level it is a minor irritation as you have to wake up to what seems to be a klaxon going off next to my bed then fumble around looking for the BG kit and going through the motions. Then there's the ensuing result. If it's a nice one that's in range and hasn't budged too much since I went to bed a few hours previously then all is well and I may return to my slumbers without any worries.
The next scenario is if it's a little bit higher then I'd like. Normally I'm woken up by the need to go for a pee the moment my numbers start to go above ten millimoles per litre (the renal threshold for glucose, in English that's the level above which the kidneys throw glucose into the urine to get rid of it). My other half is exceptionally good at spotting this and is very easily woken so I can't get out of bed and do what's necessary without waking her up. If this is following an evening long doughnut binge then I know fullwell that it's self inflicted because as usual, I'll have got the carbs in my doughnuts wrong. Note to self; look at Collins Gem Carb Counter from time to time.
Then there's the final scenario. I'm in the late teens/ early twenties. Then I become decidedly displeased as I wake up with a deep urge to go to the toilet and paradoxically I also awake with a raging thirst. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Throw in the appropriate correction and hope that the next three or four hours is enough time for the blood glucose to drop in until you wake up.
When I do do my night time tests as a routine at three in the morning it's usually over about a week or as long as I need to spot any trends at that time. If needs be I do tests at different times to help sort things out or to make the image clearer.
There's also another type of night time test. The just got into bed hypo type of test. Normally this can be just enough to wake me at say a three point five millimoles per litre result. From the sublime unto the rediculous in the low twos or even ones which come out of the wood work once in a blue moon. It's not the hypo that bothers me so much more the bout of the munchies that follows the hypo. Sometimes twenty grammes of glucose is enough to sate me and make me feel good enough to head back to sleep. Sometimes I feel the need to eat everything within sight. This goes to such an extent that I have at times been found eating sugar sandwhiches in the small hours. Then there is the realisation that I will then need to bolus for this hypo related binge. That gets me even more than the hypo as I've then got to retrospectively work out the carbs and then the appropriate insulin dose for that. Fortunately I use one unit of Novorapid for every ten grammes of carbohydrate that I eat but even simple division is one hell of an ask in the small hours or a few hours after I've got into bed.
How to round this off then I must ask. Ultimately then night time blood glucose tests are a hassle. The amount of grief they can cause depends on the result that I get or quite often if I do the test or not as I have been well known to turn the alarm off and go back to sleep without doing the test. Damn unpleasant to do at times but a necessary evil. It's a catch twenty two situation as you know you need to do it at times but there are times when it's such a fine balance that it could easily go either way. So then, mixed feelings on my part about night testing. In typically English fashion I must end on an understatement; it's a bit of a bugger.

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